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Patio dining: let’s organise a garden get-together!

eating outdoors

If you’re a mum or dad, you have a lot on your mind. Obviously, you want to raise your child as well as you possibly can, which implies taking an interest in their hobbies, friends and, of course, setting certain boundaries. For instance, when are tablets and smartphones off-limits? How you answer that question affects the amount of quality time you get to spend with your child, which, in its turn, is another duty to add to your parenting list. Do you feel you’re not spending enough time with your family? Spring, summer and autumn are perfect seasons for organising a family get-together in the garden and enjoying a lovely meal on the patio.

1. Lunch al fresco

Children love eating outdoors, so surprise yours by setting the table on the patio and serving their lunch – and yours – there. A colourful table cloth is the perfect finishing touch. Having lunch on the patio is no trouble at all, yet guarantees loads of fun and a healthy dose of vitamin D to boot!

Tip: a made-to-measure patio cover enables you to have lunch on the patio whenever you feel like it!

eating outdoors

2. A picnic in your own garden

Devoted mums and dads know that Saturdays and Sundays are the ideal time to catch up with their children, talking about fun stuff, sharing new experiences, playing in the garden, ... Want to enjoy your weekend together to the max? Have a child-friendly picnic in your own garden or within walking distance from home (at the local park, for example). Prepare some sandwiches, veggies for nibbling, tasty fruit, fresh iced tea, … to take with you. Want to bet that your children will ask you for another picnic next weekend?

3. Family barbecue

Nothing beats a good old summer barbecue when it comes to family time. How to organise one that is safe – and healthy – for your children? Some tried-and-tested tips:

  • Draw a wide circle around the barbecue, and be clear to your children that that area is off-limits.
  • Make your own skewers with meat, fish and vegetables that have been cut and prepped ahead.
  • A barbecue is only healthy if you serve plenty of fibre and slow carbs besides protein (meat, fish, legumes, ...). Potatoes are always a good choice, but whole-grain pasta is even better for children who still have a lot of growing to do.
  • A dessert is the cherry on the cake to your family barbecue. Opt for marshmallows – roasted to chewy goodness by mum or dad – or go full healthy and make fruit packages to grill – delicious served with a scoop of ice cream!

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Should you opt for a patio cover or folding arm awning?

folding arm awning patio cover

Do you love basking in the sun on your patio, just not all day long (you know, for health reasons)? If so, installing some kind of sunscreen is a must. A folding arm awning, for example, which you can use to create shade whenever the mood strikes you. Then again, there’s also the option of a patio cover – which offers even more benefits. Let’s compare the two!

A traditional folding arm awning

When you’re thinking about installing a sunscreen, a traditional folding arm awning mounted against the wall is probably the first thing to spring to mind. When the sun gets too hot, you can simply open the awning using a remote control. Here’s a list of the other pros – and cons – of folding arm awnings:

The advantages:

  • There are no posts that can get in your way.
  • Folding arm awnings have a wide reach, creating plenty of shadow.
  • You can open and close an electric awning in a snap, thanks to the remote.

The disadvantages:

  • Because the awning is always visible, it can compromise the look of your façade.
  • Folding arm awnings are not resistant to strong winds or rain.
  • The fabric inevitably becomes dirty over time.

In short, a folding arm awning is a great choice if you’re looking for a simple type of sunscreen.

Get the most out of your outdoor space with a patio cover

Do you like to get really comfortable on your patio? That’s what patio covers are for. A patio cover is mounted against your façade and supported by poles. It does not only protect you from the sun, but also shelters you from wind and rain. What’s more, the Renson Lapure proves that patio covers can be both practical and very stylish.

The advantages of a patio cover

Whatever the weather, with a patio cover you can always enjoy your outdoor space. Not only is it resistant to winds with a speed of up to 100 km/h, it is also completely waterproof. The water ducts even perform when the roof is half open. In a linked formation, the Lapure covers patios of up to 18 meters wide and 5 meters deep. A patio cover can even make your home warm up less quickly, saving you the cost of expensive air conditioning.

A patio cover with a custom-made roof

Did you know Renson offers patio covers completely made-to-measure? You decide which type of construction best suits your home and can even choose the color of the fabric. Renson patio covers can suit any style: they make fine additions to modern homes, while the Classic Line editions look effortlessly beautiful teamed with traditional homes. In addition, each patio cover can be equipped with side structures, heating, lighting, speakers, ... you name it, enabling you to get the most out of your outdoor space anytime. So go ahead and organize that garden party, whatever the weather forecast says!

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The ideal outdoor kitchen for foodies and pleasure seekers

The ideal outdoor kitchen for foodies and pleasure seekers

Is your Instagram feed filled with tasty avocado salads and delicious quinoa muffins as far as the eye can see? Are you already looking forward to your next barbecue, even though it’s weeks from now? If only you had an outdoor kitchen … Then you could experience all of life’s little gourmet pleasures outdoors, but still in the comfort of your home!

Why install an outdoor kitchen?

We all love noshing on a nice meal in an exquisite setting, but going to restaurants all the time tends to be, well, rather expensive. The solution? Cooking outdoors and eating in the privacy of your garden. An outdoor kitchen allows you to cook and barbecue whenever you want, in the company of your guests and with all the tools you need at your fingertips.

Outdoor kitchens have long been trending in warm regions including Southern Europe and the southern part of the United States, but recently they’ve started to pop up in more northern regions as well. After all, contrary to what many people assume, it doesn’t have to be 28 degrees outside to enjoy an outdoor kitchen!

The ultimate ingredients for an outdoor kitchen

Installing an outdoor kitchen is, of course, not something you do overnight. If you want to make sure you’ll get plenty of use out of your patio/outdoor kitchen, these tips are worth a read:

    • Provide your outdoor kitchen with a roof or patio cover. Without a proper patio cover, there’s always a chance the weather will ruin your outdoor cooking plans, and your kitchen will quickly become dirty as well.
    • Make sure there’s plenty of seating under the patio cover. Come rain or shine, your (winter) barbecue will continue as planned!
    • Do you prefer cooking in the shade? The decision is entirely yours if you opt for a louvered canopy.
    • You’ll be needing two types of outdoor lighting: task lighting above your work area and cosy ambient lighting above the dining table.
    • Finally, pay close attention to your choice of patio flooring. Spills are inevitable when you’re cooking, so opt for stain-resistant outdoor tiles or easy-to-clean decking boards.

The flexible alternative to an outdoor kitchen

Is an outdoor kitchen not within your budget or infeasible for practical reasons? No worries. Even without an outdoor kitchen you can have plenty of fun cooking outdoors, no matter the weather. All you need to do is install a portable barbecue set, a side table and a dining table plus chairs under your patio cover. Bon appétit!

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Spring cleaning your garden in no time? Easy-breezy!

spring cleaning garden

Spring is in the air! But don’t start sunbathing just yet. Is your garden ready for the new season? If not, this checklist will help you get the spring cleaning in your garden done in no time.

Spring cleaning the garden: the usual suspects

Now that spring’s in town again, we can finally leave those winter blues behind us. The days are getting longer, temperatures are rising and nature is coming back to life. Lovely, isn’t it? But, of course, spring is also that time of year to get your garden back into shape. So, let’s get to work, shall we?

Spring is the ideal time for trimming bushes and hedges. All summer-blooming shrubs are best pruned in spring, after frost has passed. Plants that bloom in autumn, such as roses and lavender, also do better when trimmed once spring has come around. Don’t forget to prune the dead branches from your hydrangeas, too.

Another recurring task in spring is fertilizing your plants to give them a little extra boost. If possible, opt for organic fertilizer. All plants can do with some fertilizing in spring, but remember that some of your plants will need some extra nutrients later in the year as well.

Properly spring cleaning a garden of course implies weeding. Some weeds shoot up as early as March, so it’s best to nip them in the bud before they start producing seeds.

Reviving your lawn after winter

Having endured the winter weather for months, your lawn is now in dire need of some tender love and care. Getting your lawn spring clean takes three steps: (1) dethatch the lawn, removing all moss so that the grass can breathe more easily, (2) re-sow bare patches, and (3) fertilize the lawn entirely.

spring cleaning garden

Spring cleaning the garden furniture

Now that your garden is all ready to bask in the glory of spring, it’s time to give your garden furniture a thorough spring cleaning as well. If you keep your garden furniture stored under a patio cover that shelters it from weather conditions, a good rinse will suffice. Spring is also the ideal time to give your patio cover a good cleaning. Read our tips to get your patio cover looking spick-and-span!

Want to be ready for summer?

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Why choose a customized patio cover?

customized patio cover

Are you looking for a patio cover to take your outdoor space to a higher level so you can enjoy the outdoor life more? You probably won’t settle for just any covering. A customized patio roof offers plenty of possibilities.

No two gardens are the same

A patio roof offers countless opportunities to make the most of your outdoor space. What you use it for is completely up to you. Every garden is different and every user has their own needs. Some people want to barbecue on their patio every day, while others want intimacy and peace more than anything else. Or how about a covered patio play area in full view of the kitchen window? Every situation requires its own solution.

A customized patio cover: 5 important considerations

Fortunately, customization is within reach. The Renson Ambassadors skilfully guide you through the entire process. Here are a number of initial questions they might ask you:

  • What do you plan to use the covered patio for?
  • Do you prefer an attached or free-standing patio covering?
  • What would be the ideal length, width and height of the covering?
  • Would you like extra protection from too much sunlight or less favourable weather conditions, or are you looking for extra privacy?
  • What style do you prefer? The available styles range from sharp and minimalist to more traditional. In addition, you are obviously looking for a colour that is a perfect fit for your garden, facade and exterior woodwork. Finally, your style should be reflected in the finishing touches like the awning, side panels and lighting options.

customized patio cover

Renson patio roofs: always custom-made

Renson patio roofs are always custom-made, assembled and installed. You can opt for an attached construction with two columns or a free-standing cover with four columns. You can even integrate the Algarve Roof into an existing construction. A patio cover is always wall-mounted, and has two supporting columns. A lounge patio in the backyard or a convenient patio next to the kitchen? It’s up to you.

Of course, you also have to decide on the size of the patio roof. The maximum span is 4.5 by 6 metres for an Algarve and 4.5 by 6.2 metres for a Camargue. Not big enough? You can connect several identical patio covers to each other, either lengthwise or widthwise, so that the resulting cover has exactly the right shape and size.

Furthermore, all Renson Outdoor products are available in every possible RAL-colour.

Finally, you can completely customize our patio roofs to thanks to our personalization options. Integrated lighting and audio, smart sliding walls and side panels, elegant sunscreens, patio heating … anything is possible.

 

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How to organize spring celebrations in your garden, step by step

how to organize a garden party

Looking forward to your own garden party, but dreading all the preparations that come with it? Organizing a garden party may seem like quite a task, but take it step by step and you’ll see everything will fall into place.

1. The brainstorm

A birthday, a spring feast, a new year's reception, an anniversary or a graduation party, ... There are plenty of occasions to organize an intimate garden party for. And, mind you, summer is not the only season for garden parties. Your garden can serve as an amazing backdrop for parties all year round! So there’s no need to feel restricted when you’re brainstorming for a theme and original touches to match the occasion.

2. The feasability test

The second step is to verify whether the party you have in mind is feasible in your garden. What may seem impossible at first, may just work with some minor adjustments.

Just imagine: your covered terrace and your living space are too small to receive a large group. By simply opening the sliding doors and dressing both spaces as one single room, you create all the space you need to entertain the people you want to invite.

Another example: let’s say organizing a sit-down dinner in your garden would be too much of a hassle. Then why not organize a walking dinner on the lawn instead? Your guests will be pleasantly surprised!

how to organize a garden party

3. Organizing a unique garden party

Now it’s time for the real work! This checklist will help you make sure you don’t forget anything:

  • Catering
  • Garden furniture and/or reception tables
  • Crockery, tablecloths, chair covers, ...
  • Decorative lighting
  • Decorations
  • Gift table and thank you gifts
  • Seating plan
  • ...

4. Spring celebrations under your patio cover

No matter how small or large your garden parties, a patio cover always comes in handy. Even if the weather is not all you were hoping for, a well-lit and heated covered patio is all you need to have a cosy dinner outdoors. Finally, don’t forget to make sure there’s room for the buffet and bar under your patio cover as well.

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Designing your dream patio: it all starts with inspiration…

patio design inspiration

Make no mistake: the patio is not the easiest part of your garden design. You probably spend the most time on your patio and are certain to receive friends and family there. What’s more, it must be conveniently located and have the correct orientation. Not to mention the style.

Turning your patio into a success story? It all starts with a generous portion of inspiration.

Magazines are your best friend – also online!

Unless you are blessed with divine inspiration, you will first have to look in all sorts of places for inspiration for your new patio. Home and garden magazines still form one of the better options for finding ideas. Leaf through them, cut out the prettiest images and collect them in a scrapbook or on a mood board.

It’s just as easy to do it online. There are plenty of home and decorating magazines that publish new articles every day. Simply save the most inspiring photos on a virtual mood board. Pinterest in particular, is extremely handy for collecting ideas from across the web on multiple virtual boards.

Visit patios

Tip 2: visit patios. Drop in on friends and family and study their patios. What are the strong points, what don’t you like, what would you do differently? Don’t be afraid to ask acquaintances what they think is great about their patio: often that’s how you learn the most.

Garden designers are also a good source of garden inspiration. Ask for references before you commit to a garden designer, so that you can compare recent garden designs with each other and get a better picture of what is possible in 2017. You will be amazed by how many individuals are proud to show you their successful garden and patio!

patio design inspiration

Inspiration for your patio from Renson Outdoor

We at Renson make unique patio covers and pergolas, ideal for making your patio even more comfortable. To help you along, we have created an online inspiration page. Or request your free inspiration brochure and let your creativity run free!

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Your checklist for a great landscaped garden

landscaping checklist

Do you want to work on creating your dream garden? Then it is advisable to talk to a garden designer. But not without first making a checklist with the most important requirements for your new garden. For example, do you want a patio with an outdoor kitchen, a nice play area for your children, and so on.

Checklist garden design

Basis for your future garden

It all starts – as we wrote earlier – with a couple of personal questions. They may seem simple, but appearances are deceptive. Consider them carefully before you get started on your garden design.

  • What is the purpose of your garden? In other words, what do you mainly want to use the garden for?
  • What is your privacy requirement? Some people can only relax if they are completely shielded from the outside world and any prying eyes.
  • How much time will you devote to maintaining your new garden?
  • What garden style is perfectly suited to you and your family members?

Peripheral conditions

In addition, these peripheral conditions have an impact on what is possible in your garden design:

  • How is your garden oriented? A south facing garden offers totally different possibilities from a north facing garden.
  • How is your relationship with your neighbours? Are there agreements about garden fences, trees on the property borders, quiet moments…?
  • What is the shape of your terrain and is there a slope? That is important for things like drainage.
  • Are there special legal requirements or limitations (zoning, planting, gas pipes, …)?

landscaping checklist

Elements in the landscaping

Finally, you can focus on the landscaping itself. Of course, you do not have to incorporate every landscape element into your garden – that would soon be ‘too much’ – but certainly consider all the items on this checklist to achieve the best result:

  • Boundaries: hedges, walls, fences, climbing plants, reed mats, …
  • Barbecue or outdoor kitchen
  • Paving: patio and garden paths
  • Orchard with fruit trees
  • Flower borders
  • Compost heap and waste containers
  • Bicycle storage
  • Lawn
  • Art work
  • Herb garden, vegetable garden, conservatory, greenhouse, …
  • Pergola, shaded path, gazebo, …
  • Toys, swing, tree house, …
  • Patio cover
  • Garden house or storage shed
  • Garden furniture
  • Garden lighting
  • Vegetation: trees, shrubs, hedge plants, flowers, grasses, herbs, conifers, …
  • Pond, fountain, stream, …
  • Sandbox
  • Seating
  • Pool

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Your dream garden? Points to consider for landscaping and decoration

landscaping ideas for personal garden style

The grass is always greener on the other side, but when it comes to gardens, you should be drawn to your own patch of land. Therefore, landscaping this highly personal paradise on earth starts with reflection …

What do you expect from your garden?

No two people are identical. We grow up in different surroundings, have other preferences, carry out unique hobbies ... It will come as no surprise that our wishes when it comes to landscaping our garden also differ significantly. So, ask yourself, what you want to do with your garden:

  • Do you want to spend time in it often with friends and family? Or are you especially hoping to relax to your heart’s content in the sun?
  • Do you like a garden where you can efficiently grow the best herbs, vegetables and fruit? Or is a vegetable garden mainly the place for you – with your hands in the earth – to find peace?
  • Do you want to enjoy the perfect view in your back garden or are you not bothered if the (grand)children occasionally romp about in your flower bed?

There are gardens where, for the most part, you work, and gardens to enjoy, gardens for people and gardens for animals, gardens for perfectionists and gardens for the more nonchalant, gardens for flower lovers and gardens for footballers. Decide for yourself in which type of garden you want to spend time this coming summer.

landscaping ideas for personal garden style

From super-romantic to ultra-modern

The next dilemma is the style of your garden. Possible options are:

  • A romantic landscape garden with a sloping lawn
  • An English cottage garden with chestnut wood fencing
  • A French formal garden with trimmed boxwood hedge
  • A low-maintenance garden with nothing fancy
  • A sharp, modern garden for purists
  • A contemporary ecological garden full of beautiful flowers

Considering landscaping and design

Depending on your expectations and your chosen style, you must decide where to start when it comes to these garden elements:

Patio:

Vegetable garden:

  • Big or small?
  • With or without greenhouse?
  • Close to the house or further away, secluded behind a hedge?

Garden paths:

  • Between which garden elements?
  • A permanent wood or stone path, or a simple narrow path mowed into the lawn?

Lawn and flower beds:

  • A low-maintenance lawn or a mix of various flower beds?
  • A lawn to play on, or a decorative lawn?

Need more inspiration? Follow Renson Outdoor on Pinterest or Instagram and create your own mood board with garden ideas!

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10 zen tips to destress at home and in the garden

destress in the garden

Slowing down after a busy day is not always evident. Could you use some tips to destress? These zen tips will help you to relax, at home and in the garden.

Destress indoors

1. Have plants in the house, because greenery is a natural air purifier. Healthy indoor air contributes to your good health and state of mind.

2. Have you heard of the concept sleep hygiene? A good sleep hygiene means positively influencing your sleep beforehand, for example by not doing anything too intense before you go to sleep. Just as important is that you keep your smartphone, tablet and computer out of the bedroom, because they keep you awake longer and prevent the production of melatonin.

3. Allow yourself some ‘me time’ every day. Ignore all household chores for half an hour and curl up on the sofa, for example, with a cup of tea and a magazine.

4. What is the most stressful moment of the day? That is when, still half asleep, you cannot find your keys, precisely when you have to leave in a hurry. Make it easy for yourself and put important things in a designated place. That helps you start the day with one less ‘stress’.

5. Let us take a shot at an open goal: a healthy diet is your most important weapon against stress. Vegetables, pulses and whole grains keep you going all day. Coffee, sugars and alcohol unavoidably go hand in hand with energy peaks and valleys.

destress in the garden

Destress in your garden

6. Your garden is the ideal spot to forget your worries. Go outside, get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoor atmosphere. By being aware of the subtle changes that the seasons bring, you are sometimes better able to put the daily worries in perspective.

7. There is nothing more relaxing than taking a nap in the shade in the summer. Curl up with some cushions under a tree or terrace cover for a delightful daydream.

8. Exercise in the open air. You do not necessarily need to go jogging in the park: swimming, yoga and even gardening will help you to destress.

9. Have a corner where you can gather your thoughts. Nothing is more idyllic than a charming swing under a tree in your garden, but feel free to make it totally your spot. The message is: personalize it.

10. Make your terrace a proper living space. By protecting your terrace from wind and rain, and decorating it nicely and practically, you create an extra space where you can get together with family and friends. You will soon notice: outdoor life does you good.

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