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top outdoor furniture trends to watch out for in 2017

    Selecting outdoor furniture and determining the best arrangement for it can be a challenge, given its hefty aesthetic role. Furniture can define the atmosphere of your outdoor living space and is also crucial to creating an inviting, comfortable setting. Incorporate these top trends into your deck or patio design to simplify your search for the perfect furniture and achieve the outdoor living area of your dreams.

Mimicking indoor living

    Outdoor furniture has evolved to resemble indoor furniture more and more every year. This trend has seen hardy wicker chairs be replaced by plush sofas and ottomans. Outdoor furniture is now largely upholstered with durable but comfortable covering and includes delicate fabric accents such as throws and scatter cushions. The luxurious textures within these fabrics are often paired with rich gem tones and metallic finishes, bringing the grandeur of the indoors to the outdoor patio.

    This furniture design is compatible with patio materials that also reflect elements of the home. Granite, for example, is incredibly durable and can be incorporated into the countertops for a grill island that resembles an indoor kitchen.

Fearless color combinations

    The modern age is experiencing an increase in experimentation with colors, patterns and textures. This trend is popular with, but by no means limited to, young homeowners and is guaranteed to energize any old patio. Vibrant, bright tones are being strategically incorporated into throw pillows and base cloths and are often paired with neutral shades to make them pop. These neutral shades are also utilized to create a visual balance as large amounts of vibrant color can overwhelm even the largest patios.

    Flaming orange and turquoise hues are good candidates for bold ocean-view decks, accented by white umbrellas and slipcovers that bring about a pleasant balance of tones.

Boho textures and shades

    Rich, bohemian colors, such as deep reds and oranges, have become more prevalent over the past few years. This current trend embraces rustic, natural surfaces and strays from modern materials like metal and plastic. Wooden finishes and wicker structures are used instead, contributing their own tranquil essence to the space.

    Craftsmanship is sought after when trying to achieve this style as the authentic hand-made structures contribute their unique character. The earthy tones and subtle gold notes found in Unilock’s Coffee Creek Il Campo pavers make an ideal patio floor for a bohemian design.

Elegant pastels and distressed wood

    Homeowners have become increasingly familiar with ethereal outdoor furniture designs, blending modern and timeworn, rustic themes. The furniture is selected in current styles and is arranged in modern, minimalist configurations. These contemporary structures showcase worn surface textures and wood grain finishes, creating an interesting mixture of aesthetics. Neutral colors are used in conjunction with pastels for a subtle washed-out effect while thick wickers create a balance between the organic and geometric elements.

    This balance is extended through the use of natural stone in conjunction with the shiny chrome finishes of metallic furniture and appliances. Unilock offers both limestone and sandstone pavers, as well as the rich flagstone surface of Beacon Hill that goes well with this kind of look.

Tropical hues and ocean blues

    Incorporating natural elements into outdoor furniture has always been popular, using seashells and tropical prints, for example, to bring the beach to your backyard. Faded greens and striking blues create pleasant contrasts while reminding one of crystalline oceans and timeworn structures overrun with moss.

    This nature-inspired look can either be calming and subdued – or bold, incorporating strong patterns and canary yellow flower beds. Although plenty of refreshing open space is preferred for this trend, the warm textures of wood and cork prevent a cold, detached atmosphere. Abundant plant life is also an encouraged backdrop for this outdoor furniture design.

Dainty garden furniture

    Despite the strides made by modern trends, classic tea garden furniture never seems to go out of style. Whimsical wrought iron tables and chairs, nestled between beautiful plant beds or trees, are still popular among many homeowners.

    This trend can be redesigned, using modern furniture but retaining playful and inviting pops of color as well as an organic look and texture within the materials. Installing similarly rustic pavers beneath your garden furniture arrangements can make them look more substantiated, making Unilock’s timeless Antara pavers an excellent accent to this trend.

By: NICOLE WISNIEWSKI

*Nicole Wisniewski is editor-in-chief of Turf and Turf Design Build magazines. She has been in the green industry for over 20 years. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


“Demand for Outdoor Furniture & Grills Expected to Rise in 2017”

*Keep an eye on the trends for 2017 to bring client's the latest and greatest.

By: NICOLE WISNIEWSKI   

Outdoor Furniture & Grill on patio Photo: iStock

    The U.S. outdoor furniture and grill industry (including patio heaters and accessories such as umbrellas, covers, cushions and grilling utensils) is expected to grow 4 percent per year through 2017, rebounding from the declines of the recession-impacted 2007-2012 period, according to a Freedonia Group report.

    What’s driving the growth? The continued interest in decorating outdoor spaces reminiscent of indoor rooms. This trend leads consumers to buy higher value pieces that coordinate with their interior designs as they expand living spaces outdoors.

    Sales are also growing because consumers want to extend the outdoor season using products such as fire pits and patio heaters. In fact, this segment that allows consumers to use their landscapes in cooler weather will see the fastest growth through 2017, the report says. This product segment has a spillover impact on outdoor furniture and accessory demand since consumers spend more on outdoor furnishings when they can be used for a greater portion of the year.

    In addition, there is growing interest in owning more than one grill; some homeowners enjoy multiple preparation techniques, such as smoking and frying, while others purchase portable grills for tailgating and camping.


“4 Backyard BBQ Trends”

By: NICOLE WISNIEWSKI


4 Backyard BBQ Trends

Photos: iStock

 

    The weather is warming up, and that means one thing for homeowners, particularly those who live in the Northeast and Midwest: outdoor grilling.

    Although die-hard grilling enthusiasts never let cold weather get in the way of outdoor cooking, spring and summer are the true official BBQ seasons. Here are four key trends in backyard BBQs, according to the National Hardware Show and the North American Retail Hardware Association.

Smokers.

    Smoking meats at home has become something homeowners are starting to take on themselves to own the job of adding unique flavors to their foods and impress their friends and family. Some popular options include small-batch artisan bacon, smoked fish and slow-smoked BBQ.

Pellet smokers and grills.

     Along with the increased interest in home smoking, more people are looking at smokers and grills that utilize pelletized hardwood because they are buying into the advertised benefits. Because pellet grills use an indirect cooking method, manufacturers say they reduce the formation of carcinogenic chemicals in food, making it tastier and healthier.

Technology.

    Smart technology is everywhere, so why not in grilling and smoking tools? Some thermometers, for instance, notify cooks when the correct temperature levels are reached, while others let cooks close the grill and visit with guests until the food is done.

Pizza on the grill.

    Wood-fired or hearth-baked pizzas are no longer just a restaurant order. Homeowners who want this unique, artisan flavor on their pizzas are purchasing stand-alone outdoor pizza ovens, as well as portable units that utilize grills for their heat source, which means they also make nice tailgating accessories.


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safety tips for spring grilling

*The summer is the perfect time to utilize your grill as often as possible.  The pleasant weather turns your grill into useable outdoor space.  Practice caution and remember these tips below to ensure your fun time doesn’t result in any accidents.


    Gas grilling is a great way to get outside, enjoy some time with family or friends, and share the experience over some delicious food. However, while you may get used to the grilling process very quickly, you should not let this allow you to stray from important safety measures for handling propane tanks.

Keep It Away from Heavy Traffic

    In order to store propane for Grills safely, you want it to be far away from regular traffic. Having a propane tank fall on its side creates a potential puncture risk, which is exactly what you want to avoid as it can lead to an extremely dangerous outcome when handled improperly.

Upright and on a Flat Surface

    While a propane tank can be stored on its side, you are best off keeping it upright to avoid worrying about the position of the relief valve. An effective and safe surface to store a propane tank on is concrete, which is a better option than limestone, tile, brick, mortar, and flagstone

Do Not Store Inside

    Since propane is extremely flammable, the last thing you want is for it to be inside, which is where it is the most dangerous it can be on your property. Keeping it away from the home is ideal as you do not want a punctured propane tank causing your entire house to catch on fire.

Away from Heat Sources

    It is important not to store the propane anywhere near a heat source because this may lead to the eventual release of the fuel inside due to the pressure relief valve opening.

Keep Watch for Propane Smell

    If you can smell the propane while it has been sitting in your backyard safely, it is likely that the propane has a leak, which is extremely dangerous to try resolving on your own. In this situation, your first and only option should be calling the fire department to get it looked at by qualified professionals.

Contact us for more information on propane or to learn about our grill or patio furniture selection.


    * Propane tanks can be dangerous if these tis for use and storage are not followed.  Practice these methods to ensure safety.

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patio furniture has become outdoor living room furniture

As the outdoor landscape of a home has developed, so has the patio furniture.  No longer are the same few designs only incorporated through random patterns on chair cushions.  Patio furniture has become regal and elegant, as countless designs exist to complement any and all tastes.

Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Outdoor Space

Indoor gas fireplace:

    You just had an incredible outdoor fireplace installed. Now you are considering how to proceed with the rest of the exterior design.

    Outdoor furniture is at the top of your list and you realize it can be overwhelming given all the choices out there. The pieces and styling can make or break your dream space.

    Lawn & Leisure carries several lines of high-end quality outdoor furniture that are guaranteed to turn any outdoor space into a veritable showplace.

    Let's take a look at a few of the furniture lines offered by Lawn & Leisure:

LLOYD FLANDERS FURNITURE:

    Have you considered Lloyd Flanders furniture? You may be wondering if it is right for you. So let's see if we can't answer that question, shall we?

     The process used to create this unique furniture is patented and has been since 1917. It was originally created by Marshall B. Lloyd, who opened Lloyd Manufacturing in 1906.

  • The furniture is incredibly durable. Each strand of cellulose fiber is coated in glue to discourage unraveling of the strands. Aluminum wire is used for reinforcement throughout the weave. Once the weaving is completed, it is immersed in resin which creates flexibility and protection from moisture.

  • The Lloyd Furniture company offers several collections with a wide array of pieces including; rockers, ottomans, lounge chairs, sectionals and love seats. You are sure to find a style that fits your tastes and preferred design.

  • There are a great number of tables that are available to complement the furniture as well as a selection of cushions for personalization and color.

  • The durability of the furniture ensures that it will last for many years to come and you will not be shelling out money every other season to replace your outdoor furniture.

    If you are in the market for outdoor, then you simply have to check out Lloyd Flanders.  

KETTLER USA:

    Kettler USA is the ultimate in versatility. Their outdoor selections are varied and you are sure to find something that fits your style and works fluidly with your outdoor space.

  • Kettler includes uses several different materials including; resin, wrought iron, aluminum and wicker options.

  • The company was founded in 1949 in Germany by Heinz Kettler. It has grown exponentially and now is sold in over 60 countries.

  • Kettler USA prides itself in producing high-quality furniture and has earned a reputation as a leader in the industry.

  • The furniture line includes not only table and chair sets, but chaises, benches and storage ottomans.

  • The company also makes fitness and recreational products as well as a line of toys.

  • They create a lot of fun outdoor recreation items like a giant chess set that gets everyone engaged and active and table tennis and foosball tables.

    Kettler is sure to add style and even a little whimsy to your outdoor fireplace area.

HATTERAS HAMMOCKS:

    What says relaxation more than a hammock? Hatteras Hammocks is the premier authority on hammocks.

  • Hatteras Hammocks does more than just hammocks. They a full line of accessories that includes curtains, cushions, and outdoor swings.

  • The company has been in business for over 40 years.

  • The have a line of care products available to keep your hammock and swing in tip-top condition for many years of use.

  • Customers can add-on to their hammocks with canopies and stylish pillows that can be purchased at any time. This is great when you have no desire to get rid of your hammock, but want to change up the theme or color scheme of your space.

MALLIN CASUAL FURNITURE:

    Mallin Casual Furniture offers comfort and elegance in the form of outdoor furniture.

  • Mallin has been a leader in style and comfort for over 50 years.

  • Their pieces are constructed of aluminum, heavy-duty tubular, extruded or solid aluminum to be precise.

  • They apply a hard, durable finish of polyester powder-coated protection to ensure long-lasting beauty for years to come.

  • The outdoor product line includes table and chair sets, couches, barstools, rockers, club chairs, and chaises.

  • Each piece can be customized with their line of fabrics and finishes and trim lines which include braidings and fringes.

  • They offer a complete line of outdoor firepits in several styles.

PALM SPRINGS RATTAN:

    If rattan is your thing, then Palm Springs Rattan is a must.

  • Palm Springs Rattan has been in business since 1971 and was founded in Florida.

  • The extensive outdoor line includes the standards like chaises and table and chair sets as well as bar seating and umbrellas.

  • Their accessory line is varied and customers can find selections in lighting, cushions, wall art and towel trees.

  • Customers can purchase furniture covers for added protection.

  • Palm Springs Rattan also has an incomparable line of 150 fabrics which are available by the yard and allow for total customization of your pieces.

  • Items have powder-coated finishes considered best for this type of outdoor application.

Many of these pieces can work in both indoor and outdoor settings, but some of our manufacturers have separate indoor and outdoor lines.

Whatever your vision is for your space, Lawn and Leisure can help you make it a reality. Time spent with family and friends is so important and is even better when spent in a beautiful and stylish setting.

If you purchase any of our featured furniture pieces or sets, get ready for the steady of stream of compliments from friends and family. If you don't already, you will develop of real love of entertaining, if only to show off your gorgeous furniture!

Check out our site for all of our lines including indoor gas fireplaces by R.H. Peterson Co. and Hearthstone as well as our line of grills and furniture.

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The outdoor furniture has incorporated itself to become one of the most important aspects of an outdoor living area.  Many homeowners feel that future additions to the landscape should be focused around the furniture, instead of vice versa.

Think About the Outdoor Furniture Before Investing in Outdoor Upgrade

When you purchase a home that already has an outdoor space, you are forced to work with the area that you have for getting outdoor furniture. Although you could make some changes to accommodate your particular needs, this would make it a considerably more expensive project to undertake. It is for this reason that most homeowners just work around what they already have. However, if you do not already have an established outdoor area in your backyard and you are looking to invest in such an addition, you should think about what outdoor furniture you want to get before making concrete plans.

    Make Improvements or Additions That Align with Your Wants and Needs

For the most part, the outdoor space that you create is not what makes it enjoyable. Without furnishings, an outdoor area is not very usable, which brings about how important it is to have outdoor furniture. It might seem strange, but picking the furniture that you want before you invest in an improvement or addition to your backyard is a great way to make sure your wants and needs are accommodated.

    Avoid Creating an Outdoor Area with Too Much Space or Not Enough

If you know that you want to get certain furnishings, you want to avoid a situation in which you create a space that is not able to fit everything. It is easy to underestimate how much room furniture can take up, especially if you do not go through what furniture you want to get beforehand. Also, overestimating how much space you need is also a problem because it leads to unnecessary project expenses.

    Make Plans with Long-Term Furniture Investments in Mind

Although you might feel hesitant to make your plans based on outdoor furniture, you should do so with the intent to use the furniture for the long term. Just because it is common for people to go through a new furniture set every couple of years, this typically comes down to poor maintenance and planning. However, by investing a decent amount of money into high-quality outdoor furniture, you can expect your furniture to last for many years, especially when you take the time to maintain it properly.

    Consider Covered Areas to Combat the Elements

An aspect of your outdoor space that you want to consider is whether you want to have an area that is covered. For instance, you can avoid dealing with elements by creating a covered space, which also opens up the opportunity to choose more outdoor furniture as the risk of damage is minimized or eliminated.

    Decide Whether You Want to Have a Grill

Depending on what kind of outdoor experience you want to have, a grill may be an option or a necessity. It is important to think about this beforehand, especially because you will want to have an area for eating outdoors. If you know that you have no intentions to eat outside, then you do not have to worry about buying a large dining table, which is generally a requirement for eating outside with your family.

A grill is something that you should consider because it can provide you with a unique cooking experience, which can also lead to unique tasting food that you cannot get in the kitchen. Also, if you like to have a family or friends over, or even host large parties, you will certainly like having a grill to entertain.

Creating an ideal outdoor space for your family to enjoy is not an easy task to accomplish. However, when you look at outdoor furniture before drawing up plans, you can accommodate your needs well.

Contact us if you have any questions about patio furniture or our selection.

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Consider the Long-term When You Decide to Purchase Patio Furniture

Once you get a backyard that can be used as an outdoor space, getting patio furniture is the first step to turning it into a place where you can spend on a regular basis. Although it is true that this furniture will spend the majority of its time outside, this does not mean you should not take the shopping process as seriously as you would for purchasing furniture to be used indoors. For an ideal shopping experience, you should take the long-term into consideration before making any final decisions.

Think About Future Restoration

While it is ideal when your furniture is able to last for years without needing restoration, you should keep future restoration in mind as it might be necessary for some pieces of furniture to maintain their function and looks. Restoration is one way to get an even better value out of the furniture you buy.

Pick Neutral Styles and Colors

Although you might be into a certain style or want wild colors with your patio furniture, considering natural styles and colors will help you maximize the longevity of the furniture. It is helpful when you avoid a predicament in which your patio furniture no longer fits in with the rest of your home.

Prioritize Long Warranties

Reputable furniture manufacturers provide lengthy warranties, so you should be looking for at least a five-year warranty on the patio furniture you purchase. It is not hard to find longer warranties, but most importantly, you want to purchase furniture from a manufacturer that is confident in their products.

Expect a Longer Lifespan

While you should expect your furniture to last as long as the warranty does, most furniture pieces, as long as they are well-maintained, should be able to last a considerable length after the warranty ends.

If you have any questions about patio furniture, call Lawn & Leisure today at (703) 635-2124.

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tips for choosing patio furnitureChoosing the right patio furniture can help to ensure that your outdoor space is a fantastic looking area that you will be proud to entertain in for years to come. However, many individuals struggle with deciding what patio furniture to purchase for their patio space, as they do not know what to look for when shopping for these items. While there are many things one must consider when purchasing patio furniture, taking a few things into consideration will help you to find the perfect furniture for your space.

Go For Easy Maintenance Pieces

Maintaining the outdoor area surrounding one’s home, particularly for those whose home is on a large property, can take up a great deal of time. For this reason, you will not want to spend even more time cleaning and maintaining your patio furniture. Thusly, consider looking for patio furniture that will easily withstand the elements and will not require any extra work on your part. Most metal and wicker patio furniture is good at withstanding the elements and can be a good option.

Consider Quality

While everyone wants to get a good deal on their patio furniture, as they will likely not be using it as much as their indoor furniture, it is important to consider purchasing good quality patio furniture. This goes back to the old adage “you get what you pay for”; if you purchase low quality furniture, it will not be able to withstand the elements as well as higher quality pieces and will likely have to be replaced fairly frequently. For this reason is can be advisable to purchase higher quality furniture that will meet your outdoor needs for years to come.

Look For Multi-Purpose Pieces

One way to get the most out of the furniture that you purchase for you outdoor space is to consider purchasing pieces that can serve dual purposes. For instance, if you are looking at ottomans, consider purchasing one that is large enough to double as extra seating when you throw your next barbeque. Furthermore, purchasing one that has a storage space inside will help you to have a place to keep those party items you do not use (and do not have space for) when you are not hosting an event. Finding multi-purpose pieces such as these will help you to get the most out of the patio furniture that you purchase.

Choosing the right furniture can help you to get the most out of your outdoor space, and these tips should help you to find furniture that will best suit your needs. However, there are many more things one must take into consideration when searching for new patio furniture.

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lawn and leisure blog4

As we arrive into the thick of winter, wouldn't it be nice to have a custom fireplace in your home? If you haven't thought about doing that yet, it can certainly be done before winter ends. Here at Lawn & Leisure, we can provide numerous custom fireplaces built to your specifications. Take a look at the different options that are possible, including placing fireplaces in rooms you may not have considered.

Vent-Free Fireplaces That Hang On Your Wall

These type of fireplaces are starting to be seen more often in homes. They're unique in that you don't have to worry about having a chimney in order to have them heat a room. This works using innovative venting technology without causing any danger whatsoever.

What makes vent-free fireplaces so beautiful is that you can place them virtually anywhere as if hanging a picture on a wall. With this ability, you can have a fireplace in any room of your house, including the bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms or wherever you want it. These can be installed into your wall at any height so you can look directly into the fireplace without needing to get down on your haunches.

Indoor Fire Pits

Here you have another stylish custom fireplace option that gives you the illusion of a fire pit in the middle of a room. These can provide real style to your home and provide the atmosphere of a summer fire outdoors. Yes, go ahead and picture yourself sitting around your custom fire pit and roasting marshmallows next summer. Fortunately, these are designed to be perfectly safe for use indoors.

Gas Log Fireplaces

If you're using natural gas or propane to heat your home, a gas log fireplace might be a good bet. These are made to look like real logs, yet burns with natural gas without you needing to buy anything. Considering how economical natural gas can be, you'll be saving plenty of money already without having to worry about cleaning out your fireplace. You can even control gas log fireplaces with a remote control so you can stay in your chair while getting warm.

Custom Fireplace Doors or Screens

In order to stylize your home, you'll want customized glass doors or screens on your fireplace, whether it's the real deal or the variations above. We can design something ornate, antique, or a more contemporary design if you wish. Glass doors can also come in masonry or zero clearance style for the utmost in safety. We'll even work with you to design a door or screen that incorporates your own design if you so choose.

No matter what you design, we'll make sure the door or screen is energy efficient so you save the most money.

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get ready for an indoor gas fireplace upgrade

Gone are the days of fireplace choices being limited to brick hearths and wire screens. Say hello to innovation and style with indoor gas fireplace upgrades that are cool, modern and totally you. 2017 may very well be the year of "fireplace elements gone wild". If you are one of those people whose fireplace is a central part of your home, prepare to be excited for some of the latest trends for indoor gas fireplace decor!

Good-Bye Wood!

For years households with loved ones who struggled with respiratory concerns, like asthma or emphysema, have had to forego the luxuries and pleasures of a fireplace because of the by-products of burning wood. With the invention of gas-burning fireplaces, everyone can now enjoy better air quality while toasting toes before an open fire. For some time now, after the advent of indoor gas fireplaces, imitation logs were all a set of eyes could feast itself on while gazing into those mesmerizing dancing flames. Now, there are new choices. Nature lovers might opt for river rocks or pine cones whereas an insert of curious geometric shapes are perfect for a minimalist or contemporary decor.

Bye-Bye Lighters!

There is probably not a single fire-starter on earth who has not, at one time or other, experienced "singed bang syndrome". Even if it hasn't happened to you personally, you probably know someone who has endured this nasty event. It occurs from having to approach the fireplace closely in order to perform initial ignition with a match or lighter wand. Mankind, although strongly attached to the warmth of fire, a deeply rooted instinct to its connection with the survival of our species, nonetheless almost always experiences trepidation at the thought of first igniting that fire. Questions may pop into your mind, "Did I pour on too much starter fluid? Did I drip some onto my sleeve? Have too many fumes built up in the firebox? Will a fireball surge out and blast me?" Such worries are now a thing of the past thanks to ignition remotes, wall switches and even smart device apps. Upgrade and start your fires with joy rather than flinching and hoping for the best.

Come One, Come All!

Fireplaces have traditionally been centerpieces in family rooms. Before the ingenuity of electric and gas fireplaces, most homes were limited to whatever fireplace existed. If a home lacked a fireplace, a family simply had to accept a fire-less lifestyle. It was simply too costly and complicated to remodel a home to include a new log-burning fireplace. Gas fireplace innovation has changed the home decor game. Just like any new technology, over time this amenity became more and more affordable. Now, with an abundance of style options available, it is possible for homeowners to afford to install a fireplace alternative in virtually every room in the house. Want an alternative heat source in the dining room? No problem. There's a fireplace that will blend perfectly with your design scheme. Even if you live in an apartment, there are fireplace options available. Consider a tabletop fire pit, suitable for indoor or patio pleasure. Even if the only space you have is to hang a fire-feature upon the wall like a work of art, that, too, can be done! There is really no reason anyone who wants a fireplace should not have one.

Play It Safe!

Just mention the words gas, propane, or butane and some people tremble with fear. Is that what is holding you back from indulging in the luxury of a gas fireplace? Rest assured that modern gas fireplaces are designed with the latest technology, making them safe to use and enjoy. First of all, look for that "UL" label. That is reassurance that the fireplace design you are interested in has undergone rigorous safety tests at Underwriters Laboratory. Most manufacturers will even go a step beyond, employing an independent organization to provide additional certification to their fireplace product. Gas fireplaces have several standard safety features integrated into their design:

  • Safety pilot light system.
  • Safety combination valve.
  • Ignition options with safety back-ups to automatically shut off the gas valve should a pilot light extinguish.
  • Catalysts that clean the air of combustion by-products to preserve air quality (vent-free fireplace feature).
  • Sensors that measure oxygen levels with automatic shut off should oxygen level drop too far (vent-free fireplace feature).
  • Spill switches that monitor temperature and automatically shut down the fireplace if proper venting is not occurring (vented fireplace feature).

Different manufacturers may offer other safety features than those listed. With demand rising for gas fireplaces, designers are responding to the safety concerns of consumers as well as legislators. Don't let fear keep you from the pleasures of snuggling before a cozy fire with loved ones. Amp up the volume of your home's decor with a gas fireplace and put your worries aside!

Go Gas & Hug A Tree!

You may be asking yourself just how green a gas fireplace can be. After all, the most natural type of fire is a burning log, right? Well, the data is in and the truth is definitive. If you are interested in burning green, you want to go gas. Wood burning fireplaces are simply inefficient. They also contribute to pollution which is why many cities have actually banned them in new residence construction. Gas fireplaces, however, are quite efficient as space heaters. With affordable designs, homeowners can enjoy this efficiency throughout the house, a fireplace for every room! Gas is also a cleaner alternative to traditional wood because it releases fewer of those pesky emissions as it burns. Lovers of green living love their gas fireplaces. And no trees were harmed in the making of heat for your home!

Are you ready to order your gas fireplace today? I should think so. Please contact us for assistance with the best selection and prices on the perfect gas fireplace. Or, if you're in the DC area, stop in and visit the showroom. Our certified fireplace experts are happy to answer your questions and provide you with the best service in leisure living products.

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bringing families closer together this winter with outdoor fireplacesWith winter now here, it is harder than ever to have family time in the outdoors. Even if you haven't built your dream patio or deck yet, an outdoor fireplace provides a place to gather around and enjoy time as a family. In even the coldest weather, there are so many great things to do around the fire. We'll go over a few here.

  • Tell Scary Stories: Campfire tales are one of the best things to do with friends and family. Kids and adults of all ages enjoy being frightened while in a safe place with people they love and nothing sets the mood here better than the soothing flicker of flames from an outdoor fireplace.
  • Roast Hot Dogs: Hot Dogs are the staple meal of the campfire family. Get some good long skewers (or sticks for the authentic feel) and spear those dogs. Sing campfire songs and enjoy the friendly conversation while they cook. Also, after you're done with them, that leaves you ready for dessert, which leads into...
  • Make S'mores: Let's face it, you can't go enjoy your fireplace in the winter without some s'mores! This great treat is great with any outdoor fireplace, but shines especially with wood-burning fireplaces so make sure you have bags of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. You can even put your own twists on them with things like peanut butter or whatever your family likes best!
  • Drink Hot Cocoa: On a cold winter night lit only by the flames of your fireplace, nothing hits the spot quite like hot cocoa. Whether you make yours from the packet in the microwave or make it from scratch over the fire, you just can't go wrong with this winter treat for your friends and family.

Whatever the use, the outdoor fireplace is bringing families together and you'll always remember fondly these cold nights spent in front of the welcome warmth of your outdoor fireplace. In this world of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more electronics than you can shake a stick at, everyone needs some times to reset and disconnect so you can connect with the people who are really important to you.

When you're ready to get your outdoor fireplace set up so you can start enjoying these moments with your family, contact us and let our staff help you pick the perfect fit!

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using outdoor fireplaces to cook food

Outdoor fireplaces can be the perfect centerpiece for many an evening gathering on your deck or back patio. But they can also be a perfect tool for an outdoor cookout that goes far beyond roasting hot dogs or marshmallows. After all, before gas and electricity, many of our ancestors used the fireplace as a place to cook dinner.

The Firepit and Grilling Guru suggests a number of enhancements to make your outdoor fireplace into an appliance to cook food.

For instance, a hearth cooking string attached to a hook on the mantle can cook roasts evenly, spinning in front of the fire. Try roasting a leg of lamb or a whole chicken this way.

You can turn your outdoor fireplace into a rotisserie by adding a spit that can be cranked either by hand or with a small motor. Put meats and veggies on the spit for fire-kissed skewer dishes.

A hook and chain can hang a pot or Dutch oven to slowly cook stews and soups.

The addition of a fireplace grill will turn your outdoor fireplace into a barbecue grill. Wait until your fire as died down to glowing embers, and then cook brisket low and slow, or pork loin or directly cook steaks, hamburgers, links, and boneless chicken pieces.

Fireplace pans, chestnut roasters, and popcorn poppers are also available for cooking directly over the fire.

Thus an outdoor fireplace can provide that true 19th century cooking experience but from the comfort of a 21st century home. What and how you cook is only limited by the imagination.

For more information, contact us.

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outdoor fireplaces winter warmth

You have picked out that perfect outdoor fireplace. The spot was chosen right outside your home where it's cozy and beautiful. Everything is exactly as you pictured it would be except one thing, it's snowing! But who says you cannot enjoy an outdoor fireplace all year round? Creating the perfect place where you can cozy up in front of a fireplace while the snow falls around you is more simple than you would think.

If your fireplace is under an awning or covered area, then using it all year round is even easier. Just add these simple additions to keep your guests and you warm even in the coldest evenings.

  • Add a touch of warmth with a basket of mittens, hats and scarves.
  • Make sure your benches stay covered with warm cushions, even wrapping the cushions in fleece or flannel to add a cozier feel.
  • Include lots of pillows and blankets to keep warm under. Homemade quilts can add a country addition or soft crochets for an elegant touch.

Keeping your insides warm is also important!

  • Include a tray with hot chocolate, tea or coffee in your favorite flavors.
  • Want a more rustic look? Use a barn wood tray with horseshoe handles.
  • Add some whimsy with your favorite colorful mugs.
  • Marshmallows and coffee additions add a fun treat.

What if your seating is not in a covered area? Does that mean you cannot enjoy that lovely fire all winter long? It’s as easy as keeping up with snow removal on the seating!

  • A country broom nearby will be the perfect touch and make removing the snow an easier task.
  • Keep your cushions somewhere close inside where they can stay warm until you want to use them.
  • Keep your baskets of quilts and hats near the door to grab quickly when you want to go out.

Within minutes you can have a cozy spot to watch the snow fall or even catch a few flakes on your tongue!

To find out more about outdoor fireplaces please contact us.

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grilling in the winter season

The winter does not mean you cannot still enjoy the thrill of grilling outside. Check out some of the following meals you can prepare for your friends and family this winter. Don't let your outdoor grill go cold this winter just because of a little snow!

Meals to Grill:

1. Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks

2. Spice-Rubbed Grilled Salmon with Spicy Cucumber Salsa

3. Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken

Check out all the meals you can cook this winter in the article on Martha Stewart.

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the art of a chimney for outdoor fireplaces

Outdoor fireplace design usually focuses on the aesthetics of hearth or mantel. What about the chimney? Many famous fireplaces have chimneys that are works of architectural wonder. Maybe you would like to have one, too.

Thornbury Castle

The palatial Tudor home of King Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn, Thornbury's impressive brick chimney is of complex design features with hideous gargoyles, latticed brickwork, and zig-zag lay patterns mixed with curves and geometric patterns. It's dizzying to look at but truly extraordinary

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Oldest Chimney

The oldest chimneys still standing are at France's 12th century Fontevrault Abbey. They are pencil shaped, smoothly curved, stacked stonework with pointed, conical stone chimney caps.

Tallest Chimney

The tallest chimney in the world is at a Kazakhstan coal power station and stands 1,377 feet high. A chimney this tall is the dickens to clean! But if you are looking for simplicity of style, the silhouette of a slender, graduated tube is appealing.

Non-Conforming Whimsy

If you are a fan of the unusual, Berlin's "Das Heizhaus" chimney, created by philosopher artist, Rudolf Steiner, may inspire you. Why have a run-of-the-mill outdoor fireplace when you can top it with a chimney that makes a fascinating statement?

Cap It

If an extravagant chimney is out of your budget, you can still have affordable fireplace artistry with a chimney cap. Whimsical dragon sculptures, the glimmer of a copper topper, Abbey inspired pencil shaped chimney caps of terra cotta and wrought iron, splashes of Antoni Gaudi style colorful tile, can transform any outdoor fireplace.

Inspiration & Creativity

An outdoor fireplace serves more than function. It's a statement of your personality and imagination with designs that are beautiful, contemplative or fascinating.

Who Does Such Work?

You don't have to go to Europe to get the fireplace of your dreams. Skilled artisans and craftsmen are well within reach. In fact, there may already be a fireplace created just as you imagined. Please contact us or visit our showroom to discover ready-made firepits or place a special order for one of your own design.

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factors to consider before building an outdoor fireplace

Adding a fireplace to your outdoor living area has many benefits. Fireplaces and outdoor entertaining areas increase the value of your home and expand your living space, making them valuable assets. Plus, not much can compare to the warmth and ambiance that a fireplace brings. However, there are some factors to take into consideration before buying or building an outdoor fireplace.

What is the Purpose of the Fireplace?

Take into consideration why you want to add an outdoor fireplace. Are you trying to update an existing entertaining area or do you want to add an enclosed or open outdoor living area? Another common reason for adding an outdoor fireplace is for cooking so you should contemplate whether or not you will use it for meal preparation.

Should you Choose Wood-Burning or Gas?

Both wood burning and gas fireplaces have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Wood burning fireplaces bring the rustic charm and ambiance that most people desire. They can be placed in any area as long as it complies to local building regulations. Although they provide ample light and heat, a wood burning fireplace produces a lot of smoke. Any chimney built will need to follow very specific requirements.

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Gas fireplaces have fewer restrictions and usually do not require permits prior to building. Natural gas burns cleanly and safely since it does not emit ash or embers. However, placement can be restricted because a gas fireplace needs to be connected to a gas line. Additionally, a gas fireplace does not burn as hot as a wood burning fireplace.

Consider your Current Home Design

Is the style of your home traditional or modern? Do you want to complement your home's current style or design something that is contrasting?

What Size Do You Want Your Fireplace to Be?

Are you looking to add a small, cozy seating area or something to accommodate a large group of people? Do you want your fireplace to be the main attraction? Also take into consideration the size of your home and choose a fireplace that is proportional to it.

What Additional Features Do You Desire In Your Outdoor Area?

Consider furniture that will complement your outdoor fireplace along with any built-in that you may desire, such as storage or seating.

If you're ready to add an outdoor fireplace to your living area, please contact us today and let our staff at Lawn and Leisure assist you with your planning.

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impress guests with a unique outdoor fireplace

The holiday entertaining season is just around the corner, and you still have time to add a statement piece to your back yard to impress guests coming from near and far.

Whether your holiday entertaining entails a large group of family and friends for Thanksgiving dinner, a few friends from the office for an intimate holiday evening or an extended family stay during the winter school break, you are sure to impress you guests with a unique outdoor fireplace.

Our designers can assist you in creating an outdoor fireplace that fits with your home and back yard landscaping, but also one that can be a signature piece that guests will marvel at while they gather around on cold winter days and evenings.

Here are 5 unique materials you could consider working into your design to make your fireplace one of a kind:

Clinker Bricks

Clinker bricks are those that were miscolored or misshapen during the baking process and therefore were considered worthless at the time. But during the 1920s, the Arts and Crafts design movement discovered these tossed-aside bricks and incorporated them into designs that spoke out against the soulless, machine-made uniformity that had come about with the Industrial Revolution.

Their unusual curves, broken corners, trapezoid shapes and more break up the traditional lines of a solid brick fireplace, drawing your guests close to examine each brick for its unique nature.

While the heart of the Arts and Crafts movement was centered in California, it also gained a strong foothold on the East Coast and was woven into many great Tudor-style, Eastern homes.

Clinker bricks can be found in the lighter orange color of the California style, the deep reds of the Tudor homes and in the muted mix of orange, red, pink and purple that calls to mind the ancient Tuscany style from Italy.

Firebricks

A less radical but still unique option would be reclaimed firebricks, which are the bricks that have been removed from kilns in the old brickyards. These bricks were made to withstand the extreme heat of repeated firings, but have taken on a variety of colors over the years from exposure to so many firings.

The firebricks also come in nontraditional sizes, which will give your fireplace a different look that will have guests wondering where your bricks came from.

Poured Concrete

If the antique look of bricks is not to your appeal, consider the sleek, modern look of poured concrete. A tower of poured concrete can stand in stark contrast to your greener landscape and complement a modern home design. Large concrete tiles are another option to create a similar look.

Stucco

Bring a Spanish or Southwestern flavor to your back yard with a stucco fireplace, which also can combine with modern or antique bricks to provide a lovely contrast of colors. A tiled mantel or hearth also can add accent to the fireplace to create interest or make it coordinate with the design colors of your home.

Wooden It Be Lovely

Don't be afraid to add a little or a lot of wood design into your fireplace scheme. Wood doesn't have to be limited to a thick-beamed mantel. You can incorporate many wood features, including with exotic woods, around your fireplace to create a true outdoor environment.

With the right wood accents, you can mimic a Colorado cabin feel, a Swiss chalet or a Japanese Zen garden.

Whatever idea you have to construct a unique fireplace that will wow your holiday visitors can be accomplished with our professional design staff. Contact us today to get started with planning so your outdoor fireplace can be up and burning in time for the holidays.

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4 tips for easier clean up during outdoor grilling seasonWhile the weather is still warm, you probably want to enjoy outdoor entertaining as much as you can. Hosting a BBQ for all of your loved ones or even for everyone in the neighborhood can be a great way to enjoy the warmer, nicer spring and summer months, but you might not be looking forward to dealing with the mess. However, you shouldn't let clean-up get in the way of spending time with your loved ones and having a great time!

Luckily, taking a few steps now can help you save yourself a lot of clean-up later. Then, you can focus on the joy of outdoor entertaining instead of worrying about cleaning up a huge mess.

1. Invest in an Easy-Clean Deck

Some decks show stains and are more difficult to clean than others. Consider a composite deck, which can be a whole lot easier to clean, since you don't have to worry about stains "setting" into concrete or wood.

If you have your heart set on wood or already have a wooden deck, make sure that it is sealed properly to protect it from stains and to make it easier to clean. Along with making clean-up easier, choosing the right type of sealant will also help keep your deck protected from the rain and other outdoor elements and can help it last longer. You will need to reapply the sealant every few years for maximum results.

2. Keep Your Water Hose Close at Hand

It's important to keep a water hose close at hand when you are outside grilling; then, you can quickly wash off your deck if there is a spill or rinse off your hands after you've been munching on your BBQ meals. It's also important for safety reasons if you will be grilling.

Since you will have your water hose close at hand, it is best to go ahead and spray off any messes as soon as possible; the faster that you tackle them, the easier they will be to clean. Plus, you can help prevent insects and other pests from being attracted to your grilling area while you are cooking or enjoying your meal.

3. Make it Easy With Disposable Everything

Now is the time to use disposable everything to make clean-up a breeze. Styrofoam plates and plastic cups can be thrown away without you having to bring the mess into the house. If you cover your tables with disposable tablecloths first, you can wrap the whole mess up and throw it away with minimal effort.

If you have environmental concerns, consider looking for disposables that are made out of recycled materials. You can also look through your cabinets for old plastic cups and plates that you don't care much about; then, if they do get tossed out, you won't feel as bad about waste or have to worry about your "good dishes" getting ruined, but you can always rewash them and use them for future outdoor events as well. You will probably also find that they are lighter and easier to carry in and out of the house when you're hosting a lot of people.

4. Make Trash Cans Easy to Access

If your guests have easy access to a trash can to throw away their plates and napkins, they'll be less likely to leave them sitting around. Place several trash cans throughout your property to take some of the work off of your self. If you want to bump things up a notch, consider also offering recycling bins so that your guests can properly dispose of recyclables.

Entertaining outdoors during BBQ season is a lot more fun when you don't have a huge mess to take care of. If you want to enjoy your outdoor grill more than ever, consider following these tips. You can also contact us at Lawn & Leisure for all of your grilling and other outdoor needs.

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outdoor furniture stores find your autumn inspiration

As we embrace the dog days of summer and look forward to the crisp days of autumn, spending time outdoors becomes more enticing than ever. Whether you are happiest working in the garden, creating a gourmet barbecue meal, or relaxing in a lounge chair, you'll fully enjoy your leisure time with yard tools and outdoor furniture that match your interests and lifestyle. Your one-stop destination for the best in backyard living is Lawn & Leisure; we are your outdoor furniture store in the northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. metro areas.

Outdoor Rooms

Patio furniture sets a casual, comfortable mood and creates a space that is both sophisticated and enticing. Whether you create a living area on your deck or envision a serene seating area among the vibrant flowers in your garden, comfortable outdoor furniture in beautiful styles gives you a place to relax and enjoy your outdoor sanctuary. Choose couches, chairs, and tables, and group them together to encourage conversation when you entertain family members and guests. With many beautiful evenings yet to enjoy in our temperate mid-Atlantic climate, make the most of the beautiful weather with an inspirational outdoor room.

Elegant Outdoor Dining

Whether you prefer a rustic barbecue picnic or an elegant gourmet meal that is prepared outdoors, you'll need a reliable, high-quality grill to cook your meat and veggies to the peak of flavor and tenderness. Create the outdoor kitchen of your dreams or select a portable grill to set up as needed. Choose a convenient gas grill or the smoky goodness of a charcoal fire; your backyard transforms into your gourmet kitchen, and you are the executive chef. As a gardener, you'll prepare your freshly harvested bounty and serve a farm-to-table meal that is straight from the soil. Corn, carrots, squash and apples create autumn meals that offer the freshness of summer with the rich flavors of fall.

Spark a Conversation

Patio furniture vignettes are more appealing and memorable when gathered around a focal point, such as a water feature or fireplace. A crackling fire is a natural gathering place, and as the evenings cool, a fire is a welcome addition to an evening in your backyard. Roasted marshmallows, fine wine, or after-dinner coffee tastes sweeter when served around an outdoor fireplace or fire table. As darkness falls earlier each day, prepare the fire with a quick flip of a gas switch or with old-fashioned wood flames for a cozy evening of warmth and companionship.

Accessorize Your Space

Although your beautiful landscaping will anchor the look of your outdoor living areas, you will enjoy accessorizing your space with colorful potted plants, garden artwork, outdoor rugs, and nighttime lighting. With the eye of an artist, design your seating area, dining table, and fireplace to include all the appeal of your home's decor and the benefit of your personal style. For ideas about accessorizing your patio, please visit our beautiful outdoor furniture store showroom in Sterling, Virginia. Not only do we sell high-end patio furniture, outdoor grills, and beautiful fireplaces, we have all the accessories you'll need to create a sophisticated, elegant backyard space.

Convenience and Style

Visiting your outdoor furniture store should appeal to your senses and help you visualize the options for seating, fireplaces and cooking in your own backyard. With a knowledgeable team and a broad range of unique products, Lawn & Leisure is ready to help you make good design choices while exploring the best options for your home. For your convenience, we offer delivery and assembly to your home in the Washington, D.C. area. Let us do the work to create a comfortable outdoor space to enjoy the rest of summer's warmth and the many lovely autumn evenings yet to come.

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safety tips for enjoying an outdoor fireplace this summer herndon vaEnjoying your backyard can be done even easier with the installation of an outdoor fireplace. While an outdoor fireplace can look fantastic and give your backyard an inviting space to gather with friends and family, it’s important for you to look into the safety concerns present with this addition to your backyard patio.

Keep Drapes and Furniture Away

Wherever the fireplace is installed outdoors, it’s crucial that there’s nothing located too closely to it. This includes drapes around a canopy or seats that you use to sit closely to the fire. These objects can easily catch fire if you’re not careful, making it important to stick with safety when setting up the area around the fireplace.

Set Up a Guard Screen

Preventing embers from flying out of the fireplace can be done easily with the use of a guard screen. Carefully choosing a screen designed for the size and shape of your fireplace can help ensure that embers aren’t flying out and becoming a danger.

Carefully Pick What to Burn

In order for your fireplace to stay burning safely, you need to carefully pick embers that won’t become too dangerous. This means avoiding wood or papers with paint or chemicals present on them and sticking with woods designed for use with a fireplace.

Supervise Pets and Children

If you have any pets or children, it becomes even important to make sure that the fireplace is always monitored when lit. While a guard screen can be helpful for safety reasons, you’ll still want to supervise the fireplace whenever your children or pets are around due to the fact that they can become easily burned.

As you begin the search for an outdoor fireplace, look into our testimonials so that you can be confident buying and getting a fireplace installed. Contact us if you have any questions regarding our selection.

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accessories-that-make-outdoor-grills-suburban-adventure-reston-vaMany people don't take full advantage of outdoor grills because they allow themselves to get stuck in a rut. They make the investment in a nice new grill and maybe add a deck or patio and load up on the basic supply of grilling accessories. Sticking with that initial investment can often mean missing out on some very cool tools and accessories that have the power to enhance the entire experience of grilling in the great outdoors.  

The Grillslinger

The Grillslinger is one of the most perfectly suited accessories for everything that makes owning outdoor grills fun. Strapping on the Grillslinger holster is an act that transforms outdoor grills into time machines that send your hurtling back to the Wild West. Once you slip this belt around your waist and insert your tongs, forks, spatula and brushes, you'll feel like a backyard barbecue Butch Cassidy. The Grillslinger also celebrates the freedom of the pioneer spirit of outdoor cooking by providing areas to store spices, bottle and can openers, squirt bottles and even your cell phone. Head outside and stay outside when grilling.  

Flashlight Grill Tongs

Those lazy days of the long, hot summer may be perfect for firing up outdoor grills, but even the dog days of August can get away from you. Many people across the country can comfortably barbecue outdoors well into autumn and even before spring flowers start blooming.  The point is that outdoor grills are not limited to fun in the sunshine, but very often become the centerpiece of a meal enjoyed in the moonlight. One tool tat fits nicely into the Grillslinger or can just be hung on the grill itself is a pair of tongs equipped with LED bulbs that provide bright enough illumination to allow you to detect the subtle difference well and medium-well steaks even if the electricity goes out.

WiseHooker Clean-n-Flip

Quite possibly, the Wisehooker Clean-N-Flip grill tool will become as omnipresent at backyard barbecues as bottles of ketchup and mustard. The WiseHooker features a revolutionary design that could make much of what you might holster in the Grillslinger obsolete. This is multitasking at its finest: a grill accessory that can used as a spatula, fork, tong and scraper. 

Personalized Branding Iron

Perhaps no other cool grilling accessory encapsulates the spirit and history of outdoor cooking in America more than a personalized branding iron. Instead of branding the cow before it becomes steak, these personalized and customized irons brand your meat on the grill just before serving. You'll never forget the look on the faces of cookout guests the first time you place a steak in front of them into which has been seared the letters, numbers or even image of your choice. Steak branding irons are available to personalize your freshly grilled beef with everything from your initials to the mascot of your alma mater to a silhouette of a duck seared into a T-bone if you just want to confuse people. Best of all are those BBQ branding irons that let you change out the letters so you can give each guest a steak emblazoned with their own personal message. 

For more great ideas on making outdoor cooking fun, please contact us.

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outdoor fireplace cleaning tips from lawn leisure outdoor furniture stores

One thing that many homeowners overlook when performing yard maintenance is their outdoor fireplace. A dirty fireplace not only looks unsightly, but it may also pose a fire hazard. Here are some steps you should take to ensure yours is ready for you to begin using again.

Cleaning the Chimney

Most outdoor fireplaces contain far less creosote than indoor fireplaces, and also have lower chimney caps. This means that hiring a chimney sweep usually isn’t necessary. You can complete this task yourself by using a long-handled wire brush to thoroughly scrub the interior walls of your chimney and loosen creosote. Never use a garden hose or pressure washer to do this. The inside of your chimney may not be sealed, in which case water might damage it.

Check your chimney for signs of birds’ nests so that you can remove them if necessary. Now is also an excellent time to consider adding a chimney cover to protect your fireplace against future damage from squirrels or other wild animals.

Remove all Ashes

Remove all ashes from the inside of your fireplace by using a metal bucket and scoop. Allow these ashes to sit in the bucket for at least two days to ensure there are no active coals. After that time, you may dispose of them by sprinkling them over top of your garden bed. Wood ash is an excellent source of potassium, something that benefits tomatoes, artichokes, and collards tremendously. You can even add a few wood ashes to your compose pile as well.

Scrubbing the Exterior

While using a pressure washer on the inside of your chimney is not recommended, spraying down the outside of your fireplace is perfectly fine, so long as you do not have any damaged mortar. Spray your fireplace down from top to bottom, using a sweeping side-to-side motion. You can then scrub any spots that are especially stained with a stiff-bristled brush. Take care not to use harsh abrasives or chemicals such as bleach, as these could damage your brick. Some cleaning solutions that you may use include:

  • Mild degreaser
  • Dish soap such as Dawn
  • 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water
  • Gentle all-purpose cleaner such as Spic ‘n Span, properly diluted
    After cleaning your fireplace, rinse lightly with a garden hose to remove any residue from your cleaning products. Allow the surface to dry for at least 12 hours before building a fire.

Cleaning the Firebox and Hearth

Never spray water directly into your firebox, as it is just as susceptible to damage as the inside of your chimney. Instead, you should carefully scrub your firebox and hearth by hand using a stiff-bristled (but not wire) scrub brush. You may need to go over these areas several times in order to get them truly clean. Remove any grates from your fireplace so that air can freely circulate in order to help your firebox dry.

Painting your Firebox

If your fireplace has seen years of use, it may not be possible to get your firebox completely clean. In that instance, you may want to paint the inside of it with black “high heat” paint instead. This paint is readily available at home improvement stores, and can easily be applied with a paintbrush. Do not use ordinary black paint, as it will not withstand high temperatures and may even have flammable properties.

It shouldn’t take long at all to thoroughly clean your outdoor fireplace, yet your efforts will make a huge difference in the way your backyard looks. If you would like to know more about caring for your outdoor fireplace, please contact us and one of the professionals from our outdoor furniture stores will be happy to assist you.

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3rd Annual Grill Fest

Join us at Lawn & Leisure for our 3rd Annual Grill Fest this coming Saturday, May 14th, 2016 in Sterling, VA.

3rd annual grillfest at lawn and leisure saturday may 14th 2016

 What You Need to Know

- Event begins at 11 AM and goes until 3 PM.

- Will be prizes, music, food, special offers, cooking tips, and factory representatives at the Grill Fest!

Come check out the event and get grilling this summer season. Hope to see you there!

think about the outdoor furniture you want before investing in outdoor upgrades

When you purchase a home that already has an outdoor space, you are forced to work with the area that you have for getting outdoor furniture. Although you could make some changes to accommodate your particular needs, this would make it a considerably more expensive project to undertake. It is for this reason that most homeowners just work around what they already have. However, if you do not already have an established outdoor area in your backyard and you are looking to invest in such an addition, you should think about what outdoor furniture you want to get before making concrete plans.

Make Improvements or Additions That Align with Your Wants and Needs

For the most part, the outdoor space that you create is not what makes it enjoyable. Without furnishings, an outdoor area is not very usable, which brings about how important it is to have outdoor furniture. It might seem strange, but picking the furniture that you want before you invest in an improvement or addition to your backyard is a great way to make sure your wants and needs are accommodated.

Avoid Creating an Outdoor Area with Too Much Space or Not Enough

If you know that you want to get certain furnishings, you want to avoid a situation in which you create a space that is not able to fit everything. It is easy to underestimate how much room furniture can take up, especially if you do not go through what furniture you want to get beforehand. Also, overestimating how much space you need is also a problem because it leads to unnecessary project expenses.

Make Plans with Long-Term Furniture Investments in Mind

Although you might feel hesitant to make your plans based on outdoor furniture, you should do so with the intent to use the furniture for the long term. Just because it is common for people to go through a new furniture set every couple of years, this typically comes down to poor maintenance and planning. However, by investing a decent amount of money into high-quality outdoor furniture, you can expect your furniture to last for many years, especially when you take the time to maintain it properly.

Consider Covered Areas to Combat the Elements

An aspect of your outdoor space that you want to consider is whether you want to have an area that is covered. For instance, you can avoid dealing with elements by creating a covered space, which also opens up the opportunity to choose more outdoor furniture as the risk of damage is minimized or eliminated.

Decide Whether You Want to Have a Grill

Depending on what kind of outdoor experience you want to have, a grill may be an option or a necessity. It is important to think about this beforehand, especially because you will want to have an area for eating outdoors. If you know that you have no intentions to eat outside, then you do not have to worry about buying a large dining table, which is generally a requirement for eating outside with your family.

A grill is something that you should consider because it can provide you with a unique cooking experience, which can also lead to unique tasting food that you cannot get in the kitchen. Also, if you like to have a family or friends over, or even host large parties, you will certainly like having a grill to entertain.

Creating an ideal outdoor space for your family to enjoy is not an easy task to accomplish. However, when you look at outdoor furniture before drawing up plans, you can accommodate your needs well.

Contact us if you have any questions about patio furniture or our selection.

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the benefits of an outdoor fireplace

Enjoying a fire in one’s fireplace can be an extremely relaxing experience; however, you may not always want to be relegated to the indoors when enjoying a fire. This is where having an outdoor fireplace can be beneficial, as it can create an oasis that allows you to feel as though you are on vacation in your own backyard. Giving you the ability to enjoy a fire under the stars is just one of the many benefits an outdoor fireplace can provide you with. Here are a few of the additional reasons why you should consider adding an outdoor fireplace to your backyard.

Make Your Backyard Useable

Many homeowners feel as if their backyard is an unusable, barren space. However, this seemingly dysfunctional space can be transformed through the addition of an outdoor fireplace. Your previously unused property can now be a place for you, your family, and your friends to relax and spend time together. This will not only make your yard more functional, but it will also make it look more beautiful and improve the way you perceive your home. Furthermore, by adding to the look, style, and functionality of your backyard, you can actually increase your home’s value and salability.

Extend the Outdoor Season

For many people, the onset of winter means the end of outdoor entertaining. Furthermore, this can mean more overall time spent indoors. However, an outdoor fireplace can help to extend your outdoor season throughout a greater portion of the year, as the fire will provide you with the heat necessary to keep you warm on cold winter days/nights. Simply snuggle up by the fire with a blanket and some marshmallows, and what would have previously been another winter’s night trapped indoors can now be a fun night spent outside.

Keep the Bugs Away

Adding an outdoor fireplace to your yard can also increase the functionality of your yard during the summer. While backyard barbeques and parties are the highlight of many people’s summers, these gatherings can be ruined by an invasion of insects. Mosquitos in particular can put a quick end to any backyard gathering. However, an outdoor fireplace can actually help to keep insects away. Lighting a fire will create smoke that can help to keep insects at bay and away from your guests. In Conjunction with strategically placed citronella candles, an outdoor fireplace can be the savior of your summer season.

Adds Entertainment Space

Finally, the addition of a fireplace will provide additional entertainment space in your home for when you have large parties. Many homeowners do not have the space within their home to entertain all the guests they would like to invite to their gatherings. However, with the addition of an outdoor fireplace to your backyard, a new focal point will be created for people to gather around that will encourage the party to overflow from within your home to your backyard. In fact, when set up with inviting seating, and an already roaring fire, as well as the supplies to roast marshmallows, you will likely find that your backyard soon becomes party central.

The warm and cozy experience of lounging next to a fire does not have to limited to inside one’s home. Having an outdoor fireplace installed in your yard can bring you this experience while allowing you to enjoy time outside with your friends and family. While we have touched upon a few of the reasons why you should consider an outdoor fireplace for your home, there are many more benefits of doing so. Contact us to find out about more of the benefits of having an outdoor fireplace, as well as to find out about having one built in your yard.

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why a tailored experience for buying patio furniture is ideal for long term satisfaction

Although you are certainly capable of having a positive experience with buying furniture for your patio either online, at a furniture store, or even a home improvement store, they may not provide you with the most rewarding or satisfying experience, especially when you consider long-term satisfaction. Most of the time, these stores are only able to provide you with a limited selection of furniture to choose from, which puts you in a position to pick only from your options, as opposed to picking based on your wants alone.

If you want to buy patio furniture and feel confident in your long-term satisfaction with the decision you make, you should opt for a tailored experience provided by knowledgeable professionals.

Adequate Accommodations

Professionals who sell patio furniture, grills, outdoor fireplaces, and everything else related to outdoor living spaces know exactly what a person or family needs to consider before making a purchase. With this in mind, you do not have to worry about missing out on important details. Choosing furniture that is able to accommodate your entire family is essential as you want to promote spending time outside, not discourage it based on making a mistake when you bought patio furniture.

Proper Measurements

Another benefit that comes from a tailored shopping experience with professionals at your side is that you will always get the right measurements for your patio furniture. Although you can measure everything on your own and double or triple-check them to guarantee that no mistakes were made, it is still easier to let professionals take the measurements and make sure you get the patio furniture you need.

Proper measurements can help you make the most of a small outdoor space, or it can help you furnish an oversized outdoor living area while making sure the finished result looks attractive and professional.

Ideal Style

If you plan on buying patio furniture that you intend on keeping for many years, you do not want to get a set that does not match your home or mesh with your personal preferences. A company that sells patio furniture will listen to your favorite styles and make sure to get furniture in one of those styles. Although you should not hesitate to choose patio furniture in your preferred style, you should think about opting for a somewhat neutral look to avoid the chance of clashing with the exterior of your home at any point in the following years. This way, your patio furniture will never cause any aesthetic issues.

Fitting to Your Lifestyle

Although you might want a standard patio set with a couch in a couple of chairs, you could want something unique, such as a hammock and swinging benches to accompany your outdoor space. A tailored experience will ensure that you get the furniture that fits your lifestyle. Maybe you want cushy seats, or you would rather not have to worry about removing covers in the rain as you travel regularly. No matter what your lifestyle entails, personalized shopping will lead to the furniture being a perfect match.

No Pickup or Delivery Hassle

Picking up patio furniture without a truck or SUV can turn into quite a challenge. Whether you try to take multiple trips, fit everything awkwardly into your vehicle, or ask for help from neighbors is up to you, but it is also possible to avoid all of these possible scenarios by getting professional delivery and installation.

Although it is not strange for families to go through patio furniture sets quite rapidly, you should focus on investing in high-quality furniture that will last you for many years with appropriate care.

Contact us if you have any questions about buying patio furniture.

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using indirect heat to cook low and slow on an outdoor grill

Typically when you cook food on the outdoor grill, you put it on direct heat, over the gas burners or the burning charcoal, whichever type of grill you like to use. Direct heat grilling is a great way to cook hamburgers, hot dogs, links, steaks, ribs, chicken pieces, and fish fillets. But certain kinds of food require indirect heat, which can be tricky if you don’t know how to go about it.

What food goes well on indirect heat?

The sort of food that works best on indirect heat includes beef brisket, pork shoulders and whole chickens. The reason for this is because, due to their size and toughness, attempting to cook them on direct heat will burn the outside long before the inside gets done.

How do you cook with indirect heat on the grill?

On a charcoal grill, two ways exist to use it for indirect heat grilling. The simplest way is to place the charcoal on one side of the grill and the meat on top of the grate on the opposite side. A more sophisticated way to use indirect heat on a charcoal grill is to place the charcoal on two sides with a drip pan in the middle. Then you put the meat on the grate in the middle over the drip pan. You can also toss water soaked wood chips on the charcoal to create smoke.

On a gas grill, it all depends on how your grill is set up. If you have a two burner grill, light one burner and place the meat on the other side. If you have a three or four burner grill, light the two burners on the outside and put the meat in the middle. If your gas grill has a smoker pouch, put your wood chips in it. Otherwise, you can make your own with foil and place it over one of the burners to create smoke.

In each case, indirect heat grilling is done with the cover closed. In effect, you have turned your grill into an outdoor oven.

What does “low and slow” mean?

“Low and slow” uses low heat and smoke to slowly cook meat over many hours and is considered true barbecue. Some professional barbecue masters will take a long as 16 hours to cook a large brisket. The result, if done properly, is a tender piece of meat that pulls apart easily with a pair of forks or a gloved hand.

Professional quality smokers are available with a huge barrel to place the meat in and a separate fire box for the wood or charcoal. But you can get the same effect with indirect heat using your backyard grill though charcoal works best in this case.

Cooking a brisket on indirect heat

A myriad of recipes for cooking a brisket low and slow exists. A good one is at the About Food site.

Preparation is key for cooking a brisket. First, you need to trim the excess fat, but not all of it because the fat will be absorbed by the meat in the cooking process to add to the tenderness. Then, you place the brisket on some aluminum foil and apply the spice rub. Every barbecue chef has their own spice rub, which can include garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and so on. You wrap the brisket in foil and store it overnight in the refrigerator can be absorbed by the meat.

Just before putting the meat on the grill, you might want to use an injector to fill the brisket with a good marinade. After you put the meat on the grill, you can periodically mop the brisket with the marinade.

After the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 175 degrees, take it off the grill and wrap it in foil. The internal temperature will continue to rise to 185 degrees within a half an hour to an hour. Then it is ready to slice and eat.

For more information contact us.

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how the outdoor grill you choose can play a huge role in eating outdoors

Inside your home, you generally have a number of cooking platforms to choose from, ranging from built-in appliances such as a stove top, oven, and microwave to appliances that you can buy in a pressure cooker, slow cooker, toaster oven, and more. However, you can enjoy another high-quality cooking option when you incorporate the outdoors into your cooking, which is with an outdoor grill. Some individuals who have never cooked on a grill before will go out and purchase a random grill, but you need to understand the fact that this purchase can have a huge impact on your experience with eating outdoors.

Decide Between Charcoal and Gas

One of the main decisions that you need to make is whether you want a charcoal or gas grill. Both options have their own distinct advantages, which can make it difficult to choose from. If you enjoy convenience and easy cleaning, you might want a gas grill for the fact that it is so easy to operate and maintain. However, charcoal grills will provide you with incredible-tasting meals on a consistent basis.

Opting for Both Is an Option

Although it depends on how much space you have in your backyard, how much you want to spend, and how far you are willing to go to have an ideal grilling experience, you might want to invest in both grills. Having a gas grill and charcoal grill will allow you to enjoy the best cooking experience every time.

Party Size and Grill Space

When it comes to picking out a grill, you need to understand how many people you expect to have in your party. For instance, you might never intend on having parties or family get-togethers, so you only have to worry about cooking for your direct family and maybe a couple of friends at the maximum. With this in mind, you can easily determine the size for a grill that will meet your needs. When you love throwing parties, this decision becomes a little more complicated because you will likely have to cook in batches, but opting for a large grill is the best way to minimize the amount of time you spend cooking at the grill.

Workspace Availability

Small grills are portable as they only come with the cook space, but you should definitely opt for grills that provide you with a decent amount of workspace to improve your grilling experience. For instance, you will likely want to take all of the food you intend on grilling outside at once, along with marinades and glazes. It is easier when you are able to take care of all of your grilling needs in a single, defined space.

Level of Portability

Although portability is not that major of an issue if you intend on grilling in the same place every time, you will want to have some portability with your grill if you intend on moving it around regularly. Two wheels on one side should be more than enough to help you get around, even without help.

Grease Tray

An easy-to-clean grease tray is essential for avoiding cleanup problems. Also, when you have a time-consuming and frustrating cleaning experience after grilling, it can discourage you from grilling again.

Sturdiness

While it might be nice to have a grill with sides that fold down, you should also consider the benefits of a grill that does not have this feature, mainly because it will often be a sturdier choice. A sturdy grill is exactly what you want to avoid mishaps around the grill and to enjoy your grill for years to come.

If you have any questions about grills, feel free to contact us at any time.

how to create the space of your dreams using outdoor furniture

In the spring, fall, and summer, being outside is always a nice luxury. Especially if you have a beautifully landscaped home with a patio, deck, or just a nice outdoor living space, then you need to consider getting outdoor furniture.

What space are buying furniture for?

When you begin your search for outdoor furniture, you first need to decide where you want to place it. This is important, because if you want to place something just on the grass in your yard, then you may want to consider a beautiful hammock as opposed to a dining room table set.

Knowing the space and what exactly you want to do with it, like adding some couches or just some additional chairs, will help guide you in the right direction. Often times when you begin looking at beautiful outdoor furniture, you may lose sight of the space that you have available and just want to buy everything you can. Instead, be sure to know exactly what you want, because it will help to focus your shopping and make sure you get the right furniture for your needs.

Understand Your Budget

Before you begin your outdoor furniture shopping, it's also important to know your budget. When you are looking for quality products then you'll want to be sure that your budget reflects that. You should also prioritize which items you want the most, and which ones you could add on to your collection as time goes on. Once you see all the beautiful options, it will be difficult not to want to get everything in sight.

What is your style?

Another question you must ask yourself: what is your personal style? Are you looking for something that coordinates with the rest of your home, or are you looking for pieces that make a statement outside?

No matter your personal style, there is outdoor furniture for you. If you like modern clean lines, then you can certainly find pieces to match with your taste, perhaps furniture with metal that has clean angles and lines.

Wicker is also a great product that is used a great deal with outside furniture. Wicker furniture tends to have a cozier feel to it, just because of the nature of the product itself. It's important to know that both wicker and metal are very durable and will keep your outside furniture looking new longer, and can be easily cleaned.

What functionality do you want your furniture to have?

When picking out the furniture to furnish your outdoor space, you want to make sure you know what you want to use it for. Perhaps you'd like to add a fire pit element to your backyard space, in which case you should be sure to look at one of the many beautiful tables with a fire element integrated right in. If you are adding chairs near a pool, you may want to be sure they have reclining features in order to allow the best soaking in the sun.

Wanting to feed and entertain guests on a regular basis? Then you'll want to consider a beautiful dining room set and a nice seating arrangement. Whether you are looking for more practical pieces, or over the top comfortable and indulgent pieces, you'll be able to find exactly what are you are looking for as long as you know what you're looking for ahead of time. 

Outdoor furniture is a great way to finish an empty space and extend your living area to outside your home. When the weather is beautiful, there is nothing better than going outside and relaxing. By having outdoor furniture you are adding even more living space to your home, adding another place to entertain guests, spend quiet time reading a book, or just relaxing together. When you are ready to create an amazing atmosphere outside, please contact us.

wow whats that smell did you properly store your patio furniture last winter

The baking heat of summer added to the howling cold winds of winter spell disaster for outdoor furniture fabrics. Tis the time to store the patio furniture before the wet winter accumulations destroy your outdoor fabrics all together. There are a few considerations, though, before you slam the shed door until spring. You’ll need to ensure your patio furniture is mold and mildew free before you store them. Certain conditions could cause mold and mildew to form on your outdoor furniture while it’s in storage. Let’s take a look at what causes mold and mildew and how to prevent it forming during storage.

Outdoor Furniture Fabrics

Chances are good that your outdoor furniture fabrics are synthetic like acrylic or polyester. Canvas and mesh are also popular outdoor fabrics. Synthetics are usually coated with something that waterproofs and weatherproofs them. These coatings frequently last the life of the furniture, if they are properly maintained. However, onslaughts from the weather can and will break down anything left in its path. Outdoor fabrics left in the sun and winter winds generally last only a couple seasons. That’s before mold and mildew sink their claws into the fabric.

Mold and Mildew

Mildew is a plant, a kind of fungus, which then turns into mold. Mold is actually of benefit to the environment, because it breaks down organic matter such as leaves and debris. Once it reduces its prey to its basic denominator, it moves on to adjacent organic matter. Mold spores fly through the air and get on and into everything. Add moisture from heat and humidity to the mix and you have a recipe for brownish grayish stains feeding on your organic materials. Also remember that moisture in the form of sun lotions and bug sprays adds to the problem. Mold and mildew love warm, moist dark places where they can feed and live without being noticed. Most homeowners look for it behind walls, beneath floors, behind the wallpaper and beneath leaky windows, in basements and in attics. The truth is, it can grow anywhere anytime the environment is right.

Cleaning Mold and Mildew off Outdoor Furniture

Modern fabrics are made to be weatherproof, waterproof and colorfast. If homeowners have misplaced the instructions, allow us to give you some cleaning advice. Bleach is the best chemical with which to clean mold and mildew off outdoor fabrics. Test an unobtrusive spot to see if the bleach will fade the pattern and colors. First, rub off and vacuum the outdoor fabric. If it won’t fade, then mix one cup bleach in a gallon of warm water and spray it on the affected item. Note to homeowners: if cleaning mold and mildew is a regular problem, the bleach mixture could very well eat up the textile. If the outdoor cushions become stained and you fear mildew, then mix one teaspoon borax and one teaspoon dishwasher detergent to one quart of warm water and spray on the stains. Give it about 15 minutes and rub off. Dry in the sun thoroughly. If these things are a regular occurrence, then prevention is the key to preserving your patio furniture.

Do This before Storing Outdoor Furniture

Since washing machines, clothes driers and dry cleaners destroy the finish on outdoor fabrics, then cleaning them as we discussed above is better for the longevity of the fabric. Make very sure the items are thoroughly dry. The tiniest bit of moisture could have you gasping for air when you open the shed door next spring. Placing the cushions in a mattress bag will prevent mold from find your dry fabrics. Also placing tins of charcoal or kitty litter in the storage unit helps absorb any moisture in the air.

What’s a Suburban Survival Store without survival tips? When it comes to the outdoors and the tools for the outdoors, we know our stuff! We have known it for over 30 years, and our service guys have yet to run into a question they couldn’t answer! If you need any more information about your patio or deck furnishings, please contact us.

complete your unfinished landscape with a large patio furniture collection

If you have a large, beautiful, and unfinished landscape, you should think about moving on with the final steps, which will allow you to thoroughly enjoy the landscape once it is finished. Once you have taken care of the landscape part of the project, you need to start looking at the hardscape, which includes things such as architectural features, retaining walls, and patio furniture. With a large enough landscape, you can find a fitting home for most outdoor furniture to maximize your enjoyment of the space.

Lounge Chairs

When you want to get comfortable and lay down outside, you want to have a lounge chair set up. However, you should not hog the lounging for yourself, so it is best to invest in multiple lounge chairs. These furniture pieces are generally best placed near the entrance of the backyard, mainly because it becomes easy to take a few steps outside and be ready to relax for hours.

Hammock

If you would like to take relaxation to the maximum, you should consider getting a hammock. Although hammocks are commonly known for attaching to two trees for its main support, you do not need to get a hammock that is supported in this way for it to work in your backyard. It is possible to find hammocks that are designed in a way that no additional support is required to lay down in them.

Chairs

A balance between standing up in your backyard and laying down in a lounge chair is a standard outdoor chair. These chairs are best equipped with UV-resistant material to maximize their lifespan. It is also worth looking into materials that are not prone to rot or rusting as it will encounter the elements regularly.

Couch

When you have multiple family members or friends that want to sit next to each other outside, you should think about getting a couch that you can place near the backyard entry door. If you have a deck or patio, you will find that these areas are ideal for a couch, and having overhead protection is even better.

Bench

With a large and well-organized garden, you should have no problem fitting a bench in your backyard. It might not be the most comfortable piece of furniture to sit on, but it can provide you with a chance to soak up the sun and enjoy being surrounded by a beautiful garden that happens to be in your backyard.

Fire Pit

If you like to roast marshmallows or invite family and friends over on a regular basis, you should think about getting a fire pit installed in your backyard. A fire pit is easy to maintain and even easier to use, which means almost anyone in your family should be able to entertain through fire pit usage.

Dining Table

Although you might not want to eat outside that much, you should still take advantage of the fact that a large and attractive backyard is the perfect candidate for an outdoor dinner table. It is possible to get a table that seats only two, but you should think about how many people you want to invite in the future to determine what dining table to get as you want to make sure you can accommodate everyone.

Dining Chairs

Along with the dining table, you will need to get some dining chairs. Although you could transfer your regular chairs over to the dining table, you will have a better fit when you get single-purpose chairs.

Investing in patio furniture is an outstanding way to make your backyard livelier and turn it into an excellent place for spending time with family and friends. Contact us if you have any questions.

the benefits of installing an outdoor fireplace this winter

Winter approaching fast means that, for many people, the season of outdoor parties and entertainment will be coming to an end. This can restrain one’s ability to entertain, particularly large groups of people, as indoor space may not be enough for your usual group of party guests. However, adding certain amenities to your outdoor entertainment space can help to create a warm atmosphere you will be able to enjoy year-round. One of the best additions to start with is an outdoor fireplace. An outdoor fireplace can be the perfect addition to enhance your backyard parties no matter the season. Here are just a few of the benefits adding an outdoor fireplace can supply you and your family with.

Provides Entertainment Space

It cannot be underestimated how beneficial an outdoor fireplace can be when entertaining, as it can create a focal point around which people can congregate and interact. Whether it be summer or winter, your outdoor fireplace will be the perfect, cozy spot for people to gather to roast marshmallows, cook hot dogs, play charades, and simply relax. You may be surprised by the amount of memories you create and share around your outdoor fireplace.

Extend the Outdoor Season

While we previously mentioned that outdoor fireplaces can create enough warmth to extend the outdoor entertaining season, they can also allow you and your family to enjoy some quality time outdoors no matter the weather. The fact is that many people start to feel cooped up and stifled during winter, as the cold temperatures outside force them to spend more time indoors. Outdoor fireplaces, in conjunction with outdoor heaters, can warm up your patio or backyard enough to allow you to escape being confined indoors without freezing.

Increase Your Home’s Value

The addition of an outdoor fireplace to your home can greatly increase its resale value. Maximizing your home’s outdoor living space can help to improve your home’s resale value by making it more marketable to potential buyers. Furthermore, outdoor entertainment spaces will make your home more salable, as they will cause your home to stand out to buyers. Additionally, these outdoor entertainment spaces can help prospective buyers to imagine how they would use their new home, which can lead them to purchase your home.

Safety, Convenience, and Ambiance

Big backyard bonfires can create a fun atmosphere and ambiance on a clear, starry night. However, they may not be the most realistic, safe, or legal option if they are not properly contained. As much as you may like to, you cannot simply build a fire in your yard without a proper fire pit or outdoor fireplace. This is where having a dedicated fireplace in your backyard can come in handy. Whenever you feel like throwing a backyard bonfire, your fireplace will be there to welcome the fun, while simultaneously keeping the fun safe and contained. Furthermore, a beautifully designed fireplace will create a cozy, environment and ambiance for you to enjoy.

Just because the cold months are going to soon be upon us does not mean you have to give up spending time, and entertaining, outdoors. The addition of an outdoor fireplace can warm up your backyard enough to keep the party going all year long. This can be particularly beneficial for homeowners who do not have enough indoor space to entertain all of their guests, as an outdoor fireplace can allow the party to spill out of their home. However, there are countless benefits an outdoor fireplace can provide from creating additional cooking space in your home, to allowing your kids to spend time outdoors during the bitter winter months. Contact us to find out about more of the benefits of adding a fireplace to your backyard.  

top 5 outdoor grills for the holidays

If you still haven't found the perfect gift for that special someone, don't panic. There is still time to order the gift that keeps on giving - an outdoor grill. Outdoor grills make perfect gifts for the members of your family who can't get enough of the outdoors and good food. Plus, as the giver of one of our top 5 outdoor grills, you get to enjoy home grilled goodness year round.

1. American Outdoor Grill 30 PCL

Perfect for the backyard, patio, or deck, this portable gas grill manufactured by American Outdoor Grill is part of their new "L" series. It features an electronic ignition system, warming rack, and 4-prong adjustable rotisserie meat holder. Constructed with high-quality stainless steel, this grill lasts for years of use. The user-friendly drip collector helps prevent spills and stains, and the grill even comes with halogen lights to make late night grilling easy and safe.

The polished bezel thermometer is attractive and accurate, and the valves are made of solid brass. This ensures accurate temperate readings and precise control to prolong the life of your grill.

2. Primo Oval LG 300 Ceramic Grill

The gourmet chef in your life could not ask for more than a Primo Ceramic grill this holiday season. Ceramic does not radiate heat like metal grills. Food grilled in a ceramic grill retains its natural juices, and the ceramic exterior stays cooler than hot metal, preventing injury.

Ceramic grills do more than just grill the best tasting steaks around - they also act as ovens and smokers, allowing you to grill, bake, roast, and smoke for all of your outdoor cooking needs.

This grill has enough space to grill 15-25 steaks on its multiple racks. 300 square inches of cooking space means there is plenty of room for all of your favorites from hot dogs to shishkabobs.

If your special someone craves a charcoal grill that provides a superior taste, then this Primo product is the grill of choice.

3. Big Green Egg

It is hard to know what to expect from a company with a name like Big Green Egg, but those familiar with grills know the name is synonymous with quality. 

These ceramic grills come in a variety of sizes. All have the same distinctive egg shape, perfected for quality and efficiency. Their XXLarge EGG easily handles family gatherings, catering events and cookouts with taste and style, boasting 672 square inches of cooking space. For an ultra-portable gift option, try the Mini Egg. With 79 square inches of cooking space, this little grill still cooks 2 pork chops or breasts at a time.

Let your loved ones decide if they prefer grilling, baking, or smoking on their new Big Green Egg grill - if nothing else, grilling accessories make excellent stocking stuffers.

4. Weber Original Kettle Series

Nothing says summer like a Weber Original Kettle grill. Available in 18, 22, and 26-inches, these charcoal fired grills are portable, light, and perfect for the backyard. The wheeled base makes moving the grill simple, and Weber grills last for years.

Lovers of the standard charcoal grill appreciate the simplicity of the Weber Original. The three sizes offer small and large families a portable charcoal grill perfect for their needs.

5. Weber Genesis Series

Weber makes both charcoal and gas grills. Serious grill aficionados prefer the Genesis series for their convenient size and superior construction. Each of the 4 grills in this series boasts 637 square inches of grilling space, and the grill comes with a solid welded frame on wheels for easy maneuvering. 

The Genesis E-310 and E-330 come equipped with porcelain-enameled Flavorizer bars, and both the Genesis S-310 and S-330 have stainless steel Flavorizer bars. All 4 grills offer 3 stainless steel burners, and the E-330 and S-330 come with a Sear Station burner.

Finding The Perfect Grill 

Once you decide which grill to gift, contact us to get your order shipped before the holidays.

dont have enough appliances for holiday cooking outdoor fireplace to the rescue

You’re going to have a record number of people at the house for the holidays this year. You’re carefully planning what has to be cooked the night before and then refrigerated, so you’ll have enough room in the oven for other food that must be cooked. Wouldn’t it be great if you had four ovens, two cook tops and a brick oven for keeping the food warm? Actually, you do have the brick oven. It’s just outside in the outdoor kitchen. Usually used for ambiance when guests are over, the outdoor fireplace presents the perfect “appliance” for helping cook holiday meals. Seriously, you don’t have to be pioneer woman to make good use of the outdoor kitchen fireplace. Haven’t you noticed that only around the holidays do the kids decide to become helpful, as long as there is food to be tasted? Let them keep an eye on what’s cooking indoors while you create magic outdoors. You’ll need the right wood for flavoring the foods, a cast iron grate for resting pans over the coals, cooking utensils for stirring and turning as well as sturdy kitchen twine for rotisserie-cooking meats.

The Wood

You’ll need enough wood to make a respectable bed of coals over which to cook the food. Quick-burning woods like pine and a decent pile of sticks and branches for keeping it burning are good. Once that’s done, it will be time to place the wood for flavoring the foods. Fruit woods are best for this such as apple but many chefs (yes, chefs) use oak and hickory as well. You’ll also need tools with which to rake the coals onto and around the cooking pot or pan such as a small shovel and rake. Make sure if the tools have wooden shafts that they don’t catch fire.

The Grates

Although there are blacksmiths in the Virginia/DC area that can whip up a cast iron cooking grate, it might be easier to go to a sportsman’s store for cast iron Dutch ovens, legged iron grates, fireplace arms upon which to hang cast iron pots and even legged cooking pots and pans. You can always use bricks and concrete blocks as platforms on which to place the cooking pots and pans, all the while keeping the coals raked up and around the pans. Have plenty of hot holders and towels at hand for handling hot pans as they are turned to evenly cook the foods inside.

Rotisserie Cooking

Since we told you that you didn’t have to be pioneer woman to cook outdoors, we’ll let you off the hook with the rotisserie skewer. However, if you need to cook meats over the fire, then affix something to the mantel on the fireplace. It should be strong enough to hold some weight. To this affix the kitchen twine and make it long enough to dangle the meat before the fire and coals. Now truss up your meat, fowl or roast so that it is compact. Tie the trussed meat to the twine hanging by the fire. The weight of the meat, fowl or roast will make itself slowly turn by the fire, evenly cooking both outside and inside. When the meat is crisp and brown, you have yourself a fine dinner!

Into the Coals

Instead of putting the kids to oven duty in the house, grab some tin foil, some ears of corn, potatoes, carrots, onions and celery as well as any other veggie you put into your recipes. Dice, slice or leave them whole, but wrap them in tin foil, season them and then place them directly into the hot coals. In no time you will have either ingredients for other dishes or stand-alone veggies to complement your meal. Apples for the pie can be cooked this way as well.

A Word about Cross-Contamination

Nothing looks prettier than a roast bird on a platter surrounded by smoking dishes of aromatic foods. However, nothing is uglier than the emergency room full of people suffering food contamination. When that beautiful bird was placed back on the platter on which its raw self came to the fireplace, then cross-contamination happened. Make very sure dishes on which raw meats were placed are washed thoroughly before placing other foods on them for a happy and healthy holiday season.

For over 30 years, Lawn and Leisure has witnessed some marvelous cooking in the Virginia and D. C. area. Well known for our integrity and customer service, we make very sure our products are serviced regularly for your comfort and convenience. Contact us today for more information on our wares and how we can help you this holiday season.

 

 

renters how to make your outdoor living space feel like home great falls va

If you rent the home or apartment that you are living in, you probably don't want to spend a lot of money on landscaping and otherwise improving the home's outdoor space. However, this doesn't mean that you can't make your outdoor living area feel like home. These are a few tenant-friendly tips for feeling more at home in your rented space.

Utilize Potted Plants

You probably don't want to dedicate a lot of time, money and effort into planting flowers and other plants in your backyard, and there's a chance that your lease forbids you from doing so anyway. You might even live in an apartment that doesn't have a lawn or that has minimal lawn space. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't enjoy the joys of live plants, however.

Instead of digging in the ground or living without plants, try adding potted plants to your outdoor living space. When kept in beautiful pots and when arranged properly, they can look great without actually being planted. Along with adding small trees, shrubs and flowers, you can even try container gardening if you would like to plant your own fruits, vegetables and herbs. Then, when you move, you can bring your plants with you, and you won't have to worry about digging up the yard at the home that you are currently renting, nor will you have to worry about living plant-free just because you're currently residing in an apartment.

Invest in Nice Outdoor Furniture

Using the right outdoor furniture in your backyard or on your patio -- or both -- can make your outdoor living space feel like home. Go ahead and invest in high-quality furniture that you can easily take with you to your next home. A good idea is to opt for outdoor furniture in neutral colors; then, you can ensure that it will match your next home, even if the color scheme is a lot different.

Even if you do opt for neutral colors, however, you can still brighten things up. A few outdoor-friendly throw pillows are great for adding comfort and color, and they can be swapped out for the seasons or can be traded for different pillows if you find that they aren't a good match for your next rental.

Install Your Own (Portable) Lighting

You might not love the standard-issue bright light that is used on your back patio, but replacing it isn't exactly a good option if you're renting. Luckily, there's still something that you can do about it. Try using lanterns or strings of holiday lights or party lights to dress up your outdoor living space without making any permanent changes. Another option is to use solar lights around your patio or around the backyard for an affordable touch of lighting. Then, you can bring your lights with you when you move.

Use Outdoor Rugs

Look for large, colorful outdoor rugs that you can use to brighten up a boring patio. Along with adding some color, cheer and personalization to your outdoor living space, a nice outdoor rug will help prevent any spills or stains on the concrete, such as while you are grilling or enjoying a few drinks with friends.

You can then add yet another touch of customization to your outdoor living space by adding a nice outdoor rug in front of the back door. Along with brightening up your outdoor living space, it'll also help you and your guests brush your feet off so that you don't cause any stains or damage to your rental flooring, particularly if your rental has carpet.

As you can see, there are ways to make your outdoor living space feel like home, even in a rental. If you're ready to start shopping for furniture and other touches, contact us at Lawn & Leisure to find out about all of our great rental-friendly options.

 

 

get resilient patio furniture to improve your rental property 1

When your rental property has an outdoor space that can house patio furniture, you can leave the space empty to let a tenant decide what to do or get furniture to furnish the space on your own.

While both options can work, you will find numerous benefits with buying resilient patio furniture.

An Additional Feature

Although you might have a potential tenant that will want to put in their own patio furniture, you cannot go wrong with offering an extra feature, especially when people want to use what you provide. When creating the rental listing, you can make it clear that the furniture can come with the home.

Guaranteed to Last

By investing in resistant furniture, you do not have to worry about the condition of the furniture. With little to no maintenance, you can provide patio furniture to your tenants for years to come.

Looks Great in Photos

While an empty home often looks great in photos, you can make it shine with furniture. Posting photos with an attractive patio furniture set in great condition is an effective way to increase positive exposure.

Increase Rental Value

Although it might not make a huge difference in the rental value, just about any improvement can help you increase the rental rate or justify the rate you decide on. It is for this reason that outdoor furniture can make an excellent investment to improve your property’s rental value for the next few years.

It is ideal to stick with neutral colors to avoid catering to a particular style.

If you have any questions about picking the right furniture, please contact us today.

 

make sure your propane refills are handled safely with these simple tips herndon vaEnjoying a barbecue this summer can be such a nice way to spend time with friends and family, but safety needs to your first priority when transporting propane tanks and setting them up near your grill. In order for the propane refills to be handled safely the entire time, you’ll need to have the right know-how to avoid a potential fire or other disaster.

Secure the Propane Tank to Remain Upright

When driving the propane tank home, it’s crucial that it’s positioned upright and isn’t going to be at risk of toppling over. On its side, the tank could open and allow gas to escape, putting you in danger of a fire. Securing with a seatbelt in the backseat is a good idea or using a box to place the tank in carefully on the drive home.

Inspect the Tank for Leaks Before Refilling

Refilling the same propane tank time and time again can be an effective way to save money, but it’s important that you check the tank thoroughly for any signs of leaks before using. Even a small leak can be extremely dangerous, making routine inspections so important.

Never Leave the Tank Exposed to Sunlight

Hot temperatures can be dangerous to your propane tank, making it important to never leave the tank inside your car for a prolonged period. Along with being careful about storing in your car, make sure to always keep the propane tank shielded from the sun.

Contact us if you have any questions about propane tank refilling.

 

keep your pets safe around charcoal grills with these handy tips leesburg vaEnjoying charcoal grills during the summer can be a fantastic way to cook up fresh food and spend time with friends and family outdoors, but safety precautions are always important to consider. If you have pets such as dogs or cats that enjoy going outside with you, it’s important that you make sure to get the grill pet-proofed for their own safety with the following tips.

Set Up a Blockade Around the Grill

The easiest way to combat your pets natural curiosity around the grill is to set up a blockade. This can be done in a number of ways, but the result should always be making it more difficult for your pets to reach the grill. Some good options include typing up your dog far away from the grill or using fencing around your patio area where the grill is being used.

Make Sure a Screen is Set Up

If you don’t want to use a blockade, but are still worried about your dog or cat becoming burned from flying embers, it’s important you use a screen. While you won’t be using the screen while actively cooking, it can come in handy when the grill is cooling down or in between uses.

Avoid Feeding Your Pet From the Grill

One of the most common reasons why pets get too close to the grill is because they’ve gotten used to being fed scraps from the grill. In order to keep the grill free of being touched by your pet, make sure not to feed them from the grill so they won’t associate it with treats.

For more helpful safety advice on using your grill, feel free to contact us.

maintenance tips to follow after looking at gas grills and buying one falls church vaWhen it comes to equipping your backyard to ensure an enjoyable time, one item that commonly comes up is a grill. Grilling is a great way to make food healthier and give it a highly desirable taste. It is also ideal for spending time outside with family and friends for intimate get-togethers or large parties.

When you look through gas grills and end up buying one, you should follow some important tips on maintaining your grill to make sure it provides you with delicious food for years to come.

Get a Brush Just for the Burner Tubes

Cleaning your grill is one of the most essential things you can do to keep it working. Although the burner tubes do not need to be cleaned that often, when you do clean them, you should do it with a brush that is solely used for the burner tubes to guarantee an efficient cleaning. It is also recommended to avoid overly abrasive brushes because you do not want to damage the burner tubes.

Get Another for Cooking Surfaces

For the cooking surfaces, you should get another brush. However, with this brush, it is ideal for it to be abrasive to make sure you are capable of getting the grime off sufficiently.

Wash the Outside Regularly

With regular use, you can expect the outside to get dirty. However, cleaning the outside is simple as it only takes soapy water. But, if you want to restore the shine to the grill, you should use a glass cleaner.

Purchase a High-Quality Cover for Maximum Protection

If you want to maximize the lifespan of your gas grill, you should get a high-quality grill cover to protect your grill whenever it is not in use. It is an effective way to protect your grill from the elements.

Please contact us if you would like help with purchasing a gas grill for your backyard.

outdoor fireplaceAlthough Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, there’s still plenty of good weather left. And you can extend the usefulness of your outdoor space well into fall by adding an outdoor fireplace to your yard. Just imagine cozy nights of snuggling under a blanket and stargazing or toasting marshmallows as a family.

Here are some tips to maximize your enjoyment of an outdoor fireplace:

  1. Create a Room-Like Arrangement

    If you’re going to invest in an outdoor fireplace, you should think about designing the entire outdoor space the way you would a living or family room. That means a variety of comfortable patio furniture surrounding the fireplace and hearth, as well as side tables and such for setting down mugs of steaming hot cocoa.

  2. Plan for No-Mess Cooking

    Outdoor fireplaces aren’t just for looks; depending on what kind you settle on, you can often use them similarly to charcoal grills for cooking food. More than half of Americans say they cook outdoors all year round. If you do anticipate doing so, make sure you have a station set up near the fireplace where you can set down platters or hot Dutch ovens, store cooking utensils, etc.

  3. Make Fuel Storage Beautiful

    Whether you choose a gas-powered fireplace with a tank or a wood-burning fireplace, you’ll need to consider where that fuel will be stored. Some freestanding gas fireplaces have a spot for the fuel tank to be tucked away, but if not you’ll want to plan for a decorative way to disguise it. And if you’re sticking to old-fashioned wood, you can find safe containers that will keep the wood dry while also keeping it handy.

  4. Consider Maintenance Needs

    Outdoor fireplaces are commonly made of stone, stucco, tile, and brick; each has not only a unique look, but also unique maintenance needs. Be sure you’re aware of those needs and how your local climate might affect them as you’re choosing a material.

  5. Take Fireplace Safety Seriously

    Fireplaces are safe when properly installed and carefully used, but it’s important that you respect anything involving fire (and teach your children to do the same). According to data collected between 2007 and 2011, U.S. fire departments were called to an average of 8,800 home and outside fires having to do with grills and outdoor fire pits. So be careful around your fireplace, never leave it burning unattended, and keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case it gets out of control.

Dreaming of an outdoor fireplace to enjoy as the nights turn cooler? Let us know!

the-7-pieces-of-lawn-equipment-every-homeowner-needs

There’s nothing quite as fun and relaxing as spending time outside in the summertime, and having the right outdoor furniture will encourage everyone in your family to make the most of good weather. But many homeowners get frustrated over the years because their patio furniture keeps wearing out, sending them on repeat trips to the furniture store and burning through money that could better spent on other things. To make sure you’re never in that situation again, follow these five tips the next time you get a set of patio furniture:

    1. Buy the Best Your Budget Allows

      Most homeowners are working on a budget, but you should spend as much as you comfortably can in order to get higher-quality pieces. Cheaper pieces are often cheaper for a reason. If you’re looking to balance function and price, check out the wide range of wicker options now being offered. Wicker is made by weaving flexible strips of rattan, willow, bamboo or polyethylene onto a frame (natural wicker is generally woven onto a plant-based frame, whereas synthetic resin wicker is usually woven onto an aluminum or steel frame), making it very durable. The U.S. outdoor furniture market is forecast to exceed $4.4 billion this year, which means you should have plenty of options when you visit the furniture store.

    1. Clean Your Furniture Regularly

      Dirt doesn’t just make your furniture look bad; it also causes it to degrade more quickly. The correct cleaning method will depend on the material you end up choosing for your deck furniture, so you'll need to do some additional research once you make your purchase.

    1. Invest in Outdoor Furniture Covers

      At summer’s peak, you’re probably outdoors every day. During that period, there’s no need to cover your furniture up every night -- after all, if your furniture can’t survive a night out in the open, it probably shouldn’t have been sold as outdoor furniture. But as your usage starts to slow down, or if there’s a major storm coming through, it’s a good idea to throw on some furniture covers.

    1. Remove All Rust Immediately

      If you see any rust on your furniture, you need to remove it as soon as possible. Ignoring even a small spot can take years off the life of a piece. If you catch it early, it should be as easy as using a wire brush to scrub off the rust (try to damage the surrounding area as little as possible, as a wire brush may ruin a protective coating that’s still intact).

  1. Make a Plan for Winter Storage

    If you live in an area where it snows, it’s best to move your leisure furniture out of the yard for winter. If you have space in a garage, then that’s easy -- if not, you might want to consider purchasing an attractive shed for this purpose. If you have some space inside, you can even consider incorporating some outdoor pieces into your indoor décor; the dividing line between indoor furniture and high-quality outdoor furniture is becoming slimmer and slimmer.

Have you been to an outdoor furniture store lately to check out your options? Join the discussion in the comments.

 

 

 

the-7-pieces-of-lawn-equipment-every-homeowner-needs

Buying a home doesn’t automatically grant you a green thumb. But owning a home does tend to come with a certain amount of outdoor maintenance, meaning that all homeowners should work on some basic lawn and garden skills. If you’re just getting started, one of the best ways to set yourself up for success is by making sure that you have the right tools at hand (without spending a bunch of money on lawn equipment you won’t actually use). Here are seven recommendations on what to buy that can help you get your yard in perfect shape for grilling, lounging around on comfortable deck furniture, toasting s’mores over a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, or any other backyard summer activities you can come up with.

  1. A Good Pair of Gloves

    Before you even start looking at lawn equipment, you’ll want some protective gear. That includes a thick, reinforced pair of garden gloves. Leather will provide the best protection. Depending on the size of the projects you’re planning to take on, you may also want a pair of safety glasses.

  2. A Lawn Mower

    For centuries, people cut grass by swinging small, sharp scythes as they walked through fields. Fortunately, an English textile worker named Edwin Budding developed a grass-cutting machine in 1830 (based on the machine used to shear the nap off cloth), and now there are a wide variety of push and riding mowers available -- in fact, about 54 million Americans mow their lawns each weekend. Push mowers are generally adequate for small yards, and are both affordable and easy to use; just be sure to choose one that propels itself to save yourself unnecessary work.

  3. A Weed Whacker

    A weed whacker, also known as a string trimmer, is a handheld piece of motorized equipment that allows you to trim growth around the edges of your lawn and tackle weeds in tight spaces. The most important thing is that you choose one that is light enough for you to comfortably maneuver.

  4. A Trowel

    A simple hand trowel costs only a few dollars, but you’ll find yourself using it over and over, year after year. These small, pointed shovels can be used for digging out weeds, loosening hard-packed soil and planting flowers (such as the bright annuals that can easily add so much vibrancy to an outdoor design).

  5. A Leaf Rake

    You’ll probably need a rake whether you have deciduous trees on your property or not. That’s because many lawn mowers leave behind clippings you’ll want to rake up for a cleaner look.

  6. A Hand Pruner

    Tree trimming is a job best left to the professionals. But you can give smaller plants such as bushes and hedges a few snips twice a year or so in order to maintain a neat appearance and encourage healthy seasonal growth. Spring-assisted trimmers will allow you to easily prune even tough, woody branches and stems, and are worth investing in.

  7. A Utility Bucket

    Something as simple as a large plastic bucket will make your life much easier when it comes to lawn and garden maintenance. Choose a size that you’ll be able to comfortably carry even when it’s filled with water or a heavy landscaping material such as gravel.

What other lawn equipment should beginners invest in? Join the discussion in the comments.

 

 

 

update-your-patio-furniture-for-a-big-end-of-summer-party-fairfax-va

If you missed your opportunity to invite your friends and family over for a fun get together over the Independence day weekend, it's not too late to throw a fun bbq bash this summer. If you begin planning now, you can have a fun end of summer party that will really send the sunny season out with a bang.

Start with your guest list. Once you know how many people you are inviting you'll be able to move on to planning food, entertainment and other details. 

Don't limit your guest list due to your current seating capacity. Extra patio furniture is a great investment, because once you have the adequate seating for entertaining, you are more likely to throw parties in the future. If you haven't shopped for patio furniture in a while, you will be surprised at the high quality of outdoor furniture that will add style to your backyard, while requiring very little maintenance. Sectional style pieces offer you the maximum amount of seating and comfort with a flexible set-up.

If you want to throw a party your guests are sure to remember, ditch the traditional BBQ foods like hot dogs and hamburgers and cook something a little more exotic on your grill. Lobsters are surprisingly simple to cook on your grill, as are clams. Grilled pizza is becoming more and more popular and there are some great recipes online, or you can invite your guests to create their own masterpieces.

If you need to transform your outdoor entertaining space, please contact us. We would love to help you create a backyard oasis that your friends and family will love to visit.

 

 

 

consider-using-outdoor-furniture-indoors-falls-church-vaHave you ever considered taking some of your favorite outdoor pieces and putting them inside? Outdoor furniture is traditionally used, well, outside. The reasoning goes beyond habit: until recently, materials typically used for outdoor furniture, such as polypropylene, appeared stiff and waxy. While it's an acceptable look outside, it looks tacky inside. Thanks to improved technology, classic outdoor furniture materials look more sophisticated, and new materials are becoming more popular. 

Using outdoor furniture inside is a great way for apartment dwellers to make their homes "feel less stuffy," says furniture designer Mark Jupiter. And, since a lot of outdoor furniture is foldable, it's also a great way to keep extra seating handy without taking up a lot of room. 

Even if you do have outdoor space, consider testing your patio furniture inside. It can provide an added sense of cohesion, and it's a quick way to give your home a fresh look.

Need some ideas? Here are two to get you started.

Wooden bench

The wooden bench is a staple of usefulness and sophistication. Put it in front of your sofa or at the foot of your bed to use as a table. Near your entryway, it can be used as shoe or purse storage. Don't have space in your kitchen for a full dining table? A wooden bench is slim enough to create a casual seating area. 

Garden stool 

This is another piece that can be turned into a table. Use it next to your bed for a bedside table, or place it next to your couch. It can be used to place down drinks or as an extra seat. In a bathroom, a garden stool is ideal for towels or toiletries. 

Here at Lawn & Leisure, we have a wide selection of outdoor furniture for your outdoor and indoor needs. Contact us for more information. 

 

 

 

make-choosing-your-first-grill-a-little-easier-reston-va

Outdoor grilling season is here. If you're thinking this is the year to purchase your first outdoor grill, that's super exciting! But with such a variety of features and brands, it can also be overwhelming. Here are a few tips on getting started. 

Gas or Charcoal

One isn't better than the other, though committed grillers will likely side with one over the other depending on what they use. 

Think about your priorities. If you are currently career-focused with little free time, go with a gas grill. It's easier to use and to clean. If taste is more important than efficiency, consider a charcoal grill for that classic barbecue flavor. 

In general, gas grills are often a better option for the grilling novice because of its ease and consistency. 

Know your budget

Grills range in price from the teens to thousands. At every price point, you can find a great grill or a total ripoff, so know that any price point you choose is okay. Once you set your budget, you'll have a more manageable selection of grills to work with. 

Know your space 

You want your grill to look good and fit well. If you get a grill that's too big for the space, you'll be uncomfortable cooking, which means you won't use it as often. If you're working with a small outdoor space, you don't want to feel cramped or allow the grill to visually overwhelm everything else. Big spaces have more flexibility, but consider what your grill is next to and how the space will look as a whole. 

Focus on these three elements as you begin your grill search and it won't feel so overwhelming. Here at Lawn & Leisure, we can help you find the right grill for you. Contact us to get started. 

 

 

 

quick-tips-for-summer-ready-deck-furniture-cushions-mclean-va

As the summer season gets underway, patios and decks are often in need of a little extra attention.  Those cushions that were left outside over the winter months can be quite an eyesore in the light of summer sunshine.  What can you do to clean your deck furniture cushions and revive their look in time for those July backyard barbecues?

It is a good practice to clean your cushions at least twice a year.  A good cleaning in summer will take care of the accumulated grime left by winter weather. And autumn is an excellent time to inspect and spot clean your cushions after a summer of fun in the sun.

Follow these quick and easy tips for effective cleaning:

1)  Vacuum cushions carefully.

A surprising amount of dirt and grime can be easily lifted from your cushions with vacuuming or the use of a nice, stiff brush.  Your aim should be to get off any loose dirt you find.  Be sure to pay special attention to the seams and creases of your cushions, as grime loves to live there.

2)  Rinse with lukewarm water.

This should remove any dirt particles left from your vacuuming efforts.  No matter the degree of grime on your cushions, do not use water that is hot, as this is very damaging to the material. As an additional word of caution, never use a pressure washer for this job, as this could potentially create small tears in the fabric of your cushions, which would cause them to hold moisture and breed mold and mildew.

3) Spot clean sparingly.

Spot clean problem areas using only  1/4 cup of clear dish washing detergent such as Dawn per one gallon of lukewarm water.  Do not use oil based cleaners or harsh detergents.  Most outdoor cushions are treated to be water-resistant, and harsh detergents ruin this feature. For stubborn stains, a mild bleach/water mixture may be used very sparingly.  Be careful not to use too much bleach, as it can have the unfortunate result of ruining the color of your fabric.  If you must use bleach, take great care to blot the area quickly with a clean, dry cloth to minimize damage.

4)  Try an alternate method.

If you do not wish to risk the bleach option, alternately you may use 1 teaspoon of clear dish washing liquid, 1 tablespoon of borax, and 1 quart of lukewarm water.  For this method, mix the ingredients in a clean spray bottle and saturate both sides of your cushions.  Let the solution work for fifteen minutes and then rinse your cushions thoroughly.  Once you are satisfied that the solution has been rinsed well, stand your cushions on end in direct sunlight to dry.

For additional information about how to get your deck barbecue-ready and all your grilling equipment in order, please contact us.  We are here to ensure your summertime fun.

 

 

 

 

Ah, Independence Day.

A time for family, fun, fireworks... and grilling!

 

     Do you have everything checked off your list this fourth?

 

That shiny new Weber you've had your eye on?

Maybe the Gourmet Napoleon Grill?

Or...the Big Green Egg?

All the right accessories to make sure your meal is flawless?

What about that extra propane tank, so you don't run out like your cousin did last year?

Will you need lump charcoal?

Did you remember that new dining set so everyone can sit together and still have room for their plates?

 

     Whatever is on your Independence Day inventory, you can find all the right things for your backyard needs at Lawn & Leisure! And for those who wait, don't worry! We will be open on the 4th, but only from 9:00am to 3:00pm, so hurry in! You won't want to show up unprepared to your own party!

deck furnitureA full 63% of the U.S. population grills every single month, and that figure is probably much higher now that we’re solidly into grilling season. But even if you’ve been heading out to the backyard or patio to grill for years, you might be making some major grilling mistakes. Here are five of the most common you’ll want to fix before you have even one more summer cookout:

  1. Placing Your Grill Incorrectly

    First things first: safety. Data collected between 2007 and 2011 show that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,800 inside and outside fires related to grilling, and you definitely don’t want to be a data point in the next study. Grill in an open spot clear of flammable building materials or vegetation. And deck furniture is great, but it shouldn’t be placed too close to either charcoal grills or propane grills (the same goes for outdoor fireplaces, by the way). You can also look for deck furniture made of non-flammable materials to be extra cautious.

  2. Bringing Your Meat to Room Temperature

    For some reason, there’s a myth floating around that you should let your meat sit out and come to room temperature before you throw it on the grill. But that’s just a recipe for bacteria growth and possible food poisoning. Keep your meat safely chilled until you’re ready to cook; a grill can easily reach 600 to 800 degrees, so it will take only seconds for the meat to get warmed up once it’s over the flames.

  3. Salting After Grilling

    Don’t believe anyone who tells you that salting food before it’s grilled will dry it out and leave it tough. A generous sprinkling of kosher salt prior to grilling is the best seasoning you can use, and it won’t dry meat out unless you salt it hours in advance.

  4. Turning Your Steak With a BBQ Fork

    Don’t stab your steaks with a barbecue fork to turn them, as this will let all the juices run out (and avoid any other cooking techniques that involve cutting or puncturing steaks until they’ve been cooked and rested, such as cutting them in half to check doneness). Tongs are the tools for the job.

  5. Using Contaminated Serving Dishes

    Don’t forget about what happens when your masterpiece comes off the grill and is ready for serving. Instead of slapping cooked food back on the plate you brought raw meat or poultry out to the grill on, use a clean serving platter so everyone can enjoy it safely.

Do you have any other tips to share on perfecting the art of the summer cookout, from deck furniture choices to sangria recipes? Join the discussion in the comments.

safety-tips-on-propane-for-grills-to-enjoy-grilling-outdoors-reston-va

Grilling can be rather enjoyable, lead to a delicious meal, and is the perfect reason to spend time with family and friends, but there are safety measures that must be taken to ensure a safe experience.

Charcoal grilling has some safety prerequisites, but propane grilling is a little more demanding, so you need to be more careful when using propane for grills by following a few safety tips.

Protect the Grill from Children and Pets

Although your pets or children might not have any bad intentions, they are naturally a safety hazard around grills, especially propane grills. Ideally, you want to keep them away from the grill at all times.

Place Your Grill in a Safe Place

A safe grill location is not just a place where there is a level surface. A propane grill should only be used outdoors, and it should always be several feet away from your home and away from potential hazards.

For instance, a grill is not safe when there are tree branches hanging overhead.

Keep the Grill Well Clean

A clean grill is not only better for having a positive grilling experience, but it makes it safer to use. Purchasing a heavy-duty grill brush is one of the best investments you can make for grilling.

Not only will it make cleaning the grill easy, but it will motivate you to clean after each use. Taking the time to clean the grill right after using it will help to prevent heavy build-up.

If you have any questions about grilling or patio furniture, please contact us.

 

 

create-an-oasis-with-poolside-patio-furniture-to-enjoy-now-and-later-arlington-vaIt's time to declare open season on your backyard patio or pool. Long, sunny days linger into warm, starry nights. It's summer, the perfect time for casual dinners on the patio or for lounging poolside with a good book. With the right patio furniture you can make the most of your outdoor oasis all season long, even into the crisp autumn months. Here are some tips to help you choose which furniture will work best for your space and lifestyle, plus how to ensure years of use. 

Preparing for pool parties and family gatherings?

Consider furniture groupings, but measure first. If you know your square footage, you can ensure that your furniture choices will fit comfortably on your patio. Next, Look for a dining table and chairs that seat 8 or more people. Be sure to allow three feet of space for chairs to be pulled back from the table. For example, if you are choosing a four by eight foot table, make sure you have a space at least 10 by 14 feet in size. Create an inviting atmosphere by adding toss pillows and a market umbrella. Next, look for affordable lounge chairs and purchase as many as would fit in your space. If you are limited on space after you choose a dining table set, consider straight back chairs with thick cushions to place around your pool or patio for additional seating. 

Longing to create an outdoor room with a view?

Imagine a living room among the stars by opting for a seating set with a coffee table, upholstered sofa and chairs or a sectional. Be sure to look for performance fabrics and materials that are designed for outdoor use as they are treated to increase stain and moisture resistance. Don't forget to add an attractive outdoor rug and toss pillows. Then, personalize the space with decorative and functional pieces such as flameless candles, lightweight throws, and battery-operated lamps. 

Dreaming of a quiet corner for a nap or to enjoy the sounds of nature?

Only a hammock will do. Look for one with a stand rather than a style that hangs from a tree. When you want to change your view, you can easily move it around your patio or place it in your yard. For maximum enjoyment, consider placing a small table or tea cart nearby for easy access to a cold beverage and snacks. Most hammocks are made with an outdoor fabric, but store it away at the end of the season to keep it looking its best. Don't forget to add a pillow to maximize your comfort and enjoyment.  

To keep your patio furniture looking great so you can enjoy it next year, invest in furniture covers and market umbrella covers to protect them from the harsh elements. It isn't necessary to cover furniture up everyday after use, but do cover them up during severe weather and at the end of the warm weather season. Stow away pillows, chair cushions, and patio rugs when not in use, even during the summer, to prevent fading and mildew. Simplify your life by purchasing a few outdoor storage boxes and place them near your patio. You can quickly store away your upholstered items during a pop-up rain shower and when not in use. 

At Lawn & Leisure we are all about making the most of your outdoor spaces in the D.C. area. We invite you to contact us to assist you in creating your own personal poolside or patio oasis.

 

 

wicker-the-old-furniture-is-new-again-washington-dcWicker chairs: They're not just for Morticia Addams anymore.  When great-grandma bought furniture for her front porch, it was usually wicker.  Of course, in her day, everyone had a front porch.  Now most people prefer a deck or a patio, and all too often they end up with unattractive--and worse, uncomfortable--furniture.  It's time to look back at wicker.

The look of wicker furniture is timeless.  Its light, casual appearance makes it almost synonymous with the outdoors in summer.  The old wicker outdoor furniture had some problems, though.  Real wicker is fairly durable, but over years of use it can start to break down.  Even worse, much of the wicker furniture of years past wasn't wicker at all, but a strengthened paper twisted into shape.  After two seasons outdoors, it was finished. Besides, the old styles were attractive but frequently surrendered comfort to appearance. 

Modern outdoor furniture is considerably more durable, and more comfortable.  Newer technology and design have given us synthetic wicker that has the same beautiful summer look without the fragility (or the tendency to poke you in the back).

The Bellevue Collection, available at Lawn & Leisure, is one of the best examples of the new wicker look.  Constructed of synthetic wicker over a durable, weather-resistant aluminum frame, the extensive outdoor furniture line boasts a relaxed and classic look.  Sofas and roomy wing chairs offer a cool and casual, yet traditional seating option that will be at home on any deck or patio (or even great-grandma's front porch).  Even Morticia would approve!

As the spring flowers burst upon the scene, it's time to start planning for your outdoor months to come.  For a look at the Bellevue Collection and other great choices for outdoor living, contact us at Lawn & Leisure.

 

 

lawn and gardenA string of holidays best celebrated by grilling and outdoor fun are just around the corner, but -- especially if you live in a region where it feels as if spring has only recently arrived -- your lawn and garden may not quite be in shape for entertaining. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to get your outdoor space wow-worthy in just a week or two. Here are some to consider:

  1. Give Your Lawn a Salon-Worthy Cut

    If you have a square or rectangular lawn, you can add a little more visual appeal by cutting it diagonally. Start by making a pass that starts in one corner and goes to the opposite one. Then all you’ll have to do is keep your lawn mower parallel to that line as you work your way across on either side, and you’ll have a snazzy cut that will make you the envy of the neighborhood.

  2. Make the Most of Plain Old Mulch

    Mulch is inexpensive and easy to work with. Use a layer to cover up any dirt that’s showing in your flowerbeds so that they don’t look empty even if they’re still a little bare from winter.

  3. Strategically Plant Bright Annuals

    Instead of trying to get a lush landscape right away (which is both costly and work-intensive), plant rows of eye-popping annuals in strategic areas around your lawn and garden. Focus your planting around doors or other access points such as arbors and gates, where the flowers will make the most impact. You should be able to do this in somewhere between an hour and a half day, depending on the size of your yard, and the only tool you’ll need is a simple garden trowel.

  4. Feature a New, Shiny, High-Tech Grill

    If you want to make your backyard as functional as possible, then a new grill is a worthy investment. Around 63% of the U.S. population grills every single month -- and probably many more grill in warm weather -- so a new charcoal or propane grill is something you can expect to get your money’s worth from. You may even want to feature it in a complete grill center; just be sure that it’s placed wisely. Based on data collected between 2007 and 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,800 home and outside fires involving grills each year, and you don’t want to find yourself a part of those kind of statistics.

  5. Clean and Update Outdoor Furniture

    Pull out or uncover your outdoor furniture and give it a good cleaning and inspection. Get rid of anything that’s falling apart (nothing can make a guest feel worse than sitting on a chair and having it break), and pick out at least a few new pieces to spruce up the entire collection. If you’re really short on time, even a few brightly colored outdoor throw pillows can hold you over until larger pieces arrive.

The 2010 National Gardening Association Survey found that Americans spend, on average, $363 dollars every year on lawn and garden activities. Are you looking to spend more or less than that this year? Share your plans -- and how our tips might fit into them -- in the comments.

protect-your-outdoor-furniture-with-proper-landscaping-chantilly-vaAlthough you can use a canopy, porch overhang, or awning to protect your outdoor furniture, you may not want to use a canopy or you may not have an overhang to provide protection. However, a viable alternative is to use landscaping to your advantage, which can supply protection while also improving your yard’s looks.

Use Trees for Shade and Protection

If you already have mature trees in your backyard, you may want to consider designing your outdoor space around them, or placing outdoor furniture where the trees can provide shade.

Protection from the sun will help your furniture last longer from reduced sun exposure.

Although you can apply a water sealant on most outdoor furniture, you will find that trees and furniture in the right position can work well together for protection from the rain.

Make Sure to Prune the Trees

While there are numerous benefits to having trees near your outdoor furniture, you also want to keep your trees healthy and pruned, especially because trees that are not pruned can lead to a hazard from broken limbs.

Plant Bushes to Protect from Winds

If you get a lot of wind on your property, you can have landscaping professional’s plant bushes around area in which you are going to place your outdoor furniture. This natural barrier will prevent lightweight furniture from getting knocked over, as well as making it a more pleasant outdoor experience for you.

Carefully planned landscaping can work greatly in your favor for protecting outdoor furniture. However, you should also take your time when buying furniture to use outside to make sure it meets your wants and needs.

Please contact us if you have any questions about buying furniture or furniture maintenance.

 

 

let-professionals-handle-propane-refills-for-maximum-safety-herndon-vaGrilling during the summer is a very popular activity, but it requires some special care to ensure that you’re handling the grill and propane tank safely. Instead of refilling the propane tank on your own to get grilling as quickly as possible, it’s a good idea to rely on professionals instead. Even with the added costs, you’ll find that you can enjoy your grill even more with the peace of mind that professionals can offer for propane refills.

Avoid Doing Your Own Visual Inspection

There could be problems with your propane tank that aren’t easily visible to the naked eye. This could mean anything from cracks to rusting somewhere on the tank. These small amounts of wear may seem like nothing to be concerned about, but they could be very dangerous if left alone. With the help of professionals, the tank can be inspected thoroughly whenever it’s time for a refill.

No Need to Worry About Pumping Risks

Filling the propane tank itself can be quite dangerous if you don’t take the necessary time slowly opening the tank and shutting the valve immediately afterwards. Other crucial steps are involved in the safe handling of the propane tank, so this is another task better left to professionals.

Paying the Premium is Worth the Safety

When handling any kind of gases, there’s always something that could go wrong- leading to potential problems for the propane tank. Instead of worrying that your propane tank could be cracked dangerously or other issues may be present, professionals will help handle the refill without any trouble.

Please contact us if you need help filling up a propane tank for the grilling season ahead.

 

 

allow-patio-furniture-experts-to-beautify-your-backyard-mclean-vaIf you want to make your patio the coziest place to be in your home, then you cannot go without the most important part, patio furniture. It is the main component to making a relaxing backyard getaway, but you may have specific wants and needs that turn the shopping experience into a challenge.

Letting patio furniture experts’ help you will ensure you make the right choices.

Determine the Ideal Furniture for Your Needs

With so much variation in material, design, cost, and size, choosing the right outdoor furniture is not easy. In this case, you will find that relying on experts that sell and service this furniture can prove to be very helpful and just what you need in guiding you towards making the best purchase.

Have the Furniture Delivered and Assembled

Once you have found the patio furniture you want to start using in your backyard, you need to get it delivered and assembled, which you can have professionals do. After helping with the purchase process, these experts can provide you with a hands-off experience, where you get to watch and enjoy.

Make Plans for a Grill or Outdoor Fireplace

Being able to spend time outside on patio furniture that fits your exact needs can make it rather tempting to begin investing in other outdoor additions. For instance, an outdoor fireplace or a grill can really transform your outdoor space into an ideal place for parties or get-togethers.

You can have just as much fun furnishing the inside of your home as the outside, especially when you let experts provide assistance with their extensive knowledge of making patios look amazing.

Contact us for help with finding, buying, and assembling patio furniture.

 

 

tips-for-safe-use-of-outdoor-grills-reston-vaDue to the fact that they’re used so much, it’s very easy for someone to get comfortable when they are using their barbecue grill and therefore stop taking precautions when it comes to safety. Fires can be caused by grills, as can serious injuries if the grill is used improperly. The following safety precautions should be followed constantly when you use a grill.

The Great Outdoors

These grills are made to be used outdoors only.  They are not designed to be used in tents, garages, or other spaces that are enclosed, even if the space is ventilated well.

Hoses

The hoses of the grill should always be checked for holes, leaks, and cracks before you start to barbecue.  This is something that is really important when you are using it for the first time after the winter.

Gas Containers

It’s a good idea to store your spare tanks of gas outside, but don’t store them near your grill. They are meant to be stored in an upright position and never lay it on their back.

Location

A recommendation from fire departments is to use a barbecue grill a minimum of ten feet from trees and buildings.

Burns

To avoid the risk of serious burns, grills should not be moved while it’s still hot.  You should also use utensils that have the extra long handles to avoid being burnt.

We are always trying to provide our customers with information about safely using outdoor grills. We have many products to use outside, not just grills. Please contact us if you want to know more or if you have any questions for us.

 

tips-for-cooking-on-outdoor-grills-leesburg-vaGrilling your meat on a barbecue is a tradition for the summertime in America.  When you take proper precautions, you are able to safely barbecue on your grill. And the results are going to be even better than cooking your barbecue in your oven.

Proper Utensils

Use some utensils that are made for grilling – in other words, they should have handles that are extra long. You need to have tongs so you can grab your meat, as well as turn the meat over and put it where the meat should be on your grill. Spatulas work well for meat pieces which are wide and thin, like fish. A grilling fork lets you spear your meat to see the inside of it and check juice color to see if it's cooked.  Another essential item is a brush for basting.

Keep It Juicy

Due to the dry and high heat of a barbecue, you want to make sure that the meat doesn’t dry out. This is done by basting or marinating, or both. When you marinate you soak meat that is raw in a liquid which is flavorful for anywhere from 2 – 12 hours. If you find yourself without a recipe for marinade, there are lots of marinades that you can buy at the store.  Meat cuts that are low-fat get a lot of benefits from a marinade.

When you baste, it means that you are brushing a sauce or liquid that is flavorful onto your meat while it cooks. This is also going to keep your meat juicy as well as adding flavor to its exterior. Even if the meat’s been marinated, basting is still important. Put aside some of the marinade for basting or use a favorite sauce, such as teriyaki or barbecue sauce.

When your meat is almost done, put it your meat to the side and keep it away from the direct heat.  You can also put it on your platter and cover it loosely with some tin foil before putting it in a place that is warm. It should sit there for anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes, depending on big the meat is. This is going to allow the juices and the heat to have even distribution.

Charcoal

If you’re barbecuing with charcoal, it’s often very hard to light. A lot of brands available are now self-lighting, so all you need is a lighter or a match.  You can use a charcoal lighter that uses electricity or a good propane torch.  Pile your briquettes like a pyramid before you light them. When you have a big pile, you are going to have a lot of heat.

It’s also possible to use some lighter fluid. It makes lighting your briquettes very easy, but it also may give your meat a taste of petroleum.

You can also use the charcoal chimney, which is a cylinder which is tall and made for helping you light charcoal.  Put some crumpled paper in the chimney’s lower section and your briquettes in the upper part of the chimney, then light your paper. When your briquettes are ready for cooking, then you rearrange them in your grill.

If you wish your food to have a flavor that is smoky, add hickory or mesquite chips. Before you put them in your charcoal, soak your chips in some water for at least 30 minutes.

Gas

Lighting as well as adjusting temperature is easy when you use a gas grill, but your food isn’t going to have as much flavor as it does with charcoal. It’s possible to add some wood chips to give it that smoky flavor, but it’s going to be required that you put them in a smoker box made of metal before you put them down into the heat.

These are some tips that you can use when you are cooking on your grill. If you would like to get a grill for your home or to upgrade your current one, we have plenty of outdoor grills from which to choose. Just contact us to find out what we offer.

 

tips-for-getting-the-best-flavor-from-charcoal-grills-great-falls-vaThere’s very distinct charcoal flavor and smell that is produced by charcoal barbecues that comes up in food and that a lot of people enjoy. The explanation by Martha Stewart is that the drippings that fall from the food go onto the heated coals and produce an aroma which is appetizing. They are awesome for a summer barbecue in the backyard, they are something that is easy for almost anyone to use, and they are something that can cook a lot of different foods. There are some charcoal barbecue tips that help cooks produce foods that are tastier using their charcoal grills.

Cleaning

When the season starts, you may look at your grill and discover that the grate has some residue burnt on it from the previous season. A recommendation from The Food Network is that you heat up your grill using hot charcoal before using a brush made of metal to scrape it. The hot grill cleans easier and the charcoal heat gives the benefit of sanitation.

Lighting Coals

A lot of people use a fire starter which is liquid, such as lighter fluid, in order to help their barbecue start. But it's better to use a chimney starter, which is going to help you avoid the chemical taste that accompanies lighter fluid.

Coal Choice

The more traditional kind of charcoal briquettes often have chemicals that are unhealthy. There are often things like binding agents in the traditional kinds of charcoal briquettes that might get into the food. Charcoal made of natural wood is something that is a better bet. This comes from carbon that has been left over naturally from wood that has been baked.

Wood Chips

When you place wood chips on your coals, you are going to add a nice, smoky wood flavor to your food. Some of the woods that are recommended are birch, hickory, cherry, apple, and mesquite woods. Be sure that you aren’t using anything processed, such as plywood, because that can contain chemicals which are toxic.

Grate Space

There are times when there’s an unexpected flame which is shooting up from your coals, and this can burn the food. A way to avoid this problem is for you to leave a lot of room on your grill to move your food to keep it from the flames.

Grill life

There’s a great deal of stress from heat that charcoal grills have to undergo, due to the fact that coals are very hot. It may be that you find that your grill’s bottom is wearing out because of the charcoal heat. In order to reduce this and prolong your grill’s life, put a sand layer beneath your charcoal. It will help with heat absorption.

Please contact us if you are looking for something for a new grill or anything else so that you can enjoy the outdoors of your home. We have many things like beautiful furniture to help you beautify your yard and patio.

 

pet-friendly-features-to-look-for-when-buying-deck-furniture-herndon-vaKeeping furniture clean in a home with pets is likely something that you intend on doing everyday inside your home, but it can be a bit more confusing when dealing with the outdoors. If you’re concerned about maintaining your deck furniture, it’s a good idea for you to look into what materials should be chosen and how to avoid damage to the furniture caused by your pets.

Resistant Against Tearing

The worst scenario for deck furniture when it comes to pets is experiencing the materials being torn by their nails. Avoiding furniture that rips easily, such as thin fabrics, can help it last longer in a home with pets. Since most animals love climbing on top of furniture, you’ll need to look out for pieces that won’t be torn easily.

Washable Furniture Covers

An easy way to preserve your deck furniture is for you to keep an eye out for furniture that has covers included. The covers should be machine washable, allowing you to enjoy a deep clean so that any pet hair and tracked dirt can be removed properly.

Avoid Expensive Pieces

Spending a lot of money on deck furniture may seem like the right thing to do if you want your deck to look fantastic, but this can often backfire due to accidental damage your pet causes. Buying furniture that is priced reasonably will ensure that you won’t be disappointed by its condition in the years to come.

For more helpful advice on buying new furniture for your outdoor deck, please feel free to contact us at Lawn and Leisure.

 

extend-the-lifetime-of-your-grill-with-helpful-gas-grilling-tips-great-falls-vaOwning a grill can be a great way to enjoy cooking when it begins to warm up outside, but it’s important for you to become familiar with the proper care for gas grills before getting started. Not only will your food taste better when you know how to care for the grill, you can also ensure that it lasts for many summers to come.

Allow the Grill to Heat Up Before Cooking

A common reason that people throw out their gas grill is simply due to how dirty and worn down it becomes over time. An easy way to prevent this is by letting it heat up entirely before beginning to grill. Since your food could be dripping with marinade, you’ll want it to cook as quickly as possible.

Giving the grill the chance to heat up entirely will help ensure that every dish you make comes out perfect.

Follow Up with a Thorough Cleaning Each Time

After you’ve used your grill, you’ll want to be careful to clean it. While a deep clean isn’t necessary for the entire body of the grill, you’ll benefit by brushing off any food after each use.

Clean the Grates and Burner Regularly

A deeper clean should be done every few weeks, or even weekly if you grill often. Cleaning both the grates and burner once they’ve cooled down entirely will help make a big difference in how the grill looks and performs.

Maintain the Fuel Levels

Whenever you intend on grilling, it’s a good idea to monitor the propane tank underneath. Making sure that the fuel levels aren’t low will help allow the grill to perform as well as it should.

Contact us if you’re interested in buying a new grill, just in time for summer.

 

tools-that-will-come-in-handy-when-cooking-on-your-outdoor-fireplace-fairfax-vaOne of the best things about owning an outdoor fireplace is the ability to cook delicious meals on it. To make the most of your outdoor fireplace, a few unique cooking tools will come in handy:

  • Crane and Dutch oven, which can be useful for cooking stews and soups, or slow-cooking beans. For best results, purchase the crane and Dutch oven together so you can be sure they are compatible.
  • Rotisserie, which can allow you to cook whole chickens or leg of lamb until they are browned to perfection
  • Pie iron, which is typically made from cast iron and somewhat resembles a press. This tool is perfect for making grilled cheese and Panini sandwiches, in addition to numerous desserts
  • Skewers, to make everything from shish kabobs to roasted vegetables
  • Kettle popper, in order to make hot delicious popcorn with only a few drops of oil

In addition to these tools, a simple grate like those found on most park grills will enable you to cook directly over an open fire. Choose a grate with supporting legs that elevate it three to four inches to prevent food from burning. While you can use nearly any metal pan on one of these grates, cast iron cookware is preferred because it conducts heat well without becoming too hot. Your skillets will ideally have very long handles to make it easier for you to use them without getting burned.

There’s something about food cooked over an open fire that is appealing to everyone. If you don’t yet have an outdoor fireplace, contact us to find just how easy it is to install one in your own backyard.

 

 

outdoor lawn furniture Spring has sprung -- at least officially, even if there’s still snow on the ground in some spots -- and that means it’s time to start looking ahead to warm afternoons and weekends spent in the backyard. But after winter, your outdoor space might be looking pretty uninviting. Here are some easy ways to spruce up your yard for springtime:

Grassy Lawn Areas
Once summer is in full swing, you should have no trouble taking care of your lawn as long as you buy the right gardening tools; about 54 million Americans mow their lawns each weekend. Just keep in mind that generally, you don’t want to cut grass by more than one-third of its height in a single mowing. In order to jumpstart your lawn’s spring growth, however, you may want to put in a little more effort. Once the snow is fully melted, aerate your lawn and remove any thatch (dead stems and leaves) that has accumulated over the winter. Then re-seed any bare patches. If you’ve had trouble with your lawn in past years, you may also want to do a soil test to determine if soil chemistry is the problem.

Decks and/or Patios
Start by giving your outdoor space a good scrubbing; if you have a concrete patio, renting a power washer may be the easiest route. Check wooden decks for any sign of mildew damage, and use a mildew remover if necessary. If you have a brick patio, you may also need to remove weeds from the cracks. Once you have a clean space to work with, you can start to bring in some potted plants and similar accessories for color. Having your patio completely cleared is also a good opportunity to find a safe and convenient spot for your grill. If you have the space, you could even consider an outdoor fireplace or fire pit (taking into account grill and fireplace safety, of course, in your placement).

Outdoor Lawn Furniture
If you haven’t updated your outdoor lawn furniture in a while, just a cursory online search will show you that choices for patio furniture have grown exponentially in recent years (the U.S. outdoor furniture market is expected to surpass $4.4 billion by the end of 2015). One of the most popular trends in outdoor furniture right now is making it look and feel more like traditional indoor furniture, so it’s best to approach updating with the same mindset you would when updating your home’s furniture. That means you don’t need to replace your current set with a complete matching set; if most of what you own is serviceable, you can pick out just a few eye-popping pieces to freshen up the overall effect.

How’s your outdoor lawn furniture looking? Share how you’re planning to get your outdoor space barbecue-ready in the comments.

dust-off-your-outdoor-furniture-and-get-it-ready-for-spring-chantilly-vaThe weather outside is getting a little warmer, which means that now is the time to dust off your outdoor furniture and get it ready for Spring. Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure your patio furniture is ready for you to enjoy again.

The first step is to take your furniture out of storage and/or remove any vinyl covers you may have placed over it in the fall. Place your furniture in a sunny area of the yard so that you can spray it down thoroughly with a garden hose. Next, use a solution of mild dish soap and water to wipe your pieces down from top to bottom. If needed, use a soft-bristled brush to help you get into hard-to-reach areas. Finish with a cool water rinse, and then allow your furniture to dry.

Cushions also need cleaning in Spring, and the best way to do that is to tie them to a clothesline so you can spray them down thoroughly. Next, scrub them vigorously with a stiff bristled (but not wire) brush on both sides. Leave them hanging until they are completely dry, unless your clothesline is in direct sunlight. In that case, you should remove them and hang them in a shaded area instead to keep them from fading.

Look each piece over carefully for signs of rust or other damage. If rust spots are discovered, sand them lightly with heavy grit sandpaper, and then touch them up with a protective paint. If the finish appears worn, you can then follow that up with a fresh coat of new paint in order to get your furniture looking like new again.

Provide some protection for your outdoor pieces by adding a coat of furniture polish to help repel dust. Finish by lubricating hardware with a thin coat of WD-40 to prevent rust from forming.

These tips will ensure your patio furniture is clean and ready for Spring use. To see the huge selection of outdoor furniture we have available, contact us.

 

 

fire-safety-tips-for-children-when-using-your-outdoor-fireplace-reston-vaOwning an outdoor fireplace can be a wonderful treat when the weather begins to warm up enough to be outside during the evenings. Whether you enjoy using the fireplace with your family or you like to throw large parties with all of your loved ones invited, it’s important that you take special care when children are around.

Taking care of your fireplace with the following tips will help reduce the chance of a fire.

Keep the Area Around the Fireplace Free of Decorations

While it can be tempting to dress up your fireplace with decorations, it’s important that you realize that these items can be a fire hazard. By removing any items near your fireplace, you can be sure that embers don’t fly out and start a fire.

Set Up Some Fireplace Doors

The easiest way to reduce the chance of a child burning themselves with the fire going is through having doors set up. These doors can help prevent anything from flying out of the fireplace and keep a child from reaching inside.

Carefully Choose Your Firewood

The firewood you burn can make a difference in how large the fire roars and how much embers are created. Generally speaking, you should choose wood that burns longer and avoid any wood with moisture.

Always Supervise When Using the Fireplace

Whenever the fire is roaring, it’s important that you keep an eye on it. Children are incredibly curious, so you’ll need to be sure that they’re not getting too close through supervision.

Enjoying a fireplace can be a wonderful way to spend time outdoors during spring, summer, and fall, but you’ll need to keep safety in mind. Contact us for more helpful safety tips.

 

 

maximize-flavor-when-grilling-using-charcoal-grills-this-summer-chantilly-vaSummer is one of the best times of the year for getting charcoal grills heated up and cooking outside. While grilling can be an excellent way to enjoy dining with friends and family, it’s a good idea for you to become familiar with grilling secrets so that anything you grill tastes amazing.  

Keep the Grill Grate Clean

Every time that you grill, it’s important to clean the grate off thoroughly. Waiting until the grill has cooled down, around 10 minutes after turning it off, then following up with a grill brush can help remove a lot of the leftover food. By cleaning it each time you use the grill, it will always be ready when you’re in the mood for grilling.  

Skip Lighter Fluid

While lighter fluid may be the most convenient way to get your charcoal grill ready, it can often leave a less-than-desirable flavor on your food. Instead of using this fluid, stick with a chimney starter to get the fire going.

Use a Cover for Extended Grilling

Allowing your food to cook thoroughly, without burning, is the key to delicious grilled food. A good way to achieve this is through using a cover that fits tightly over the top of the grill.

Always Use a Thermometer

Unlike an oven, it can be difficult to know when your food is safe for eating.  To make sure that any meats are thoroughly cooked, you’ll need to have a thermometer handy.

If you’re interested in getting a new charcoal grill or how to make the best use of yours, feel free to contact us.

 

 

charcoal grills

Most people know that Americans love to grill, whether on natural gas, propane or charcoal grills. But the numbers bearing out the prevalence of the pastime might be surprising even to other grillers: 63% of the country’s population grills monthly, and more than half of the people living in the U.S. say they cook outdoors year-round. You might think of winter as the time to pack the patio furniture away and use an indoor rather than outdoor fireplace, but even with the cold temperatures and snowfall currently battering the Northeast, Midwest and South, grilling is still possible in the winter months. All you need is a little preparation:

  1. Choose the Right Spot

    You’ll want to find a good spot for your grill that’s cleared of snow and out of the wind. The first is a safety concern, since you don’t want to be slipping and sliding near a hot grill, and the latter ensures that you won’t have trouble lighting your briquettes (for charcoal grills) or keeping your heat from blowing away (for all grills). It’s extremely important, however, that you not grill in an enclosed space. It’s very easy when using propane grills or charcoal grills to be unaware of carbon monoxide buildup. In fact, because carbon monoxide is both colorless and odorless, it can kill you without your ever noticing anything is wrong. Be smart, and never grill inside.

  2. Wear the Right Clothes

    Especially with the record low temperatures being seen in states across the country, this is no time to act too tough for proper clothing. Dress warmly; frostbite can set in in a surprisingly short amount of time. Do, however, make sure that scarves and other accessories are tucked in so they don’t catch on fire as you lean over the grill, and wear heat-resistant barbecue gloves, not regular snow gloves. Some synthetic materials sometimes used for inexpensive gloves can even melt if they get too hot, so it’s worth investing in the right gear.

  3. Grill the Right Foods

    When you’re cooking in the wintertime, it’s best to stick to what you know, rather than deciding to try new, elaborate recipes. This is because you’ll want to put your food on the grill and then leave the lid shut until your timer tells you your food is completely done. Opening the lid to constantly check on progress will significantly extend your cooking time. Don’t let the cold prompt you to forget your regular grilling knowledge, either; you still need to follow all normal safety precautions, such as using a new platter for your cooked food, rather than putting it on the same one that you brought your raw meat or poultry outside on, and keeping any potentially flammable outdoor furniture a distance away.

Do you have any other winter grilling tips to share? Use the comments section to chime in.

extend-the-lifetime-of-your-patio-furniture-in-a-home-with-pets-reston-vaPets can be a joy to have, but they often come with a lot more mess than in a home without any. If you have a dog or cat that likes spending time in your patio, it’s likely that they’ll find their way on your patio furniture. The problem with this is that they can begin to make your furniture wear down, making it important for you to look into how to best care for your patio furniture.

Designate a Space for Your Pets

The easiest way to prevent your pets from damaging your patio furniture is through simply keeping them away. Dogs are fairly easy to contain with the installation of a dog run or a fence separating your patio from the rest of the yard. In the case of cats, you may want to limit their access to the outdoors altogether for the preservation of your patio furniture and their own safety.

Invest in a Patio Furniture Cover

A great way to keep your patio furniture safe from scratches and pet hair is through buying a furniture cover. These covers are generally waterproof and durable enough to last throughout all four seasons, allowing you to get the peace of mind that your patio furniture will be safe from your pets.

Choose Pet-Friendly Furniture

If you haven’t purchased any furniture for your patio just yet, it may be a good time to consider which materials would be best for your pets. Avoiding sensitive materials and opting for furniture made of wrought iron or wood can ensure that your pets won’t be able to cause any harm.

Feel free to contact us if you need any advice on caring for your patio furniture.

 

consider-your-low-maintenance-options-for-outdoor-furniture-falls-church-vaEnjoying outdoor furniture is easy, but keeping it maintained is often the problem that people have. In many cases, homeowners buy high quality furniture for their patio or outdoor space and after using it a few times, they stop with the routine maintenance and end up with dirty and rusty furniture.

It is best to consider low-maintenance outdoor furniture options to ensure quick and easy maintenance, which will make it easier for a homeowner to keep the furniture clean for routine usage.

Aluminum

Aluminum is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture, especially cast aluminum, and this is because it is not only durable and easy to maintain, but it is also rust proof. All of these benefits are the best you could ask for in outdoor furniture, so the rest comes down to finding the right style and price.

Plastic

Although it may not be the fanciest option, you cannot go wrong with plastic for the outdoors. It is often inexpensive to buy plastic outdoor furniture, and it is just so simple to maintain. With a standard hose, you can get practically any dirt or grime off of this furniture, which only takes a few minutes to do.

Wrought Iron

A heavier and slightly more demanding material to consider for outdoor furniture is wrought iron. While not being the easiest to move or clean, the overall maintenance required is quite minimal. Also, if you are looking for pieces of furniture to beautify your backyard, then wrought iron is an excellent choice.

Throughout the years, you will appreciate having furniture to enjoy your outdoor space, and having low-maintenance furniture is the icing on the cake that makes it all worthwhile.

Contact us with any questions you may have about outdoor furniture.

 

top-reasons-to-consider-adding-an-outdoor-fireplace-to-your-backyard-leesburg-vaOutdoor fireplaces can provide many benefits to homeowners who have them in their backyards. From adding an additional entertainment space, to providing a source of heat on cold evenings, the usefulness of outdoor fireplaces provides homeowners with many reasons to consider adding them to their outdoor space. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should consider adding a fireplace to your backyard.

Additional Entertainment Space

One of the best reasons to consider adding an outdoor fireplace to your backyard is due to their functionality, particularly when throwing a party. When entertaining a group of guests, an outdoor fireplace provides a focal point in one’s yard that can act as an additional space for people to gather and converse. Furthermore, the source of heat an outdoor fireplace can provide will allow you to entertain outside later into the cold season than you would be able to without this heatsource.

A Great Investment

Not only do outdoor fireplaces provide great functionality to one’s backyard, but they also prove to be a great investment due to the way in which they can increase the saleability of one’s home. Should you ever decide to sell your home, an outdoor fireplace can make a great selling point as it can make your outdoor space seem more attractive and functional. Furthermore, it can make your house seem more unique and memorable to potential buyers who will have likely seen a great number of houses.

Fun Outdoor Cooking

An outdoor fireplace can also provide a fun location for outdoor barbecuing during the summer months. You could use your fireplace to make dinner a fun grilling activity by getting the whole family involved. Start off by having everyone roast their own hotdog on a stick over the fire, then end the night with delicious s'mores. Later in the summer, you could move on to getting your family involved in employing more complicated fire cooking techniques. Getting the whole family involved in cooking this way can make your outdoor fireplace a fun and functional addition to your backyard.

Outdoor fireplaces make great additions to any backyard due to the way they can improve the look and usability of your entire backyard. Contact us to find out about more of the benefits that adding an outdoor fireplace to your backyard can provide.

With spring approaching, homeowners in no time will be in full swing using their lawn equipment outside. If you have looking to upgrade or buy any new lawn equipment in the Chantilly, VA area, Lawn & Leisure is the store to go to!   

Make sure you are prepared for the spring season this year with the best lawn equipment on the market here at Lawn & Leisure.

Recently, one of our Chantilly, VA lawn equipment customers had this to say...

"What a big surprise -- excellent customer service with a smart guy. We bought a weed wacker and got one already assembled along with a little training course on how to use the tool. Good price too. We really were surprised. We'll be back." Lawn Equipment Customer - Chantilly, VA

Our mission at Lawn & Leisure is to offer the best quality lawn equipment at the lowest prices. This has been the reason for our continued customer appreciation over the years. Contact us today if your in need of any lawn equipment for your home.  

Offering high quality lawn equipment to the Chantilly, VA area!

With warmer weather on the horizon, more and more people will be using their gas grills for cooking. Here at Lawn & Leisure, we are pround to offer a wide-variety of gas grills for our Fairfax, VA customers.   

Get ready for this year's cookout season with a new gas grill from Lawn & Leisure. 

Recently, one of our Fairfax, VA gas grill customers had this to say...

"We found the store online, called and spoke with Tom, excellent knowledge on Weber's Grills. We purchased The Summit by Weber, (luv it) they ordered and delivered unit, kept in touch with us by phone with updates, everyone we spoke with the day we visited store was friendly & helpful...We feel confident if we have any trouble or need assistance with the grill, Tom will be ready to solve our problem." Gas Grill Customer - Fairfax, VA

Our mission at Lawn & Leisure is to offer the best quality gas grills at the lowest prices. This has been the reason for our continued customer appreciation over the years. Contact us today if your in need of any gas grills for your home.  

Offering high quality gas grills to the Fairfax, VA area!

35010413-ec49-4f28-824f-531574deaf80-thumbWhether your deck furniture is constructed out of hard plastic, iron, or wood, it’s important that you take the time to consider how to best care for it. A lot of people make the mistake of forgetting to take care of their outdoor furniture, resulting in them aging far quicker than necessary and showing wear that can look bad when you want to entertain guests.

The following tips can help make a big difference in extending the lifetime of your deck furniture.

Use a Waterproof Patio Cover

The simplest way to preserve the condition of your deck furniture, regardless of its material, is through using a patio cover. Not only do these covers protect your furniture from the wear of heavy rain, it can also reduce the damage that the sun can cause. When comparing patio covers, it’s an especially good idea to make waterproof materials a priority.

Keep Up with Landscaping

The landscaping around your patio can make a big difference in how much damage your furniture receives. For example, trees and bushes that haven’t been well-kept can result in branches and debris being blown around on windy days. By keeping the landscaping  maintained, you won’t need to worry about it causing any damage to your furniture.

Routinely Inspect for Any Wear

Many types of damages can be taken care of with some restoration work, such as painting chipped pieces of furniture or applying polish. Making a habit of inspecting your furniture on a regular basis can help alert you of any wear that you’ll want to take care of.

Feel free to contact us if you’re interested in how to best take care of your patio furniture in the years to come.

outdoor furniture

Spring is only two months away, which means this is the perfect time of year to start thinking about updating outdoor décor (and to start looking for some good deals). But when it comes to picking outdoor furniture, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are five tips that can ensure you have a stylish and comfortable patio or yard area:

  1. Prioritize Function

    When choosing furniture, put function first. That means choosing the kinds of furniture that you’ll use often and grouping it in areas where you like to hang out or entertain. For most homeowners, that will include both a sofa set and a dining set. But you don't have to stick to these classics. About 78% of people who own a grill or smoker in the U.S. say that it’s an "extremely important" or “pretty important” part of their entertaining routine, for example, so you might consider a seating area near a propane grill (taking into account fire safety measures, of course), so that the grill master can still participate in socializing.

  2. Know Materials Matter

    There's quite a bit of surprisingly attractive and affordable lawn furniture available on the market. Before you jump at these good deals, however, make sure they're backed up by sturdy construction and quality materials. You can also think about the environmental impact of the outdoor furniture you're using; wicker, for example -- made by weaving strips of rattan, willow, bamboo, reeds or synthetic fibers -- is often made with renewably sourced material. Wicker made with synthetics should be marked as "resin wicker."

  3. Factor In Storage

    When you're picking outdoor furniture, one of the most important things you'll need to take into account is your storage space and how willing you are to move furniture in and out of it. If you have a clean shed nearby, then gathering up some white cushions at the end of the night and putting them inside might not be a big deal. But moving an entire patio furniture set inside because it’s too fragile to be left in the rain probably isn’t realistic.

  4. Think Dual Purpose

    Especially in small spaces, deck furniture that has more than one function is a smart (and fashionable) option. Consider an outdoor fireplace that has a wide enough hearth to set down drinks, or an ottoman that can serve both as a table and as a footrest.

  5. Consider Continuity

    If your outdoor space is connected to indoor living space by a sliding door (or visible through several large windows), it's a good idea to keep a sense of continuity and consistency between them. That doesn't mean the two spaces should match, but you might not want to completely switch themes. A good rule of thumb is to pick out a few elements from the indoor space -- a color scheme, theme or distinctive design element -- and then use punched-up versions of them in the outdoor space, since outside areas can handle a little more brightness and kitsch.

Do you have any tips for furnishing outdoor spaces? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

74575e43-da9c-4b0c-8ff5-83aa73cf4809-thumbWhen it comes to outdoor furnishing, you have a unique opportunity to furnish the space in a way to cater your particular needs, which helps you get the most out of your outside space. While some homeowners prefer the standard approach of a table and several chairs, others may want to mix it up to create their own personal version of an outdoor paradise.

Whatever your preference may be, your number one goal should be to make your outdoor space an enticing place, and this begins with the outdoor furniture you choose to use.

Relaxation

How a person likes to relax really depends on the individual, but there are multiple ways of accomplishing this goal. From buying a hammock to simply having a long and comfortable couch to lay on after work, the choice is really up to you to decide what should go into your outdoor space for relaxation.

Eating

Adding an outdoor grill is an easy and effective way to encourage eating outside, but you also need outdoor furnishings to ensure you have the space to actually eat outside. It is possible to go standard with a table and some chairs, or go for a unique approach and have a fire pit installed. With a fire pit, you can encourage people to eat around the fire pit, making it an excellent option for dinner on cold nights.

Focus

While what it takes in furnishings to achieve relaxation and focus may be the same, you may not want too much direct sunlight when you are interested in focusing. In this case, you can rely on a patio umbrella, natural protection from nearby trees, or careful placement of outdoor furniture to achieve this goal.

Conversation

Having a conversation outside with family or friends is an activity that some people really enjoy, but you need the right space to make sure the opportunity presents itself.

Furnishing the outdoors so that everyone faces each other is one of the best ways to promote conversation, so getting the right furnishings should be the first step in your quest for great conversation.

The outdoors can be enjoyed in many ways. If you need outdoor furniture for your home, make sure to contact us as we would love to help you get the furnishings you want and need for your outdoor space.

a99d888f-3040-42a2-dd66-865426348353-thumbChances are you don’t use your propane grill as often in the winter as you do in the summer. When not in use, store your propane tank properly to ensure it is ready to go the next time you need it. Here are some tips for storing propane for grills we thought you should know about.

Indoor Storage

Your propane tank should be stored inside if possible; however, storing it in your home or an attached garage is not recommended. Pressure building up inside the tank can cause the relief valve to blow off, which in turn could cause damage and increase your risk of fire. The best place for your tank is inside a storage shed that is ideally located some distance from your house.

Outdoor Storage

If storing your tank indoors isn’t possible, you should first disconnect the rubber fuel line from your tank and take it inside. Squirrels have a tendency to chew through fuel lines during the winter, so bringing it indoors will protect it.

Once the tank is disconnected, stand it upright and place it a few inches off the ground. An old pallet or scraps of lumber are ideal to use for storing your propane tank. Cover the entire unit tightly with a tarp or cover designed especially for that purpose. To ensure it doesn’t blow away, use bungee cords to help secure it in place. Check the tank occasionally to make sure the covering is still in place.

By following these tips, you can avoid some of the common problems people have with propane tanks. To see the huge selection of grills, propane tanks and accessories we have available, contact us.

27b3b878-ee74-4f5d-f6df-f8b7f33b5b2f-thumbDoes your gas grill become a winter widow? Do you think that single digits outdoors means your cooking needs to stay indoors? Grilling during the cold months can provide many opportunities for creative cooking, continued healthy cooking through the winter and those wonderful summer smells to permeate your home.

For obvious reasons, people find themselves inside during the cold months. Many sit inside wishing for the warmth of the sun and the smells of summer. Those summer smells can live through the winter, the nutty smell of asparagus marinated with olive oil, the smoky aroma of a juicy steak sizzling on the grill as you see the smoke spiraling upward. Bring those summer memories back and continue grilling throughout the year. You spend good money for an outdoor grill, why not use it year round?

In the summer, popular items to grill are hamburgers, corn on the cob or bratwursts. During the winter, get creative and take those winter foods and escalate them to the next level on the grill. Imagine the smells of a marinated turkey, butterflied for the best contact with the grates and flame or how about a leg of lamb slow grilled while you make a mint sauce in the warmth of your kitchen. Winter vegetables, when slow grilled will caramelize and take on a nice smoky flavor for your discerning palette.

Winter cooking usually means heavier cooking, cream sauces and a higher use of carbs in pastas and potatoes, beans (as in chili or ham & beans) and drinking higher calorie drinks, like hot cocoa or cider. Using the grill brings back a healthier cooking as meats do not cook in sauces or fat.

For many, it is a mindset that cooking needs to end in September or October. But grilling will infuse a flavor that you cannot get from your kitchen. Whether you are propane grilling or grilling with charcoal, continuing your grilling habits through the winter will be a benefit in many aspects. And your neighbors will be jealous as they smell the wonderful smells coming from your grill. Better yet, invite them over for a winter grill.

One of the best smells coming from the grill in the wintertime would be a slow smoke as you use wood chips or woof pucks to infiltrate a beef brisket or a pork butt. Smoking in the low temperatures allows a lengthier smoking time to truly infuse a smoky flavor into the meat you are preparing.

Take the leap and grill in the winter. It will provide a healthier diet and will continue the scents and feel of the summer. As you look at grilling, make sure you have proper tools and have properly cleaned your grill to extend its longevity.

 Contact Us to take care of your grilling needs.

1ba5e3ab-940d-470c-a4ec-48f4d1762399-thumbWinter has arrived and with it comes shorter days and longer nights. Last winter ushered in many ice and snow storms across the country, even dipping into the south. This year is no exception as The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts "another arctic blast with above-normal snowfall throughout much of the nation." Now is a good time to make sure your home is ready for winter's wrath by planning ahead. Here are some checklists to provide the bare necessities of heating and cooking when the power goes out, and how propane can help. 

Heating Checklist:

  • Have extra blankets, sleeping bags and coats handy in case you and your family need to gather in one location to keep warm.
  • Gather your portable heaters and ensure they are in working condition. Only use electric heaters with automatic shut-off switches. Keep them at least 3 feet away from furniture and drapes.
  • Purchase a propane generator or convert your gasoline generator to propane to power your heating system or portable heaters. Gasoline is in high demand during a power outage and has a very limited shelf life. Propane Refills can safely be stored for years, so it is economical to keep a few on hand.

Cooking Checklist:

  • Stock up on drinking water and canned food. Ensure you have a non-electric can opener, too. Check that you have enough for each member of the family for a few days.
  • If you don't already have one, consider purchasing a gas grill and stock up on propane tanks. If the power is out for a few days, freezer meat will begin to thaw and go to waste. Cook it on a gas grill to stretch your food supply.
  • Fumes are deadly. Always use gas or charcoal grills outdoors.

Propane provides clean burning fuel with longer run times than gasoline when using a generator. It is also longer-lasting. Storing a few tanks, even for a few years, will ensure you have a cooking and heating source year-round for weather emergencies. Offering propane refills and a large selection of grills, we are your "Suburban Survival Store" in the surrounding Washington D.C. area. Please contact us to help prepare you for what winter's wrath may bring.

bd878662-bd65-4628-be7b-cf66b1517cd2-thumbPurchasing furniture for your deck during the end of winter is a great idea since it will allow you to start off spring with a nice seating or dining area outdoors to make the most of the season. In order for you to be entirely happy with your new deck furniture for your patio or sunroom, it’s a good idea to explore your options before spring arrives. The following tips can all help you compare options for furniture so that you’ll be as happy as possible with your purchases.

Consider Your Options for Materials

The materials used for deck furniture vary greatly, making it a good idea to explore the differences in appearance and durability. A lot of people make the mistake of purchasing furniture based only on appearance, resulting in them being disappointed with their durability in different weather conditions.

The following materials are all commonly used in patio furniture, so you’ll want to consider each when comparing your options.

  • Wood
  • Wrought-Iron
  • Plastic
  • Metal

Ease of Storage

A lot of people want furniture that can be hidden when not in use, making storage a good feature. Many pieces of furniture can be folded away while not in use, making it a good idea to opt for this kind of furniture over other pieces for sale if you’re limited in space.

Purpose of Deck Furniture

Whether you want to spend a lot of your time outdoors entertaining friends and family or you enjoy dining outside, you’ll want to choose furniture with this purpose. From large dining sets to individual pieces that are good for relaxing outside, you’ll want to compare your choices with your needs in mind.

With so many choices for furniture that can be used outdoors, please contact us for advice.

patio furnitureIf you live in a cold state and your backyard is still covered in snow, you may not yet have turned your attention to updating your outdoor furniture and landscaping for the new year. But this is actually the perfect time to do some planning, before the spring rush begins. Here is what the experts are saying will be hot in 2015 concerning patio furniture and outdoor features:

  1. Built-In Features

    Gone are the days of portable charcoal grills set up in the backyard. These movable, utilitarian options are being replaced with built-in features: outdoor fireplaces, high-end fire pits and propane grills as part of outdoor kitchens. Stationary fixtures also make natural gas lines run from the home an option, which can eliminate hassle.


    These act as gathering places, too. “The conventional backyard is being replaced with an oasis for the family and entertaining friends,” Glen Goldberg of Four Seasons Garden Center suggests. Almost 78% of people in the U.S. who own grills or smokers say that grilling is an “extremely important” or “pretty important” aspect of entertaining guests at home.

  2.  

  3. Indoor/Outdoor Elements

    Patio furniture is quickly becoming indistinguishable from standard furniture, experts say. That’s not to say you can’t opt for traditional wicker patio furniture; wicker over 2,000 years old was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, but there are plenty of non-dated wicker designs. However, Sally Falk Nancrede of the IndyStarwrote on Dec. 31 that “outdoor furniture feels more like your living room” in contemporary outdoor designs.


    If you’re wondering what this might look like, check out the patio furniture chosen for the 2015 HGTV Dream Home. The teak set, which includes a dining table and chairs, sofa, four armchairs, two ottomans and a coffee table, features delicately carved legs and arms, crisp fabrics, and a casual yet elegant color scheme.

  4.  

  5. Mixed Finishes and Bold Patterns

    Outdoor furnishings are following cues set by interior design and allowing for more eclectic parings. Nancrede suggests “acrylic and brass, dark wood and stainless, gold leaf and antique mirror.” The idea is to put your own personal spin on a space, instead of letting it feel like you picked out a generic set, assembled it and stopped there.


    Patterns are also in fashion, and they don’t need to match -- they simply ought to not clash. Nancrede predicts “paisleys, marble prints, Ikats, bright Orientala and traditional blue and white Chinese patterns, and birds, especially peacocks.”

Have you started thinking yet about how to keep your outdoor space up to date this year? Share your ideas in the comments.

ee10b912-1b53-43e8-d07c-0f23dea11e1e-thumbThere is something very romantic about the idea of an outdoor fireplace---it provides for late nights in the backyard or on the patio snuggled up with your significant other, roasting s'mores over the bonfire with the kids, and opportunities for soirees hosted at your home with close friends or good neighbors. If those reasons are not enough to convince you, then these three certainly will be. These are the top five reasons why you need to include an outdoor fireplace in your home decor.

With an Outdoor Fireplace Comes Outdoor Furniture

You can't have one without the other. If you are diving in and getting yourself an outdoor fireplace then you will have to complete it with that posh outdoor sofa you had your eye on for months. This will provide for warmth on a chilly spring night as well as optimum comfort. 

An Outdoor Fireplace Adds Definition

If you are looking into home decor strategies that will contribute to the design of your outdoor area, you may want to go with a fireplace. This could be the focal point of your outdoor living space. You can then begin to add around it and have an easier time decorating than you thought.  

A Little Bit of Warmth Goes a Long Way

An outdoor fire place won't just provide warmth because fire is literally hot, but because it will add to the ambiance of your home. It will make your space very inviting for multiple gatherings, family events, and social soirees. An outdoor fire place can make your home the center of camaraderie. 

To talk more about this, or anything else, please Contact Us. Thanks.

If you have pets at home and are currently shopping for patio furniture, it’s up to you to look for pieces that will blend in nicely with your existing decorations and stay in great shape despite your pets. Dogs and cats can cause a lot of wear and tear to your furniture if you’re not careful, making it important to choose furniture that is durable enough for them to safely climb on.

The following qualities should all be present when shopping for patio furniture so that your pets won’t cause any damage to the pieces.

  • Easy to Clean

The most important thing for you to look for when shopping for patio furniture is how easy they will be to clean. From a daybed that can easily be wiped clean with a wet cloth to a coffee table that is resistant against scratches, you’ll want to consider the kind of furniture that will be safe for pets.

  • Scratch and Tear Resistant

The materials of the patio furniture for sale make a big difference in how safe they are around pets. While you may be a fan of some materials, you’ll need to consider if your pet’s claws will cause any scratches or tears to appear.

  • Patio Cover Included

The easiest way to prevent your pet from damaging your patio furniture is to not allow them to climb on it using a patio cover. These covers can easily be draped over your furniture when not in use, preventing your pets from causing any damage.

As you shop for patio furniture, you’ll need to keep in mind the likeliness that your pet will cause damages. For more help buying patio furniture, feel free to contact us.

783c7adf-5c31-47f8-eee2-df2643b86235-thumbGrilling is an excellent way to prepare food, but it does require going outside. In order to have the greatest experience, you should invest in fitting outdoor furniture and a high quality grill with features such as multiple burners, cooking grates, plenty of surface space, and a grease management system.

With outdoor grills, you will want to look at a few accessories to ensure the best grilling experience.

Stainless Steel Skewers

One of the most popular ways to prepare food while grilling is through the use of skewers. Using stainless steel skewers will give the durability and strength you want and need. Stainless steel also makes it very easy to attach the food you want to have on your skewer because of how sharp one end can be.

Locking Tongs

Whether you are trying to place your food delicately onto the grilling surface or taking it off to enjoy after cooling down, you do not want to be in a situation where the food falls from your grips. In this case, using locking tongs is the best way to maintain a sturdy grip on food for the grill.

BBQ Gloves

It is imperative to be safe when grilling, and this means BBQ gloves are a necessity. If you need to get your hands on skewers without juggling them with your utensils, you can do this with BBQ gloves easily.

BBQ gloves are also helpful for getting scorching pots that may be on your grill, as well.

Spiral Brass Brush

After you finish cooking on the grill, you are going to want a way to clean it effectively. A standard wire brush may be sufficient enough, but a spiral brass brush will work wonders.

Contact us for more information about grills or outdoor furniture.

c14b3d55-9691-41a0-8bc8-6a4c67f2cc45-thumbThe area near your outdoor fireplace can be the perfect place to entertain friends in, which is why you should make sure it appears festive. Here are some ideas you can use to decorate your outdoor fireplace area to make sure it’s ready for any get-together you might be planning.

Lend a Rustic Feel

Rustic décor work well near an outdoor fireplace, which is why baskets of pine cones, artificial greenery and grapevines wrapped in Christmas lights are all good choices. Avoid glass or ceramic objects, and opt for decorations made from wood, wicker or bamboo instead. Rather than traditional candles, use electric ones to cast a warm glow without increasing your risk of fire.

Create a Backdrop of Lights

Hang several strands of Christmas lights vertically from your roof or pergola beams. Choose gold or yellow lights, and hang them close enough together that they seem to create a “fountain” that gently cascades downward. When you light a fire, the flames will reflect off these lights and help to warm the entire space.

Throws and Pillows

Add some bright red or green cushions and pillows to your chairs to liven them up a bit. You can also cover chairs with burlap or tartan plaid and secure with festive ribbon. Drape Christmas-themed afghans or throws over chairs for guests to wrap up in if it does get a bit chilly outside. Add a few holiday throw rugs in strategic places to help people keep their feet warm.

Trees and Shrubbery

You don’t have to invest in a Christmas tree especially for your patio. If your outdoor fireplace is near some trees or shrubbery, decorate them with lights and ornaments instead. You could also buy miniature live trees wrapped in burlap and place them in the corners of the room.

These simple yet festive ideas will ensure your outdoor fireplace area is welcoming for holiday visitors. For help designing an outdoor fireplace that is perfect for your lifestyle, contact us.

48f86600-0cca-4c16-acee-ac3c8692878a-thumbFurnishing the outdoors of your home is important because it will determine how much time you spend outside. If you have unfitting furniture, you will likely not enjoy your time outside, and as a result, you will not go outside as much as you would if you had fitting deck furniture.

Taking a few critical details into consideration when comparing your options will help you choose furniture for your deck that meets or exceeds your expectations.

Invest in Comfort to Entice Outdoor Activity

Whether you are on a budget or not, choosing furniture that is uncomfortable will likely lead to an uncomfortable experience outside. It is ideal to prioritize comfort because it will motivate you to go outside, especially when you need to relax after a long day of work.

Pick the Right Material

Although you may have materials in mind, you need to make sure the materials used for furniture are good for outdoor use, which means resistant to fading and have UV protection. Deck furniture that can be disassembled for cleaning is often the best choice because it makes deep cleans possible.

As far as low maintenance goes, materials such as wicker and rattan make excellent choices. These materials only really need some additional weatherproofing as the years pass by, making them one of the least demanding furniture material types that you can have on your deck.

Get Proper Shading for Hot Days

In order to remain comfortable outside, in addition to comfortable furniture, you need to have adequate shading to protect you from the beating sun during summertime. As nice as it can be to soak up the sun on your deck, you should still have a shade cover, whether it is natural or man-made.

Contact us to learn more about getting the right deck furniture for your home.

lawn and gardenIt sounds obvious that your lawn and garden space should be environmentally friendly. After all, isn’t that green space part of the environment? While in one sense all plants are good for the environment (since they renew our air supply), people make a lot of less-than-eco-friendly choices in their backyards. Here are some tips for creating a lawn and garden area that’s both a good environment and good for the environment:

Mow Less Frequently
That’s right, firing up your lawn mower only once or twice a month, instead of every weekend, can be good for the environment -- it’s just a bonus that you’ll be able to spend more of your weekend relaxing and spend less on fuel. Grass can still look neat when trimmed to a height of 3 to 4 inches, and you can even buy grass blends that grow more slowly than your average sod. These varieties also have deeper roots, which prevents soil erosion and means your grass will need less watering.
Just be sure you don’t let your grass grow so long that it develops fungus and weeds. These might force you to use pesticides that aren’t good for the water supply.

Fire Up Thoughtfully
It’s hard to say whether propane grills or charcoal grills have less of a carbon footprint; most experts say that when all factors are taken into account (pollution, fuel transportation, etc.), gas grills are the greener choice. However, the bottom line is that fire safety should be your primary environmental concern when grilling (or, if you have a fire pit or fireplace installed, lighting up a cozy outdoor blaze).
Make sure grills and fireplaces are located somewhere where there are no overhanging branches, nearby bushes, or dry grass and groundcover patches. You should regularly check the tank or hose on a gas grill to ensure there’s no leakage, and used charcoal briquettes should be completely cooled and properly disposed of to prevent fires.

Choose Furniture Wisely
When you’re choosing outdoor furniture, look for options made from recycled or recyclable materials. Wicker is a surprisingly sustainable choice; wicker furniture is made from flexible woven strips of rattan, willow, bamboo or reeds, many of which grow extremely quickly when compared to hardwoods. Wicker can also be made of synthetic polyethylene fibers, so you’ll want to do a little more research if you see a material listed as “resin wicker” or something similar.

How else can people boost their environmental IQ when it comes to creating comfortable lawn and garden areas? Share your ideas in the comments.

3eba7b56-a826-4e40-d068-788df3d3a93f-thumbWith the chilly weather ahead this winter, it’s likely that you won’t be spending as much time enjoying your patio. While you may not be outside a lot, it’s still important that you take care of your deck furniture so that it’s in good shape come spring. Luckily, caring for your furniture is very simple if you set aside time to get it ready before the temperature begins to dip.

Invest in Weatherproof Covers

The easiest way to prevent damage to your patio furniture is through investing in weatherproof covers. When buying covers for your furniture, you’ll want to make sure to opt for durable materials and that the cover will tightly fit the pieces. The cover needs to leave no openings, allowing your furniture to be secure underneath.

Move Your Furniture Into Storage

Another good way to ensure that your deck furniture will stay in good shape is through removing it from the deck. Snow and rain can cause significant damage  to your furniture, so it may be a viable option to move it to your garage or a shed.

Make Any Repairs Before Spring

If you use your patio often during the spring and summer, it’s likely that it’s been damaged due to regular use. Repainting your furniture and taking care of any scratches or dents can ensure that you restore the condition of your furniture so that it continues looking its best.

After purchasing furniture for your deck, it’s vital that you take the time to care for it through all four seasons. Contact us for more helpful tips for maintaining your deck furniture in the years to come.

ccb4239d-7d5d-4f69-8d94-5e9e00eeb1c3-thumb

A great way to celebrate the season is to host an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner. If this sounds intriguing, there are several things you’ll need to do in order to get ready. Preparing your patio furniture is just one thing that will make your outdoor event a success. Here are some things to put on your to-do list.

  • Determine the location of your gathering so you can move your patio furniture if need be. Depending on the weather, you may want to host your party inside an enclosed deck or near your outdoor fireplace to ensure everyone stays warm.
  • Clean your patio furniture thoroughly by washing it down with a solution of hot soapy water.
  • Consider swapping your existing cushions for autumn-colored ones to add a festive touch
  • Add some bright orange, red or gold throws to the backs of chairs for your guests to cover up with
  • Fill a few glass jars with some colored stones and then place a large candle inside. Several candles placed in strategic spots around your deck will help give off warmth.

After preparing your patio furniture, you may want to provide a wind block for your seating area. This can be done by arranging potted plants, hanging outdoor curtains, or even using a folding screen. Be sure to add a few pumpkins, gourds and some Indian corn, and you’re ready for entertaining.

An outdoor Thanksgiving dinner is sure to be more memorable than one hosted inside for a number of reasons. For even more ideas on preparing your patio furniture for the holidays, contact us.

03cb6efb-4053-418b-f853-15482201f012-thumbSimple inspirations from meats to sweets

This season can still be a time to utilize your quickest and most versatile cooking device. On milder days, take your ingredients outside to enjoy the flavors only gas grills can bring. Here are some tips to make fall and winter grilling easier and safer, plus recipes to inspire your cold-weather fare. 

Tips for cold weather grilling:

  • If you have a safe spot, consider moving your gas grill closer to your back entry for convenience.
  • When the temps are colder, give your grill extra time to heat up. If it normally takes 10 minutes in summer, plan to heat up the grill 20 minutes before cooking.
  • Avoid opening the grill as often as you might in summer. This can bring the temperature of the grill interior down enough to affect cooking efficiency. A remote thermometer can be really useful to monitor your food in the comfort of your home.
  • Remember to wear warm clothing when heading out to the grill. Dress in layers to make it easier for coming and going. For your safety, avoid loose clothing like scarves. 

Cold weather meal ideas: click on a recipe name to link to its source

Salad course:

  • Grilled Romaine Salad- This is as simple as placing half a head of lettuce or two directly on the grill. It's delicious with or without salad dressing.

Main courses:

Desserts:

  • Baked apples- This warm treat combining apples, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon is sweet and satisfying. Apples are grilled on aluminum foil, making clean up a snap. 
  • Grilled Gingerbread S'mores- The flavors of the season enhance the taste of traditional S'mores. Simply prepare them in a cast-iron skillet. 

Gas grills are a practical and efficient way to create warm meals now and into winter. Most meals prepared on the grill provide easy clean up, too. The flavors and aromas of the barbecue in summer will be even more welcomed and comforting in the dead of winter. Now, your gas grill can give you year-round enjoyment. 

We have a wide selection of gas grills to choose from, and we conveniently provide set up and delivery. Please contact us for further information. 

da40d63d-5d87-486d-dc47-839b3798fc9f-thumbMost people associate outdoor grilling with hot, summer barbecues and leisurely evenings under the stars. As fall arrives, there's no need to pack up your basting brush and "World's Best Griller" apron just yet. Cooler temperatures can make outdoor cooking and entertaining even more enjoyable.

Here are some tips and ideas to make the most of your gas or charcoal grill in the coming months:

Freshen up the grill:

  • Remove the residue of summer, such as hamburgers and chicken wings, by first heating up the grill grate. Then, use a wire brush to clean the bars. You can also use a ball of aluminum foil with long-handled tongs, if you prefer. 
  • Once clean, keep food from sticking by applying vegetable or olive oil. Simply wet a paper towel with the oil and rub the towel along the bars using long-handled tongs. Be sure that the oil doesn't drip onto coals or the surface below. 
  • If you've used your charcoal grill all summer, it might be advisable to dump the ashes and start fresh. If you have a gas grill, be sure to keep a full tank of propane on hand.

Get creative with cooking:

  • Think outside of the box by grilling food that is abundant in the fall, such as apples and acorn squash. There are many recipes for autumn's harvest online to give you inspiration.
  • More complex flavor profiles can be achieved by grilling comfort foods that we associate with the season. Macaroni and cheese, chili and even chicken pot pie can be cooked on the grill. 

Don't forget, you may need extra seating when your backyard becomes the most popular place on the block this fall. There are many options available in patio furniture, such as large dining tables and comfortable chairs, to create a pleasing environment for you and your guests to dine al fresco. Now you are ready to enjoy the crisp air of the great outdoors just a little bit longer. 

Please contact us for your outdoor grill and patio furniture needs. 

92248f15-8004-4da8-dd7d-62c0353d2d30-thumbJust because summer is officially over with doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about your gas grill. There are plenty of good reasons to consider propane refills for your gas grill in autumn, and here are just four we thought were worth mentioning.

#1. Autumn is still an excellent time to cook outdoors

Whether you’re tailgating or simply enjoying the beautiful weather, autumn is an excellent time for grilling out. The beautiful fall weather won’t last forever, so ensure you are prepared by topping off your propane tank now.

#2. Beat the winter doldrums

Should there be an unexpected warm winter day, you’ll want to ensure you are ready to take advantage of it, which is why you need a full tank of propane on hand just in case.

#3. Be prepared for a power outage

You never know when an unexpected power outage could leave you unable to use your stove. Should that happen, you can easily prepare delicious home-cooked meals on your grill rather than eating cold food out of a can.

#4. You won’t have to rush come spring

Once spring finally does arrive, chances are you’ll have plenty of other things to do in order to get ready for warmer weather. Filling the propane tank won’t be one of them, because you’ll already have that task taken care of.

As you can see, there are still plenty of good reasons to have your propane tank refilled right now. Here at Lawn and Leisure, we fill propane tanks, and have a wide selection of grills and accessories available as well. We are your “Suburban Survival Store”- contact us today to find out why.

27b3b878-ee74-4f5d-f6df-f8b7f33b5b2f-thumbCharcoal vs. propane for grills is an endless debate for people who grill on a regular basis. However, this debate often leaves those who are new to grilling confused as to whether they should purchase a charcoal or gas barbecue. The fact is that there are benefits to both options, and it comes down to personal preference whether one is better than the other. To help you in making your decision, here are a few reasons to consider purchasing a gas grill.

Operating Costs

For the everyday griller, one of the greatest benefits of using a gas grill is the cheaper operating costs. With a charcoal grill, you will end up spending about $3.00-$3.50 in charcoal each time you use your grill. This could add up quickly if you end up using your grill frequently. Propane on the other hand is much more affordable as it costs about $1.00 to operate a gas grill for one hour (which is the average amount of time most individuals run their barbecue).

Ease of Use

Barbecuing using a charcoal grill can be quite a hassle. Not only do you have to get the charcoal set up, and get it to light, before you can use it, but then you will have to wait roughly 20-40 minutes before the coals will be ready to use. For individuals who tend to be in a hurry, gas grills make the better option. With a simple switch of a knob your grill will be turned on and ready to go.

Wider Range of Features

Gas barbecues tend to have more options available for additional features. While charcoal grills tend to be plain and straight forward, a wide range of extras can be added to a gas barbecue including a rotisserie and a side burner for additional cooking space.

There are many benefits to both charcoal and gas grilling. Thusly, it is unlikely that the debate as to which is best will end anytime soon. However, for the average griller the additional features available on gas grills, as well as the ease of using these grills, generally makes them the superior option. Contact us to find out more about the benefits of using a propane grill.

b2f0d7df-5d8c-425e-bb6c-47e142a033d6-thumbPets can bring so much joy to your life, but they can also result in furniture becoming increasingly dirtier than normal. If you have outdoor furniture on a patio outside that your pets have access to, you'll need to set aside some time for cleaning the furniture regularly. Understanding the right techniques for cleaning your outdoor furniture can keep them in great shape. 

Wipe Down Any Surfaces

Dogs often drool all over the place and cats can track their footprints onto surfaces, making your furniture a target for dirt and grime. Before spot cleaning or taking care of any fabrics, you'll need to use a towel and cleaning solution to wipe down the surfaces thoroughly. 

Remove Linens and Clean

Your patio furniture likely has numerous soft fabrics on it, from throw pillows to seat cushions. While these fabrics are generally weather-proof, making them safe against damage by the sun or rain, you'll still need to clean them regularly. This means unzipping any pillow and cushion covers and throwing them into a washing machine for a good cleaning so that any dirt and bad odors are removed.

Focus on Any Small Details

After you've taken care of a general cleaning of your furniture, you'll need to look out for any smaller signs of wear and dirt. This means focusing on any crevices and using small brushes to get your furniture looking clean again. 

If you're interested in replacing some of your older patio furniture or would like to furnish your patio with these tips in mind, please contact us.

f8666ba1-f1a2-4b0a-ad05-3bcaa08ca68d-thumbWhen what seems to be the eternal argument about outdoor grills between gas vs charcoal, the discussion usually revolves around how each type of grill cooks the food. Gas provides more even heat but charcoal gives food that smoky flavor that many desired in their grilled meat. But a new subject for argument has arisen. Which type of grill is greener asks the Watertown Wicked Local? By that we mean, which one harms the environment the least.

It turns out, not surprisingly, that gas grills are far greener than charcoal grills can ever hope to be. Charcoal grills emit 11 pounds of carbon dioxide, considered a greenhouse gas, per hour of use, according to a study by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, vs 5.6 pounds of co2 from gas grills. Charcoal grills also emit carbon monoxide and particulate matter that also contribute to air pollution.

On the other hand, charcoal, as it is derived from wood, is a renewable resource. Gas grills use propane, which is not a renewable resource.

So what is an environmentally conscious griller to do? Even resorting to an electric grill can be considered suspect, if it is powered from the grid and power sources connected with fossil fuel plants. One supposes one can hook up an electric grill to a solar power or wind power unit, secure in the knowledge that one is being sustainable in ones backyard barbequing practices. But is it really grilling if it’s not done with fire?

The solution to the conundrum is to resign oneself to the fact that there is no human activity that does not impact the environment in one way or another. Besides, backyard grilling is still more sustainable than going out to eat.

For more information contact us.

how-to-maintain-the-condition-of-plastic-deck-furniture-great-falls-vaPlastic furniture has long been a popular choice for decks due to its cheap price and durability in most climates. While plastic outdoor deck furniture has many benefits, it still needs to be cleaned regularly to continue looking it’s best. Following the right steps can ensure that your furniture continues looking great in the years to come.

Wipe Away Any Debris

The first thing you’ll need to do when caring for your deck furniture is removing any leaves and debris that have built up. If you haven’t used your deck in a few months due to poor weather or being away from home, it’s likely that your furniture will need to be rinsed thoroughly.

Use a Gentle Cleaning Solution

Once your deck furniture is free from large pieces of debris and leaves, you can move on to using a cleaning solution. The easiest option is combing the following two ingredients in a bucket and scrubbing the furniture with a soft sponge.

  • 1 tbsp of natural liquid dish wash detergent
  • Warm water to fill a 5-gallon bucket

After the furniture has been scrubbed, you’ll need to rinse.

Use Patio Furniture Covers

While it’s always helpful to clean your deck furniture on a regular basis, you can extend the time between cleanings by using a cover. Choosing covers that fit snugly onto your deck furniture can prevent them from getting dirty as fast and help maintain their condition.

Keeping your plastic deck furniture in great shape is easy when making cleaning a habit. If you’re interested in plastic furniture for your deck, please contact us.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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have-a-small-patio-3-tips-for-finding-the-ideal-furniture-chantilly-vaFurnishing a small patio can be overwhelming due to the limited square footage, but with some careful planning, you can get the space furnished to suit your needs perfectly. Whether you want your patio to combine a comfortable seating area with a lush garden or you would like to use the space for barbecuing, you’ll need to keep in mind the function you want while shopping for patio furniture.

Get Creative with a Layout

Even with a small space, you can fit in a lounger or bistro set with a little bit of creativity. Taking measurements of the space and coming up with a layout on paper or by using interior design software can help you figure out the best placement for all of your furniture.

Opt for Furniture with Storage

While you may not need a lot of storage room outdoors, you can still benefit by having a secure place to store blankets, serving plates, and other items for your patio. The easiest way to get the storage you desire is through purchasing furniture such as a love seat that can open up to a roomy storage space inside.

Avoid Bulky Furniture Sets

Purchasing furniture in a set can be convenient and make it easier to coordinate the appearance of your patio, but it can also mean that the furniture takes up too much room. Shopping for furniture with the square footage in mind can help you choose pieces that look nice and will allow ample room for moving around.

If you’re interested in buying furniture designed for smaller spaces, feel free to contact us for recommendations for your patio.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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proven-techniques-for-charcoal-grills-falls-church-va

While the debate comparing charcoal grills with gas grills smolders indefinitely, there is no wrong answer when tender meat cutlets are sizzling to perfection over an outdoor flame.  However, for grilling purists, the mystical variability of charcoal behavior continues to lure them back to achieve the perfect heat, the perfect smoke, and perfect results.  

Humidity, wind, and ambient temperature each play a role in the heating abilities of charcoal.  Only experiments, and experience, will provide clues on how to combat these factors.  But for charcoal beginners, there are a few time-tested practices to respect:

Air Flow. Every aspect of charcoal grilling success starts with air flow.  Oxygen rich air is pulled into the cooking chamber via lower air vents, through the gap between the vents  and the coal grate, fueling the thermal properties of the coals, filtering through the food, and then  ejected through upper vents.  Before starting any grilling session, ensure upper and lower vents are cleared of debris, and be certain that old ash has been removed from the bottom of the grill.

Briquette Heating Arrangement.  Every charcoal executive will gravitate to their preferred technique for heating coals.  For beginners, a few standard arrangements include:

  • Pyramid.  Start with a 7x7 arrangement of coals and build upward to a point.  The pyramid should be centered over the lower heating vents.  Apply a layer of lighter fluid halfway through the build to ensure internal coals will burn and heat.  Apply a final layer of fluid before igniting the structure.  Coals will heat moderately fast, with a very hot centrally located heat source that can be helpful depending on your selected cuisine.
  • Volcano.  This option uses a ring of coals placed few briquettes wide and stacked about 8” tall,  Again, center the ring around lower air vents.  Fluid can be applied once when the volcano is complete.  This option maximizes airflow through the grill and will provide quick, evenly heated coals.
  • Layer.  The layer technique uses a blanket of charcoal covering most of the grate and stacked a few briquettes thick.  This solution provides slow, gradually developing heat with minimal airflow and hotspots.  Layering provides low heat for foods that need a hint of grilling before the coals are fully radiant.

Spreading The Coals. Once the coals are hot, there are more options for the cooking phase.  Spread the coals evenly across the grate for normal heated cooking of hamburgers, hot dogs, and pork chops.  For meals such as steak and shrimp, spread 2/3 of the coals to one side of the grate for cooking steak, and maintain 1/3 of the coals to the opposite side for gentle heating of seafood.  Finally, for slow cook ribs, pack all coals to one side of the grill and place your ribs away from direct heat, allowing them to delicately cook in the indirect heat while absorbing flavor-rich smokiness.

Charcoal grilling is an art.  And a science.  While practice will not always make perfect, it will make a plethora of mouth-watering meals throughout the learning process.   

Contact us today for personal assistance selecting the perfect outdoor grill for your home.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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GrillFest 2014green-egg-grill-contest-1

Grill Fest 2014 is coming this Saturday, September, 20th, 2014 to Sterling, VA at Lawn & Leisure. Michael J and the 98.7 WMZQ team will be here for this great event!

 What You Need to Know

-Event begins at 10 AM and goes Until 3 PM.

-There will be cooking demos & food samples from all companies whose grills we represent.

-Gas Grills that we sell: Weber & DCS.

-Charcoal Grills that we sell: Weber, Big Green Egg, Primo, and Black Olive.

-Refreshments and samplings of grilling sauces and seasonings.

-Corn Hole Game contest with prizes. 

-Drawing to win Free Big Green Egg Grill.

-Free Assembly of Any Grill Purchased During Grill Fest

-Special Discounts for any fireplace accessories purchased with a set of gas logs on Saturday.

-Excellent selection of Outdoor Casual Furniture available for Saturday----for in stock items! Great Buys on Floor models and special packages.

-Great selection of outdoor propane, wood burning firepits, and patio heaters.

 We hope to see you there!  

outdoor-grills-revive-the-renaissance-reston-vaIn the 1500s everyone cooked over an open flame or hot coals and as a result the cooks of the day were experts at grilling large cuts of meat.  During the Renaissance only the affluent had kitchens; the common folk either ate porridge from a big pot on the hearth, or purchased their evening meal from a vendor who had a kitchen.  Workers would drop off the fixin’s for their meal on the way to work in the morning and pick it up fully cooked in the evening.  Some towns had community ovens where housewives could go to bake their breads or roast meats.

Today, not only do we all have kitchens, but some of us even have elaborate outdoor kitchens, and almost everyone has a gas or charcoal grill where they fix barbecued ribs, chicken breasts, hot dogs, hamburgers, and steaks.  But, if you haven’t tried grilling big cuts of meat outside, you’re missing out on a savory treat.  Grilling turkey breasts, whole chickens, pork tenderloin, or beef roasts is easy and cooking on outdoor grills adds a layer of smoky flavor you can’t get with a conventional oven.  Take a moment to check out the handsome Weber and Fire Magic gas grills in the Lawn & Leisure photo gallery.

When using a gas grill for roasting you need at least two burners.  Light one burner and place your foil wrapped or uncovered meat over the unlit burner.  If your grill has three burners, leave the center burner unlit and place your roast above it.  Turn the heat down low and close the lid.  After 10 minutes check the temperature and continue checking and adjusting until the thermometer consistently reads 350 degrees. 

If your grill doesn't have a built in thermometer, you can place an oven thermometer inside the grill or use a wood stove thermometer that magnetically attaches to the outside of the grill lid.  If using a magnetic thermometer, it should read approximately 300 degrees.  Use a digital thermometer to check for doneness.  Most meats are done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees according to the USDA safe minimum cooking temperatures.  

Allow 20 to 30 minutes per pound for roasting unless you’re grilling a tougher cut of meat.  Wrap tough cuts in foil to keep them from drying out and roast for 2.5 to 3 hours.  For that delicious grilled crispness, remove the meat from its foil wrapping 15 minutes before the time is up, and place the meat over the lit burner to crisp lightly before serving.

The following is an authentic Renaissance recipe:

Roasted Beef

4 – 6 lbs. boneless beef roast (most tender cut)

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. dried leaf basil

1/4 tsp. rosemary, crumbled

1/4 tsp. dried leaf thyme

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. salt

Rub roast all over with olive oil.  Combine garlic, spices, salt & pepper, and roll oiled roast in the spice mixture.  Place the roast directly on the grill rack, or use foil or a shallow pan, if you prefer.  Sprinkle with remaining spice mixture.  Roast uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on desired doneness.  Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

If using fresh herbs, remember that they’re much more potent than the dried variety, so go easy with them.  For turkey breasts or whole chickens, you might add paprika, thyme, and oregano to your spice mix.  

If using a charcoal grill to roast meat, add another layer of deliciousness to your entrée by adding hickory chips or wood chips soaked in whisky or other marinades (try garlic teriyaki sauce), to your charcoal.  Keep the coals to one side of the grill and place your meat on the side without coals.  As with the gas grill, you need a lid and a way to monitor your temperature.

Let Lawn and Leisure make your grilling experience a historical one with a new, assembled Fire Magic or Weber gas grill.  Please contact us us for all your grilling accessories and outdoor furniture needs.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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ceramic-charcoal-grills-potomac-vaCeramic or as they are sometimes called Kamado charcoal grills is a popular new addition to the appliances designed to cook with fire in the backyard. They are modern versions of an ancient Japanese model and are generally more egg shaped than conventional charcoal grills. They are made of ceramics, terra cotta, cement, lava rock, and other refractory materials, the same stuff that pottery kilns are made of.

Because of the material, ceramic grills are better at radiating and retaining heat than more conventional grills. They can therefore be used for cooking pizza, baking bread, or for tandoori, an Indian style of barbeque that involves sticking skewers of marinated meat into a hot oven. They are great for more conventional grilling and smoking as well. For the latter, most ceramic grills come with a deflector plate that shields the meat from the direct heat of the burning charcoal.

Controlling the heat can be kind of tricky, though the grills come with intake and outflow dampers that, when you get the hang of it, work very well. Because the grills retain heat better, they take less charcoal to cook. However one should not use lighter fluid as an aid to starting the charcoal.

One caveat needs to be mentioned about ceramic grills. While it is less susceptible to flare ups, there is a danger of a similar phenomenon called a flashover. The grills are nearly air tight, so that sometimes become starved of oxygen. If you lift the lid unwarily the oxygen rushes in and can cause a fireball, so have a care,

For more information contact us.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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Purists of taste will often tell you that you need a charcoal grill to achieve a true grilled flavor. But that is not always completely honest. Owners of gas grills can get much the same flavor, burn pattern, and taste as a charcoal unit.Here are some quick flavor smacking treats for your outdoor gas grill.

Caution, only adults should use gas grills.

1. S'mores, it is true that s'mores are best done over a camp fire. But a gas grill will work much the same. Provided you don't loose your marshmallow off the metal grill fork you can hold it just above the hot surface and you can get a fantastic brown marshmallow. Don't forget to get it into the gram cracker and chocolate sandwich while its hot. Or the chocolate wont melt.

2. For a healthy snack or great side dish at a pick nick grill some asparagus. Take the asparagus and soak them in water for about a half hour so they don't burn. Then just lay them on the metal rack till they brown and darken a bit. If you want a really tasty way, boil them a bit to soften them further and grill them on the top rack. They will take longer but the flavor will really pop.

3. It is said that, us Americans cook brussel sprouts wrong. This funny fact can actually be proven when you grill them. cut each in half and rub the open side with garlic butter. Be sure that with any veggie you soak it in water for 30 min prior to grilling so it does not burn. When you grill them do so on the top rack. They will come out with a surprising flavor. Not to spoil the fun but it wont taste like a brussel sprout the way you may know them.

4. You can also grill corn on the cob. Boil it until it is nearly cooked them grill it for a little while. You want a few dark lines all over it. This will give it a deep almost smokey flavor. You will also bring out some of the internal flavors and juices making it rather tasty.

5. For the grand finale. You can make a cake on your grill. Just heat the inside of the grill to whatever your temperature needs to be according to the recipe and put the oven safe pan of your choice inside. Most grills can get very hot so a grill thermometer will be handy for this one. You will get a slightly different flavor to your cake than what you are used to. But wherever you grill you now know you can make a cake. Nothing says awesome like a fresh baked cake at a cook out.

There are literally thousands of other ideas. Try a few of your own out and see what work for you. Your gas grill does not have to be confined to a life of cooking meat. Unleash its true power and don't bother heating your entire house up to cook. Its summer time, get out side and try some new ideas.

For answers to your questions or for comments please, contact us.

 

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While a gas grill is preferred for its convenience and ease of use, many grill masters prefer the charcoal grills as the only authentic way to cook with fire. However there are certain safety procedures that should be followed when grilling with charcoal.

  • Make sure that the grate is clean. A grill grate will build up dried fat and gristle due to constant use. Some people think this adds season to the grate. Besides being a bit unsanitary, melting fat can also contribute to flare ups, which can be dangerous to the unwary.
  • When starting the fire, pile the charcoals where you want them, either in a pyramid in the middle or to one side depending whether you are using direct or indirect heat. Soak with lighter fluid and light with a match or an electric starter.
  • Do not use gasoline or kerosene as an accelerant. This is a sure fire way to cause in explosion and lose part of your face and upper body.
  • Do not be impatient and try to start cooking the meat while the flames are still flaring up. Handling meat at this time can be dangerous. Wait until the flames have died down and the charcoals have a dusting of ash and are glowing red underneath.
  • Always wear oven mitts while working on a hot, charcoal grill, even when using tongs and other long reach tools. This cuts down on the possibility of painful accidents.
  • Finally, when you are through grilling, put the top of the grill down and make sure the vents are shut. This will smother the fire quicker and will help avoid any other accidents.

For more information contact us.

 

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design-tips-for-an-ideal-outdoor-fireplace-chantilly-va

When you decide that you want to put an outdoor fireplace in your backyard, you cannot simply place it in a random location and expect it an exceptional appearance and even better performance. Ideally, you should take as many details into consideration before making any final decisions. Having patience will grant you the ability to install an outdoor fireplace that works perfectly for your outdoor desires.

Choose a Proper Location

Do not underestimate the location of your fireplace to make all the difference in your experience. For instance, a major mistake that should be avoided at all costs is placing an outdoor fireplace where the wind will cause problems on a consistent basis. It is ideal to use the fireplace in an advantageous way to prevent the wind from becoming an issue, which is not only important for convenience, but for safety, as well. Flying embers can cause injury to people outside, or it can start a fire.

Have Patience with Material Choice

Since the material used for an outdoor fireplace is mainly for aesthetic purposes, you should take the overall style of your home and backyard before deciding. An inexpensive installation can be done by using stucco, which is great for those that are looking for a budget fireplace. It is a rather versatile option as it comes in various colors and can provide a classic look to almost any outdoor area. However, you should also consider the benefits of materials like brick, stone, and concrete.

Consider Your Fuel Options

If safety is a major concern, you should try to avoid a wood burning fireplace. It is a risk, even though it may be a small one, and this means a gas fueled fireplace is ideal. While both options are worthwhile, you should consider the necessary requirements that come with each type of fuel. Wood fireplaces are tougher to get licensing for because of the smoke. As for gas fireplaces, a pipeline has to be installed before this kind of fireplace can work, but it is important to consider that this option is smoke-free.

Contact us for help with getting the ideal custom outdoor fireplace for your outdoor area.

 

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fun-ideas-for-making-smores-in-your-outdoor-fireplace-this-summer-fairfax-va

If you have an outdoor fireplace, you don't have to stop using it during the summer months. An outdoor fireplace is an excellent place to make delicious S'mores in on a summer evening as well. When you think of S'mores, you probably think of marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers; however, there are actually several different ways to make them. Here are a few fun ideas you might want to try yourself:

  • Spread a bit of peanut butter on your graham crackers before adding chocolate and marshmallows
  • Drizzle some caramel ice cream topping over your marshmallows before placing it in the fire
  • Use mint chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels or any other type of baking chip you like instead of bars of chocolate
  • Add a slice of banana or strawberry
  • Place a strawberry on a skewer, and then stuff inside a large marshmallow. Melt over the fire, and then drizzle with chocolate syrup when done. Roll in crushed graham cracker crumbs and serve
  • Crush peppermint candies and sprinkle them on top of your chocolate before melting
  • Add miniature marshmallows, bite-sized chocolate and graham cracker crumbs to a drumstick-style ice cream cone before melting to make it easier to eat
  • Use chocolate or strawberry flavored marshmallows instead of plain ones
  • Cut a Butterfinger or Snickers candy bar into very tiny pieces and use in place of plain chocolate
  • Use sandwich cookies with the filling removed to make the base of the S'more
  • Spread your graham cracker with marshmallow cream, and cover with colorful sprinkles
  • Place a Reese's peanut butter cup between the two pieces of graham cracker and place a marshmallow on top

As you can see, there are virtually unlimited ways to make S'mores. Now all you need is an outdoor fireplace-contact us today in order to get started.

 

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