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Update Instantly With Cushions
By Plow & Hearth
2/21/2013 3:06:00 PM

With just the toss of a throw pillow or the placement of a cushion, you can completely transform the look and feel of a room—without spending a fortune. Whether you're adding a pop of color to a formerly lifeless loveseat, making your outdoor spaces more inviting, or giving your furniture a little extra ease, you’ll find that cushions and pillows are key to refreshing your atmosphere easily and inexpensively.

Decorate With Ease

Adding new cushions and pillows is one of the simplest and most satisfying ways to update your décor. With all the colors and styles of cushions and pillows to choose from, it’s important to always keep your end design goal in mind.

Before getting started, take into consideration the colors, textures and overall look of the surroundings. You’ll want the color and pattern of the cushions to coordinate with your style of furniture, any decorative accents, umbrellas, containers and flowers.

While colorful floral patterns or bright stripes make a bold statement that can complement color themes in your yard, garden or home, solid colors and simple stripes can blend into their surroundings beautifully and act as subtle accents.

Another decorating idea: use your new cushions and pillows to create a look that coordinates with one of your current indoor décor themes.

Make Yourself Comfortable

Imagine tucking a nice, well-fluffed pillow behind your neck, kicking back, and enjoying a good book on a pleasant evening. While cushions and pillows certainly add an element of beauty, they’re also designed for comfort.

Cushions are available in a wide array of shapes (long or short, square or round, seat or back) sized just right for any type of furniture—whether an outdoor wicker glider or an indoor wooden rocking chair; patio swing or kitchen chair. Once you determine the size, you’ll have the perfect amount of padding to make your favorite spot extra cozy.

The various shapes and sizes of throw pillows also offer a simple way to make seating more comfortable.

Lumbar pillows help ease back discomfort while sitting, and add great lower back support.

Comfort From The Ground Up

Floor cushions offer a casual, comfortable alternative to traditional seating—and they’re perfectly mobile (some even feature handles). Just pick them up and tote them to another spot when you want to change the view, mingle with someone new, or get out of the sun. Scatter them around the pool, fire pit, deck or use them as extra seating for porch, patio and deck parties. Kids are also big fans of floor cushions. Their portable design also lends itself nicely to travel.

Floor Cushions

Indoor Or Outdoor: Fabric Matters

Although indoor and outdoor cushions provide the same functional and decorative benefits, they’re quite different when it comes to fabric.

Because indoor cushions don’t need to withstand the elements the way their outdoor counterparts do, they are made from less-durable fabrics. Some have zip-off covers that can be machine-washed. Others need to be spot-cleaned. Sometimes the cover is sold separately from the fill.

Some outdoor cushions are made from polyester that is UV-protected to resist fading, and treated to resist soil and stains. Here are some polyester options.

Other types of outdoor cushions are made from solution-dyed acrylic fabric that is both fade- and stain-resistant. This style of outdoor cushion is finished with edged piping for a tailored look. See some styles here.

Cushions and pillows, whether for indoors or out, are either filled with foam, poly or fiberfill for comfort and durability.

Storing Cushions

Indoor or outdoor, you’ll want to store your cushions and pillows away when not in use to help maximize their lifespan. Exposure to direct sunlight and cold weather elements can really take its toll on cushions and pillows.

Be sure to thoroughly clean and dry your cushions and pillows before storing them so they’ll be ready at the first sign of warm weather. Always follow the cleaning instructions as cleaning varies depending on the fabric.

Breathable fabric bags are great storage options, as are cushion storage boxes, benches and chests.

Storage Box

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Tags: How To
Categories: Outdoor Living


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The Olla: A Brief History

Olla (Spanish, pronounced “oh-ya”) jars have been around since ancient times. Made of unglazed ceramic, ollas traditionally have short, narrow necks with wider bodies, and are made in a variety of shapes. They have been used for thousands of years for cooking, storage, and plant irrigation.

When used to irrigate plants, an olla is buried neck-deep in the ground near a plant’s roots, with the opening of the olla extended above the soil so that it can be filled with water periodically. The porous walls of the unglazed pottery allow the water to seep through gradually, constantly and consistently hydrating the plants without overwatering them – and without wasting precious water to evaporation or runoff.

The use of ollas for irrigation was introduced to the American Southwest by Spanish conquistadors during Colonial times, becoming very common among Native American tribes and Hispanic settlers. Though the technique gave way to more modern methods of irrigation some time ago, its superior efficiency, coupled with its simplicity, has caused it to make a comeback. Though the technique has changed little since its introduction, today’s ollas are usually capped off, making them even more water-efficient.

Perfect for home gardens, Ollas are a super-easy, eco-friendly, less time-consuming way to water annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables and plants of all kinds in dry, sandy soil, very hot or drought-prone areas, raised beds, and even pots, planters and hanging baskets. Fill the olla before you leave on a short vacation to enjoy worry-free watering – and a smaller water bill!

How it Works:

Water is pulled directly through the terra-cotta!

Read more about Ollas on our blog.

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