We think about our bedrooms, our living rooms; spend days choosing wall colors, curtains, and accent pieces. But, let’s face it, most of us give very little thought to what awaits people once they step into our backyards.
Today, we’ll take a look at a few simple and easy tweaks to the design of your porch and garden that will leave your guests impressed.
Inflatable Furniture is Not What it Used to Be
Inflatables have moved a long way since it was just Lilos and pool accessories. From stylish inflatable chairs to comfy ottomans and air beds, the boldly designed pieces available today might just provide the extra oomph you were looking to add to your garden.
Below, we take a look at some of the best options, and share some crucial tips on how to choose a piece that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
Inflatable chairs are versatile, affordable, and easy to move and store.
This indoor/outdoor inflatable lounge chair from Northlight is one such option, and it’s available from Wayfair in blue, green, or pink. Flocked vinyl helps to keep you cool and it’s washable, too. Plus, Wayfair offers an additional protection plan to cover accidental damage including stains, rips, and punctures.
Chosen right, these lightweight chairs will bring extra pizzazz to any open space – whether you choose to replace your whole set or just add one chair to visually break up your porch with a colorful accent.
Rule of Thumb: Keep it Tasteful
While a whole set of inflatables in a range of colors might work if the design of your porch is modern and minimal, you need to be careful not to go overboard if your porch has a rustic feel to it.
If the latter is the case, go with one accent piece that will not only stand out, but invite the eye to notice the surrounding items as well.
Again, you have a lot of leeway to experiment with color if you are aiming for a modern, colorful design.
If your goal is to add a touch of style, a complementary neutral color that goes well with the rest of your porch pieces can be a good choice.
Green or brown will be a good fit in the vast majority of cases. But a bright pop of pink, yellow, or blue is also welcome poolside or on the patio for something for festive.
Air Mattresses and Sofas as Comfy Lounge Pieces
The wide variety of air mattresses and inflatable ottomans on the market today can be overwhelming.
These pieces of blowup furniture took the market by storm towards the end of the last decade, leaving unseemly and boring designs of the past behind, and entering the mainstream with stylish pieces that look like they belong on the cover of House & Garden.
Below are a few tips on how to choose the best pieces:
Go With Quality
the production cost of inflatable furniture is low. Combine that with the fact that many new companies have entered the arena of inflatable mattresses over the last few years, and the result is a buyer-friendly market.
Intex Inflatable Corner Sofa available on Amazon
For you, this means the difference between high-quality products and cheap knock-offs is marginal.
Bottom line – go with reputable companies like Intex, Serta, Coleman, or SoundAsleep.
Take the Time to Read User Reviews
When choosing a product, nothing is as useful as reading about the experiences of others with needs similar to yours.
Bottom line -take the time to do the research and read what other people have shared about the product you have your eye on. You can do so both on websites that carry the product, or websites dedicated to reviewing the inflatables.
Separate the Wheat from the Chaff
Here’s a 3-point checklist to help you choose the best air beds and inflatable furniture:
Things to Check For
1. Look for information on air leaks and punctures – if there is a red line separating the high-quality air mattresses and other types of furniture from the ones that would be a waste of money, it’s how well they hold air.
Rule of Thumb – Do the research on retail websites that carry the product. If the number of people who rated the product with only 1 or 2 stars is greater than 15%, move on with your search.
2. Think about your space and compare dimensions – this step is often overlooked, in spite of the fact that it’s pretty simple.
Rule of Thumb – Measure the space you have on your porch and compare it with the listed dimensions of the inflatable.
3. Consider the pump – airbeds, sofas, lounges, and ottomans are available in three “flavors” when it comes to the type of pump used to inflate them. They can be operated either by a built-in electrical pump, a battery-operated model, or a rechargeable one.
Smaller items are even easier to inflate. This Rosalinda indoor/outdoor ottoman from Ebern Designs is a great example. It can be blown up in a flash with a bicycle pump, or even by mouth.
Perfect for resting your feet or sitting around the patio table for a drink and a few rounds of cards, this vinyl inflatable is wrapped in a polyester shell (so skin won’t stick!) and it’s rated to hold up to 300 pounds.
Made of water repellant material with a cover that repels water, it’s also UV protected so the bright pop of color that it brings to your outdoor seating area won’t fade with time. This piece is available from Wayfair in blue, lime, natural, orange, red, or yellow.
Rule of Thumb: If you don’t have a power outlet on your porch, and you don’t want to move your lounge bed in and out of the house, consider getting one that includes an alternative valve for inflation using a battery-operated pump, or your own lung or arm power if it’s a smaller piece.
It’s the twenty-first century, and the options you have to move on from traditional design for both your interior and your backyard or garden are practically limitless.
Experimenting with inflatable furniture is one of the most budget-friendly ways to do it.
It’s cheap and, most of the time, covered by warranties that provide coverage for up to one year of use, so you can always send it back if it doesn’t fit the look you’re going for.
Be smart about it, and your outdoor space will be the talk of those barbecue parties.
Product photos courtesy of Northlight, Intex, and Zipcode. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.