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Summer Vacation is as Close as Your Backyard

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Your second home, that summer place, is no farther away than the backyard. And where better to spend an evening as the sun sets and a breeze cools down the overheated city?

Rachel and Joe Allen are in the process of turning their backyard into a suburban oasis. They’re putting in a swimming pool and adding a patio and outdoor kitchen, along with new landscaping. They’ll bring in deck furniture to sit beside the pool, casual seating pieces and a new gas fire pit.

“We’re looking to create an outdoor-living environment and expand our livable space,” Joe Allen said. “We had a nicely landscaped yard, but there was no feature to draw you outside.”

High gasoline prices and a halting economy may have some families rethinking their vacation plans for this year and instead investing in new patio furniture and other accessories for at-home leisure and dining.

Patio-furniture manufacturers have improved on recent trends. And, people are extending their homes by bringing more seating outside.

Outdoor living is definitely on the rise. Global Industry Analysts Inc. predicts that, by 2015, U.S. consumers will spend more than $4.4 billion on outdoor furniture.

Americans have long loved to picnic in their backyards, adding outdoor kitchens and barbecue islands to the landscaping. But more and more, they’re making the great outdoors their summertime living room, as well.

Another trend that continues to gain traction is the fire pit, a perfect gathering spot for chilly evenings. They’re fueled by wood or propane and are turning up in both coffee and dining tables.

And many outdoor-furniture manufacturers are going “green.” Telescope Casual Furniture has a line of outdoor furniture made from marine grade polymer (MGP), which is completely recyclable and quite durable.

Original article by Dixie Reid