Pat­terns for the sun, sleet and snow

Fab­rics for all-weather fur­ni­ture

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

near you. They will be able to di­rect you back to the man­u­fac­turer; al­ter­na­tively, some re­tail­ers carry more than one stan­dard size.

An­other op­tion is to make the cush­ions your­self, or have them made by an up­hol­sterer. This will give you the free­dom of choos­ing fab­rics that ap­peal to your per­sonal style. There are many pat­terns and punchy colours avail­able in all­weather fab­rics now, which al­lows you to de­sign your out­door space with the same flex­i­bil­ity and fi­nesse that you en­joy in­doors.

The beau­ti­ful Sun­brella fab­rics that have been com­bined in the back­yard shown here are Steeple­chase Mal­ibu (stripe), Can­vas Nat­u­ral, Ma­caw, Hot Pink and Navy.

Check out their web­site, sun­brella.com; you’ll find just what you want. With cus­tom-made cush­ions you can add pip­ing, trims, but­tons and fringes that en­hance the over­all look and feel of your sit­ting area.

Slip­cov­ers make wash­ing a breeze, but it’s not neces- sary to be able to re­move them to clean. In most or­di­nary fab­rics, dyes are added to the sur­face of the yarn or fab­ric. The colour washes out or fades eas­ily. The colour in Sun­brella fab­rics pen­e­trates all the way to the core, en­sur­ing last­ing per­for­mance. This tech­nol­ogy makes the fab­ric easy to clean with soap and wa­ter and a soft-bris­tle brush. Sun­brella fab­rics are guar­an­teed weath­er­proof, in sum­mer and win­ter. Dear Deb­bie, Our 10th floor condo has a long, nar­row bal­cony that is our “sum­mer gar­den” in the air. Flower pots are filled and we have set up a ta­ble and chairs and a lounge. The bal­cony floor is painted con­crete. Do you have any sug­ges­tions for rugs, or is that not ap­pro­pri­ate for out­side? Dear Theresa, Here’s a great place for a floor cloth, but there is one draw­back to plac­ing any cov­er­ing over the con- crete — rain and damp­ness will ei­ther soak in or creep un­der the car­pet and ruin the sur­face of your bal­cony floor. Pe­ri­od­i­cally you must roll up the car­pet and al­low the floor to dry thor­oughly.

You can make your own floor cloth us­ing a piece of vinyl floor cov­er­ing. Cut to fit your space, flip it over and dec­o­rate the pa­per­backed side, not the vinyl. Start with a coat of high ad­he­sion primer, let dry, then pro­ceed with your de­sign.

You can paint a checker­board, or sim­ple stripes, or com­bine a plain back­ground with some sea­sonal sten­cils. Choos­ing colours and a mot­tled paint fin­ish will help to hide any dirt or sur­face ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. Ap­ply three or four coats of acrylic var­nish to seal your work.

Deb­bie Travis

Ready-made or cus­tom sewn cush­ions from Sun­brella cheer up an out­door sit­ting area year round.

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