With great weather and long days, enjoying your outdoor living space in the summer is really quite simple; however, as the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder our desire to be outside is still there but a little bit more planning is required to prepare our outdoor spaces for the fall and winter season. Use these tips to enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest this fall!
Incorporate Cosy Lighting
In the fall the days begin to get shorter and we lose more and more of the natural light that allows us to enjoy the outdoors well into the evening hours. Although they don’t replace the lighting offered by the sun, artificial lights are great ways to add brightness to your outdoor space, so you can continue to enjoy your evenings outside.
Opt for Weather-Proof Furnishings
Harsh winds, rain and snow can be harsh on furniture–stripping it of paint and causing certain materials to crack or warp. Choosing furniture created from the durable material will drastically increase their lifespan and allow them to be used year-round.
Take Advantage of Weather Protection
Now, even with weather-proof furniture and great lighting, enjoying your outdoor living space in fall is still difficult if you’re exposed to the elements. To address this, the final topic we’ll discuss is weather protection. Structures such as gazebos, awnings and umbrellas are all effective ways of sheltering you and any guests you may have from bad weather. Depending on factors such as your budget and the size of your backyard, you may opt for just one form or weather protection or multiple. For instance, awnings and umbrellas are great for sheltering you from rain; however, gazebos come in a variety of forms and can provide excellent shelter from winds as well.
At Canadian Home Leisure, we offer a wide variety of equipment for outdoor living, including umbrellas, awnings, gazebos, outdoor furniture, fire pits and more! For more information on the products we offer and how we can enhance your outdoor living space, click here.
Hot tubs are great ways to unwind after a long day and with the right care they can be used throughout the entire year; however, poor maintenance can greatly reduce the effectiveness of your home spa. Here are four things you definitely shouldn’t be doing to your hot tub!
Ignoring Water Tests
Water chemistry cannot be overlooked with a hot tub. These tests work to protect your spa’s equipment as well as all bathers in the tub. Consistent water tests help prevent bacteria development and ensure regular chemical levels.
Failing to Perform Basic Maintenance
Maintenance is a must for a safe, sanitary and correctly functioning spa environment. Adding to regular testing and chemically treating your water, rinse the filters, clean the spa cover, wipe the waterline and drain/refill when necessary.
Mistreating Your Hot Tub Cover
Spa covers are essential to hot tub health. They prevent the sun’s rays from promoting algae growth in the pool, stop debris from entering your hot tub and clogging your filter, help maintain the water temperature and much more.
Improper treatment of your hot tub cover will not only shorten its life but also reduce its effectiveness, which means it won’t be able to provide all the benefits listed above. After chemical treatments, wait an hour before putting the cover back on the tub. Never use sharp objects (e.g., a razor blade) to remove dirty or sticky objects, like tree sap, from your hot tub cover. Also, allowing your spa cover to fully dry out once a move goes a long way to reducing hot tub maintenance costs.
Acting Like it’s a Bathtub
It’s important to remember that hot tubs and bathtubs serve different purposes. Your home spa is not the place for soap and suds. Adding such products can lead to costly damages to your spa’s filtration system and cause a foaming issue in the tub. Other products that shouldn’t be added are shampoo, detergent or soap products. It’s also not ideal to enter your hot tub sweaty or dirty, as this compromises your water balance and can impede your filter cartridge from working properly.
In small amounts, stress is good to keep us focused and motivated to complete the necessary work in our lives; however, in large amounts stress is very unhealthy and comes with a plethora of negative consequences. Stress negatively impacts various aspects of your being such as physical health, mood and behaviour.
- Upset stomach
- Chest pain
- Muscle tension or pain
- Lack of focus or motivation
- Irritable or angry
- Sad or depressed
- Social withdrawal
- Fits of anger
- Abuse of alcohol or drugs
- Over or undereating
How Hot Tub’s Help Relieve Stress
Warm Water Temperatures
A hot tub has water that can be approximately 102 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature. These warm temps have proven to be very efficient in putting the body in a deeply relaxed state. Another aspect of water is its increased buoyancy. Since water helps support approximately 90 percent of the body’s weight, an individual’s muscles can relax and pressure is taken off of joints. All of these factors combine to reduce stress levels throughout the body.
Massage from Jets
The water pressure delivered through the jets also works to relieve muscle aches and tightness that further aids the relaxation process.
Not only do hot tubs provide numerous physical benefits, they also provide an opportunity to get away from the noise of life. Whether it’s a backyard deck or a sunroom that has been converted into a space for a home spa, relaxing in a quiet environment, free of distractions is just as important to calm the mind, as the warm waters and jets.
To capitalize on the de-stressing effects of a hot tub, make sure you get the right one for you. Pick a hot tub with seats you find comfortable and adjustable jets that allow you to change the direction of the water pressure as well as its strength. Just a 10-20 minute soak, daily, goes a long way to reducing stress levels in your life and feeling more at peace.
It’s probably safe to say most homeowners would love a home feature that improves how they enjoy their outdoor living space, helps them realize cost-savings in their home and adds to the overall aesthetics of the home. If you’re one of these homeowners, awnings are a house feature that you definitely need to explore!
For those unfamiliar with the product, awnings are sheets of canvas attached to a frame and act as a shelter over windows, doorways and decks. Discover all the other ways this product can benefit your home.
Increasing Home Value
High-quality awnings are not only an attractive addition to a home but also increase the livable space, which raises your home’s equity. Homeowners looking to enjoy outdoor space and weather, without worrying about the sun will gain greatly from having an awning attached to their home.
Allow for Control of Patio Space Environment
Depending on the environment you’re looking to enjoy and the daily forecast, some days you’ll seek the shelter your awning provides, while still having the ability to retract it when you welcome the natural weather.
Reduce Energy Costs
In addition to providing a sheltered space when outside, awnings also minimize the direct solar heat your home absorbs, through windows, in hot weather. This feature can save you up to 23% on your air conditioning bill in warmer weather. Retractable awnings enable further energy savings, as they can be closed in the winter so the sun’s heat helps to heat the home.
Protect Interior Furnishings
When placed over windows, awnings shade your interior furnishings from harsh direct sunlight that causes damage over time.
At Canadian Home Leisure, all our awnings are produced in Canada and engineered to achieve the best possible quality. We carry a variety of awnings, each providing different features. The strength of our products is clear as we offer an awning with a 4 metre projection–the longest projection in Canada.
Many of our previous blog posts examine how to maximize your backyard space during the warm months, but what about your indoor space? Although reading a book under a gazebo, enjoying a morning soak in a home spa or laughing with friends you’ve invited over for a barbeque, are all fun ways to spend the summer, there will be days when you want to beat the heat indoors. Does this mean the fun has to end?
At Canadian Home Leisure, we recognize the value a well-planned game room brings your home and want to suggest how to go about realizing yours!
Where Will It Be Located?
Before you start planning out how every inch of your game room will be used, you must first choose a room! Is your basement a free space that can be transformed or maybe you have a spare bedroom or den that can be utilized.
When picking the right space, keep in mind, you’ll likely want your game room away from busier parts of the house (e.g., the kitchen or living room) to help achieve a more relaxed atmosphere for the space.
How Do You Plan to Use the Space?
No two game rooms are exactly the same. You may plan on dedicating your space to poker night with the boys or include other table games like a billiards table or shuffleboard. Maybe your vision for the area goes past table games, to incorporate video games or even a dartboard. Whatever your ideal game room will consist of, it’s crucial you have a clear vision so you can plan accordingly.
Are You Going to Incorporate a Bar?
Having to go up to your kitchen for cold refreshments is a real nuisance. If you have space and the budget allows it, look into incorporating a small bar area into your game room. This section can serve as another section with seating and give all users of the space a place to have drinks and talk.
Life goes pretty fast and if we’re not careful, we can miss it! Making the most of the current moment is so important, which is why we’re helping you catch that moment with great backyard parties! Letting the summer end without spending quality time in the presence of those you care about means missed opportunity. So, use the following practical tips to have fun, engaging summer socials.
Provide Entertainment for the Kids
It’s important to have suitable entertainment for the crowd that you’ll have. This may mean having various activities to capture the attention of different age groups. If your outdoor gathering only consists of adults you’re likely fine, but if there are children in tow, make sure to set up activities for them as well! In warm weather, consider a slip ‘n slide, blowing bubbles or other fun activities to occupy their time. This also gives you adults the opportunity to enjoy the uninterrupted company of other adults.
Ensure There is Adequate Seating
Let’s look at the following hypothetical situation:
You’re planning to invite approximately 20 people to your outdoor party, but your outdoor seating arrangement seats at most 10, which means a lot of standing people.
To accommodate your guests, flexibility is essential. Consider utilizing some of your indoor chairs (e.g., dining or family room chairs or stools). For those not keen on having their indoor furniture taken outside, renting chairs is another great way to outfit your backyard with enough seating for your guests). Folding chairs can be rented for as little as $2 apiece. You may also be able to rent coolers, speakers, tableware and even a larger grill–if you feel yours isn’t enough to grill the amount of food required for the number of guests you’ll have.
Have the Right Lighting for the Occasion
Another factor that goes a long way to creating the perfect atmosphere is lighting. If your party takes place in the afternoon, artificial lighting likely won’t be required; however, as the evening begins to set in, a bit of ambient lighting can be great for the eyes.
Music is something that we all love! With many different genres, it has the ability to lift us up and bring us down, which is exactly why it’s so important for us to be able to choose the right music for a backyard summer party! Keep these tips in mind to generate a playlist that will help create the optimal party atmosphere for you and your guests!
Know Your Crowd
The type of crowd you’re inviting over should have significant weight in the sound you’re striving to create. Although it’s hard to please everyone; ideally, you want to create a playlist that most people can enjoy. To achieve this, you will need to understand your group’s demographics (e.g., age, gender, lifestyle, etc.).
Check Sound Levels
If your playlist will be comprised of both newer music and older recordings, you may find that older songs offer a softer sound than their more recent counterparts. To ensure an even sound throughout your playlist, you’ll want to “equalize” it. This can be done under volume controls and will give you a consistent, even level throughout.
Go for a Specific Vibe
Different social gatherings call for different vibes. The first thing you’ll want to do is determine what vibe your gathering needs. For example, a more relaxed get-together may be better served with gentle music playing in the background that still promotes an ideal environment for talking amongst your guests. On the other hand, if you’re hosting a dance party, louder, high-energy music is likely a better fit.
Now, if you’re a serious grill master, barbequing in the winter is feasible; but, with the warm weather upon us, barbecuing in this great weather is practically a requirement. Taking your food prep to your outdoor grill comes with so many benefits, such as:
- Reduces your fat consumption. Grilling the meat causes much of the excess fat to drip off the grates, which means you’re consuming a leaner meat.
- Vegetables, especially those with low water content, retain more of their vitamins and minerals when grilled.
- BBQ’s also encourage spending time outdoors. With the food being prepared outdoors, those you’re preparing it for are more likely to come outside and engage in outdoor activities (e.g. throwing a frisbee or kicking a soccer ball).
To help realize the above benefits, we have created this guide to assist you in deciding the best barbeque for your lifestyle!
Look at Your Needs
Understanding your cooking needs is central to choosing your ideal barbecue. To determine these needs, consider the following factors:
- How Many Are You Cooking For?
Do you just plan on barbecuing for yourself or your family or is cooking for larger gatherings in the plan for the new BBQ?
- What Do You Plan on Cooking?
The type of food you plan on cooking also plays into your ideal grill. If you’re cooking an elaborate roast, you may want to consider a barbecue with a rotisserie and if side dishes will commonly grace your BBQ, a side burner may be in order.
- How Much Available Space Do You Have?
For instance, a larger outdoor patio space can potentially accommodate an entire outdoor kitchen, if space is used wisely. On the other hand, freestanding or tabletop models are also available to accommodate smaller space or if you’re looking for greater mobility.
Choose the Fuel Type
At Canadian Home Leisure, we offer you a wide assortment of both gas and charcoal barbecues, so you can enjoy your preferred cooking style. To learn more about the differences between a gas and charcoal grill, check out our blog Charcoal vs Gas Grill: Which One’s Right for You?.
Father’s Day is fast approaching and finding the perfect gift for your dad can be a difficult task. With gift exchanges over the holiday season as well as on birthdays, finding a great gift that’s also unique requires some work. Use these pieces of advice to choose a father’s day gift that won’t be forgotten.
Create a Budget
A budget is important to avoid spending more than you’re comfortable with on your Father’s Day gift. Having a price range helps you to narrow down your gift search, as items that exceed the maximum end of your range are eliminated.
If you’ve found a gift you think your dad would absolutely love but is over your price range, consider partnering with a sibling or your mom to get the purchase. With multiple people chipping in, the cost per person goes down and your dad can enjoy a more expensive gift!
Consider a Need He Has
If your dad loves barbequing, this Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to get him utensils to go along with that. This is just one example and may not apply to your father, so you’ll need to do some digging to uncover his personal needs!
Think About How He Spends His Spare Time
Between work and time with the family, many fathers barely get a moment to themselves; however, when they do, enjoying this time to the fullest is essential. So, one way to ensure your gift will be appreciated is consider how your dad likes to spend his free time and get him something in line with that. For instance, if your father loves watching television, purchase his favourite T.V. series. If he’s a gardener, maybe get him a new pair of gardening gloves or a new gardening tool.
At Canadian Home Leisure, our wide selection of product offerings ensures you’ll be able to find something that your father would love. Whether it’s a new billiard table, game room furniture for his man-cave or a home spa to unwind in after a long day at work, we’ll help you find the right gift to show your appreciation for your father!
With the colours returning to nature’s landscape and cool temperatures outside, spring is a particularly great season to enjoy a nice soak in your hot tub and appreciate the splendor of the season. The following are three key aspects of hot tub care, to ensure you’re maintaining the optimal spa environment.
Make Sure to Circulate Your Hot Tub Water
Water circulation is an essential process for healthy spa water as stagnant water is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Water circulation helps to disrupt the flourishing of bacteria in your hot tub and disperses cleaning agents (like chlorine) throughout your water, to help kill off harmful bacteria. Water circulation also helps keep the temperature of your hot tub up, which is helpful to prevent water from freezing over in the winter months.
Many hot tubs come with a built-in schedule for the frequency of water circulation that either circulates the water 24 hours a day or at regular intervals throughout the day.
Be Consistent with Your Hot Tub Cleaning
Your hot tub should be cleaned approximately every three to four months. More frequent cleanings could be required, depending on how often the spa is used and if all bathers practice proper bathing rules.
It’s also important to keep your hot tub seats clear of debris and scum build-up. This is mostly an issue with outdoor hot tubs, opposed to indoor ones; however, even indoor hot tubs are susceptible to scum on seats from soaps and lotion residue on peoples skin.
Look at Water Chemistry
Proper water chemistry is just as important for your hot tub as it is for the people in it. Water chemistry involves pH, alkalinity and a sanitizer (e.g. chlorine, bromine, salt systems, mineral sanitizers, etc.). Proper water chemistry stops harmful bacteria from accumulating in your spa water and keeps the acidity levels low, which can damage various hot tub components.
Time in a hot tub helps remove stress from a long day, clear mental anxiety and treat muscle pain and soreness. Furthermore, hot tubs also make excellent spaces to unwind and socialize with friends and family. Of course, the size of your home spa can place limits on the number of people you’re able to incorporate, but it’s relaxed environment is great for facilitating connection with others.
So, if you’re looking to capitalize on the social aspect of your hot tub, try implementing these games to foster an environment of fun and laughter with others.
Get Waterproof Games and Playing Cards
Just because you’re in a hot tub doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy classic games. By investing in a floating mat or tray, you can play games like checkers and chess in your hot tub. Also, with waterproof cards, the fun carries over into card games like go fish and UNO!
Not only can you take everyday games into the hot tub, you can also incorporate games made specifically for it! Below, are game suggestions that were created to facilitate fun in your home spa!
Ping Pong Outbreak: Ping pong outbreak is played by adding ping pong balls to your hot tub, while all players must avoid being touched by the balls. Players that are touched by the balls must exit the hot tub.
Cold Shower: Cold shower is definitely a fun game to liven up the atmosphere. For this game, you must fill up a balloon as much as possible without it popping. All players will sit on the edge of the hot tub and pass the balloon around. Each player must hold the balloon over their heads for five seconds before passing it to the next person. Eventually, the balloon will pop over someone’s head and that person will get a cold shower!
Submarine: Submarine requires two plastic cups to play. Start off by placing one cup in the water and filling it with just enough water to keep it upright. Each individual must use the second cup to pour some water into the cup floating in the water. The first person to sink the cup in the hot tub loses.
The above games are just a few examples of ways to have fun with friends and family in your hot tub. And the best part is these games can be played by youth and adults alike!
A backyard is a place with so much potential for outdoor living. It can be a place for peaceful relaxation, quality time with loved ones or entertaining. Use the following advice to make the most of your outdoor space.
Make it a Family Space
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to have kids spending all their time on some sort of technology device. From laptops to tablets, technology dominates our spare time. This can take away from time with family and prevent loved ones from really connecting with each other.
Your backyard can be a great space for your family to spend quality time together. Instead of just sitting and watching a television series, why not enjoy the fresh air and good conversation. A backyard is also a great space to play board games or card games with others as well.
Incorporate Outdoor Music
Incorporating an outdoor sound system is a great way to bring your favourite tunes outside with you; however, it’s not as simple as adding regular speakers outdoors. A key feature of an outdoor audio system is it needs to be waterproof. Another beneficial feature for outdoor audio is wireless technology. This prevents you from having to run wires over your patio, which is an electrical hazard, and also allows for a more convenient option to connect your sound system.
When considering outdoor music, it’s also very important to be conscious of surrounding neighbours. If you live in close proximity to others, make sure to take that into consideration, to ensure you’re not interrupting the peace in the neighbourhood.
Invite Friends and Family Over
Spending time with others is such an important aspect of human health. Being surrounded by those you care about and that care about you in return, reduces stress levels, decreases loneliness and leads to a overall happier existence. Fortunately, a great outdoor space provides the perfect opportunity to connect with others.