How to turn your patio into the ultimate cinema
Does the drive-in movies bring back fond memories for you too? It’s the place where many of us saw our first movie on the big screen. The best part was that we got to do it in our pyjamas, either enjoying a warm summer night in the open-air, or rugged up in the back of the ute with doonas. Enjoying hanging out with friends and family, watching a good movie on that huge screen. Those memories last a lifetime!
These days outdoor movie theatres are rare. That doesn’t mean we can’t recreate the experience. It’s easier than you think, and you don’t have to break the bank to do it.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it happen:
No old-fashioned movie reel needed
A projector is probably the first thing you’ll need to get the ball rolling. That’s an intimidating prospect for most people. In the past, a good projector would cost more than a thousand dollars. Sure, you can still spend that kind of money if it’s in your budget. There’s no doubt the quality of the picture will improve, but you don’t have to spend anywhere near that nowadays. The prices have dropped dramatically in the last few years. You can now purchase a decent machine between $100 and $300. If you’re willing to take your chances with a used system, you could potentially spend less.
Depending on your cash flow, another option is to purchase a big 75”, 85”, or even 100” tv for a few $1000’s. They are much more expensive than a projector, but you won’t have to worry about changing the bulbs. The life of a bulb is usually about 2000 hours, with some projector bulbs lasting longer than this.
If a projector is the option you’ll be going with, the next step is to think about what you’re going to use as the white wall. If you don’t have a physical white wall to use, a simple white bed sheet can work wonders. Just be sure that – the sheet is white, ironed, and tightly strapped on a flat surface.
Most projectors have some kind of built-in speaker system. On less expensive models the quality of the sound isn’t impressive. Fortunately, many of them are also Bluetooth compatible. That will allow you to hook up your own external audio without the hassle of wires. You can use a system you already own, or purchase a Bluetooth speaker to use with your system.
After putting the puzzle pieces of your audiovisual system together, you still need a source for movies. All projectors these days have HDMI inputs for you to plug in a DVD player, your favorite streaming stick or even your laptop. It is that simple!
Now that all the fiddly stuff is dealt with, you’ll have to decide what to laze on to watch these flicks. Seating options for your new outdoor family entertainment center are only limited by your imagination. You can simply throw a couple of sleeping bags and some pillows on the lawn. If you prefer sitting, beanbag chairs are a great option. Recliner chairs, or simple chairs with extra padding are great too. Just be sure to get comfy. You don’t want a sore bum half way through a great movie!
As long as the weather cooperates, you’re in for a fabulous night! This could be the new weekend tradition with the family?
If you don’t have any kind of appropriate zone for this kind of thing, but would love one, call In Style Patios today on 0436 007 776 for a free quote. We can design and build you the pinnacle of outdoor design – a pavilion. Speak to one of our design consultants today!
In most Asian countries, removing your shoes at the door is a tradition. Many tourists in Asia have suffered nasty glares and panicked shouts for accidentally keeping their shoes on when entering a homestay, hostel or even worse - a temple. While it is related to culture, beliefs and the way of life in Asia, there are plenty of other reasons to remove your shoes before going inside.
Can you imagine all the stuff you step on throughout the day? All the things that end up on pathways and roads will also end up on the soles of your shoes. And researchers have found that bacteria and toxins on shoes do transfer to the floors. According to a study from shoe company Rockport, hundreds of thousands of bacteria can be found on new shoes worn for only a couple of weeks. Toxins found in pesticides, coal tar, lead etc; also settle in your home, on your floors and rugs. These germs and toxins can cause various infections, especially if you have children who tend to walk on their hands, or lick the floors! So, unless you want to invite E-coli for dinner, think twice about getting in your house with your shoes on.
Apart from bacteria and toxins that you would not want in your home, there is another reason to keep your shoes off - dirt. A no-shoe territory means your house will pretty much be dirt free - at least from the outside dirt! The cleaning routine will thus become easier and might not have to happen as often.
While it helps keeping dirt and bacteria at bay, leaving your shoes outside is also a way to show respect. If the custom has been widespread for centuries in Asia, some people on other continents find it unusual to be asked to remove their shoes. But now that you know how much grime and microbes your shoes carry, you can understand how the request makes sense. So, even though you might feel offended, uncomfortable or embarrassed (there might be a hole or two in those socks of yours) when asked to remove your shoes, it might be more offensive to your host if you keep them on. After all, you are entering their home… It is only normal that you shall abide by their rules.
If you live in a flat, taking your shoes off might also be a great relief to your downstairs neighbours who might not want to hear your every single step!
Have you ever felt relieved once you had taken your shoes off? Shoes aren’t always the most comfortable to relax in the house after a long day. Therefore, it can feel so good to let your tired feet roam free! For added comfort, get you and your family some slippers. Easy to slip on, and they’re great because they still let your feet breathe and do not force them into unnatural positions like certain heels on shoes will.
Last but not least, prohibiting shoes inside the house will make your floors as well as your shoes last longer. Shoes can really damage the floors and heighten the natural wear and tear. High heels might leave traces, especially on wooden floors. As for your shoes, the less you wear them the longer you will be able to keep them!
There are many reasons to get rid of your shoes once you get home. It’s time to make a new habit out of it! Your home and your feet will thank you for it. Also, if you are not sure about asking your guests to take their shoes off, make a cool sign – “Since little fingers touch our floor, please take your shoes off at the door.”
What is your role at In Style Patios? Director / manage the sales team and business.
How long have you been in the industry? 14 Years.
What’s your favourite thing to do in your free time? Go to the beach with the kids.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on a job site? A patio in Hervey Bay that was actually holding the house up.
What did you do before working at In Style Patios? QLD sales manager for Stratco.
Who inspires you? My dad, for his selflessness and desire to make his kids life better.
What do you love about your job? Helping people change/improve their home for the better.
Where’s your favourite travel destination? Bali
If you're looking for a dedicated team to design and build a patio, pergola, pavilion or carport that will improve your home, In Style Patios and Decks is it. Call us today on 0436 007 776 for a free quote.
There are many ways in which you can make the most of your patio, but when it comes to your little ones, the best option is to turn it into a safe outdoor play area. This way, the children get to enjoy the fresh air, and you can bask in the sun while keeping an eye on them!
Transform your patio into a safe playground in only five steps.
Step 1: Fences
To keep your offspring from harm, a fence should be placed around the designated play zone. Be very careful with your choice of fence, as it needs to match a certain criterion:
Step 2: Padding
The next step is to line the floor to improve comfort for your little one’s feet and knees, but also to avoid injuries. Find safety mats made of a durable material which can’t be torn or chewed. There are foam tiles available, otherwise using large, thick rugs would work well too.
Step 3: Outdoor blinds
If your patio is not covered, it means that the playground will be exposed to weather conditions. Investing in outdoor blinds to protect your progeny’s heads from the harsh summer sun could therefore be a good idea. They would provide shade, reduce UV rays and offer some privacy.
Step 4: Extra cautious
If you are unsure whether your brand new play area is secure enough, you can kneel so that you would be the same height as your children and scan the area. Look for any sharp edges and other hazards that you missed while you were standing. You could also add a chest or cupboard to hide toys away while they are not being used.
Step 5: Entertainment
Now that you have made this fun zone safe and sound, you need to actually turn it into a play area. You can brainstorm ideas about decoration and entertainment with your children – surely they would love to feel involved in the setting of their new space. You can add colourful cushions, stickers, paintings, and of course their own artwork. As for recreation, if your kids think they need a screen and a video game to have fun, this is your chance to prove them wrong! You do not even have to spend a lot of money on entertainment: recycle plastic bottles and make a water or sand wall, transform an old a bookshelf into a sandbox, or make a little vegetable patch… You can find dozens of cheap DIY ideas online!
Now, there is nothing left to do but watch your kids learn, grow and play in their new protected outdoor play area.
If you’re now thinking of installing outdoor blinds to your outside space or want to get a patio built to create this perfect area, contact the experts at In Style Patios for a free quote on 0436 007 776. Our design team will work with you to make sure this zone is perfect in every way.
What is your role at In Style Patios? Director / Manage the installation and operations side.
How long have you been in the industry? 15 Years.
What’s your favourite thing to do in your free time? Golf.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on a job site? Painting a wall on a plank that was cantilevering by 5m with 3 guys on the other end balancing the plank.
What did you do before working at In Style Patios? Carpenter.
Who inspires you? My Kids.
What do you love about your job? Good Staff, Good Product.
Where’s your favourite travel destination? Burleigh Golf Club.
If you want a patio or pergola, pavilion, or carport built for your home by a team with experience overload, contact In Style Patios and Decks today on 0436 007 776 for a FREE quote.
Every homeowner dreams of a personal summer oasis in their backyard – the perfect place to enjoy a nice cold drink under the hot summer sun. Getting your garden ready for summer takes work, but it’s worth it as you enjoy the fruits of your labor. There are some important steps you need to take to get your garden in tip top shape and we’ll outline the key ones below:
If you’re planning on adding some beautiful flowers to your garden, one of the most important things is to make sure that the soil in the beds is rich in nutrients. Flowers need soil that contains the right amount of phosphorous and potassium to flourish. There are kits you can buy to test the soil, but usually the easiest thing to do is to add a new layer of top soil in the spring. With the right soil, water, and sun light, those flowers will add colour to your yard all summer long.
Mowing, Thatching, & Aerating
Along with flowerbeds, a well-manicured lawn will really add to the appeal of your garden. Achieving a lush green grass takes a little effort, but it’s well worth it. Depending on your starting point, the lawn may need to be thatched or aerated. Aerating is preferred if the lawn is in good shape to start. It involves puncturing the soil beneath the grass with small holes. This allows water and any nutrients you add to reach the roots and will generally make the lawn healthier. After that it’s just a matter of keeping your grass at the right length, a good target is 2 to 2 ½ inches, and you’re on your way to perfection.
Natural Herbicides for a Healthy Lawn
Natural herbicides work by giving your lawn the nutrients it needs for healthy growth. When it’s vigorous, the weeds won’t be able to take root and your grass will have that nice plush green look all of summer time. They’re super effective and safe for the environment. That’s a win for amateur gardeners everywhere, and a win for the planet.
To withstand a QLD summer, flowers need to be bold. These hardy beauties surely make the cut – sow ageratum (teeny tiny), balsam (aromatic), celosia (edible), cockscomb (bright), gomphrena (globe shape), impatiens (nicknamed: Busy Lizzie), marigold (loves full sun), sunflower (pretty).
Herbs, Fruit & Veggies
The best for South-East QLD & Northern NSW areas:
Herbs – Basil, chives, coriander, fennel, lemongrass, mint, parsley, and tarragon.
Fruit & Veggies – Artichoke, beans, capsicum, celery, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, eggplant, leek, lettuce, melons, onion, potato (tubers), rosella, silver beet, spring onion, squash, sweet corn, sweet potato and tomatoes.
Water for Growth
Every living thing needs water! The environment you live in plays a large part in how much water you have to apply yourself to the garden. Typically, you’ll need to water your grass every 2 to 3 days (early in the morning is best). As for the flowers, vegetables and herbs, watering them daily is necessary in summer (even twice a day- morning and night). Before developing a schedule, it’s important to pay attention to any local bylaws on watering as well. In areas where there are water challenges, it’s best to choose plants that are hardier. Additionally, a cactus plant could be the way to go. There are many beautiful types that can enhance a garden.
Enjoying the Results
Getting your garden ready for summer can be a lot of fun and it’s quite rewarding. The suggestions provided above are a great starting point. By applying them, you’ll be able to create a garden that looks beautiful all throughout summer and beyond. Most importantly, one you can enjoy with your guests on those hot summer nights.
Do you wish for a larger living space to complete your garden area at home? The team at In Style Patios and Decks can work with you to create a standout living zone, right in time for summer. We cover all areas including the Gold Coast, Northern Rivers, Tweed Heads, Logan & South Brisbane. We make dreams a reality! Offering the widest range of patios, pergolas, and pavilions, you’ll be sure to get whatever you desire. Call us today on 0436 007 776 for a FREE quote
Summer is around the corner… are you ready?
The cooler days are coming to an end, which only means one thing - You get to spend more time outdoors. Whether you want to relax in the garden with a good book, or have friends over for a barbecue, now is the time to start getting excited about the summer ahead.
What do I need to do to get my patio in tip-top, presentable shape? Let’s take a look!
Inspect The Zone
Winter isn’t as harsh on the gold coast as it is in some parts of the world, but the colder temperatures can still take their toll on your patio. As such, you should carry out an inspection as we emerge from the cooler months to see what - if any - damage has been done.
Take a look at your whole structure. The good news is that there shouldn’t be much to report. But it’s always good to know where you’re at before moving forward.
A lot of people hate cleaning, because it’s a chore that’s a total bore! However, most do look forward to cleaning and caring for their patio.
Clean your patio exactly as you would your house. This means giving it a good wipe down, using a pressure hose is a good easy option, and don’t forget to clear out the gutters.
Want your garden to look and feel alive this summer? A great way to do that is by investing in some vibrant flowers. Floras will add lots of colour to your space, and will flourish when positioned in full sight of the sun.
Colourful flowers such as the New England aster begin to flower in Summer and they attract beautiful butterflies, which are a delight to see in the garden. Then, if the weather does take on a duller turn, you’ll still have plenty of pretty to grace your senses.
Buy Outdoor-Rated Furniture
A big mistake when it comes to buying furniture, is buying furniture that isn’t for the outdoors. There’s a big difference between furniture that is rated for the outdoors, and furniture that isn’t. Furniture that doesn’t have the right foam and fabric will develop mildew super-fast!
For as much longevity as possible, and to make sure that your gear lasts beyond one summer, shop around for outdoor-rated furniture only.
Aim for Consistency
As well as buying outdoor-rated furniture, it’s also a good idea that you think about decor. Furniture that is mismatched with your interior design and garden, could look really wrong. If your green lawn contrasts sharply with crass red and yellow fixtures, it could greatly upset the ambience.
It’s a good idea to aim for matching colour schemes, as it will look a lot nicer to the eye. You could either buy furniture that matches your interior theme, or you could look for stuff that matches elements in your garden, such as your lawn or a blue pool.
Otherwise, if you had a strong colour arrangement going on with your plants, in which case you could buy stuff that compliments it.
When the summer sun sets along the Gold Coast, be sure to have suitable lighting on your patio. Ambient lighting doesn’t need to cost a fortune. By adding it simply means you can enjoy the sweltering summer nights outdoors for as long as you want.
Be creative with your lights. Perhaps you could opt for fairy lights, or mini LED lights. Otherwise, if you’re thinking of getting a patio installed at your place, you can always ask the builders to install some in the patio.
Summer days in Australia can reach over 40 degrees Celsius, and these days can be dry and still. Which is exactly why installing a patio at your property would be the perfect addition. This will create some much-needed shade, and something you and your guests will be able to enjoy and appreciate.
If your home already has a patio, you could add-on some outdoor blinds. They’ll allow you to enjoy the outdoors all year round without having to worry about harsh UV rays, wind and insects, while still enjoying a beautiful view.
Getting your patio ready for the summer is definitely worth the time. If you’re in the market for a new patio or pergola, In Style Patios and Decks are the ones you want to build it. We aim to provide the best quality products on the market, and all work is guaranteed. Contact us today for a free quote on 0436 007 776.
Turn your patio into the ultimate cinema
As amazing as cinemas are, they do come with some disadvantages: the price of a ticket and the food is always increasing, you have to drive or pay for transport to get there, and chances are there will always be someone who talks or eats loudly, or even worse, that person who leaves their phone on. If you love the seventh art, or simply like spending a nice moment watching a movie in the comfort of your own home, you will be thrilled to know that you can turn your patio into the ultimate cinema in a few steps, and at a reduced cost.
Take a look how it’s done:
If you want a permanent setup, then investing into a retractable projector screen is the ideal solution. If you don’t have a wall to attach a pull down projector screen to, then the portable or inflatable ones are a great idea. Otherwise, if you prefer doing it on a tight budget, there are still plenty of solutions for you, although some of them do involve some DIY - A thick white sheet (preferably clean and ironed!) could do the trick. You might want to be careful if your patio is not sheltered from the wind as a sheet may move during the screening. You can make a wooden frame for it (tutorials online). Additionally, you can get ambient outdoor blinds installed. They’ll block out the elements so you can watch your movie without those interruptions.
- The image
Choosing the perfect projector is the most important step - and it might also be the most expensive. Depending on your needs and how sensitive you are to image quality, a quality projector would be an investment.
Next, jotting down some measurements of your patio is important, as the distance from the projector to the screen WILL matter. Where do you want to put your projector, will you use a stand, a table or some blocks to prop it up?
When looking at projectors, if you are not particularly tech-savvy, don’t spend too much time studying the technical characteristics of the products. Simply focus on the most important factors: resolution (high definition will have the image looking sharp, even on a big screen!), luminosity level (in lumens), which is important when projecting a film in the dark, and contrast (a higher contrast means a clearer image, brighter colours and deeper blacks).
- The wiring
Using WiFi would be the ultimate way to go! Your installation will gain in fluidity, although you do need a strong internet signal to stream directly with the projector. An amplifier is perfect if your router is far away from your patio. A WiFi enabled projector will allow you to sign in onto apps such as Netflix, access your film library through Amazon Instant Video or Google Play. Other projectors will allow you to diffuse straight from your phone if they are iOS/Android compatible. Otherwise, use an HDMI cable to plug in your laptop, or audio/video jacks to plug into your DVD player.
- The sound
Thinking about the sound - look at whether the projector is Bluetooth compatible, as this will reduce the numbers of wires running around. Using the projector’s built-in speakers - if applicable - is not recommended for an outdoor cinema as it might not have the best sound quality. Instead, you can use a Bluetooth sound bar or speaker. If you already have speakers (from your computer for example), your projector should have an Audio out port plug so you can use those. However, if you want to have the ultimate home cinema experience, you can invest in a surround sound system.
Even though technology is the basis for an outdoor cinema, do not forget about the ambiance! Once you have made the final technical arrangements and checked that everything is working smoothly, you need to set up the rest of your “cinema”.
In terms of seating, make your outdoor movie theatre extra comfy by using outdoor bean bags and seats, topped with cushions and thick blankets. Fairy lights and candles can add a lovely touch to your zone. On a less romantic note, bug spray and citronella candles can also come in handy. Last but not least, make sure you’ve got plenty of popcorn and lollies ready to roll when the movie does!
Now you know how to turn your patio into the ultimate cinema, what are you waiting for? If however, if you still need to get a patio built, call the Gold Coast patio professionals at In Style Patios and Decks on 0436 007 776. We want to help you live better outdoors!
Colorbond has been one of the leading sources of steel to outfit homes in Australia in terms of: roofing, guttering and fascia, garage doors, walling, fencing, sheds, patios and pergolas, and water tanks since 1966. What makes these steel colours so special is that they are inspired from the natural colours in Australia’s landscape. If you are interested in adding steel enhancements to your home that are tasteful, efficient, and elegant, review Colorbond’s steel colour offerings below.
The colour groups to look for:
Contemporary: For the modern group, there are wide ranges of colours to include greys, light colds, ivories, light browns, dark greys, light greens, blacks, and dark browns. These colours are the ideal fit to compliment many of the exterior colours on homes. For example, homeowners may want to design a steel shed that does not contrast greatly to the existing colour of their home’s paint colour. With the contemporary category, there are many colours to choose from that directly correspond to both Australia’s landscape and existing home colouring.
Classic: For this category, Colorbond offers many strong colours that are designed to make a statement to accent traditional home paint colours. For example, there is a range available from dark greens, to deep blood reds, dark navy blues, light greens, dark greys, and classic off-whites. For those that have older homes in Australia, the classic category is a good place to start when you’re looking to match with desired steel upgrades.
Matt: The Matt colour scheme was brought to life by a Matt paint technology, crafting a more delicate look. This category offers traditional basic colours that is a perfect choice for - roofs, walls, gutters, fascia and downpipes. The same colours as in the contemporary/classic range, but it’s a Matt sheen instead of a low sheen/gloss level.
Fencing: This group is designed to blend well with garden and landscape plans, bearing the Australian consumer in mind. Some of the colours that can be selected are: dark greys, light greys, yellow ivories, light greens, light browns, beiges, off-whites, and dark greens. These colours are ideal to pair with stone walls and walkways in both the front and backyard of a home.
Ultra: This Ultra collection was inspired by the Australian bushland, white sandy beaches, misty seas, and the green forest. Ultra colours are identical to some of the others you will find in the contemporary/classic range. However, these have a different base coat (underneath the paint) to help with corrosion in coastal areas.
Colorbond continues to be one of the leading brands in Australia, for steel upgrades that enhance the appearance of residential homes. Due to Colorbond’s experience in their niche, they are periodically updating their colour availability in order to not only match the Australian landscape, but to also keep up with consumer trends. When looking for steel upgrades that will match well with your home, it is highly recommended to utilise Colorbond for the best quality steel and colour selection.
The team at In Style Patios and Decks know which colours are in style for patios, pergolas, carports, and pavilions. When you decide to bite the bullet, simply get in contact with our experts on 0436 007 776.
Are you expecting a new family member or visitors, and have no room to accommodate them? Are you tired of your cramped-looking living room, your tiny kitchen or your dark dining area? If your home no longer meets your needs and the moving process seems too daunting, then why not look at extending your house?