Covers Designed with Your Needs in Mind

Covers are often an afterthought for a purchase, something you add on to prolong the life of a product, or something you realize you need when the weather becomes less than ideal. Most companies make covers that are treated as half-hearted commodities, made solely to fill the purpose of covering. They don’t speak to the value you place in your home, the unique conditions you face in your yard, nor your personal preferences. Our patio furniture covers are different. They’re more than fabric. They are unique: designed for you, your needs, and your home.

Patio furniture covers have the primary function of providing protection for your outdoor furniture. At Classic Accessories, we’ve been working on digging deeper, to create covers that keep the end user in mind while maintaining the quality that we strive, as a brand, to uphold.

We’ve delved into why you should protect your outdoor accessories, and topics like caring for your grill and selecting furniture materials for your patio. This month, we wanted to do a bit of a deeper look at some of the features that take our coverage to the next level; covers that move beyond their basic function to be more of a part of your home and lifestyle.

Every season, we strive to bring something new, interesting, and useful to the table, expanding and improving our cover selection. Selecting developments to make our covers more personalized and unique, ready to adapt to the conditions they will face in their future homes, and ready to be everything you need them to be.

A Legacy of Innovation

It Starts with Covers

Traditionally, covers have been focused on their passive performance. From materials to construction, it’s been about functionality: fitting and shielding.

Does it work? Is it really made for what I’m covering? Can this cover stand up to the elements? Does it protect the underlying materials? Will it enable the object it’s covering to last longer?

Covers, to really be covers, need to own up to those answers.

With Design in Mind

For us, design became a focus for our covers, because aesthetics is such an important factor in any home-bound purchase.

Even if this “works”, does it work for me? Do I like it in my yard or next to my home? Does this feel right? Is it my style?

We’ve spent years creating covers that look carefully at both functionality and design. Covers don’t have to be drab; They can have color, incorporate design lines, and fit into the aesthetics of your home. Our collections, from the two-tone, capable classic that is Veranda™ to the highly protective fabric in an indulgently dark color that constitutes Madrona®, our covers have personality and don’t compromise on protection.

For a quick view of our patio furniture covers and to find the right collection for you, you can consult the lovely chart heading the Patio Furniture Covers page.

For a more in-depth look at some of the design differences that make our long-standing collections unique, check out this blog post.

Conditional Awareness

We’ve refined and incorporated the quality-focused features and technology that go into our covers to make covers that fit your needs. Seeking these catered improvements has led us to several lines of covers constructed with features to address specific conditions that affect your yard and home.

Condition: Nowhere is safe from the sun
Solution: FadeSafe®

FadeSafe® fabrics stay strong against sun exposure

Certain environments experience more sun than others, causing materials to weather and fade, losing their luster far too soon.

We wanted to create covers using fabrics that would stay vibrant longer, despite being outdoors. FadeSafe® fabrics, which are solution-dyed
(made from material spun from colored yarn, rather than materials dyed after being woven) for colors that last longer against sun exposure. FadeSafe® fabrics are used throughout our Montlake® collection, from the patio furniture covers, cushions, hammocks, umbrellas

Condition: The rain doesn’t go away
Solution: RainProof™

RainProof™ lines have critical seams taped

Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it pours. Sometimes, you need a little bit more in the water-resistance arena than what is available in a standard cover. Rather than break out something in the pure plastic (tarp) family, we took a hint from human rain protection and sealed our seams.

In our Madrona® and StormPro™ RainProof™ lines, we reinforce the weather- and water-resistance that most of our cover materials have with special attention to the water-repellency and durability of the fabric using taped seams. Taped seams are common in waterproof garments and tents, involving the application of a sealing tape over seam lines to prevent water from permeating the fabric through holes made in the stitching process.

Condition: Windy weather stirring things up
Solution: WindLock®

WindLock®: a convenient attachment system

We want our customers to be blown away by our quality, but don’t want our covers to follow suit. Windy conditions (as well as other, non-weather-related conditions) can make wanting to secure your cover important.

We included buckles, rather than ties, to make fitting and securing covers easier. Taking the buckle a step further, we developed the WindLock® Attachment System (Patent 9155397 B2). This system allows you to secure the cover in a more versatile manner through a hem tunnel system that does not cause the bunching that comes with tying down an elastic hem. It’s a major feature of our Ravenna® collection.

Improving Interactions

These were strides forward, addressing concerns on aesthetics and weather-tolerance. We wanted to go beyond the aesthetics and begin to address the act of covering. Several of our grill cover collections released within the last year, SideSlider™, Porterhouse, and StormPro™, provided touch points to improve your interaction with the cover; covering and uncovering.

Problem: Covers can be cumbersome to put on and take off, and grill covers can see a lot of action over time
Solutions: SideSlider™ , Porterhouse™, and StormPro™

SideSlider™ provides an easy on/off process through the adoption of a full-height zipper and the use of reinforced materials that can withstand the sliding process.

Avoiding buckles all together, Porterhouse™ uses large, WrapTite™ panels with multiple points to secure the cover with hook and loop closure strips.

StormPro™ grill covers adopt a split-access skirt that provides access beneath the cover while in use as while simplifying cover installation and removal.

Along the train of thought of seeking better experiences with covers, we arrived at an interesting juncture. We had started to cover what happens when the cover’s on a product, but…what happens when it’s not?

Experience Matters

There is a growing focus in the industry on managing the full life cycle of a product, from use to reuse and beyond. We took a step in that direction, asking how can we best help people who have covers, when the covers aren’t in use.

What do you do with a cover after you take it off?

Fold it. Well, we do, at the least. This is especially true amongst our Design and Creative teams. It’s impressive to watch our long-tenure designers take down an RV cover and get it back to nearly the factory-fold. However, those teams spend inordinate amounts of time with the covers, draping, designing, measuring, staging, photographing, and more. The finesse we have comes from constant interaction.

Our consumers would only be dealing with covers on a seasonal or environmentally-biased basis. If folding isn’t simple or intuitive for someone, confusion and chaos generally ensue, in the form of great swaths of wadded fabric. It’s less tasking to just shove covers into a storage container for the season; we even know that some people use our cushion storage bags to this end. Stuff-to-stow is an easy answer and acceptable for some; however, the end result is rarely pretty and leaves some dissatisfied, if the quantity of inquiries we get to Customer Support regarding how to fold covers is any indication.

There are people who want to fold the covers, but it’s neither an intuitive nor simple process. Frustration with the covers, and/or spending unseemly amounts of time trying to fold the covers neatly, for storage or presentation, are not great experiences. We weren’t okay with that. Great experiences are what we strive for, and we were leaving some customers behind.

Solving the Problem

A more nuanced look at the “why” for folding covers informed our answer. For some, folding covers is part of the process of beautifying their home, ensuring that things are neat and tidy at all levels. A folded cover is smaller and easier to manage. It takes up less room while in storage and is easier to bring out of storage, especially if it’s part of a larger organizational system. Poorly folded covers do not fit in the discrete cabinets or other storage options already at home in and around the patio. Folding covers is about simplicity, neatness, and organization.

For the people who do fold, or want to fold, we determined three key puzzles to solve:

  1. How to fold a cover simply
  2. How to make the folds in such a way that the folded cover is neat and small
  3. How to make this easily repeatable

Creating how-to-fold tutorials was the simple answer—and is something that we might pursue moving forward, for people who love our covers, in any category, but struggle with storage neatness or fitting the covers into their current organization system. This answered the “how-to” question, potentially the “neat” question, and was repeatable. It was not, however, the most elegant solution; certain materials and cover configurations simply cannot be folded down to a small size. The cover itself prevents it. Covers are designed to fit furniture, not to be folded.

We needed a cover that was designed to be folded.

Intentional Design

The solution took time. We wanted to design something that was able to be folded consistently and intuitively, without compromising on the quality of the fabric, the fit, or the aesthetics.

Our designers looked at cover handling, how people interacted not only with covers, but with the touch points on the covers. How someone might approach taking off a grill cover as opposed to a chair or sectional.

Once key interactions were determined, the puzzle narrowed into a game of constructing the cover in such a way that when the fabric was lifted away from the object it was covering and was subject only to gravity and the natural deformations caused by the material, folding was intuitive. Happening almost in response to being removed from the furniture.

Handling Covers

The handle became a focal point in the process. Handles are, in name and function, what people reach towards when starting to uncover furniture. The best way to organize the steps of cover folding was the strategic placement of handles on the cover. In Storigami™, the handles were placed in locations that were easily reachable, instinctively part of lifting the cover, and naturally causing the fabric to begin to gather in an encouraging way.

“Intuitive” became our focus. We wanted to create a cover that folded naturally and used gravity for that purpose.

-Delina Wells, Designer and Market Trend Analyst

An Answer in Seams

Handles would give people a first step, something to grab onto to begin their interaction with our cover. It was simple. How to intuitively drive the next step took more strategy. Most fabrics do not have a shape that they hold on their own. The form of the material is determined by its attachments and interactions with other pieces of fabric. Getting the fabric to act the way it needed to in order to be simply folded required experimenting with seams. It required discovering which constructions would cause the fabric to fold the way we desired it to fold.

Determining the seam placement and types of seam took time. Patterns our designers were familiar with could serve as templates in some cases but proved inadequate in others. The fabric had to cover the intended object completely, but the fabric panels and seam lines needed to work together so that there were even, graceful folds.

Storigami™ was a unique design experience. Each style had to be approached in a different way and each provided its own challenge.

I had to figure out the best construction and seam placement to achieve the folding function in an intuitive and accessible way. Starting was always the hardest part, it wasn’t always easy to see how an item would fold, and it would take some time to find the best method of folding that was both intuitive and easy to use.

The best part of the process were the “eureka” moments, ideas would come up out of the blue and it was always exciting when I found the best way to fold a style.

Jose Derteano, Associate Designer

Our design team spent over a year perfecting the design of the covers, ultimately creating something truly special, Storigami™.

Storigami™

Storigami™ is debuting as our newest patio furniture cover collection; however, it’s more than a cover. It’s an exploration, a new way of thinking about experiences in outdoor living spaces.

Storigami™ was a proof of concept that demonstrated the innovation that comes from exploring customer experiences and designing to enhance product interactions and use.

In Storigami ™, you have a collection of covers with thoughtful attention being given to your personal preferences for product storage and upkeep. It’s a collection for the neat-at-heart and tirelessly organized.

Resonating deeply with our desire to provide thoughtful solutions for our consumers, the Storigami™ collection is a milestone for Classic Accessories®.

When looking for a cover, don’t settle. Classic Accessories offers a variety of covers made for you and your furniture. Whether you want a cover that fits into your organizational style, a cover with features catered to your home’s weather conditions, or a cover that simply speaks to you aesthetically, we’ve got you covered.

Covers Designed with Your Needs in Mind

Ravenna Cushions

It’s been quite a busy and hot week; we’re ready to welcome the weekend. Overdue for some quiet relaxation and anticipating long nights enjoying the cool off that comes with sunset? Make sure your patio is ready for some sitting time.

Last week we reviewed and ranked patio furniture materials, and brought up Ravenna Cushions as a solid option for taking any patio furniture material to the next level of comfort, with recommendations for cushion color by material.

Ravenna Cushions make use of the color palette you see on the Ravenna Covers, with the addition of several new, more diverse hues that coordinate with the existing neutral tones in the fabric and webbing of the collection (Dark Taupe, Mushroom, Espresso). Overall Ravenna has a rich, yet reserved color scheme of warm and inviting hues. It works well with colors naturally in your yard as well as the tones you typically find in patio furniture.

 

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Hands down, we think the best feature is the waterfall construction. That, in combination with the fabric’s water resistance, makes sure that Ravenna cushions are ready for quick cleanups after some of life’s small spills. Check out our Product Manager’s quick clean demo:

Ravenna also has click-close straps for easy adjustment and to keep the cushion in place and uses the Classic Accessories foam for added cushion comfort. To see the cushions in action check out the full video below or shop the cushions now.

 

 

 

 

 

Ravenna Cushions

Spring Patio Protection

Spring Protection Seems that this Spring in particular has come in like a lion for all of us.
With small bursts of blue sky between showers, it may feel a little early to be thinking about warm afternoons outdoors. It’s not too early to be thinking about protecting your patios though. With Spring Specials popping up all over the internet and at your local retailers, reminders are everywhere that Patio Season is right around the corner.

With the warming weather and unpredictable rain squalls, protection should be top of mind after your initial deep clean of your patio’s furniture and grills.

Spring Time Patios
Our friends over at The Home Depot just posted a How-To get your patio ready for Spring:

“Patio furniture provides more than just a place to eat or relax outside—it’s also an extension of your indoor decorating style. The right outdoor furniture should be comfortable and durable and add beauty to your exterior space.

Here’s how to find outdoor patio furniture that you and your family can enjoy:

•  Assess Your Space. An expansive deck can be broken up into sections. Try an outdoor sectional on one end and a picnic table on the other. Break up a large lawn with a cozy nook complete with a fire-pit and a comfy conversation set. For a small deck or patio, consider a bistro set, porch swing or rocking chair. Even the most compact outdoor space can be turned into a gathering place with small patio furniture.
• Think About Style. Continue the vibe of your indoor decor outside. A wooden patio table and chairs bring that rustic look outdoors. Add a splash of color with vibrant cushions. For a modern style, select metal outdoor lounge chairs with clean lines and neutral accents. Consider a patio set with coordinating pieces to take the guesswork out of designing the space.
• Consider Comfort. Look for patio chairs and sofas with outdoor cushions made from fade- and mildew-resistant fabric. Adirondack chairs have classic style and offer comfortable seating to admire a beautiful backyard view. Hammocks are a family favorite and provide the ultimate summer relaxation.
• Be Ready for Day and Night, Rain and Shine. A large patio umbrella will provide plenty of shade on those hot, sunny days. For areas with chilly nights, add an outdoor heater to your seating area to maximize its use.

Caring for Outdoor Furniture

Patio furniture sets made from aluminum, all-weather wicker, teak or resin are tough and easy to care for. For a rainy region, resin furniture holds up well and comes in multiple designs to match any style. Wrought iron is also low-maintenance and can withstand a hot, humid climate.

To extend the life of your outdoor furniture set, use patio furniture covers.”

The need for protection doesn’t stop at our patio furniture covers only. We also recommend any cover from our collection for your grill as well as Brad Dorcik blogged about in our Grill series of blog posts: http://blog.classicaccessories.com/rust-is-actually-a-lot-like-fire-but-with-metal/Rust on grills
and a look at grills by climate in our regional look:
http://blog.classicaccessories.com/why-cover-your-grill/
Grilling Climates
NEW to our site is our SALE section with Patio and Grill Covers that will take 30% OFF all items at checkout. (no code needed)

Have a great weekend!

Spring Patio Protection

DIY – Urban Patio

DIYUrbanPatio

 

Having a smaller outdoor space sometimes means you can’t fit everything in you’d like. You have to be a little creative and think outside the box (or balcony). Here are some creative ways to DIY your patio in style.

1.  Vertical Garden
Ash of Sugar and Cloth, DIYs the heck out of a hand rail – transforming it into a beautiful vertical garden. Genius, pretty and space-saving. She also has a tutorial for some cute stepping stones here. 

2. Outdoor Bench
This can be completed in under an hour, I don’t know about you – but time and space are two things I’m short on. This bench is made out of 12 cinder blocks  and 4, 4x4x10 pieces of lumber that fit into the cinder block spaces. These materials cost under $40. You can celebrate your own style by painting the cinder blocks and finding or creating cushions you love.

3. Hanging Pillows
Make your storage chest into a comfy bench for your outdoor space. This DIY uses a suspension/curtain rod, pillows and some fabric to transform an ottoman or trunk into a cozy, modern seat.

Happy DIY’n!

Photo Credit: “Vertical gardening” by Ruth Hartnup, used under CC BY / Overlayed text

DIY – Urban Patio