Hurricane season is almost over in Florida but unfortunate disaster from Hurricane Sandy hit the northern states leaving behind 60 million people effected with at least 100 casualties. During hurricane sandy Florida has some damages in the coastal areas but it really wasn’t bad compared to other states. With this hurricane weather cooled off as a result of the cold front brought from north. Now the days are low eighties and at nights are low sixties.
The weather cooling off is a sign of the Florida tourist season. Snow birds will soon start flying down and filling hotels and apartments in Miami and South Florida. You can easily tell by the traffic congestion that really do not exist in any other time of the year in certain areas. With all the tourists coming down to Florida, hotels and restaurants start getting ready for the busy season. Some hotels are completely changing their furniture and some of them are redesigning current areas. Restaurants are looking for better comfortable and eye catching furniture.
Just in time for the busy season we bring out the Florida chair. This is the armless side chair which is a complement to the Ibiza chair. Florida restaurant chairs are stackable. They are available in three colors; white, coffee brown and charcoal gray. Florida chair is a woven looking 100% polypropylene chair. This chair is great in all outdoor applications. If you look at the wickerlook collection, you will see the four chairs offered are Verona, Capri, Ibiza and Florida. All these chairs are made for commercial use. They offer the woven look without the hassle of metal and aluminum and also obviously without the problems of unraveling wicker.
We are very excited to offer the Florida chair to the hospitality industry. Hopefully by this time next year this chair will be all over the country in the best hotels and restaurants.
Here we are on long awaited summer trip on our first stop in Madrid. Cousins of my wife who have been inviting us for many years finally will have their hands full with us. Our plane lands in the heat of August in Madrid and we are picked up early in the morning on a Sunday. The area we are going is about twenty minutes from Madrid called Arganda Del Rey. It’s a cute suburb of Madrid where you can live away from the fuss of the city and have a quiet life. However this is a new and developing area so most of the settlement is fairly new with very modern architecture. Our car snaked thru some hills and we came about an opening garage door at the beginning of a row of modern townhouses. Its about 90 fahrenheit already and its only 10 am.
Argan Del Rey Townhouses
We managed to wake up the sleepy heads and by noon the whole family was on the brunch table going thru a warm welcome. It was my first time meeting them and my wife very very happy I finally did. The townhouses seem very compact and small with American standards but actually they are very very spacey inside. They each have 4 floors. First floor is the garage and the backyard, then the second floor is kitchen, living room great big balcony, toilet, and the third floor is four bedrooms and the fourth floor is a very large single room penthouse. It’s really imcredible how simple and modern achitecture can fit that much functional space in one matchbox looking townhouse.
Spanish Olive Trees in Argan Del Rey
Olive Trees in Argan Del Rey
The townhouse complex is on an area where you can see acres of olive trees. Spain exports more olives than any other country and the really take care of their trees. I was amazed to see how nicely kept the olive trees were. This little suburb lies within olive trees and hills that seperate it from Madrid. It’s a completely silent and peaceful area. It’s perfect for hiking.
Chaise Lounges in the Spanish Backyard
As we get to the backyard to swim in the pool and relax, its already afternoon with 95F heat. The pool was perfect size and we couln’t wait to jump in. Near the pool was two nice chaise lounges with comfortable cushions on them. Mosaic top side table really added color to this scene with its blue edges matching with the blue pool. As you can see in the below picture they have really done a good job with decorating the pool in such a way that it connects to the wild scenery at the back. The khakis and faded greens work their way to the backyard and then blend nicely with the swimming pool, plants , patio furniture and the decor.
Olive Trees Wilderness and Swimming Pool
The backyard is not limited to the pool. If you look at the below picture you will see the small green backyard with two chaise lounges a patio umbrella and a small dining set under the covered area. AGain the small areas hasn’t limited the life Spaniards dreamt about. This small backyard was much more effeciently used then any other larger backyard I have seen. There was even a corner for a grill.
Spanish Backyard Townhouse
Spanish Backyard Townhouse II
Spanish Patio Furniture Madrid
Our few days in the suburbs of Madrid was very very comfortable and enjoyable. As you can see from the pictures we were connected with nature thru smart decor and modern architecture. Small areas haven’t stopped people from achieving their standards of living. That’s very very nice to see. I learned a lot from this trip. I hope we can do it again next year.
South Florida has more high-rise balconies than anywhere else in the US. If you’re driving thru Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale or Sunny Isles you can see high-rise condos with hundreds of balconies. Some of the balconies face the beach and some face the city or intra coastal waters. Since 2001 I have been living in apartments with balconies in Miami Beach which enabled me to observe how condo residents utilize their balconies.
Older buildings like the ones in old Millionaire Row which is roughly between 40 and 70th street on Collins Avenue have smaller balconies. Newer constructions seem to make bigger balconies in proportion to the apartment sizes. Good examples are the new buildings in Sunny Isles or the ones in south of fifth in South Beach. Apartments in new buildings are much larger and more luxurious and if you look at marketing materials for luxury properties they usually focus on balcony views. Balconies in marketing brochures are furnished with luxury outdoor furniture which automatically establishes a high status living. Balconies have taken their place in real estate brochures together with high-end bathrooms and kitchens. It’s not a surprise that we sell our most expensive lines of patio furniture to model apartments in new constructions where the developer wants to set a high luxury standard. These large balconies are just like patios which is an immediate extension of indoor living space thus making them an area that needs to be furnished accordingly. Most new buildings feature a modern design throughout the building. They feature large lobbies with marble floors and designer furnishings. Model apartments also feature modern kitchens, modern bathrooms and modern furniture. As a result most balcony furniture purchased for newer buildings are modern lines. We have customers in almost all new constructions in Miami and Sunny Isles areas such as Apogee, Continuum, Trump Palace, Trump Royale, Acqualina, Ocean 1, Ocean 2, Ocean 3, Ocean 4, Setai, Il Villagio, Portofino Towers, Murano, Icon Brickell and many others. These buildings have balconies where the balconies are at least 20 to 30 feet wide and 10-12 feet deep. That’s a lot of space which makes it easier to furnish. Modern patio furniture with club chairs, sofas, dining sets and even chaise lounges can fit these large balconies with great views. Our best selling collections for modern balcony furniture are Biarritz, Rivage & Riviera from Triconfort; Mirabella; San Michelle & Maxime from Caluco; Atmosphere, Delta, Maia, Venezia & XXL from Kettal; Monaco & Tangier from Kannoa; Montecito & Oasis from Whitecraft. These collections are highly durable for balcony use. They are designed by famous European designers specifically for large terraces and balconies. Collections have larger seating pieces and large dining sets as well as large deep seating units for extra comfort. We have sold these collections for the past 10 years with no problems and no negative feedback from customers.
Evolutif Tangor Chair
There are lots of residents who use their apartments only a few months of the year as a vacation residence. Many times these clients try to minimize their costs of the balcony furniture and prefer lighter products for their prices. We recommend otherwise. If the balcony is high and large you have to choose the furniture thinking about winds. Winds can easily pick an item from the balcony and throw it out which is a huge liability. During hurricane seasons most buildings enforce removing of furniture from balconies however there are still many accidents that result from flying objects. Also even during regular seasons high winds can start without any notice. The best way to avoid problems is to choose heavier furniture for high balconies. These can be aluminum, cast aluminum, recycled plastic or wood furniture items. Unsecured glass tops on tables should be secured if possible since the wind can blow the glass over the table. Cushions must be secured if not removed. Lighter furniture items and objects should be moved indoors when not in use. It’s not safe to use light plastic chairs and tables on these large balconies if wind is a problem. If price is an issue we have some more affordable collections that we offer to our clients. They are not really modern lines but they are transitional by design. Some of these balcony collections are Captain & Club from Polywood; Shorea & Travira from Oxford Garden; Florence & Origin from Caluco; Dangari collection from Evolutif. Our all time best selling balcony chairs are Tangor multi position chair from Evolutif which is heavy enough for balcony use. Smaller balconies with no winds are a good fit for our Miami balcony furniture set with two chairs and a rectangle coffee table.
I’m fortunate enough to have balcony but not too large. My balcony is about 6 feet deep and 20 feet wide which makes it hard to furnish. The main problem is the depth. I have a 60 inch dining table with aluminum frames and wood top from Kore collection from Kettal. Table is heavy enough but when I level it to the railing I barely have enough space to seat four guests. If I center the table there is no space to go around. I’m sure many balcony owners in older buildings have the same problem. I should write about smaller balconies and how best to furnish them in one of my blogs. Let me gather some my thoughts together and we will have a separate article about smaller balconies.