Blog - Cottage Culture




Why we carry indoor and outdoor-under-cover furniture…

Why we carry indoor and outdoor-under-cover furniture…


“It’s so beautiful, it should be inside!”


A friend was just asking me whether the outdoor furniture we were selling was actually going for outside use at our clients’ homes – she said “It’s so beautiful, it should be inside!”. That’s a sentiment that I happen to firmly believe, but I’d not heard articulated by anyone else before! Since my own pieces look so lovely, I ‘store’ my Cottage Culture outdoor furniture in my living room overwinter, as it suits the room, and looks like it was chosen to be there! And of course, my cat thinks the furniture is there for her…



There are good reasons for, and benefits to using outdoor furniture inside – here are just a few:

  • Style and design

  • Being ‘green’ – eco-friendly

  • Budget conscious

  • Kiddos and dogs

  • Maximizing your investment

Now let us explain.


Reason and Benefits to use outdoor furniture inside
  • Style and Design

Fashionable outdoor furniture can be found in a variety of different styles, configurations, patterns and themes. Choose from chaise lounge chairs and club chairs, outdoor day bed configurations, unique sectional sets, nesting tables and elegant outdoor dining tables and chairs that are fashionable even by interior design standards. You can use outdoor furniture indoors without having to sacrifice the aesthetic appeal of your  home, especially if choosing the versatile and stylish Scandinavian design furniture at Cottage Culture.


  • Being Green – eco friendly

Being green and environmentally-conscious is something that we may wish to consider. While there are options when it comes to traditional furnishing, materials like sustainable teak, and polyethylene synthetic wood (such as POLYWOOD® Furniture, the company that was the first to create all-weather furniture using recycled plastics) and wicker are much more sustainable.


  • Budget Conscious

When compared to traditional upholstered furniture, you can actually save money by opting for a stylish outdoor arrangement for your indoors. Not only that, but the furniture may well outlast traditional furniture that can tear or sag over time. Something to keep in mind!


  • Kiddos and Dogs

Plato’s observation that necessity is the mother of invention might apply here. Kids will be kids, right? and there is a natural tendency to spill, break or tear things. Dogs are not excluded from these activities either! What is a parent to do if they wish to cut down on the stress of protecting “the good furniture”, cleaning up messes and working to get stains out of furniture? Bring your outdoor furniture inside!


Outdoor furniture is built to be extremely durable and it is possible to find very stylish and fashionable outdoor furniture. Outdoor sets are manufactured using resilient materials designed to withstand extreme conditions, and many frames are made or reinforced with metal which kids won’t be able to bend or warp when jumping on it. Plus, Olefin (the European version) or Sunbrella fabric is stain-resistant and easy to clean Your stress with kiddos and dogs is alleviated!


  • Maximizing Your Investment

Given the winter climate we enjoy here in Southwestern Ontario, homeowners tend to place their outdoor furniture in storage, (unless it’s our Polywood which can withstand ice and snow, or it’s well-covered and protected metal furniture) in order to safeguard it against the harsh winter elements we experience, thereby protecting their investment. But there is an alternative! Why not ‘think differently’ as an old Apple slogan suggests?


That is, let’s think differently about some of our outdoor furniture storage requirements! What if we have some extra space in our homes, whether an underutilized family room or space that can be created by rearranging furniture; why not opt for this solution to your outdoor furniture storage needs? By doing so, you will be able to use your outdoor furniture year-round, extending the life span – and enjoyment! – of your investment. And why not extend the enjoyment, rather than using it for only a fraction of a year, especially as the Scandinavian design of the outdoor furniture at Cottage Culture doesn’t always look as such, meaning it’s very versatile and stylish to spice up your indoor space in addition to outdoors. These benefits are in addition to creating additional seating to accommodate friends and family who will gather with you indoors over the winter season, not to mention holidays.


Now that you have realized the benefits of using outdoor furniture indoors, you might want to consider a trip to Cottage Culture to see our outdoor furniture selection which was chosen for its lovely Scandinavian esthetic. What is that esthetic? Let us explain…


Scandinavian Design

Scandinavian design is characterized by beautiful, simple clean lines, minimalism and functionality and, key here – without eliminating grace and beauty, inspired by nature and an emphasis on enjoying the domestic environment.  It was developed in the 1950s in the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The importance of balance between beauty and making the design as easy to use as possible was identified by Scandinavians early on and has been maintained ever since.


Scandinavian Colours

The most-used Scandinavian colors are neutral and monochromatic – bright, warm whites with black and oatmeal – plus splashes of color added as accents. Lush pinks, true blue – think the stone lapis lazuli, grayish blues, and colors rooted in nature – like sage – are the most popular in Scandinavian design.


Scandinavian Aesthetic

Organic and natural materials often take pride of place in Scandinavian design, reflecting the Scandinavian and Nordic countries relationship to nature. Wood, lightened to fit with a neutral color palette, stone, cotton, and wool feature heavily in Scandinavian design, as do house plants.


This clean but warm theme, alongside the calming nature of a large, light-filled space without any clutter, is partly why Scandinavian design is so popular. Don’t you already feel more calm and relaxed, and breathing more deeply, as you read this? And once immersed in this feeling, why would a person not want that same sense surrounding them indoors?


This Scandinavian style furniture possesses the innate characteristics of well-designed fashion and streamlined and clean, architecturally advanced structures, natural and natural-looking materials, and neutral colours. So why not expand this esthetic beyond the boundaries of the outdoors?


That is why we at Cottage Culture have chosen to include some lovely natural rattan furniture in our collection. The natural material and clean, architectural lines of the furniture are in keeping with the Scandinavian aesthetic. While this natural rattan means that the furniture must be placed under a roof to be enjoyed, its style aligns with our Scandinavian outdoor furniture, and so allows clients to extend that clean but warm theme into their covered porches and three-season rooms.


The Rossvik natural rattan armchiar is one example.  It’s elegant and distinct, with clean straight lines and inviting proportions – just beckoning to you to come and relax.


And the hand-woven authentic rattan Bonete dining chair by skilled artisans is another beautiful example:

In addition to the design concept of using Scandinavian-style outdoor furniture indoors, we at Cottage Culture have chosen to extend the Scandinavian esthetic by bringing into the showroom a few exceptional pieces of indoor furniture from Conform, a Swedish sister company to our Swedish outdoor furniture supplier, Brafab. Conform has chosen to limit their production portfolio to making armchairs and footstools and doing it exceedingly well.


As the Conform company itself explains:


“No matter which road you take through the Swedish province of Småland, miles and miles of dense forest will be your constant companion. But every now and then the landscape opens up, and what you will see is likely a furniture factory.

In the old days, our part of the country demanded hard, laborious work. This would shape the people of Småland, who became sensible, honest and enduring – qualities that also became the framework of the furniture industry. Småland furniture did not say “Here I am,” but rather “I am here for you.”

The well-known Swedish Furniture District of today still rests on that original approach. It’s a heritage we are very proud to be a part of.”


Every piece of furniture from Conform is designed to be the most comfortable seat in your home.


All the Conform armchairs created by their skilled craftsmen have arched surfaces and moving lines with a natural direction, as well as built-in technology to support a person’s body in every position. Understanding how a user’s lower back changes and how a body’s centre of gravity shifts is essential in Conform’s product development. The company calls it the “sitting curve” and has been following it for decades. It has pushed their furniture to the international front lines of comfort.


Seeing and sitting are the first two words in the Conform dictionary. The company believes that each one of their armchairs should look so inviting that you just have to try it. The company also believes that once you’ve sat down in one of their chairs, you should never want to get back up again.


People coming into Cottage Culture, upon sitting in our Conform Timeout armchairs second this sentiment. In particular, those who already own a Stressless chair, when trying our Conform Timeout chairs are quick to point out that the Timeout feels more comfortable, and its reclining mechanism works more smoothly than their Stressless (which makes sense as the built-in Synchro Backup provides comfortable and ergonomically correct sitting in all positions). Also, that once seated, they don’t want to move! Huge praise indeed! and confirmation of the success of the Conform company’s design philosophy.


We encourage you to come in to Cottage Culture and try the classic, organically shaped Timeout swivel recliner armchair by Conform for yourself. It’s worth the drive to Hensall !



Angela Roth at 3:52 PM
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Planning for the first of Summer’s al fresco dinner parties !!

Planning for the first of Summer's   

al fresco dinner parties


After the moody weather we experienced throughout June, between rain and low night-time temperatures which threatened tender plants, who isn’t ready for a steady stream of sunny, warm and inviting summer days? We’ve finished planted our gardens or decorative pots and hanging baskets, tidied our decks and patios, washed off our outdoor furniture, fluffed the cushions and set up the patio umbrellas. All in preparation for enjoyable days spent relaxing outside in this beautiful part of Southwestern Ontario and sharing it with friends and family. And various news clips on the Weather Channel have been hinting that we’ll move straight from this up-and-down weather to warm summer, so we intend to be ready!


Thinking of an al fresco dinner party makes us feel as though we’ve truly left our soggy wet season behind and landed in a lovely warm European memory.



We know that there’s absolutely nothing better than enjoying a meal, especially the first one of our summer season outside in the fresh, warm air with family and friends, while ‘drinking in’ the sunshine (with that requisite glass of chilled wine, of course!)


If you are beginning to think, as I am, about all the friends who will be dropping by to enjoy this area with us over the coming months, you are likely starting to think about your space, seating to accommodate your family and friends and menu planning. And we’re not alone in thinking about these get-togethers, as I read that on e-tailer, Net-A-Porter, searches for “garden party” are up 110 percent year-over-year, with interest in fashion and tableware piquing in equal measure, a sign that we’re on the hunt to dress and decorate the part for our outdoor gatherings!


The key, though, to al fresco parties is for them to be easy-breezy, without having the host over-thinking or stressing out over planning. We have a few points about space, seating and menu-planning to get your creative juices flowing.



If you are planning a smaller get-together on your deck, and you’ve already done your clean-up and deck organization, you’re all set! Or you may be thinking about moving to your lawn or back garden for a larger group, which could require a little more organization of outdoor space. You might consider dividing your outdoor space into defined sections, such as a dining area, a bar area, and perhaps a lounge area, with enough open space for people to stand and move around if they wish. The space required will also depend on whether you wish a ‘proper’ sit-down at table dining option, or whether you envision a casual, laid-back event serving finger-foods that people can easily enjoy while standing or, after perching on a chair, bench or low wall, can eat from a plate in their laps.



Again, this is supposed to be simple and stress free, so think about what you already have, including indoor furniture which you can bring outside to augment and add interest to your outdoor furniture. The Scandinavian aesthetic of eclectic style – mixing and matching your chairs and dinnerware comes to the fore with this approach.


It you are in the market for some outdoor furniture, we at Cottage Culture are excited about our extendable tables, which can be shortened for your everyday use to suit your space, but extended to seat more people comfortably for larger dinner parties, just in time for the summer party season! Our longest table has room for at least 12 people or the shorter version accommodates 8-10 persons.


Other exciting table options include our new POLYWOOD® line, made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), with UV-inhibiting pigment and a 20-year guarantee! These smart and stylish, substantial tables can withstand the strongest westerly winds we experience along the Lake Huron shoreline. Choose from our Nautical trestle dining table or the bar height Edge table (POLYWOOD® bar chairs available) sitting six persons easily.

Another alternative we are keen about is the space and budget saving, dual-purpose Samvaro collection, including armchairs and sectional seating for lounging but which also allows for dining with its taller table, so you can enjoy meals, drinks and snacks, and not be eating on your lap!



Menu Planning

Then we come to menu planning, which can be the big stressor, as food is a major component of any party, but also takes a lot of planning and time to prepare several dishes for all those guests. No one wants to spend their precious time cooking when friends and family assemble on your patio, deck or lawn to share the lovely warm weather of the summer season.


Doing your menu-planning well in advance keeps you organized and gives you the chance to figure out what you can do ahead of time, and also determine how to minimize culinary effort when your company does arrive.

Suggestions for a few either make-ahead dishes or quick-and-easy recipes handy for spontaneous drop-in visitors, are found at the end of this blog, and are likely to be welcome when people are searching for some fresh ideas.

  • Baked ‘Barbecue’ Pork Appetizers  – easy to make and the pork can be made ahead

  • Mediterranean Potato Salad – a make-ahead favourite

  • Shrimp Rolls – a quick and easy variation on lobster rolls

  • Rhubarb Crisp – wonderful with the new spring rhubarb crop

An Internet search will also yield various websites with planning suggestions for feeding your company, especially if it’s at the cottage and they are coming to spend a few days. Those recommendations include the following list of ideas:


  • planning the menus for all meals for each day ahead of time,

  • choosing a few key dishes,

  • sticking with dishes you know well,

  • selecting recipes that are quick to make, with readily available ingredients,

  • avoiding complicated and time-consuming steps, and

  •  selecting simpler recipes that require fewer ingredients.

Another suggestion to make it easy on yourself is to have your company bring a dish or two with them so you can host pot-luck style for one or more of the meals.

A selection of those websites is as follows:


If you would like further advice or have questions, the staff at Cottage Culture is here to help, offering free styling advice and layouts of the furniture in your outdoor space. Visit our showroom in Hensall, Ont., to sit in and get a feel for your new outdoor furniture before you make a purchase. With free delivery (within an hour distance from Hensall), plus installation, our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to enjoy your personal outdoor oasis!


Looking for more outdoor living inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!


And now for the recipes themselves…


Baked ‘Barbecue’ Pork Appetizer


This pork dish can be made ahead and frozen, so you are ready for company.



2 whole pork tenderloins (about 12 ounces or 340 g each)  

¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce  

2 tbsp (30 ml) dry red wine

1 tbsp (15 ml) brown sugar

1 tbsp (15 ml) honey

2 tsp (10 ml) red food colouring, if desired

½ tsp (2 ml) ground cinnamon

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 green onion, cut in half

Green Onion Curls, for garnish if desired




  1. Remove and discard fat from meat.
  2. Combine soy sauce, wine, sugar, honey, food colouring, cinnamon, garlic and onion in large bowl. Add pork, turning tenderloins to coat completely. Cover and let stand at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.
  3. Drain pork, reserving marinade. Place pork on wire rack over a baking pan.
  4. Bake in preheated 350-degree (180 C) oven until done, about 45 minutes. Turn and baste frequently during baking.
  5. Remove pork from oven. Cool. (It can be frozen at this point for future use.)
  6. Cut into diagonal slices and serve on thin slices of dark pumpernickel bread with grainy mustard. Garnish with green onion curls, if you wish to dress it up.



Mediterranean Potato Salad

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes (plus chilling time)

Serves: 8



2 pounds redskin potatoes, cooked, cooled and cut into cubes

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered

3 green onions, washed, thinly sliced



Place the cooked, cubed potatoes in a large bowl.

In a measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing mixture over the potatoes and stir gently. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, olives and green onions and gently stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow flavours to blend.


Note: if you’d like to soften the ready-to-eat sun-dried tomatoes in this recipe, place them in the bottom of a colander and drain the cooled potatoes over them.


About 137 calories per serving.


Shrimp Rolls  

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4



1 lemon, halved

8 cups water

1 bay leaf

1 lb. peeled and deveined raw medium shrimp

5 tablespoons mayonnaise

3 tablespoons finely diced celery (from 1 stalk)

2 tablespoons finely diced fennel (from 1 bulb)

1 tablespoon finely diced shallot (from 1 small shallot)

¼ teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 ½ teaspoons fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

½ teaspoon celery seeds

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, divided

1 head Bibb lettuce

4 hot dog buns or soft rolls, split




Squeeze lemon halves into a medium saucepan, and place in pan. Add water and bay leaf, bring to a boil over high. Add shrimp, and cook until pink and opaque, about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Drain in a colander, and rinse under cold water 2 to 3 minutes to stop the cooking process. Coarsely chop shrimp.
Stir together shrimp, mayonnaise celery, fennel, shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, celery seeds, salt and ½ tablespoon of the chives in a large bowl.
Place 2 to 3 lettuce leaves in each bun; top with ½ cup shrimp mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining ½ tablespoon chives.



Rhubarb Crisp  



4 cups young rhubarb

3 tablespoons water

1 cup brown sugar

¼ cup rolled oats  

½ cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter or margarine




Wash and dice rhubarb.
Spread rhubarb in shallow buttered baking dish. Pour water over rhubarb and sprinkle with ½ cup of the sugar.
Mix remaining sugar with oats, flour and seasonings, then sprinkle over butter or margarine in a mixing bowl. Mix until crumbly.
Sprinkle crumble mixture over rhubarb and pat firmly.
Bake at 325 degrees F for about 1 hour, or until bubbly. Top should be crisp.
Serve with cream or ice cream.







Janet Baird-Jackson at 7:10 PM
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Polywood Outdoor Furniture at Cottage Culture

Polywood now at Cottage Culture

Most everyone is excited to see, receive and try out new things, and we at Cottage Culture are no different. We are excited with the recent arrival of our new line of low-maintenance, functional, stylish and comfortable, sustainable outdoor HDPE furniture, POLYWOOD® Furniture.


We think you too will be excited when you see the clean and stylish lines of this furniture crafted by a family company to be loved through countless seasons.

Here is what the company Owners have to say:


“More than 30 years ago, we were the first to create all-weather furniture using recycled plastics. And our mission today remains the same. POLYWOOD is forever furniture, designed to be loved through countless seasons and proudly crafted in America with industry-leading sustainability practices.”


What is POLYWOOD® Furniture?


POLYWOOD® Furniture is built using POLYWOOD® lumber made with high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a dense, high-quality plastic. UV-inhibiting pigment systems are blended into the POLYWOOD® material during the production process. Of particular note is that HDPE plastic is a preferred material for incorporating protectants and UV inhibitors, as its molecular structure effectively bonds with these additives during manufacturing. This is different from a protective coating, which only covers the surface.

The POLYWOOD® Furniture itself is made in a fashion similar to solid wood furniture - using metal bolts and screws, not like your everyday, one-piece light plastic furniture made from a mold, which may last only a season or two. The pricing then reflects this difference with craftsmanship in the construction process versus a mold.


Polywood Design Series - Where design meets quality


Find exceptional craftsmanship in this series, from sketch to finished product - every detail in the Designer Series is designed, and crafted, with care and precision, and proudly made in North America.


The Designer Series is created for those who appreciate minimalist design and bold expression, with clean lines, crisp angles and a unique brushed finish – an instant classic! The spacious frames create a balanced yet striking aesthetic, which makes your outdoor space feel open and inviting. The exceptional deep comfort of the cushions on the modular lounge encourage you to linger and enjoy. Select from the various pieces in the series and create the perfect layout to suit your individual space.


What care is involved?


POLYWOOD® Furniture is built to withstand all four seasons and a wide range of areas with harsh weather conditions, including hot sun, snow, ice, salt spray, heavy winds and wildlife. Covering the furniture isn't necessary, but it can extend its life and make cleaning easier.


Potential Fading


POLYWOOD® Furniture, with its built-in UV-inhibiting pigment systems, is definitely designed to resist fading and degradation caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays are produced by the sun, and while no material is impervious to them, it’s possible to reduce their effects and prolong the life and looks of your furniture. If you wish to maintain the longevity of your POLYWOOD® colour, you might choose to keep the furniture out of direct sunlight by placing it in shaded areas such as under trees, covered porches, or pergolas. This will stave off fading and keep your setting cool on hot, sunny summer days. You might also choose more portable shade options such as patio umbrellas, sun (sail) shades, or a retractable awning. Seat cushions can also act as a sun barrier, in which case you will want to select high-quality performance fabrics, such as Sunbrella, since cushions are also vulnerable to fading after prolonged exposure. 


Colours of outdoor furniture also will make a difference as light hues reflect light better than darker ones, meaning they won’t fade as quickly beneath the sun. So, if your furniture will sit in direct sunlight, you may wish to choose outdoor furniture in pastels, shades of white, or light neutrals.

Winter storage:


Certain patio furniture materials handle winter weather better than others. The high-density polyethylene (HDPE) which is used in building POLYWOOD® Furniture is highly durable and can withstand wet and cold conditions.


Likewise, applying a protective coating or weatherproof cover is NOT necessary for this furniture.


However, while covering POLYWOOD® Furniture is NOT necessary, it can extend its life and make cleaning easier. If you choose to cover your POLYWOOD®, look for a durable, weatherproof cover to protect your furniture and accessories against the majority of wintertime woes. If you can’t find a cover that fits, a heavy-duty vinyl tarp is the next best choice. Just make sure to use one that’s breathable, UV-resistant, and waterproof, then anchor it to the ground so it won’t be blown away on a blustery day.


How to clean the furniture?


It is recommended to give your furniture a thorough cleaning before putting it away for the winter. Removing dirt, debris, moisture, and stains now will decrease the chances that mold, rust, and other damaging effects will develop. Plus, spring cleaning will go much easier and faster!


Mild dish soap, a bucket of warm water, a sponge, and a bit of elbow grease are all you need to get the job done for POLYWOOD® Furniture.


Warranty Information – direct from POLYWOOD®



Poly-Wood, LLC (hereinafter "POLYWOOD") warranties to the original purchaser ("Purchaser") that, for a period of twenty (20) years (except as specified below) of residential use from the date of purchase, under normal use and service conditions, POLYWOOD® furniture shall be free from material defects, and shall not splinter, crack, chip, peel, or rot, or suffer structural damage from insect infestation.


Welds and joints are warranted to not break or crack for five (5) years of residential use. Powder coat finish is warranted to not peel for five (5) years of residential use.


Hardware used in production or assembly of POLYWOOD furniture is warranted to not break for five (5) years of residential use.


Woven inserts are warranted to not fail structurally, crack, unravel, fade excessively, or rot for five (5) years of residential use.


Sling fabric is warranted from tears and becoming non-functional because of loss of dimensional stability from exposure conditions including sunlight, mildew, rot and abnormal atmospheric conditions for three (3) years of residential use. Abnormal or excessive discoloration and fading is covered.


Cushions, pillows, and umbrella canopies are warranted to be free from workmanship or material defects for thirty (30) days from purchase. The fabric on a cushion, pillow, or umbrella canopy is warranted to not tear, mildew, or fade excessively for one (1) year from purchase.

Umbrella frames and bases are not covered under the POLYWOOD warranty. (Click to view Treasure Garden, Inc. warranty)

For service under the Treasure Garden, Inc. warranty, please reach out to POLYWOOD or the POLYWOOD retailer from whom you purchased your umbrella.


The fire components used in fire pit tables, including Crystal Fire® burners, ignitions, electronics, and glass guards, are not covered under the POLYWOOD warranty. (Click to view the Outdoor GreatRoom Company warranty)

For service under the Outdoor GreatRoom Company warranty, please reach out to POLYWOOD or the POLYWOOD retailer from whom you purchased your fire pit table.


The following items are specifically excluded from the POLYWOOD limited residential warranty. POLYWOOD shall not be liable for any failure, defect or damage resulting from or connected with the following:

Fading, color change or color match – POLYWOOD lumber is made with UV-stabilizers to minimize fading; however, upon exposure to the sun, all colors will fade to some degree. To minimize possible fading: keep product covered, utilize cushions where applicable, minimize direct sunlight by storing product when not in use, or use a UV-protectant
Color or pattern variance between any new replacement section or pieces and other sections or pieces
Rust or corrosion of stainless steel or zinc coated steel hardware (please see Cleaning/Maintenance information for details on how to maintain your hardware)
Rust or corrosion of steel frames
Assembly or handling of products after they leave our factory, including any lack of performance or improper performance in any way by the dealer or assembler. For more information on proper assembly, please visit our POLYWOOD Assembly Tips page
Abnormal use of products
Improper use of products with fire components, such as lighting a Crystal Fire burner without using the glass guard
The application of paint, varnish or other coating or chemical not approved by POLYWOOD or the application of heat or radiation from an external source, such as a barbecue grill, another appliance, fire or reflection from windows or doors
Any lack of compatibility between our products and any other product not manufactured by us that causes damage to or failure of our products
Post-delivery labor, transportation or assembly costs
Damage caused by, among other things, use of incompatible accessories, intentional acts, unreasonable use, misuse, physical abuse, permanent deformation or destruction by human or animal, vandalism, riot, insurrection or civil disorder, accidents or corrosive atmospheres (such as those contaminated by acid rain, harmful chemicals or vapors), or any act of God (such as fire, flooding, hurricane, earthquake, tornado, lightning, ice, etc.), environmental condition (such as air pollution, mold, mildew, etc.), staining from foreign substances (such as dirt, grease, oil, etc.), or normal weathering (defined as exposure to sunlight, weather and atmosphere which may cause any colored surface to gradually fade, darken, chalk, or accumulate dirt or stains)
Assembly of hardware, accessory items, or defects caused by their assembly

We reserve the right to discontinue or modify any product line or color without notifying the Purchaser. If the original product is not available, we retain the right to choose to provide replacement material of equal value or quality.

No person or entity is authorized by POLYWOOD to make and POLYWOOD shall not be bound by any statement or representation as to the quality or performance of POLYWOOD products other than as contained in this warranty. This warranty may not be altered or amended except in a written instrument signed by POLYWOOD and Purchaser.

Under no circumstances will POLYWOOD be liable for special, incidental or consequential damages, whether such damages are sought in contract, in tort (including but not limited to negligence and strict liability) or otherwise, and POLYWOOD’s liability with respect to defective products shall in no event exceed the replacement of such products or return of the purchase price, as described above.

Some states do not allow the exclusions or limitations of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights that vary from state to state.

This warranty shall only be applicable and enforceable in the United States of America (excluding U.S. territories) and Canada.

Proper maintenance of your product is required to support the benefits of this warranty. This warranty is voided in the event that there are indications of abuse or neglect to the furniture. This warranty does not apply to normal wear and tear effects on POLYWOOD products, which are received by regular use of the products.

This warranty is effective for products purchased on or after 4/2/2019.

Angela Roth at 9:06 AM
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Benefits and Uses of Artificial Plants and Flowers

Benefits and Uses of

Artificial Plants and Flowers


“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”

English Proverb



We all feel the urge to get outside when the sun is shining and the days are getting longer and warmer. And with the advent of spring around us, our thoughts inevitably turn to our own gardening, whether that is crop, vegetable, herb or flower gardening, in acres of fields, large plots, back yards, or small containers.


Working in nature on larger scale, or decorating with plants, has become very popular recent times, since the start of the pandemic for sure, as we seek to reconnect with nature and explore its soul-nourishing impact and benefits. Many of us enjoy frequent visits to our local green houses, and sorting out the shrubs and flowers we want to plant for this season, or splitting existing plants with our gardener friends to spread the green bounty. But some of us with less green thumbs, who have trouble keeping anything green alive (I’m looking in the mirror) or with more challenging locations, like high summer heat, south-facing flower beds and patios, find our live plants require even more care, demand more time that we have, and seem to need replacing mid-season when the sun scorches them to bits, or if not replaced, leaving an undecorated space, which is not ideal.


And so, I’ve now discovered a little secret: professional decorators, even the famous ones, use artificial plants because they’re easy to incorporate with nature, bringing in some colour and joy into the space. Some avid flower gardeners have also shared that their live plant habit is very expensive when considering not only the plants themselves, but also the fertilizer, ground cover fabric, mulch, water, tools and time required to monitor and care for the plantings; so they too, are beginning to selectively choose artificial plants.


Where to start if you’ve never considered artificial plants before and are just venturing into this alternative to dressing your outdoor space? The following  are a few key tips to make artificial plants look real, and make you appear to have that proverbial green thumb!


  • Buy quality plants and greenery. Stay away from the dollar store or bargain bin choices. Cottage Culture is now stocking some high quality, made in Canada, artificial plants and trees in hanging baskets and big planters.
  • Keep your faux plants looking fresh and natural. Use a flower and plant UV protector to prevent discolouration or fading, also available at Cottage Culture, at the start of each season.
  • Keep your artificial plants free of dust. Wipe down the leaves and flowers every now and then. A feather duster makes this task easy.
  • Consider the shapes and patterns found in nature. Use them to create a flowing and seamless design – rocks, pebbles, wood can help create a sense of balance and harmony.
  • Add moss, real soil or rocks to the container. That will help hide any plastic-y parts.
  • Add water to a vase of plant stems or leaves. This contributes to the look of live greens. Also trim any metal bits protruding from the stems or paint with clear nail polish to prevent rust marks on the vase or container.


The next natural step is to consider how to incorporate artificial plants into your garden scheme or your patio, porch or balcony planter displays to add a touch of greenery and warmth to breathe new life into your outdoor environment. The following list of ideas should help spur your creativity.


  1. Consider the Sun and Shade Consider the amount of sun and shade hitting each side of your garden or patio, and how live plants react to those factors, allowing you to select the types of faux plants consistent with each condition, and providing more realism. For example, if you have a shady spot in your garden, you can choose fake ferns, ivy, or hostas, which are all known to thrive in low-light conditions. On the other hand, if you have a sunny spot, you can choose faux succulents, cacti, or other sun-loving plants like bougainvillea and geraniums.
  2. Mix artificial and live plants and flowers Mixing faux plants with real plants makes for a more realistic showing, whether it’s a mix of pots or a display within your garden.
  3. Captivate with Planters and Containers One of the easiest ways to incorporate faux plants allowing you to create stunning arrangements of different types of plants, which can be placed in various locations throughout your garden.
  4. Go Big on Variety A variety of faux plants in your garden can add depth and interest to your decor. Mixing different types of plants, such as flowers, succulents, tropicals and exotics and greenery, can create a vibrant and natural look. Consider using plants in different sizes, colors, and textures to create a dynamic garden display.
  5. Vertical Wall Displays This allows you to add greenery to your garden without taking up valuable ‘floor space’. A variety of materials to create your vertical display include pallets, wire mesh, and hanging planters.

  6. Hanging Garden Plant Display A hanging garden planter or basket design is a great idea to make use of the vertical space in your garden while also incorporating faux plants. You might create this look by using a hanging planter with multiple levels and filling each level with a variety of faux plants, or use a series of hanging baskets, creating a lush and full display perfect for adding color and texture to your outdoor space. These can be hung from a variety of metal garden hangers, tree branch, pergola or awning frame to create a stunning and eye-catching display.

  7. Variations of Height Varying the height of your plants creates a layered look, achieved by placing taller plants towards the back of your garden and shorter plants towards the front,  and a garden both visually appealing and unique. Repurposing an old shelving unit, tiered stand or old step ladder is a creative way to add a touch of charm to your home garden decoration. You can place a variety of fake plants on each level to create an eye-catching display. This idea is particularly useful for smaller gardens or balconies where floor space is limited. To create this look, choose different types of plants with varying heights and textures. You can place taller plants at the top of the tiered stand or ladder and shorter ones at the bottom to create a balanced display. You could also add hanging planters or add hooks to the sides of a ladder to create even more space for plants.

  8. Flowerpot Centerpiece A flower pot centerpiece is a simple and elegant way to incorporate faux plants into your garden decor. To create this look, you can use a large decorative pot and fill it with a variety of artificial garden flowers, succulents, or greenery. Then place the pot on a table or other elevated surface in your garden to create a beautiful and eye-catching centerpiece. Larger free standing urns may be employed as well, with real and faux plants sharing space, such as live dracaena with faux flowers surrounding it.

  9. Stylishly Dress Up Garden Entrances To make a grand entrance to your garden, consider adding stylish decorations at the entrance. One idea is to use a decorative arch or trellis with climbing faux plants. Other ideas include using large stately urns on either side to mark the garden entrance, or potted plants and flowers to line the pathway to the garden. You can also add decorative items like hanging plants, lanterns, or strings of twinkle lights to create an inviting and welcoming entrance.

    Use Every Corner of Your Garden When decorating your garden with faux plants, don’t be afraid to use every corner of the space, including vertical surfaces like walls and fences. You can use artificial boxwood greenery walls, hanging flower baskets, wall planters, and trellis to add interest and texture to your garden. You might also consider using artificial grass for the garden to create a border along the edge of your garden or to fill in empty spaces between real plants. This will help create a cohesive and lush look throughout your garden.

  10. Turn Your Garden into a Tropical Oasis If your vision is to create a relaxing and exotic atmosphere in your garden, consider turning it into a tropical oasis using faux plants. This can be achieved by using plants with large leaves, bright colors such as bougainvillea, and unique textures, such as palm trees, birds of paradise, or bamboo.

  11. Make Use of Garden Ornaments as a Finishing Touch To add a finishing touch to your garden decor, consider the use of decorative ornaments like statues, birdbaths, or wind chimes. These ornaments can help tie together the different elements of your garden decor and create a cohesive and polished look. You can also use ornaments to add a touch of personality to your garden by choosing items that reflect your personal style and interests. For example, if you love animals, you can use animal-themed ornaments like bird feeders or animal statues to add a playful and whimsical touch to your garden. Another option to use is artificial topiary balls or topiary animals. And to complete your artificial garden decor look, you can add accessories like lanterns, outdoor rugs, and furniture made from natural look materials like rattan or wicker.



The artificial plants and flowers which Cottage Culture stocks are very low maintenance, Canadian-made, long-lasting and come in a variety of styles and sizes, ready to add a touch of greenery and warmth to your space.


If you are still feeling tentative or have questions, the staff at Cottage Culture is here to help, offering free styling advice. We can also create layouts of furniture you may be considering for your outdoor space. Visit our showroom in Hensall, Ont.



Janet Baird-Jackson at 6:05 PM
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Creating your own backyard escape

Creating You own Backyard Escape


Where to Begin? 

These last few days of sunny, warmer weather that we have enjoyed (plus the absence of those pesky snow flurries, finally!) has us beginning to plan our summer outdoor life. I’m sure we’re not alone in dreaming of lovely summer days in the sunshine, relaxing in a comfortable chair or lounge, with an iced beverage and a good book!


Turning your backyard into a relaxing retreat can be a wonderful way to create a tranquil and inviting space. Wondering just how to achieve your vision? And how to ensure it looks stylish?

We all want our patio, decks and backyard areas to look like the enticing versions we see in the pages of outdoor design magazines, but often are unsure how to elevate our own spaces to a place where they look thoughtfully planned. 


You can create your own escape! The following series of steps may help you in your creative thinking about the transformation of your backyard into a peaceful oasis. More thoughts on  styling follow this multi-point list.


Plan and Design:

  • Assess the available space and consider the layout, size and any existing features.
  • Determine the purpose of your retreat. Do you want a space for dining, entertaining, gardening, quiet reading or contemplation, or a combination of activities?
  • Sketch a rough scaled layout or create a digital design to visualize the elements you want to incorporate. You might also consider working with a professional designer to create a detailed plan.

Create a Focal Point:​

  • Choose a focal point that will draw attention and create a sense of serenity. It could be a water feature like a fountain or pond, a beautiful tree, a sculpture or a seating area.
  • Organize the design so that the focal point is in a visually appealing location where it can be easily seen and enjoyed.

Define Spaces:

  • Consider dividing your backyard into different functional zones based on your needs, or how you will use the space, plus space available. For example, you could have separate areas for dining, conversation, gardening, lounging and relaxation.
  • Use hedges, fences, pergolas, lattice, or even a row of smaller evergreens in planters to create physical boundaries and provide privacy for each space.
  • If the space available is limited, consider your key priorities to help in deciding how you might create a multi-function space.

Seating and Comfort:

  • Select comfortable outdoor furniture the suits your style and the purpose of each area. Where space is limited, opt for seating which will address more than one need, such as the relaxed conversation seating/dining selection found in Cottage Culture’s Samvaro collection.
  • Opt for weather-resistant materials like sustainable teak, all-weather wicker or metal such as powder coated aluminum. Choose UV and stain resistant, all weather outdoor fabrics such as Sunbrella or Olefin, the European version of Sunbrella.
  • Provide ample seating options including chairs, benches or loungers to accommodate different preferences and activities.

Landscaping and Plantings:

  • Choose plants and flowers that promote relaxation and a calming atmosphere. Consider using aromatic herbs like lavender or plants with soft textures and soothing colours. If there is a very hot, high sun area which destroys plants, consider artificial greenery.
  • Incorporate a variety of foliage to add depth and interest to your backyard. Include a mix of trees, shrubs and groundcovers. Consider mixing artificial plants with live plants for more variety and interest.
  • Create a balance between open spaces and areas with more dense vegetation to ensure a harmonious environment.


  • Install appropriate outdoor lighting to add ambience and extend the useability of your backyard retreat into the evening.
  • Utilize a combination of ambient lighting such as twinkly fairy lights, strings of Edison-bulb-type lights, or lanterns, and task lighting for specific areas like pathways, tables and food areas.
  • Consider adding candle lanterns or torches for a warm inviting glow.
  • If space allows, consider a firepit for warmth and charm, as well as cooking opportunities to extend the use of your space earlier and later in the season.

Canvas Shade:

  • Consider a deck umbrella, a sun (sail) shade, or an awning, either attached to your home, or one which perhaps forms the ‘ceiling’ of a pergola, to add some necessary respite from direct sun for your company or yourself.

Permanent Shade:

  • If you find yourself using your space more than anticipated, then as time and budget permit, you may wish to consider adding a permanent shade structure - perhaps attached to your home, or a gazebo to create a focal point in your backyard.

Final Touches:

  • Add outdoor rugs, side tables and/or coffee table, a footstool or two, cushions, and throws to enhance comfort and create a cozy ambience.
  • Layer in other personal touches such as storage baskets, wall art, outdoor speakers and tabletop accessories to truly make the space your own.

Thoughts on Style 

Considering Your Budget

A stylish outdoor space doesn’t necessarily require a large budget, and it truly is all about the styling! Timelessness never goes out of style, and there’s nothing better for the budget than that!


While it may be tempting to try to save money on the seemingly more utilitarian parts of a project, it’s something you can live to regret. To borrow a fashionista’s way of justifying a bigger spend, you have to consider the cost per use. Selecting well made, clean-lined, architectural outdoor furniture in neutral shades will ensure a classic, comfortable look that will last for years.


Alternatively, you might consider outdoor furniture that doesn’t look like outdoor furniture, but rather, pieces that could be chic enough to be brought indoors for the winter season, providing more use throughout the year for your initial investment.


Or if you are looking for a slight reinvigoration while keeping your existing well-loved furniture, you can freshen up your existing layout with a statement piece or two. Doing so would be to adopt the Scandinavian aesthetic, which leans into styling with a fabulous eclectic mix that is unexpected but perfectly designed.


Another approach, particularly if undertaking a lot of landscaping, whether hardscaping and/or gardening in addition to adding or updating furniture, is to start small. Choose that portion of your overall plan which is your priority area and work at it over time, providing an even greater sense of accomplishment when complete.


Any of these options provides you with an enduring investment certain to bring a lifetime of enjoyment and the timeless aesthetic you want. Then all you require if you wish to freshen the look over time is to change up the pillows or throws, not replace all the furniture.

Choosing a Style

In choosing a style, your outdoor furniture choices will reflect your personal style and taste, whether teak frame, all-weather wicker or powder-coated aluminum with either all-weather cushions or mesh sling styles. Or you might choose furniture that mimics the style and design of the décor within your home for a truly cohesive look.


If you are shopping for new furniture, the Scandinavian design outdoor furniture at Cottage Culture, with its beautiful, clean lines, minimalism, functionality and neutral, monochromatic colours which harmonize with the outdoors, fits this classic design aesthetic.  This furniture provides the timelessness and longevity of a look you will enjoy for many years to come.


Organic and natural materials often take pride of place in Scandinavian design, reflecting the Scandinavian and Nordic countries relationship to nature. Wood, lightened to fit with a neutral color palette, stone, cotton, and wool feature heavily in Scandinavian design, as do plants.


This clean but warm theme, alongside the calming nature of a large, light-filled space without any clutter, is partly why Scandinavian design is so popular. Don’t you already feel more calm and relaxed, and breathing more deeply, as you read this?


A Few Other Budget conscious Style Tricks

Use a tray to display

A styling trick is to group items together on a tray; examples would be on a footstool with books and candles, or a side table with lantern and coaster for your iced tea. This strategy makes a space feel more considered and adds another layer of texture and colour too!


Add a pop of red

A flash of red in your exterior does for your space what a good red lip does for your outfit (Our 99-year old mother swears by her red lipstick, and who’s to argue with her?) – it delivers a good dose of dopamine, while remaining classic. As such, it’s a standard designer trick – though you might not have consciously noticed.  That pop of red elevates a space by adding an unexpected and contrasting element, allowing the eye to rest on one area or one piece in the space. Having a statement red accessory can break up a space and stop it from feeling too ‘put-together’. If looking for ideas, you could paint a back door red, or for a smaller change, consider accessorizing with a red footstool or candlesticks. You might also consider using live plants in bright bold reds to provide dimension and contrast, whether in planters, hangings baskets or plantings in your garden. A few fabulous choices include ranunculus, lipstick plants, or easy-care plants such as azaleas available in bold red colours or geraniums.


Save on cushions and throws

Breathe some fresh newness into your rooms with the addition of some throws and toss cushions, whether in muted Scandi tones, brighter splashes of colour or some pattern.


Cottage Culture has an assortment of Pokoloko throws currently on sale, and all-weather cushions which will add freshness to your interior and can move outside as the weather warms up. The all-weather fabric is easy clean, a handy feature with kids, pets and parties!


If you are still feeling tentative or have questions the staff at Cottage Culture is here to help, offering free styling advice and layouts of the furniture for your outdoor space. Visit our showroom in Hensall, Ont. to sit in and get a feel for your new patio furniture before you make your purchase. With free delivery (within an hour distance from Hensall) and installation our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to enjoy your personal outdoor retreat!

Janet Baird-Jackson at 2:50 PM
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