Looking for a green way to spend your summer vacation?
Republished courtesy of www.jetsongreen.com
Looking for a green way to spend your summer vacation this year? Less than a one-hour drive east of Seattle, Washington, you can find the Tolt MacDonald Park & Campground nestled in the Tolt River-John MacDonald Park, which is run by King County Natural Resources and Parks.
The Tolt Campground unveiled its first new Camping Container last September, an upcycled surplus 24-foot shipping container that utilizes recycled and sustainable materials to provide comfortable accommodations to visiting families (it sleeps up to four in a double/single futon bunk bed and a futon chair that converts to a single bed).
The sustainable features of the project, developed by Joel Egan of Seattle design firm, HyBrid Arc, include LED lighting, radiant heating, use of low-VOC materials. His treatment was the winning design in a contest run by King County that required submissions to be green and focus on recycle and reuse concepts. If you’re interested in “tiny home” living, staying in the Camping Container is a great way to find out if you are capable of living this small and to get inspiration for your own upcycled shipping container designs.
Located on the Park’s west side, across from the Snoqualmie River, the Camping Container site is walk-in only on a path that crosses a 500-foot suspension bridge. It is available for overnight stays starting from $50 per night on weekends between May 1 through September 30.
Tolt Park also has camping areas for tents, recreational vehicles, and small and large groups. Six yurt structures that sleep up to seven people are available for two-day minimum stays on weekends and three day minimum stay on holidays.
Outdoor Patio Furniture Buyers Guide
Check out this great article and buyers guide for patio furniture in Maryland and Virgina courtesy of Family Leisure Company.
Before you order patio furniture, answer the following questions:
1. How much furniture do you need to create the atmosphere you desire?
If you're unsure what furniture to buy, consider the following:
- Small backyards are ideal for bistro sets or chaise lounges bookending a tea table, perfect for a relaxing afternoon with your spouse or sharing a bottle of wine with a friend.
- A medium-size patio will look great with a square table and chairs, flanked by accessories like potted plants or cement planters.
- A large backyard might include a rectangular dining table and chairs, a grill, a bar and bar stools. Start with a table and add pieces as you acclimate to your new space.
2. What table shape should you purchase?
Tables come in a variety of shapes:
- Tea: Enjoy a glass of iced tea while you relax outside and read from a good book.
- Bistro: is perfect for a meal for two, whether a light lunch or romantic dinner.
- Square: Seats four. Think summer breezes and lunch on the terrace with the in-laws.
- Bar height: Gather friends on the porch for cocktails and a post-game discussion.
- Oval: Can accommodate six people. Good for a small dinner party.
- Picnic: Backyard parties start with this table, which seats eight, and looks great next to a gas grill.
- Rectangle: Seats 12 people. Excellent for an outdoor dinner with friends.
3. What type of material will withstand the weather conditions in your climate?
- Plasict long-lasting, recycled and is made to withstand all climates. Available in chaise lounges, rockers, swings, stools and more.
- Teak or cherry are sturdy, solid, beautiful and classic. Adds elegance to your patio and can retain original look or weather naturally to a light grey.
- Wrought iron is durable, family-friendly, rust-resistant and available in a variety of styles.
- Aluminum is rust-resistant, lightweight, rust-resistant and complements any style of furniture.
- Wicker is weather-friendly, hand-woven from synthetic materials and budget-friendly.
- Sling is great outdoors, especially around the pool, can come with or without cushions and is considered the most contemporary of all outdoor furniture.
4. How are you going to decorate?
- Above all, have fun when it comes to decorating your patio or backyard! Don't worry if you have no design experience or can't afford to hire a professional to help you. After choosing the shape and size of your outdoor furniture, allow your personal preferences and backyard’s landscaping to determine the pieces you select. Mix and match for a look unique to your interests and favorites.
- Decorate an empty space with a table, chairs and more, but make sure you allow room for guests to move around easily. Allow room for accessories as well, whether you'll be planting flowers, setting pool equipment to the side or installing paving stones for a walkway.
- Choose deep seating to recreate the look and feel of the indoors in your outdoor space.
- Complement your design choice by adding colorful and comfortable cushions. Bold, bright patterns draw attention to your patio while shades of green blend in with the environment.
- Purchase cushions with a zipper that allows you to change the cover depending on your mood. Solution-dyed acrylic and other all-weather materials withstand conditions in most climates and increase your outdoor enjoyment.
- Prolong the life of your outdoor investments with regular maintenance. Carefully inspect each piece when you move the furniture into the garden each spring and back to the garage in the fall. Some pieces will look their best if you keep them oiled regularly and some pieces will require little to no maintenance at all. If you won tubular metal be sure the drain holes, located at the bottom of each tube, are clear of debris and can drain. If excess water builds the water could freeze once the winter hits, expanding and cracking your aluminum or wrought iron patio furniture.
Additional Questions To Ask Before Shopping For Patio Furniture:
How is this furniture going to be primarily used? For example, do you have quiet family dinners or rowdy neighborhood parties? Will you use the furniture on a daily basis or just on rare occasions? Is this just for dining, or do you also want a lounging area?
Who is going to be using the furniture? Do you have a small family? Do you often entertain large groups of people? Do you have young children, teenagers or older adults utilizing your furniture?
Where is the furniture going to be placed? Inside a sun or four season room? Outside on a wooden deck or a paver patio? Will it be on the grass or concrete slab? Will it be in a sheltered area or fully exposed to the elements?
Are there any special considerations you need to account for prior to buying your furniture? Do you have a pool or are you near salt water? Do you live in a windy area? Do you have large trees? Do you have pets? Do you have a place to store the furniture during the winter?
What is your style? Do you prefer classic, traditional looks or do you favor clean, modern designs? Do you want your outdoor room to reflect the décor of the inside of your home or do you want to achieve a certain mood?
2013 New Product Sneak Peek
As 2012 wraps up we are excited about some big changes coming to Robbies Billiards in the upcoming year. A new generation has taken over the operation of this 60 year old company and as huge fans of entertaining at home we have big plans. Robbies is not a "me too" type of store so what you will see and experience will be very different from other home game room retailers in Maryland and Virginia. Here is a preview of some unique product offerings you will see in the Robbies showrooms in 2013 and beyond!
Best Selling Pool Tables of 2012
It has been a great year so far at Robbies with our new "Exclusive Lifetime Guarantee Program" combined with our premium vendors like Brunswick, Olhausen, and Legacy Billiards, especially in the Pool Table category. Our Kensington Maryland "Design Center" draws a very diverse range of customers looking for everything under the Sun to complete their vision for a dream entertainment space. Styles are changing and customer taste varies from Maryland, to Virginia, to DC, then out to the rural areas of West Virginia. We would like to present a list of our most popular and best selling pool tables of 2012. This list is not necessarily by volume but also by price range, showroom presence, and intangible "hotness".
The Grace by Olhausen Billiards
The Glenwood by Brunswick Billiards
The Hampton by Olhausen Billiards
The Chicago by Olhausen Billiards
Best Pool Tables Under $2,000
Very few new pool tables fall into the highly affordable sub $2,000 price range. Early in the 2000's oversees manufacturing began to drive down the cost of entry level slate pool tables. Before 2001 your main option under $2,000 was an ugly laminate box with 3/4" slate and plastic pockets. These "basement dwellers" were an eye sore but played fairly well and still lurk in many Man Caves. Much has changed with the advent of import pool tables and less expensive manufacturing techniques. You will not find many premium tables for under 2 Grand as most of what you see online is "off brand" and available from fly-by-night drop shippers running web site only stores. If you know where to look, however, there are some VERY good deals to be had for less than $2,000. Here is our list of the Best Pool Tables for under $2,000.
The Black Wolf is a throw back to the days of Laminate "ball return" style tables sold primarily during the 70's and 80's. Boy things are looking up with the Brunswick Black Wolf. Starting under $2,000 you can even get a Ball Return System, something almost completely gone from the modern pool table industry. If retro cool mixed with a modern color scheme is your cup of tea the Black Wolf delivers. Wide Rails? Check. Heavy duty dent and mar resistant laminate? Check. Real three piece diamond honed 1" Framed Slate (same slate as sits on all Brunswick Tables, even THIS ONE!) Check. Lifetime Warranty, even on the cushion rubber? Check. The style is not for everyone but the Man Cave still needs tables like the Black Wolf and even your wife can't complain when you get all of this for under 2 Grand.
Announcing the "Robbies Exclusive Lifetime Guarantee"
We are proud to announce the "Robbies Exclusive Lifetime Guarantee" available to New Pool Table and Shuffleboard Table customers in Maryland, Virginia, DC, WV, and PA. Our Guarantee represents the most comprehensive Warranty Coverage and "Worry Free" ownership experience available ANYWHERE! Email email@example.com for Info.
#1: White Glove Delivery and Set Up from our In House Manufacturer Trained & Certified Master Technicians with 10+ Years Experience.-Contractors will never be used to install, service, or provide warranty work on any Robbies Table purchased in-store or online for local delivery.
#2: Lifetime Warranty Parts & Labor Guarantee-Labor Costs will always be covered by Robbies at no cost to you for the life of the manufacturer’s parts warranty.
-This warranty is voided if any non-Robbies Technician services, moves, or repairs the table.
-The manufacturer’s written warranty terms and conditions always take precedence over Robbies warranties written or implied
#3: Lifetime Guarantee on Pool Table Leveling i.e. “the pool balls will always roll straight on the pool table”-New 8' or larger pool tables with a minimum 1" thick three piece slate only.
-Level warranty is void if any non-Robbies technician moves or services the table, stands on the table, or has flooring or environmental conditions that prevent the table from staying level.
#4: Lifetime Trade in Program on Pool Tables and Shuffleboard Tables-Robbies will exchange any 7' or larger three piece slate pool table for a new table if the following conditions are met.
-Robbies will exchange any 12’ or larger shuffleboard table for a new table if the following conditions are met.
-Table must have been originally purchased at Robbies after 1991 with proof of purchase.
-Table must be in reasonable playable condition with no major structural damage, water damage, or excessive wear and tear.
-Credit on trade-in will be no more than 50% of the original purchase price of the table only, not including cloth, delivery charges, or add on items not part of the table itself.
-Trade-in on new table has to double the original purchase price.
-Table trade-in on new table must be of same general type, i.e. Pool Table for Pool Table, Shuffleboard Table for Shuffleboard Table.
-Table trade-in must be located in the same delivery and setup location as the new table purchased for a free tear down and trade. Tear down of the old table and setup of the new table purchased must be same day without any on-site delay caused by other workers. Any table being exchanged from a location other than that of the new table install will incur a standard minimum service charge of $225 or more for the extra trip.
#5: Lifetime Buy Back Guarantee on Pool Tables and Shuffleboard Tables-Robbies will buy back any 1" three piece slate Pool Table or 12' or larger shuffleboard table with free pickup as long as the following qualifications are met.
-Table must be in reasonable playable condition with no major structural damage, water damage, or excessive wear and tear.
-Table must be located within our standard white glove delivery area and no more than 1 floor above or below ground level at the location. Any special removal circumstances like additional steps, access windows, elevators, commercial locations, or jobs that require more than 2 technicians will incur additional fees debited against payment amount.
-Robbies will determine the payment amount to the seller based on current market value of the table itself without any delivery, installation, accessories, cloth, or upgrades. Robbies will set this price at their discretion and will not be obligated to pay any more than the fair used value as determined by them.
#5: Lifetime Coupons & Prefered Customer Discounts-Exclusive offers for our customers only, including deep discounts on service jobs + discounts on additional custom built items like Pool Tables, Shuffleboard Tables, Theater Seating, Home Bars, Bar Stools, Poker/Dining Tables, Foosball, Air Hockey, Sectional Couches, and much more!
*Official Rules and Guidelines for the Program are available in store only, please call or visit your local showroom for more information or EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
Best Pool Tables for Vacation Homes
Over the years we have traveled deep into the West Virginia Appalachian mountains and to beach homes on Maryland's Eastern Shore helping customers outfit vacation homes or rental properties. Other than a Hot Tub, the Pool Table is the ultimate recreation activity of choice for upscale vacation homes in this area. Because we have experience setting so many different styles of pool tables here is a list of the "best selling" pool tables for Vacation Homes in Maryland, Virginia, DC, West Virginia, and even Southern Pennsylvania.
Cuszoom.com Pool Table Review
While working with a preferred designer in Northern Virginia we ran into an issue with a pool table from cuszoom.com. Normally I would not refer visitors to my web site to a competitor but in this case I feel obligated to provide some education. We are the authorized manufacturer's representative for the Aramith Fusion Pool and Dining Table in Maryland, Virginia, and DC. The Fusion Table has been around for years and is a favorite among designers, architects, and buyers looking to source a table for apartment buildings. The hallmark of the Fusion Table you can read in detail from my previous REVIEW, but in simple terms it has a super modern clean look like nothing else on the market.
While I have a very good relationship with the designer in this case she could not pass up a "Fusion Look Alike" on cuszoom for half the price. She placed the order with them, paid in full via check, then confirmed that the table would be available in 2 to 3 months. As a designer the Pool / Dining table was for a client so her cost basis and delivery time frame was now promised to her client. As the delivery date approached my designer took the time to contact Cuszoom.com to confirm the table would be shipped and presumably set up at the clients location by the promised delivery date. At this point she was informed the table that she bought and paid for months earlier was in fact back ordered for another few months. In a panic she contacted us looking for a way to fill this order under a very tight time frame.
Her first disappointment came as the price of a real steel frame slate top pool table was much higher than what she had budgeted with her client. As there was no other real option at this point she confirmed the order with us for a real Aramith Fusion Pool/Dining Table. When she called cuszoom.com to get a refund there was some confusion. Apparently they could now fill the order ASAP! When my designer friend called me back to apologize and cancel her Fusion Table order as everything was going to move ahead smoothly with cuszoom I was more than a little exasperated. Having never heard of this company with I started digging online. What I found was troubling to say the least. I forwarded the following link to my designer from Complaintsboard.com. To sum it up, cuszoom.com is aparently an Internet Scam. There are dozens of people complaining about false advertising, missed shipping deadlines, a total lack of customer service, and in some cases downright fraud. Cuszoom also has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau stemming from multiple customer complaints. After reading this my designer immediately re-ordered the Fusion table for her client. Weeks later she has yet to receive a refund or even a return call from Cuszoom customer support. This is definitely a case of "if it seams too good to be true it probably is" and reinforces the need to make an effort to seriously research a companies reputation before spending thousands of dollars!
Aramith Fusion 7' Dining Pool Table Review
As part of our blog we are continuing to review some of the best selling and most unique game tables available today. One of the most unique tables in the world is the Fusion Table by Aramith. The Belgian Aramith brand is the largest and best know maker of billiard balls in the world. Aramith was recently purchased by Iwan Simonis, a 300 year old company and one of the largest manufacturer's of pocket billiard table fabric in the world. With this type of corporate pedigree, we expect big things from the Fusion Dining Pool Table! The Fusion Table is available in 7' only with half a dozen wood finish options, powder coated steel, and stainless steel cabinet styles. What makes the Fusion Table truly unique is the patented leg riser system that allows the table to rise from 30" dining height up to 33" (regulation American Billiards table height) making it a true hybrid dining and billiard table in one.