For many years, outdoor furniture was treated as a disposable category. These days, manufacturers are emphasizing style and comfort – and many consumers aren’t flinching at the price tag. Homeowners are considering these elegant outdoor furnishings as investments they plan to keep season after season.
Lighting manufacturers have stepped up their outdoor designs as well, providing stylish alternatives to the ubiquitous globe pole lights and rope lighting attached to the underside of patio umbrellas. These hardy lamps look very much like their indoor counterparts, only with all-weather fabrics and rugged materials. The UL-listing for wet locations means they are safe to use in wet environments.
Very often consumers don’t think about upgrading their outdoor living spaces until they are in the midst of the summer season. Therefore it’s the perfect time to create a vignette at the front of your showroom that taps these two trends. Use spots of color to attract attention – it could be bright cushions on summer chairs or colorful accessories such as plates, glasses, and napkins on an outdoor dining table. Most important of all, bring in an assortment of complementary outdoor lamps and fixtures that will enhance your presentation.
The two most prominent themes in this year’s outdoor furniture collections were pops of color – most notably ocean blue – and classic furniture styles that look as if they belong indoors. Clearly, this isn’t your momma’s lawn furniture!
The Seneca dining set from Kannoa (www.kannoa.com) features sturdy aluminum frames covered with all-weather wicker. This weather-resistant outdoor furniture has comfy pull-out cushioned chairs specifically designed for extreme durability.
The Madera collection by Brown Jordan (www.brownjordan.com) is a modern interpretation of traditional-styled furniture in a durable mahogany wood that can withstand the elements. The round waterfall arms, subtle curves on the chair’s back rest, and gently flared legs add architectural interest.