Summer design trends: What’s hot in outdoor furnishings
With barbecues and pool parties a standard summer weekend occurrence, you might be looking around your deck and thinking a sprucing up is in order. Today, it’s about creating outdoor living spaces that mimic indoor spaces in terms of look, feel, and function. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to do. Even if you don’t have the space – or the budget – to accommodate a high-end outdoor kitchen with an imported pizza oven, big-screen TV, and restaurant-quality appliances, you can still find outdoor furniture with all the sophistication and comfort of your living room pieces and beautiful accessories that run the gamut from rugs and dishware to pillows and lighting. And the best part? Summer sales are in full swing, making this the ideal time to spruce up your space.
Coastal colors or tropical tones: the choice is yours
Nothing says summer like an ocean-inspired color palette, and 2016 offerings do not disappoint. Aquamarine, navy, teal – just about any shade of blue – are perennial favorites and available everywhere on pillows, tabletop accessories, umbrellas, and outdoor area rugs. Gray is the “in” color for outdoor furniture, bringing to mind images of driftwood, stormy seas, and rocky coastlines.
Tropical tones are another crowd-pleaser. Tangerine is especially popular this season and pairs beautifully with aquamarine and of-the-moment gray furnishings. Caribbean-inspired colors such as lime green, hot pink, and bright yellow add instant energy to a space and brighten up everything from classic wrought iron dining sets to aluminum, wicker, and teak seating.
[A quick reminder: When selecting outdoor fabrics, look for materials that will resist UV rays, water, mold, mildew, and food and beverage stains, and need only minimal maintenance – in other words, all the advantages of Fiberon composite decking in a pillow cover or seat cushion!]
Chat and chill: flexible seating is the cool new trend
While dedicated dining areas remain popular, the trend toward “chat and chill” seating arrangements is gaining steam. According to luxury outdoor furniture manufacturer Summer Classics, the chat area is “the epitome of relaxation and comfort.” One of the reasons is its inherent flexibility: simply add, subtract, or rearrange pieces as needed.
The best seat in the house: teak and wicker
Among this year’s most popular seating materials are teak and wicker. Although teak can be pricey, it’s a great choice for understated elegance and long-standing durability. Teak is native to the tropics and has a naturally high content of oil and rubber, both of which impart weatherproofing qualities. Colors range from blonde to dark brown, all of which, over time, will weather to a silvery gray. If that’s not to your liking, sealants can be applied regularly to inhibit the natural weathering process. Consider a teak dining set for meals alfresco or teak loungers to add an upscale feel to your downtime on the deck.
A longtime staple of summer cottages and lake houses, today’s wicker offerings are turning up everywhere, and in plenty of new colors and profiles, housely.com reports. Black, brown, and dark gray wicker sofas, sectionals, rocking chairs, and ottomans are fixtures in high-end home furnishings catalogs and showrooms. Wicker pieces add texture and visual interest, as well as align with the overarching design trend of bringing organic and natural elements into any living space. Plus, these materials generally are easy to clean, long lasting, and comfortable. Here’s something you may not have known: the name “wicker” actually refers to a weaving process, not a particular material. In fact, wicker furniture can contain any number of natural or man-made materials that are pliable and durable enough for weaving.
Accessories: fire elements are hot
This category has grown exponentially in 2016. Fueled by wood, propane, or natural gas, today’s people-warming, marshmallow-roasting, ambiance-creating options are cast from steel, copper, concrete, fiber-concrete, and a host of other materials. A quick search on one popular shopping site uncovered options priced from less than $50 to more than $5000. Choices included everything from simple iron baskets to elegant coffee tables with glass beads and burner covers to breathtaking four foot-wide copper bowls with lava rocks and dedicated fuel lines. One quick tip: If you’re considering adding a fire element to your composite deck, consult your decking manufacturer for any guidelines/restrictions that could impact decking product performance or your warranty.