No walls needed: Create a variety of ‘rooms’ just outside your door
With the cold, wet and sometimes freezing weather conditions forcing us to take cover from the elements the past few months, who doesn’t have the itch to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible?
One of the biggest trends in home living helps you accomplish that goal by expanding outdoor living areas in even more creative ways than in the past.
Though you likely won’t see walls in your outdoor areas, try to think of the varying spaces strategically, advises Dave Heslar, store manager at Leland’s on the northeast side.
“The biggest thing you pay attention to when purchasing furniture is making sure it meets your needs,” he says. “Outdoor furniture is no different.”
In many cases, customers looking for outdoor furniture automatically start searching for a dining table and matching chairs, Heslar says.
If the area is right off the kitchen or the dining room, you may decide that you indeed want to invest in a dining set.
However, if you’re not planning to do a lot of dining outside, consider other options. It could be that you would be better served by deep plush seating that allows you to relax and lounge.
“It’s important to put some thought into how you’re going to use the space first,” Heslar says. “Make sure the furniture matches your specific desires. It’s a very individualistic choice.”
It also is important to test the furniture, much in the way you would with indoor furniture, he adds. “Sit in it and see what’s comfortable.”
Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of the American Home Furnishings Alliance, says the options in outdoor furnishings have expanded significantly in recent years.
“It’s a great time for sprucing up outdoor living spaces,” she says. “Even shoppers on a limited budget will find a lot of style and a lot of function without a lot of looking.”
New colors lead the way in the latest outdoor furnishings
The American Home Furnishing Alliance notes the following trends in furnishings for your outdoor living spaces. They include:
- Crisp shades of blue and green. Blues are more tropical than nautical in this season’s furnishings. For example, shades of aqua and azure will be more popular than marine navy. Softer shades of sage and celadon will provide alternatives to forest green.
- Gray as the new neutral. “It is the trend-forward choice in every major material for outdoor furnishings,” says AHFA vice president Jackie Hirschhaut.
- Movable furniture. The options include dining chairs that bounce and swivel and lounge chairs that rock, recline and rotate. “Two old-fashioned favorites are making a strong comeback this season: rockers and gliders,” Hirschhaut says.
- Small details. Design flourishes include detailed scrollwork in chair backs and shaped table bases.