It’s awesome to live in a place that starts to see warm weather in late February and early March. And in our community, we have lots of great spaces designed for outdoor living.  Porches, patios, decks, and pools are a key design element of new construction. As you start to move into spending more time outdoors, take note of some design trends in outdoor furnishings.

 

First, we are continuing to see outdoor furnishings follow the trends of indoor interior design. For instance, at Pierce and Parker we are seeing vendors really stretching to produce interesting tables that emphasize design every bit as functionality.  From a navy blue rattan and teak console table to a precision cast concrete whitewashed cocktail table, manufacturers are pushing to make furniture that adds visual interest while not compromising on the durability needed to stand up to the elements. Ceramic garden seats, which are popular to use as drink tables, are becoming more and more intricate and colorful, almost works of art in their own right. We’re also seeing vendors becoming more bold in mixing of materials in outdoor furniture. Instead of only teak or rattan or aluminum, we have lounge chairs with teak frames with woven rope or fabric slings as support, or aluminum tables with stone tops.  

 

There recently has been a lot of design focus on outdoor lighting and rugs, two areas where bland but functional was previously the norm. Woven pendants and chandeliers in high-grade vinyl rattan or marine-grade rope are popular choices now. We’re even beginning to see decorative outdoor table and floor lamps with durable shades and waterproof electronics. In rugs, technology in weaving and materials produce options that feel like natural fibers like wool or cotton, but are impervious to staining or weather. In fact, at Pierce & Parker we often sell outdoor rugs for indoor use because the design choices have caught up with interior rugs.  It’s a similar story with outdoor pillows — we often have customers that are confused as to which pillows are indoor or outdoor, because the quality of the and breadth of selection mirrors what is available indoors.

 

All of this adds up to a more curated and tailored look to your outside living areas that really allows you to express your personal style. For instance, your outdoor dining area can have the same kind of attention to detail as your indoor dining room — custom seat cushions in “sunbrella” fabrics with contrast welts, coordinating rug with some subtle highlights of your cushion color, fabulous outdoor chandelier, maybe host chairs in a coordinating style as your side chairs with lumbar pillows in another fabric that utilizes your colors. The idea is to layer on things that you love in a coordinated way to express your specific sense of style while still producing an overall design that is harmonious.