The technological innovation we’ve seen in the garden furniture industry over the last decade is evolving at an ever increasing rate. Industry trends are shifting with each summer season, and the style and choice of furniture we now have has come a significantly long way in the last 10 years or so. The home and garden consumer is more savvy, durability and comfort are still the two most important factors, but more and more we’re seeing purchases that have been dictated by the latest styles and patio fashions. And the good thing for us, is that its easy to keep up with the latest outdoor trends, no matter what your budget is. New technology means that durability, comfort and style are all with in reach at a fraction of what you would of paid only a few years back.
However, many people will just purchase furniture based on the style factor alone. But by doing that you are overlooking the advantages of different materials and getting items that are simply not fit for their environment. The type of patio you have should be what ultimately determines what kind of outdoor furniture is best for you. For example, if you have a patio that is exposed to the elements, then it makes sense to go for furniture that will stand up to the rain, freezing temperatures and direct sunlight, such as Cast Aluminium or Timber. However, if you have a covered patio or space to store inside when the weather is bad, then you could opt for furniture made from wicker or plastic resin. These are lightweight materials, so they are easier to move, but they need to be protected from the harsher elements.
I live at the coast, so it is vital I hose down my Cast Aluminium patio furniture on a regular basis, in order to prevent any pitting and corrosion. But to be honest, most of the outdoor furniture manufactured these days is pretty weather resistant, modern synthetic rattan furniture for example will stand up to the elements far better than its natural counterpart, whilst still retaining all its style and charm. Whilst I always coat my Cast Aluminium furniture with a little Turtle Wax to help keep it looking like new and to protect it from the elements. But the point I’m trying to make is just to think before you buy, look at the advantages and disadvantages of each material first, then think about the style. Our recent article ‘Choosing the right garden furniture’ gives a great overview of the different materials and some advice on picking the right one for you.
One thing that is clear to Lazy Susan is that our outdoor spaces are equally important as interior decor. You only have to pick up any of the more traditionally interior focussed style glossy magazines to see stylish patios and gardens featured alongside the latest kitchens and living rooms. However, to make the most of outdoor living, it is critical that you choose your outdoor furniture with a little care and consideration. Now that little lecture is out the way, what about style… If you’re armed with the material that fits your requirements, then the fun part is picking a style of furniture that works for you and your outdoor space. Our advice is simple, try and pick a style that works with your home. If its minimal and modern, then the garden furniture should be too. On the other hand if your home is a a little more classical, then opt for some timeless classically styled furniture.
So what’s hot? What’s the must have styles for next summer? Well never fear, here’s a little run down of Lazy Susan’s top tricks, trends and tips for 2013. The designs and styles of furniture are constantly evolving, and there are some fab new, exciting styles coming onto the market, and every year, they just seem to get better and better.
Rattan & Wicker
Poly rattan wicker will continue to be one of the most popular materials for 2013. It is weather resilient, but pliable at the same time. It is durable and comfortable, and comes in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes.
Hanging chairs are another big trend we see developing and there are some great new styles coming out. The oval gardening hanging chair by Gardeners World is an incredibly durable, attractive looking outdoor chair that offers excellent comfort when sitting in it. This hanging chair is a great alternative to traditional outdoor chairs or hammocks, and the chair will give you years of great use.
The indoor/outdoor trend continues to flourish… The line between indoors and outdoors continues to blur with live wall planters and interior planters that occupy entire rooms, and furniture that looks just as good in your summer room or conservatory as it does out on the patio. Our Faith set (shown above) is the perfect example.
If you are looking a purchasing synthetic rattan wicker then a good tip is try to insert your finger in between the wicker weave. If the wicker is tight, then you can be assured that a lot of attention went into the chair both in manufacture and in terms of the quality control of the resin that’s used.
Day beds are slowly working their way back into the trendy pages of the UK’s style magazines. Available in a variety of materials such as wicker, cast aluminium and wood they’re a super stylish way to relax and enjoy the sunshine if we ever get any. The stylish outdoor tête à tête day bed from John Lewis (shown above) is a wonderful example and it would create a fantastic focal point in your outdoor space. Generous proportions and sympathetic design make it suitable for use both indoor and outdoor use. Lined with extra comfy cushions, it provides ample space for relaxation in your garden, conservatory and on your terrace.
Powder coated aluminium tables and chairs that look great and have a fab feel are going to be a popular addition to many a patio. The advantages of powder coating are that it doesn’t scratch, chip, fade or rust.
Although a sofa on the patio may seem like the indoor/outdoor trend is going a little bit too far, this is style of furniture that appeared a few summers back, but will continue into next year and beyond. Sofas are proving to be highly popular, they offer excellent comfort and style, and many of them are made from a sturdy aluminium frame with a poly wicker weave, such as our Emily range shown above.
Nostalgia is a big buzzword in the home and garden sector… Times have been tough for the last few years, it makes people recall the ‘good old days’, when British industry was at it’s peak. This trend is across interior and exterior design right now, but its best illustrated with furniture, so why not bring a classic piece of vintage wrought iron garden furniture back to life?
Recycle, up-cycle, thrift shop furniture are all big trends for the coming summer. Its an eclectic style, mixing new and contemporary with used and old to create a statement patio piece such as the shown above from HipCycle.
Aluminium & Wicker
Streamline aluminium tables and chairs are light, durable and über stylish. Many of the newer outdoor pieces are now starting to incorporate both aluminium and wicker into the design. Pairing the wicker with the long lines of a cast aluminium table and chairs gives the whole set a contemporary, yet arts and craft feel to it. The Royalcraft Valencia Wicker and Tubular Aluminium Garden Recliner Chair from Gardeners World (shown above) is perfect for use with a garden table.
Round Base Chairs & Tables
Patio chairs with round bases are becoming more and more popular, while swivel style chairs were showcased at many of the recent garden and home shows. Round bases are proving to be very popular among UK buyers. They not only look good, they are comfortable and practical too, making them ideal for the patio, garden room or conservatory. Our Rose rocking chair is the round based outdoor dining chair with a difference, not only does it swivel, it also rocks back and forth.
Across your garden, you should always try and use the best natural materials you can afford. Natural local stone and gravel, recycled bricks, and weathered metal garden furniture, have all featured in this years garden shows and furniture exhibitions.
Gothic Garden Furniture
Probably the most striking material we’ve seen used in many show gardens this year was weathered metal mentioned above. We’ve seen some stunning furniture pieces that have been cut into shapes and decorated to give them that almost gothic/medieval look. The gothic metal garden chair from Metallic Garden shown above illustrates this trend perfectly.
Clutter Free Patio
The golden rule for 2013 is not to clutter your patio. Keep lines clean and things fuss free. Avoid buying things like extra chairs or planters just in case. All you need are the basics, a simple table and enough comfy chairs for the people who actually sit outside on a regular basis. Belgian manufacture Manutti has recently come out with arguably their best collection of outdoor furniture and it showcases the clean modern minimalist look at its best. Finishing in black, white, grey and light brown, the collection is ideal for the clutter free patio.
Natural vs Bright Colours
Clean and simple lines are always great for outdoor furniture and selecting natural colours as a base is bang on trend. You can then liven things up with some bright and vibrant outdoor cushions. Then, when the trend shifts to another colour or style, you only need to change your cushion covers.
Acrylic outdoor fabrics are really growing in popularity and we expect to see a host of new styles instore and online. It is resistant to mold and mildew and now being coated with Teflon, to ensure that water and grime don’t penetrate the surface and cause the foam inside to rot. At Lazy Susan we’ve fallen in love with the Tiana fabric from the Designers Guild. It is 100% acrylic and is a great outdoor print with an all-over graphic leaves print in vibrant colours.
Keep It Clean
Furniture is a big investment, so you want to take care of it properly, and ensure it lasts for more than a few summers. Most outdoor furniture can simply be sprayed down every couple of weeks but some of it will need special attention to ensure it lasts for many years to come. Always make sure you follow the care and attention information supplied by the retailer or manufacturer.
When cleaning wicker furniture, it’s best to start by hoovering the cushions and chair with your brush attachment, to suck up any excess dirt and dust.
Wooden furniture just needs to be wiped down with a damp cloth and polished/waxed at least every three months to ensure it keeps its natural luster.
Aluminium and steel furniture can be hosed down with water every two weeks and then coated with a little car wax to protect it from the elements.
Pop you cushions in the washing machine to freshen them up if you can. Be sure to check the labels first, just in case they are hand wash only, but many of the modern outdoor fabrics can be washed at a low temp. Always bring them inside durning the winter.
About Lazy Susan
Lazy Susan is a small family business that specialise exclusively in wicker, rattan and metal garden furniture, specifically cast aluminium. Visit www.lazysusanfurniture.co.uk to find out more and view our complete product range.