Garden Furniture News

The latest garden furniture news and views…

26th June 2012: Turn deck or patio space into designer retreat

For years, the typical Canadian backyard gathering was rather utilitarian, at least when it came to outdoor furniture. Beyond the smoking grill and the aromatic hotdog, life outdoors usually meant a few plastic chairs nested around a plastic table, an umbrella that always seemed to fall over in the wind and, maybe, a wooden picnic table for the kids. But that was then, and this is now. Design and style have moved from the indoors out, and the choice of outdoor furniture today is as eclectic as it is beautiful. From resin wicker sets to glass-topped tables and elegant, yet comfortable chairs and sofas, the backyard has suddenly become as sophisticated and inviting as your home’s indoor rooms. Al Cameron, of Patio & Home Direct in Vancouver, says we’re designing our modern-day outdoor spaces with comfort and conversation in mind — what he calls “chat dining” — with sectionals among the most popular furniture piece. “It is the outdoor deep-seating living concept,” Cameron says. “Outdoor dining sets were the norm 10 years ago, but now it’s outdoor club chairs, loveseats and sofas. There a huge interest in outdoor sectionals, and a trend toward casual dining called chat dining, which is a coffee table-sized table that allows the people using it the have conversation and casually dine in the outdoor living room setting.” Cameron says the new dining outdoor dining concept leans toward the contemporary, with stainless steel and teak among the most popular choices, with small square tables and with dining chairs complemented by deep-seating lounge-friendly furniture.

26th June 2012: Decor&You(R) Suggests Moving Life Outdoors With Seasonal Furniture

Whether you enjoy the soft, pleasurable breeze a screened-in porch allows or like to bask in the daylight sun, creating an outdoor living space is a must. Seasonal patio furniture has changed from the webbing and plastic and matured into what the industry now calls “casual furniture” that extends the space you’re living in beautifully for entertaining or just sitting back and relaxing as a family, says Decor&You Founder and President Karen Powell. “Outdoor living spaces have been gaining enormous popularity over the past few years and I see this trend continuing,” says Powell. “People want the convenience of outdoor kitchens, patios and spas, therefore, creating a demand for fun, vibrant outdoor friendly furniture and glorious accessories. And, manufacturers of outdoor living products are incorporating bold colors, exciting prints and interesting finishes on outdoor furniture this year.” According to Powell, the yummiest color of the year is tangerine, which means all shades of orange are popping up in every product, including outdoor lounges, shades and rugs. “Orange radiates warmth and energy,” says Powell. “In either indoor or outdoor settings, orange brings a sense of harmony, accenting the natural greens of indoor plants or outdoor landscaping. It’s perfect for summer.” In addition, metal, both steel and aluminum, is now more durable and lightweight than ever, and weather resistant when applied with a powder-coated finish. If wood is your preferred look, Powell suggests that individuals look for safe, environmentally-friendly products that are Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified or wood that meets the standards of FSC. As a highly-trained advocate for eco-friendly living, DecorDesigners, who are certified GreenLeaders, encourage consumers to turn to Decor&You for advice and recommendations for options and a solid understanding of the value of using eco-conscientious vendors. They are able to bring a unique, but distinctive look to homes — indoors and out.

26th June 2012: Love outdoor living

Just saying “al fresco” conjures images of informal gatherings and leisurely meals enjoyed outdoors, but it’s all about the setting. A dull space furnished with wobbly, uncomfortable furniture won’t encourage family and guests to linger, so it’s important to create a special “outdoor room” where you can socialise and eat in style. There’s no excuse for a poor patio these days as the design and quality of outdoor furniture improves year on year, with an ever more versatile range including day beds and coffee tables as well as traditional dining sets and weather-resistant loungers.

19th June 2012: Garden furniture sales up 71% in jubilee week

Mass merchandisers, including supermarkets, cash and carries, mail order, department stores and pure players saw sales of DIY seasonal products rise by 22.4 per cent during jubilee week according to GfK. Garden furniture sales surged by more than 70% in jubilee week. Sales for the category (including garden, bird food, garden power, garden building and structures, garden leisure and Christmas products) rose by 22.4 per cent but garden furniture sales increased by 71.5 percent alone, accounting for the growth. DIY superstores saw a 3.7 percent value increase led by increased sales of emulsion paint, which saw a 25.6 percent rise in sales. The DIY market saw an overall sales increase of 4.2 percent. GfK account manager Keith Chapman said: “With continued economic uncertainty, the Jubilee was a crucial trading period for the DIY sector. Many consumers made the most of the promotional activity by purchasing emulsion paint, for example, as it is a relatively cheap way to improve a room. Whether this brief respite will remain is dependent on how ready consumers feel to invest in DIY activities.”

19th June 2012: 7 ways to create an inviting deck or patio

Think of your deck or patio as an extension of your home. A comfortable outdoor space that acts like a magnet to pull you outside to read the morning paper, curl up with a favorite book or relax with the setting sun. 1. An outdoor copper thermometer and clock or decorative wall sconces with candles that cast a warm, inviting atmosphere at night make good accessories for outdoor rooms. 2. The most colorful and versatile accessory for a deck or patio is flowering plants or herbs. Use them in hanging baskets, planter boxes, urns, clay pots or on a tabletop. 3. For sun protection, get a colorful umbrella designed to fit in the center hole in outdoor tables, or let it stand alone in a decorative cast-iron base. One that is vented at the top or a two-tier design is more stable in winds. For a more permanent solution to sun protection, consider adding a retractable awning on the siding of your house. You can pull on a strap to unroll the awning and then set the supports, which can be angled against the house or set vertically on the deck or patio floor. 4. When selecting cushions for outdoor furniture, choose fabric that is mildew-resistant and ultraviolet-protected so the cushions resist soil and stains and withstand sun damage. 5. Choose multipurpose furnishings that can do double duty, such as a storage box with a seat that keeps outdoor gear dry and neatly stored while also providing seating. A gardener’s potting bench is convenient for planting chores and can be reused as a buffet for entertaining. And an old-fashioned kids’ wagon is handy for moving heavy bags of fertilizer and serves as a charming accent when filled with geraniums. 6. For outdoor dining and entertaining, there’s a wide selection of gas grills and cooking islands. While a basic grill is the choice of many, the gourmet chef can make an outdoor kitchen complete with grill, built-in range, side burners, warming drawers and even a compact sink and refrigerator. 7. To create an easy transition, match outdoor furnishings to inside décor. For example, if your home has country-style furnishings, carry the theme outside with old-fashioned porch rockers or a metal glider. Use wrought iron furniture outside to complement traditional furnishings inside. Wicker has a natural look, and new wicker furniture made of resin is weatherproof and can be left out year-round.

14th June 2012: Old nappies turned into furniture under new recycling scheme

Used nappies will be turned into garden furniture, roof tiles and railway sleepers under a new recycling scheme being trialled in Scotland. Each year some 160 million nappies are sent to Scottish rubbish dumps. But four councils are to trial a kerbside collection scheme for 36,000 homes across Fife, Stirling, Perth and Kinross and North Lanarkshire. The pilot will run for an initial six months to establish whether it can be rolled out nationwide in the future. As well as disposable nappies, incontinence products and other related items – like wet wipes, nappy sacks and cotton wool – will also be suitable for the recycling collection. Jenny Sim of Zero Waste Scotland said babies used an average of 4.16 nappies per day, with more than 90% using disposables.

21st May 2012: Create a cost-effective outdoor room

If you’ve shopped for outdoor furniture lately, you know the outdoor living section of your big box home retailer features much more than $8 webbed aluminum chairs. Today’s outdoor furniture is designed to stay outside year round but priced more like indoor furniture. So, how can you get that outdoor living room feel without the high price tag? A little design ingenuity and some clever shopping will have you relaxing all summer well within budget. Perhaps you want a simple cafe set for a small porch, or you may have a larger, more elaborate outdoor room in mind. Either way, you’ll need to decide if the space will be used primarily for dining, relaxing, or entertaining, and what kind of weatherproofing you’ll need. For entertaining or relaxing, you’ll want some comfortable seating in a shady spot. If dining is the central focus, you’ll need a table and seating for guests. A covered outdoor room allows you to use wicker, or repurpose furniture that’s not weather resistant. If relaxing tops your list of outdoor room activities, consider creating a hanging day bed. Bolted to rafters in the ceiling, or hung from a sturdy tree branch, a day bed is the perfect option for lazy days of reading and napping, and there are plenty of how-to projects on the web. For lolling in the sun, consider building a chaise canopy bed like those found at posh resorts. Again, simple construction and about $100 in materials is all it takes to create a fabulous spot for relaxing. Check out for inexpensive plans…

21st May 2012: Outdoor furniture sales shining this summer

Leading outdoor furniture company Milan Direct has announced that despite mixed summer weather, sales in outdoor furniture are experiencing an unrivalled boom. Indicating that while summer in Australia can be as different as our landscape, cooler summer nights are not affecting the popularity of outdoor dining. Today people are just as concerned about the look and design of their outdoor living spaces as they are the design of their interiors. Leading outdoor furniture company Milan Direct has announced that despite mixed summer weather, sales in outdoor furniture are experiencing an unrivalled boom. Indicating that while summer in Australia can be as different as our landscape, cooler summer nights are not affecting the popularity of outdoor dining. “Australia is a nation that truly loves outdoor dining. And while authentic summer weather has proved unreliable this year, it hasn’t waned interest in the latest trends and styles in outdoor furniture with sales in wicker outdoor furniture in particular growing exponentially in recent years,” said Milan Direct’s, Dean Ramler. Gone are the days of the six-seater plastic setting on the patio. Today’s outdoor furniture is a definite style statement according to Milan Direct. “As a nation truly passionate about outdoor living, naturally the quality and range of outdoor furniture has come along leaps and bounds in the past decade.” “Today people are just as concerned about the look and design of their outdoor living spaces as they are the design of their interiors. People are looking for outdoor furniture that emulates the level of style they’ve created indoors,” explained Mr Ramler. “To respond to the growing demand for quality, stylish outdoor furniture, we’ve introduced an exciting collection of wicker outdoor furniture to our range. This wicker furniture is strong on form, comfort and aesthetic beauty. It offers all the benefits of designer wicker furniture minus the designer price tag.” “At Milan Direct we understand how much Australians enjoy getting good value for money. With that in mind, we sought quality wicker furniture that would make a style statement any person would be proud of, a price that’s affordable. Milan Direct prides itself on providing its customers quality pieces at prices that won’t break the bank and our latest outdoor furniture range is no exception,” said Mr Ramler.

17th April 2012: In praise of… The garden shed!

The average Briton spends five months of their life in the garden shed, which has evolved into more than just storage space. According to Cuprinol, who might possibly have an interest in the result, the average Briton spends five months of their life in the garden shed. Of course, these days it’s bound to be more than just a shed that this average Briton – surely a man rather than a woman – is “just popping down” to. Anything from a modular garden room, custom Dutch barn or Finnish log cabin down to the humble British overlap 4′ x 5′ does the trick. But what exactly is its trick? A den, a repository of all things that a man needs, or might one day come in useful, like that 40 foot roll of speaker cable that has been inexplicably and cruelly banished from the home? A retreat from the world? A refuge from domestic order? Solitary confinement of the type that all writers from George Bernard Shaw to Roald Dahl crave? (Shaw put his shed on a rotating platform so that he could keep it permanently in the sun.) Who knows? But it is one of life’s enduring institutions.

16th April 2012: Early sunshine tempts out shoppers

March’s unusually warm weather persuaded Britons to buy clothes, shoes and outdoor furniture, according to retail sector data, helping to lift overall retail sales for the month. The British Retail Consortium said total sales were 3.6 per cent higher than in the same month last year – welcome news for a sector that has suffered acutely during the sluggish economic recovery. The figures do not strip out the effect of annual shop price inflation, which the BRC estimated was 1.5 per cent in March. Stephen Robertson, the BRC’s director-general, remained cautious. “The warmth of March was a help, but it will take more than a week of sunshine to transform retailers’ fortunes,” he said. In the first quarter of this year, retail sales were 2.7 per cent higher than the same period a year ago. The BRC said the annual increase in clothing sales in March was the best since December, while the rise in footwear sales was the best recorded since April 2007. Helen Dickinson, head of retail at KPMG, the business advisory firm, said women’s clothes did not sell as well as men’s and children’s items. “It’s female shoppers who are tightening their purse strings most severely, focusing more on lower price-point items to control the household budget,” she said. Outdoor furniture and gardening products sold well, but the annual rise in food spending was driven by higher prices rather than higher volumes. A survey of the retail property sector by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors underlined the high street’s broader malaise: interest from potential tenants fell in the first quarter of 2012, and the amount of unoccupied space increased.

16th April 2012: PVC is affordable outdoor furniture material

With warm weather on the way, it’s time for do-it-yourselfer to get those outdoor spaces ready for summer fun. This year, make a big change with a small investment of time and money with some new outdoor furniture. The key is PVC. Easy and inexpensive to work with, PVC makes deck or patio furniture that’s attractive, durable, lightweight and easy to clean. Featuring two comfortable seats with a table in between, this classic twin-seater is no exception. The project is made from 50 feet of Schedule 40 PVC pipe, a few common pipe joints, a small piece of particle board (for the tabletop), some canvas, a couple of ready-made cushions and PVC glue. The only tools you need are a pipe cutter or hacksaw, a hammer, a pair of scissors, a tape measure, needle and thread and some sandpaper. To build, cut the pipe to length and fit the pieces together as indicated. Cut the canvas to size, sew the seat slings and add standard-size cushions. A particle-board table top completes the project, which can easily be assembled in a single afternoon. The PVC Twin-Seater measures about 64 inches long by 23 inches deep by 30 inches tall.

7th April 2012: Overwintering patio furniture

We are thinking of buying some new patio furniture but do not have room in the garage to store it over the winter. What are our options for nice-looking, comfortable furniture that can stay outside? Susan Dovel of B&G Fireplace & Patio in Jackson Township, Ohio, suggests looking for 100-per-cent aluminum frames, which won’t rust. Even if you buy wicker or resin wicker furniture, the frames should be aluminum. Make sure the aluminum has a good-quality powder coating, which will hold up better to outdoor conditions, she says. If the furniture has cushions, she recommends looking for outdoor fabrics and fills that contain polyfill and are wrapped for durability. Whatever kind of furniture you choose, she recommends investing in covers for winter.

5th April 2012: Latest trends in outdoor furniture

Just in time for baseball’s Opening Day and springtime, Cardi’s Furniture has released their line of outdoor furniture. Ron and Pete Cardi joined the Rhode Show this morning at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket to fill us in on the newest available fashions. Cardi’s has many different options available with a diverse range of prices. From a great selection of table and chair sets, to outdoor umbrellas, to fire pits, the Cardi brothers are ready to help you prepare for the upcoming spring and summer months. Cardi’s currently has all of the outdoor furniture in stock, ready for iDelivery so you can enjoy the warm weather with your family and friends. Cardi’s also has a great partnership with the Pawtucket Red Sox, teaming up with them on a number of different events and causes throughout the year. “The Pawsox isn’t just an organization that is active from April to September, they’re in the community year-round,” said Pete Cardi. “We see them every year at Meeting Street, Paws is out on Valentine’s Day delivering flowers, so they are really part of the fabric of our community.” The Cardi brothers are urging local fans to come to McCoy Stadium this season to enjoy a great baseball game at a beautiful venue!

3rd April 2012: Outdoor living: Sprucing up outdoor spaces

Once a concrete slab with a grill, a metal table and outdoor chairs and perhaps an umbrella, the area now goes by the name outdoor living space. Incorporating the space is almost de rigueur in new home construction. In fact, the leisure living category is now a $6.2 billion industry in the United States, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association (HPBA). None of this surprises Allen Huskin, owner of The Fire Escape in Abilene, a business that specializes in outdoor living areas. Huskin has been designing outdoor living spaces for eight years. “It’s exciting,” he said recently in his office as he prepared to travel to Stamford to design an outdoor area for a customer. “Basically, we’re talking about two or three rooms. You have a kitchen, a place to eat and usually a living area.” Adding a fire place or fire pit makes the area usable nearly year-round, he said. The improvement in outdoor furniture has made the living areas of the outdoor space more accommodating, said Huskin. “Outdoor furniture has come leaps and bounds,” he said. “When we have some of it at our display and the Home and Garden Expo, it surprises people how comfortable it is. Some of the cushioning is eight inches thick.” Outdoor kitchens have become more a bigger trend, said Huskin. According to the HPBA, eating outdoors has overtaken eating out as a popular dining option. “You don’t just see the one grill,” he said. “People may have two or three grills for different kinds of cooking.” In fact, one of the hottest trends in outdoor kitchens is a ceramic grill, said Huskin. That allows people to prepare gourmet meals al fresco. Huskin said he has designed outdoor kitchens that are larger than the kitchen inside the home. A fireplace can be replaced with a fire table, which Huskin said allows the homeowner a pivotal part of the outdoor living area that he can take with him or her should the homeowner have to move. Designs can include decorative concrete, water features and art work such as sculpture. Huskin said there are even canvasses available that can be hung outdoors. While cable networks such as HGTV and DIY have for the most part been helpful to Huskin’s business, he said there is often the perception that outdoor living spaces are inexpensive. “We deal with sticker shock,” he admitted. However, he added that people can build their areas in stages, which is often the case. There is no rule of thumb about how large to make your outdoor living area in relationship to your home, Huskin said. His advice is to think big. “I tell people to go bigger,” he said. “However large you plan to make it, make it bigger. You’ll thank me later.”

2nd April 2012: How to be green in your garden

Sarah Lonsdale tests the latest ‘eco’ products and sorts the fads from the finds. This week: being green in the garden. It is one of those annoying paradoxes that your garden, despite its general green colour, could potentially be more harmful to the environment than your house. Lawn sprays, pesticides, fertilisers and tropical hardwood garden furniture all contribute to poisoning rivers, killing wildlife, worsening climate change and depleting the rainforest. But there are plenty of green alternatives. Huge strides forward in recent years have helped the would-be eco-gardener, including peat-free compost and the unmasking of the Nineties decking craze as the bug-killing monster that it was, laying waste to flower beds and lawns and massively reducing food supplies for birds and other wildlife. Garden furniture is one of the biggest problem areas, but one where industry is trying to find solutions. Every year, thousands of tonnes of tropical hardwood including teak, mahogany, iroko and acacia are imported into Britain. While there is growing regulation of this area, and an ever larger source of FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council)-certified wood, thousands of tonnes of illegally logged or uncertified hardwood makes its way onto our patios every spring. The garden furniture industry is aware of the concerns, however, and this season is launching its “Made Aware” label, which aims to help customers identify pieces made with minimum harm to the environment. Read the full article…

25th March 2012: Recent warm temperatures have people thinking of outdoor living

Spring’s premature arrival this year has given everyone an early jump on getting their outdoor oasis in shape, and for many, that means new deck or patio gear. Jody Rider, owner of McDonald’s Nursery in Saginaw, has already sold several sets of resin wicker furniture meant for the great outdoors. Styled in natural browns and taupes, the furniture has a sturdy metal structure covered with resin wicker that won’t rot or break. “It’s a very comfortable, homey look with the new resin wicker,” Rider said. “It makes it very compatible with being outdoors.” Leisure Elements, at 203 W. Wackerly St., carries a line of very modern-looking outdoor furniture that can stand up to the elements. The sets include sofas, dining tables and chairs and the requisite chaise lounge, to put your feet up and relax. The furniture is made from commercial grade plastic that looks like wicker, with cushions that can be left out in the rain, said Lori Bennett, owner of the store. Bennett purchased Leisure Elements about a year ago and moved it across the street to its new location. Turquoise and orange are this year’s hot colors for accent — cushions, umbrellas, and rugs, Rider said. Also popular are swivel rockers and unusual tables that make things fun and interesting. One hexagon shaped table seats six people. It’s shape makes it useful for certain places on the deck or patio, she said. Tables also come with faux leather or stone tops. “They add a lot of interest,” Rider said. “It takes your indoor living to the outdoors.” Bistros, which are smaller tables with just two chairs, are nice for smaller areas and balconies, Rider said. And wrought iron furniture is still popular, especially for homes located near the beach where it may get a little windy. The heavier construction keeps the furniture from blowing off the deck. It’s also easy to maintain and can be quickly updated in a bright color with a can of spray paint, or left black for a traditional look. McDonald’s carries a line that is made in Owosso. Fountains and gazing balls are a nice touch for the yard, and people are crazy about anything solar, Rider said, including lights, lanterns, figurines and garden stakes shaped like roses or dragonflies. Solar-powered stuff is virtually maintenance-free, she said. “You just stick them in the ground. They collect the energy during the day and they light up at night.” McDonald’s has had a lot of early traffic due to the unseasonable weather, Rider said. “It’s so fun to get the excitement early on,” she said. “It’s kind of prolonging the season.”

17th March 2012: Design Trend – 1960’s style metal patio furniture is back in vogue

The newest look in outdoor furniture this summer is actually a revival of a 50-year-old favorite. Metal gliders and shell-back chairs are the summer seats on which baby boomers grew up. The retro look brings back the nostalgia of Southern nights gently swaying in a metal glider on grandma’s porch. Or beach trips to mom-and-pop motels where two spring-loaded shell-back chairs were standard accouterments outside each unit. Retro metal patio furniture, sometimes dubbed “contemporary mod” styling, returns this season in hot colors of fire-engine red, daffodil yellow, Kelly green and neutral white. It is comfortable, sturdy seating that has been updated with powder-coated finishes to make the metal more weather-resistant, less prone to rust. Chad Pulver, manager of Southeastern Salvage on Lee Highway, purchased an old metal glider two years ago at an estate sale and refinished it. “I’d seen them in photographs of my mother growing up. I ran across it and really wanted it. Then our buyers came across these,” he said of the metal gliders and chairs the company has stocked. “They are selling like hotcakes,” he said, “to baby boomers and younger generations.” “Younger buyers want the nostalgic look,” added David Lillard, Southeastern Salvage buyer. “I’m sure there are a lot of people who grew up in the ’70s and remember them on their aunts’ porches.” Marsha Yessick, owner of Yessick’s Interiors and a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, said her 40 years’ experience in home furnishings has taught her “the classics always return.” “Rockers that have a gliding mechanism will always supersede new introductions. What was formulated years ago — that worked — will never diminish,” she said of this retro revival.

16th March 2012: Outdoor furniture forecast calls for color and comfort

There’s been much talk in recent years of creating “outdoor rooms” for relaxing and entertaining. The idea is to create exterior spaces as comfortable and appealing as interior rooms. This season, outdoor furniture designs — and all the glorious accessories that go with them — offer even more ways to create such spaces, or to add to what you already have. Low in maintenance. High in comfort and looks. Who can wait to get outside? While there are trends, the outdoor story goes far beyond the hottest hue. You’ll find furniture styles that complement the exterior color and look of your house. Styles that extend your interior decor. And styles that are just plain beautiful or fun. We’re talking turquoise bistro sets, eye-popping pillows and Adirondack chairs in a sea of colors. You’ll also find pieces scaled for smaller patios and yards — the Lawley collection at Lowe’s, for example — and large ones. Again, it’s all about making the most of your outdoor space — be it a yard, a deck or a balcony, whether you are urban, rural or in the suburbs. And it’s all about comfort. Deep seating resin wicker has really taken off the last few years, said Walter Beaudet, owner of Recreational Warehouse, 555 River Road, North Tonawanda. Outdoor cushions and accent pillows add color and comfort. This takes your outdoor space far beyond a dining table and chairs. Often sold as packages or sets — a deep seating sofa or love seat, two chairs, ottoman and coffee table is one option — styles range from traditional, with rounded corners, to contemporary, with straighter angles, Beaudet said. Contemporary sectionals really come into play here, and you’re seeing lots of them — like the Malibu sectional at Recreational Warehouse and the Cindy Crawford design at J.C. Penney. Cast aluminum deep seating also is popular. This, too, is furniture that is easy to maintain and ideal for relaxing and entertaining…

16th March 2012: Today’s outdoor furniture is durable, stylish and a lot more comfortable

Forget Groundhog Day when Punxsutawney Phil told us we had six more weeks of winter. March is offering warmer than usual temperatures, but we’re still dreaming of summer. So let’s talk outdoor living. Outdoor upholstery is the big direction, said Malachi Chapman, outdoor furniture buyer for Family Leisure. It’s comfy, plush, upholstered, slip-covered, rocking and reclining. “This is the first year it’s been available for the masses,” said Chapman. It’s just now emerging. Get ready for a major impact. “Anything that you can do inside from swivel rocking to recliners and sectionals you can do outdoors. People are spending more time outside. They’re taking the indoors out. People want to be more comfortable and look great at the same time,” said Chapman. Outdoor living no longer is confined to a slab of concrete or a generic deck. “People are expanding their living spaces, whether they’ve added pergolas or grill islands. The whole industry has been going for the growth of the outdoor living space, Chapman said. “People are really taking advantage of not just dining, but living outside. There are loveseats, sofas, outdoor sectionals, lots of options.” Outdoor furniture is a lot more consumer-friendly, he added. “It’s easier to take care of with drain-through cushions and cast-aluminum or composite stone or Corona tops that don’t break, look nicer and are heavier so they don’t blow with the wind.” Here’s an example of easy-care: those bright Adirondack chairs made from recycled plastic that resembles today’s synthetic deck materials. “There’s a lot of growth in the recycled materials area like polymers, recycled milk jugs and recycled plastic,” Chapman said. “It’s dyed and similar to Terex, the decking material, with the convenience of having something that you never have to paint or touch up. It’s durable, comfortable, zero-maintenance and a lot of it is made in the United States.” Plus it’s colorful. “The trend for really the past decade has been brown, red and brown,” Chapman said. So he’s glad to see taupe, gray, blue and colors. “Gray is a good neutral,” he said. His prediction: Green will make its way back. (St. Patrick’s Day green anchored a House Beautiful cover earlier this year.) “We’ve seen a huge takeoff this spring with 60-degree weather in February and people coming out of the funk of the economy. The mood of the customer has changed.” This is really the year people are happy to be improving their outdoor living, he said. “I think it’s going to be a breakout year.”

9th March 2012: Readying the Garden to Be a Living Room

It is amazing how every year, almost from one day to the next, the midwinter gloom lifts. The light changes and the farmers’ market is suddenly filled with bunches of daffodils, narcissi and hyacinths. Spring is on our doorstep and I am eager to get outside and prepare the garden for its life as an exterior room. My new apartment in London opens onto a small north-facing patch of earth and my mind is racing. I have always thought that city gardens should be treated like external rooms. In the same way that you consider how to use a room inside, consider how you’re going to use a space outside. Is it a summer dining room, a lawn for lying out on rugs or a tableau that you are rarely going to be in but look at from indoors? (Or is it a bicycle storage zone for everyone else in the building, as mine is?). Ideally I would like to plant deep beds of greenery—clouds of box, ferns, a willow tree and maybe a magnolia, with a glossy black-painted metal bench somewhere. With a monotone garden one can then add seasonally. And I would really love to have a table of potted plants. Flowers in containers are so mobile and easy to manage, especially since one can buy them already in a pot (perfect for the pale-green fingered). The table doesn’t necessarily have to be garden furniture—in fact, much better that it is not. I find that gardens can become so impersonal when filled with rather homogenized pieces from some frightfully expensive garden furniture company. I like tables that have stone tops. I would think nothing of putting one of those French pastry tables with a marble surface outside. As the metal base and the marble get rained on, they become green and mossy and lovely. Using a table for plants not only brings those beauties up to eye level but it gives the furniture more life. In the same way that a dining-room table can be terribly lonely when not in use, the garden table often finds itself a rather forlorn piece of furniture. Let the table also be your potting station, or treat it as you would a console. You could shove it up against the garden wall and put a bust on it, or even temporarily prop a picture on it. More permanently, you might hang some antlers on the wall behind it. And when you entertain—still a little ways off—use the table to set up your bar on. In the urban garden, which is usually small, evening lighting is particularly important. If the garden is prettily lit, the room that opens onto it doubles in size. I love the look of lanterns or chandeliers hanging from a tree. I am also fond of a table lamp outside—for practical reasons, it should be under a porch or otherwise taken inside. Localized lighting does something to draw that great open air in, rather like how a well-appointed stage set can command the enormous black space around it. This is why I think gardens should be thought of like rooms. I believe in the decoration and adornment of the exterior. It suddenly makes these spaces much nicer places to hang out. If you are currently without an outside room to decorate then I suggest a trip to your local market or florist this weekend to bring some of this heavenly spring inside.

5th March 2012: The US Outdoor Furniture Market to Exceed US$5.0 Billion by 2017, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

GIA announces the release of a comprehensive US report on the Outdoor Furniture market. The US market for Outdoor Furniture is projected to exceed US$5.0 billion by the year 2017, spurred by changing consumer trends in the residential sector, economic revival, popularity of fashionable lifestyle products and higher disposable incomes. In addition, rising concept of outdoor living, particularly lavish outdoor living spaces with new materials, comfortable seating and elaborate lighting steers the market for outdoor furniture. Technology and material innovations, and the new wave of environment friendly products will provide a wider choice and stronger growth opportunity for the US outdoor furniture market. Furniture industry in the US, over the years, has exhibited a vibrant growth pattern, and factors such as consumer disposable income, construction activity, new housing starts and state of the economy primarily drive gains for the manufacturers of household furniture. Rising concept of outdoor living, particularly lavish outdoor living spaces, comfortable seating and elaborate lighting propel the market for Outdoor Furniture. The residential segment occupies a prominent position in the market, accounting for more than 90% share in the total demand for outdoor furniture. In general, fashion and trends in the home decorating segment and lifestyle trends including outdoor rooms, ‘nesting’ and ‘cocooning’ drive demand for outdoor furniture. Over the years, these factors have contributed significantly to the growth of the industry and have irreversibly changed the industry’s landscape. In addition, demographic changes, housing sales, widespread adoption of Internet, outdoor renovation, and environmental concerns also boost the outdoor furniture market.

5th March 2012: Laura Ashley launches a new outdoor furniture range

Love alfresco dining? The Windsor collection is the first outdoor furniture range from Laura Ashley. Hand crafted, the solid teak and wrought-iron furniture in a classic country style is perfect for summer entertaining. Pieces include a table, chairs and a bench for lazy days spent in the garden. Or, for a quick makeover, prettify your outdoor dining area with buys from Laura Ashley’s range of dining accessories, including floral table linen, vintage-inspired jugs, picnic hampers and cool bags.

29th Fenruary 2012: UK Flooded With Cheaply Made Teak Garden Furniture from Illegal Timber Sources

Recent concerns are becoming more apparent to UK traders and the public dealing in teak garden furniture. Increased numbers of people are finding teak products becoming less durable, especially when used as garden furniture. More alarmingly some timber has been found to also contain harmful chemicals (sulphuric acid) which is been used to hide inferior grades of timber. It’s becoming more apparent that with the current economic climate, traders have started to import more products from the Far East without knowing anything about the product itself. The trouble is though; often these countries don’t have the same regulations set in place. Therefore problems can occur and it’s not always just quality. Chemicals used to treat the wood could contain acid which can be harmful to the human body (especially pregnant ladies and young children). So what’s the difference between cheap imported teak and the quality stuff? Faraway Furniture – A UK trader who pride themselves of only supplying the best quality teak products have put together a comprehensive 8 factors along with descriptions to consider when buying teak garden furniture. One of the more obvious differences between imported low grade furniture against high grade is whether it has been manufactured by machine. Fully machine made teak is far more durable and manufactured to a much higher tolerances. Other important factors include the grade of teak used, how it has been dried and what the conditions the furniture has been manufactured in. You can view the full list here. At first, not everyone can tell the difference between a decent quality product and a low grade one. A closer inspection is often needed with a little help. have also put together photo comparisons outlining the differences which can be seen here. The golden rule as we see it is to stick to the few companies that produce fully machine made furniture, well versed in teak garden furniture manufacturing and have been in business for many years. Regardless of what some retailers claim when asked, there are only 5 companies in the UK that produce and sell fully machine garden furniture. Barlow Tyrie, Faraway Furniture, Gloster Furniture and some of the Indian Ocean Teak range. Buying from one of the above will ensure you are investing in real furniture that will really last a lifetime.

17th February 2012: Patio table shifts for dining

A party on the patio is just not complete without a few pieces of furniture. Or at least one that tries harder. Patio furniture is what you make of it. The rules of etiquette that we adhere to while dining inside do not always apply when eating out of doors. The relaxed atmosphere of the backyard enables us to kick back, put our feet up, and use tables as chairs and vice versa. Sometimes, the furniture can even bend to our wishes. The Outdoor Convertible Coffee to Dining Table, from Hammacher Schlemmer, transforms the outdoor dining space – literally. Featuring four hinged panels that elevate, the multitasking table is suitable for any variety of functions. The large table offers over 20 square feet of surface area with the panels lowered, and when the individual arrangements are raised, each rectangular panel has 345 square inches of dining space. More than just a table that conforms to the moment, the stamped aluminum mesh outdoor furniture piece also offers up ambiance. In the center of the table, a cutout is capable of hosting either of two included metal bins for a fire pit or an ice reservoir. The all-in-one table is designed to be the center of attention, and considering that it involves fire, drinking, and dining all in one package, the transforming outdoor dining table is sure not to disappoint–it would even be OK to kick up your feet and stay a while.

17th February 2012: Home and Garden Show inspires new ideas

The vendors are working hard at the Home and Garden Show, pedaling the latest and greatest in health, wellness, and home improvement. From roof repair to cookware. “Fresh chopped onion. Look at this mom, no more tears.” There’s a little something for everybody looking for ideas to improve their backyard and beyond. “I’ve seen all kinds of flowers and beautiful shrubbery and stuff down here today, patio furniture and everything you could put outside,” says Linda Lynn and her friend Blanche Bethell. Lynn and Bethell are just a few of the folks here eager to get their yard and garden ready a little early. “I do a little bit every day, clean up a little bit everyday,” explains Shirley Williams, who’s attending the show. “We’ve had an early spring I guess, and it’s been nice so people are ready do something in their yard and we’re ready,” says Brian Dahle, one of the show’s exhibitors. As anxious as you are to get out and get gardening, landscaping experts warn to wait until after the last frost of the winter to begin planting. “As you can tell by our bipolar Alabama weather as of late, you can’t really tell so it’s alright to put them in the ground, and you might want to surround them with mulch or pine straw, that way it’ll protect them from the elements a little better,” explains Henry Foster, a landscaping exhibitor. The show also features the latest in energy efficiency and construction.

20th February 2012: Metal Garden Furniture Retailer Launch How-to Garden Series-Urging Brit’s to Get-Set for Summer 2012

Metal garden furniture retailer; Metal Design Furniture Ltd. have launched a unique how-to series on their blog to entice consumers to get-set for summer. The series features a different garden theme each week and explains exactly how you re-create the look. The first instalment was published on Tuesday, ‘How-to French Courtyard Garden,’ and explains how-to create a rustic French inspired patio area, complete with ornate metal furniture and fresh garlic flowers. Blog author, Avi Reisman explained more, “There’s a lot to celebrate this year, with the Queens Jubilee in June and the London Olympics, many of us will be doing lots of summer entertaining. Garden parties, BBQs, Olympic themed celebrations will be occurring everywhere; our garden makeover series offers tips and ideas to create an outdoor space you can be proud of.” “You don’t need to spend a fortune to make some great differences, a planter full of Mediterranean herbs, an elegant candle stick, an outdoor rug or piece of wall art, can really transform an outdoor space. Of course, if a total re-vamp is what you want, then we hope our blog will be a great source of inspiration.”

9th February 2012: Despite the rain, outdoor furniture sales are shining

Wicker outdoor furniture company Milan Direct has announced that despite unreliable summer weather, it’s experiencing an unprecedented boom in sales of outdoor furniture. Indicating that unpredictable weather is not dampening the Australian love affair with outdoor dining. Australia is an outdoor dining loving nation and summer time is when Australia is at its best. It’s the time of year we really indulge our love for great food and wine and what better way to enjoy it than outdoor dining under the stars, said Milan Direct’s, Dean Ramler. And while true summer weather has proved unreliable this year, it hasn’t waned interest in the latest trends and styles in outdoor furniture. Mr Ramler explained that as a nation with such a passion for outdoor living the style and quality of Australian outdoor furniture has progressed significantly in the past decade. Today the look and design of our outdoor living spaces are just as important as the design of our interiors. People are looking for outdoor furniture that’s in keeping with the level of style they’ve created indoors, explained Mr Ramler. To respond to the growing demand for quality outdoor wicker furniture that doesn’t skimp on style, we’ve introduced an exciting collection of wicker outdoor furniture to our range. This wicker furniture is classic Milan Direct style. Strong on form, function and aesthetic beauty. Our outdoor furniture range comes with all the designer benefits you’d expect, without the designer price tag. At Milan Direct our whole business is based upon an understanding of how much Australians love getting good value for money. With that in mind, we sought quality, affordable outdoor furniture that would make a style statement any person would be proud of. Milan Direct prides itself on providing its customers quality, stylish pieces at affordable prices and our latest wicker furniture range is no exception, said Mr Ramler. A range in keeping with the latest designer trends, Milan Direct wicker furniture is now available. Offering fast delivery across Australia, Milan Direct also includes a 7 day money back guarantee on all purchases.

7th February 2012: Knoll to Acquire Outdoor Furniture Manufacturer Richard Schultz Design

Knoll, Inc. today announced that it has agreed to acquire Richard Schultz Design, Inc., the designer and manufacturer of outdoor furniture for the residential, hospitality and contract office furniture markets. Andrew B. Cogan, Knoll CEO, said, “The acquisition of Richard Schultz reflects our ongoing interest in remixing our business with high design, high margin specialty offerings which appeal to both commercial buyers and consumers worldwide. Richard Schultz began his career as a designer with Knoll and co-founded his company with his son Peter in 1992. Together, they have built an international reputation for exploring new materials and forms for outdoor furniture. We look forward to the continuous success of the Richard Schultz brand, he added. The Company, which maintains a flagship showroom in New York’s D&D Building, sells the iconic 1966 Schultz Leisure Line and 1960 Petal Table Collection, originally designed for Knoll, as well as contemporary outdoor furniture designs. Its designs are included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Peter Schultz said, “Our award winning designs in the modern tradition are a perfect complement to the Knoll portfolio. We look forward to our products joining the KnollStudio Collection of residential and workplace furniture.”

6th February 2012: LA based Patio Guys hits milestone of recycling 3,500,000 lbs. of patio furniture – Saving customers money and keeping waste out of landfill

Patio Guys, Southern California’s leading residential and commercial furniture refinisher and commercial patio furniture seller, announces hitting a milestone of having recycled a total of 3.5 million pounds of patio furniture. Patio Guys has served the patio furniture needs of Southern Californians since 1978; This year marks their 34th year in business. In the past several years, Patio Guys have recycled an average of over 12,000 pieces of furniture per year or more, equaling 3 million pounds of could-have-been waste. The most common thing for people to do when their patio furniture gets worn out or out-outdated is to throw it away. Patio Guys keep unneeded waste out of landfills and help consumers save money. They refurbish and restore old patio furniture so customers can get even more value out of their investments, which leads to even greater savings with higher quality furniture from companies such as Brown Jordan, Tropitone and Alu-mont. Patio Guys can refinish most major brands of patio furniture for one-third of the cost of buying new patio furniture. In addition to Patio Guys’ refurbishing services, they also recycle materials at their factory that had once been deemed waste. Everything from old acrylic, office paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic and glass are all recycled. “While recycling for many products and materials is more expensive than a cheap imported product or material, recycling (refinishing) patio furniture is one place that has made financial sense for a long time,” says Hannah Vanderlinden at Patio Guys. Patio Guys is progressively becoming greener and greener. Their services have not only allowed customers to make more eco-friendly purchases, but have helped them keep more “green” in their wallets because of huge cost-savings. For more information on Patio Guys’ products and services, such as patio furniture refinishing for residential and commercial customers, visit, or contact them directly about your next furniture recycling project.

4th February 2012: Homeowners get green ideas – Home show brings patio furniture made from recycled milk jugs

They looked like everyday pieces of patio furniture, but they had a secret. The tables and chairs on display at Kellogg Arena as part of the Live Green Home Show and Green Vehicle Showcase were made from recycled milk jugs. Amish workers in Ohio took 650 used jugs to create one sturdy counter-height chair that retailed for $286. The furniture impressed Jack and Judy Nutt, who came from Coldwater to take in the home show. “It looks like they’d last forever and wouldn’t rust,” Jack Nutt said. The chairs do come with a 20-year warranty. “They’re so comfortable, I hated to get up,” Judy Nutt said. Along with the eco-friendly furniture, the couple examined the hybrid and electric vehicles on display and browsed the artwork for sale as part of the adjacent Art from the Heart Fair. Judy Nutt purchased child-sized aprons for her grand-daughters. The shows continue today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also on display were homemade jewelry and food, home remodeling ideas and equipment for greening a home. Garrett and Chrystal Murray of Battle Creek spent time learning about the solar panels on display by Patriot Solar Group of Albion. Garrett Murray, author of “Extreme Survival Pocket Guide,” has been experimenting with solar panels, including attaching them to a backpack to charge electronics while hiking. He said he was impressed with some of the offerings from Patriot Solar Group, including a roll-up solar panel. “You can roll it up like a sleeping bag then roll it out to hook up your radio to it,” he said. Richard Rubin of Romulus-based Maxi Container Inc. explained to visitors how his company turned plastic barrels into composting bins and rain barrels. A composter mounted on wooden legs so that it can be turned and mixed sold for $125. Karen Vanderveen of Battle Creek was impressed with how simple it was to mix the compost in the Maxi barrel compared to her composter at home. “I have to use a pitch fork” she said. “This is much easier.” John Burrell of Battle Creek said the $60 rain barrel reminded him of how his mother would collect rain water for washing her hair. He said a rain barrel in the home made sense. “Instead of letting the rain water run down the driveway, you can utilize it.”

4th February 2012: US Outdoor Furniture & Grills Market to 2015

This study analyzes US markets for outdoor furniture and grill products. Specific products covered are outdoor furniture (tables, chaise lounges, bars and shelving units made from metal, plastic, wicker, rattan or wood, as well as hammocks and umbrellas), outdoor grills (gas, charcoal, wood and electric), patio heating devices, and related accessories (furniture covers, grill covers, cushions, replacement parts and grilling utensils). Historical and forecast demand by market (residential, nonresidential, and other) as well as by geographic region is also provided in current dollars. US demand for outdoor furniture and grill products (including patio heaters and accessories such as umbrellas, covers, cushions and grilling utensils) is expected to increase to almost $7 billion in 2015. This growth reflects an improvement over the 2005-2010 period, during the latter half of which reduced consumer spending associated with the economic recession limited demand for these products. The market for outdoor furniture and grill products will benefit from improvements in construction expenditures and consumer spending, as well as the continued popularity of outdoor living areas such as patios, porches and decks. In addition, growing interest in outdoor rooms with coordinated décor will support gains as consumers continue to invest in higher quality products. Grills and accessories to be fastest growing segment – Outdoor furniture and accessories made up over two-thirds of value demand in 2010. The grill and accessories segment is expected to see the fastest increases through 2015, benefiting from ongoing upgrades to more expensive, featureintensive grills and the continued development of specialized grill accessories. The relatively small patio heating product segment will match the industry’s overall pace, with sales supported by the availability of firepits in an expanding range of sizes, styles and price points. Growing imports to continue limiting value gains – Continued increases in imports, particularly of inexpensive products from lowcost countries, will limit value gains to some degree. Imports have long constituted a significant share of the US outdoor furniture and grill market, and in 2010 imports accounted for almost threefifths of total outdoor furniture and grill demand. Chinese suppliers continue to further penetrate the US market, contributing significantly to the growth of imports. Additionally, some US-based companies have shifted production to China in order to better compete with foreign suppliers, a trend that has further boosted imports.

27th January 2012: Gizmag’s top 10 outdoor furniture items

Whilst most of the Northern Hemisphere is rugging up from the cold weather and dreaming about summer and sun, here are some outdoor ideas to add to your wish-list this year. Be it an indulgent lounge chair or your ideal cocktail bar, these designs will revive your backyard in time for summer… Loopita – Mexican industrial designer Victor M. Aleman has created this unique design that accommodates two. The lounge loops overhead like a rollercoaster, providing partial shade and creating an intimate lounge designed for couples. Mua – Not surprisingly, this hammock for lovers is also a feature piece from Victor M. Aleman. Mua is a swing seat designed to appeal to any romantic. Made with an internal stainless steel frame, rattan palm exterior and foam cushioning, this design reinvents the hammock. Soft Rocker – There’s nothing quite like an old rocking chair for finding your center and chilling out. The Soft Rocker was developed by Professor Sheila Kennedy and architecture students from MIT. The teardrop-shaped outdoor rocking lounge chairs have solar panels over the top to provide power for up to three USB devices, and some after-dark lighting to allow the party to go on after the sun goes down. The Soft Rockers are made from flat MDF panels which have undergone an advanced digital curving procedure based on the zipshape process, that was originally developed in Switzerland by Christoph Schindler. A lightweight Kuka robotic arm was used to remove portions of the structurally unsound wood to form an inside surface resembling a row of teeth…

26th January 2012: Urban gardening at Eden Project

Green fingered enthusiasts can now learn urban gardening tips at the Eden Project in Cornwall. Workshops are being held by the Truro-based site, which is owned by the Eden Trust charity, until March. The one-hour short courses, run by Eden’s gardening team, will teach participants urban gardening techniques from creative containers, composting, maintaining allotments and growing plants on their windowsill. The indoor gardening class will take place on January 27, growing from seed on February 10, growing from cuttings on the 17, potting your young plants on the 24 and container gardening on March 2. Sessions cost £8.50 each, including plant and material costs, and will take place at Truro Library at 10am, 12pm and 2pm every day. Participants can choose to take part in one session or pay for seven and receive a 10% discount. The Eden Trust is an educational charity, which runs transformational social and environmental projects locally and internationally. For more information or to book a place contact 01726 811972.

26th January 2012: Richmond gardening project gets £5k funding


A gardening project encouraging disabled people to enjoy the outdoors has been given a £5,000 funding boost. Richmond Aid’s Richmond Spade project will get the grant from the council’s civic pride fund, having been heralded a great example of a community involvement scheme. Alex Brining, Richmond Aid’s operations manager, said the money would help maintain and develop the important project. The news was greeted by delight from Spade’s dedicated team of volunteer gardeners. Project co-ordinator Jean Loveland said: “This project helps hundreds of people and households each year and allows older and disabled people to enjoy and get the most out of their gardens. “So many people who have invested time and money raising a family in their homes find themselves less able to maintain everything as they get older and acquire health conditions and disabilities. This project focuses on those people and works hard to make this borough a clean and pleasant space for all. “We are so happy to receive this grant to carry on our work to ensure as many people as possible can be proud of their borough.”

25th January 2012: Accessorize the garden for beauty and personality

Accessories are important to any outfit. Choosing the right scarf, belt, tie, hat or jewelry can add that certain panache and personality to our daily attire. The same is true for our gardens. Garden accessories come in all sizes, shapes and styles. Obvious garden accessories include furniture, fountains, arbors and containers. But creating a garden accessory is limited only by your imagination. Accessories are wonderful when used as focal points. A simple, brightly colored ceramic container set at the end of a pathway adds architectural interest and draws your eye to the garden. Collections can also create a focal point. I recently saw a group of antique watering cans displayed on a patio wall. The wall created a beautiful frame and unified the various styles and colors. How do you get started? First, think about a location where a focal point or two would enhance your garden. Second, determine the style of your home. Does it have a Mediterranean feel, a modern bent or an eclectic style? Third, take inventory of what you already have that you can incorporate in the garden. Is there a collection of antique tools rusting in your garage? Pull them out and arrange them on a fence panel or use them to create a structure in the garden. I once saw an arbor constructed from rakes and shovels form a wonderful home for a climbing rose. Finally, consider what you like to see in a garden. Art? Sculpture? What hobbies do you have that could be expressed in the garden? Bird-watching is a natural for accessorizing. Fountains or a simple birdbath nestled between roses are obvious additions for a birder’s garden, and birdhouses come in every shape and size. Start a collection of houses and group them around the garden as focal points.

16th January 2012: Plenty of Space for Trends and Business at imm Cologne furniture fair 2012

imm cologne is the central meeting place for exhibitors and decision-makers from all the world’s important furniture markets. The diverse mix of visitors makes the trade fair highly interesting for exhibitors. All the target groups that are relevant to your business will be present at imm cologne: contacts from all areas of the trade and industry, contract business experts, professionals from the architecture scene and the sectors’s up-and-coming young professionals. The visitors come with the intention, and the means, to do business. Many are authorised decision-makers – and they are quick to make use of this authority. Together with imm cologne, the new trade fair format LivingInteriors will be showing perfectly staged interior worlds consisting of furniture, bathrooms, floors, walls and lighting. It is aimed at trade visitors and consumers alike. Many potential consuming buyers will attend the fair on the public days on friday, saturday and sunday and will get an exciting overview over holistic living and interior design concepts and their products.

13th January 2012: In the garden – This home gardener won’t be dancing the Tangerine Tango

As usual, the first week or so of the new year has been filled with reports of resolutions, predictions and trend reporting. One item that has received a lot of attention, first popping up in a news release back in December, was the announcement of the “colour of the year” by Pantone Inc. of New Jersey. In case you missed it, the colour for 2012 is Tangerine Tango, a sort of reddish orange. I have to bring this up otherwise I’d be remiss in not advising readers that we’re all to plant fashionable Tangerine Tango-coloured flowers in our gardens this year to ensure it’s co-ordinated with new patio furniture, watering cans and lipstick. You must have it, even if it means totally changing the current scheme, which, in case you weren’t aware, was supposed to have featured lots of honeysuckle — not the vine, but the pinkish shade that was Pantone colour of the year in 2011. I missed that one and fortunately I also missed 2005’s Blue Turquoise, which looked suspiciously like teal to me, an unnatural colour in any garden. My garage door was once painted in teal and it never quite worked.

12th January 2012: imm Cologne set to showcase international furniture pieces

International furniture show imm Cologne launches on Monday with a centrepiece artificial home designed by London-based studio Doshi Levein. Das Haus – Interiors on Stage, brings together domestic architectural, interior and outdoor spaces across a 180m2 space. ‘We want the house to capture a feeling. It’s located in the context of the fair, so we didn’t want a house that feels as if it’s standing by itself in the countryside. Instead, we imagine it as part of the socio-economic neighbourhood, as part of a community,’ says Doshi Levein co-founder Nipa Doshi. ‘We’re not thinking of a place with houses and beautiful gardens, but a place with shops and workshops, a house full of life. The house isn’t in a residential area, it’s located in an urban context,’ Doshi adds. At a press conference held in Cologne, yesterday Gerald Bose chief executive officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, gave an address offsetting ‘difficult political and business conditions’ with cause for optimism – a healthy furniture buying market, in Germany at least. imm Cologne claims that spend on furniture has increased with Germans spending 373 per head a year, a trend that has increased across the decade despite a shrinking population. More single person households means smaller living spaces and more demand for multi-functional designs with added value.

12th January 2012: LOFA launches Made Aware environmental trademark

The Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA) has launched its new environmental trademark, Made Aware. Suppliers to be awarded the label have to prove they are taking progressive action to reduce their environmental impact and to improve the welfare of the people who make their products. Each year, these suppliers will have to show they are continuing to make a worthwhile improvement, and have to pass stringent testing by a panel of independent judges to ensure they can keep the label. To promote the Made Aware campaign, LOFA will be touring garden centres and retail outlets across the UK to highlight its members’ Made Aware products. The promotional campaign will also cover social media.

10th January 2012: Eco Friendly Outdoor Furniture by Deesawat

With a motto like “quality that comes naturally,” the warm, earthy appeal of this eco-friendly outdoor furniture by Deesawat is almost expected. What’s unexpected, is the contemporary look and feel of the Bottle line patio pieces, named for their unusual silhouettes that are made of wood and taper at the top, like its namesake. Combined with funky patterned pillows and cushions in cool hues, this outdoor furniture collection will liven up any alfresco lounging hotspot. Patio, pool-side or in the garden, the bottle collection is an instant outdoor attraction! For more information, visit Deesawat.

8th January 2012: Chichester organisation gives garden boost to charity

A charity which creates gardens for children’s hospices has received a funding boost thanks to a Chichester-based organisation. The Leisure of Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA) has presented a cheque for £5,000 to the Greenfingers charity, which has created 34 gardens since it was launched in 1998. LOFA chairman Eric Hopper said: “We were very keen to support a charity this year and we considered a few but picked Greenfingers to receive our donation. Its work creating gardens at children’s hospices is fantastic and a great example of what can be done to help those less fortunate than ourselves. “We have also offered Greenfingers a stall at our successful annual Trade Show in Telford, SOLEX, free of charge as another opportunity to promote the charity.”

1st November 2011: Lazy Susan’s new wicker and rattan ranges and photography

Rattan and wicker garden furniture will add a touch of sophistication to any outdoor space with its distinctive laid back appearance. It’s lightweight and easy to manoeuvre around your patio or garden, while the solid rust-free steel frame provides an extra rigidity and durability to every piece. The modern resin wicker weave is almost indistinguishable from natural wicker and it will stand up to the rigors of being left outside, as well in the heat of a conservatory or summer room. The synthetic all-weather resin wicker provides fantastic weather-proof qualities meaning the new collection from Lazy Susan are virtually maintenance free, allowing them to be used both indoors and out. Although these collections are all low maintenance, to keep them looking their best (and save on cleaning), we would advise that you cover the furniture during inclement weather or wintery conditions if left outdoors, and this will protect it from dust and dirt, and prolong the life of the synthetic resin and metal framework.

1st November 2011: Off season is the perfect time to shop for new garden furniture

Can Lazy Susan let you in on a little trade secret? Do you want to know when to get the best deals on garden furniture? When we are cooped up indoors during the winter, we all start thinking about the warmer months of the next summer and we yearn for the time when we can start sitting outside with friends and family soaking up the sunshine or enjoying a relaxed meal on our patio. But as always no one wants to spend vast sums of money on the garden when purchasing new furnishings for their home, especially with Christmas just around the corner. However, the coming months really are the best time to spend on your garden and in this article Lazy Susan will explain all…

10th October 2011: Lazy Susan’s Customer Photographs

We encourage all our customers to send us pictures of their Lazy Susan garden furniture sets when they are up and ready to use in the garden. Some pictures show sets that have been used for many years, others brand new in wonderful settings, and some even show just how well our garden furniture stands up to the British weather!

12th September 2011: Garden furniture and DIY among most popular retail search terms

A recent survey by the BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor has identified that ‘Garden Furniture’ and ‘DIY’ are both featured the top five retail search terms for Q2 2011, while the total retail search volumes have grown by 27% year-on-year. Growth has been primarily driven by the recent rise in mobile search volumes of 216%, more than treble when compared to the same quarter last year, as smart phones and tablets such as the iPad become an increasingly popular ways to shop online. Overall, retail search volumes for multichannel retailers have increased by 14% in Q2, compared with 21% for pure online retailers such as Lazy Susan. We might be in an out of recession at the moment, but these figures have given Lazy Susan more than a little reason to be optimistic. The BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “While the retail sector as a whole is going through a difficult period, the boom in online retail continues… Consumers are always looking for more convenient ways to shop. Retailers are making m-commerce easier all the time by offering mobile optimised websites, apps and transactional mobile platforms.” The most popular search terms for retail products in the lead-up to summer 2011, beds came out on top, followed by books, DIY and then garden furniture. Electrical products such as the iPad2, kindle and the upcoming iPhone 5 were also prominent. The number of overseas consumers searching for UK retailers also grew by 34% in the second quarter of 2011, while the number of UK consumers searching for retailers overseas grew by 76%, a sharp rise from the 21% growth shown in Q1 2011.

21st July 2011: Lazy Susan on 60 Minute Makeover

Lazy Susan recently supplied some of our garden furniture for the popular daytime show, 60 Minute Makeover, ITV1’s daily interior design series that’s packed with amazing surprise makeovers. The show made over a house in Blackwood for an extremely deserving woman who has an extreme phobias of wasps and bees. The design team wanted to make over her garden in a way in which would make her feel happy and comfortable going outside and spending more time in outdoors. At Lazy Susan we were only happy to supply the 60 Minute Makeover team…

7th June 2011: Give your home an instant update with the latest trends from the Milan Furniture Fair

Why not spruce up your home and garden by taking a few cues from the annual Milan Furniture Fair which took place last month. This year the mood in Milan was a festive one as the fair celebrated its 50th birthday. We had a fantastic couple of days there and at Lazy Susan we thought we could use the blog to offer some tips on how to recreate the significant trends that registered strongly with us in order to give your home the make-over it deserves. The world’s largest furniture fair, the annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile, took place in Milan this past April. The trade show has always been a source of inspiring design ideas for the garden and the home, and this year was no different. Here are some bold new trends and products that really impressed us. One of the big things you couldn’t fail to pick up on at this years fair was the ‘power of colour’ and the use of bright colours on everything from textiles and moulded plastics to lacquered wood and metal finishes was all over the place. The use of vibrant colours such as red, orange and yellow seemed to this humble garden furniture company to almost be an optimistic reaction to the recessionary woes of the last couple of years. Introducing brighter hues is a natural result for celebration, putting aside the gloomy feel of the economic downturn. Some fine examples that grabbed our attention included Fritz Hansen’s new Favn sofa, by cult Spanish designer Jaime Hayon, which is available in 10 shades, including violet, mustard yellow and bright red.

9th May 2011: Introducing the new rattan Faith sofa set and Melissa 10 seater round dining set

New for 2011! Lazy Susan is delighted to add two new stunning ranges to our wicker and rattan furniture collection… Faith 4 Seater Rattan Sofa Set – The Faith rattan sofa set is ideal for indoor or outdoor socialising, and they say that the garden is an extension of your home, so why not have high quality furniture that suits both. The Faith range comprises of the rattan and glass coffee table itself, a rattan two seater sofa, and two individual rattan chairs. This rattan set is comprised of a hand woven synthetic resin rattan around a solid rust-free steel frame. The Table top itself is glass showing the wonderfully intricate design of the rattan underneath. The beauty of rattan furniture is that it has that element of flexibility to the body form, allowing for great comfort for many relaxing hours outdoors.

30th April 2011: Read what others are saying about Lazy Susan

We are extremely proud of our garden furniture collection and the buying experience we can guarantee you’ll get from Lazy Susan… If you don’t believe me, then please read some of the recent feedback we’ve been given… Lizzie by June Randle Date Added: Wednesday 06 April, 2011 – “To all at Lazy Susan!! I am absolutely delighted with my wonderful classy garden furniture, which is just as well since I bought so much of it!! The sunloungers are so robust and long that my 6′4″ son is easily accommodated!! I was amazed by the size of the table but you did say it was your largest! – the lazy susan it incorporates is so useful. Thanks again!! June Randle, a very satisfied customer.”

4th April 2011: Why more people are buying garden furniture online

More and more people seem to be going online to purchase their garden furniture, as they prepare for the warmer months ahead… New reasearch by the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index has revealed that the web-based home and garden sector has recorded a year-on-year rise of 56% from 2009 to 2010. And surely the brief glimpse of spring that we’ve felt across the UK over past few weeks will kick start sales in 2011! In recent years there has been phenomenal growth in the patio furniture market, and at Lazy Susan we are testament to that. Our feeling is that this is primarily down to many people viewing their garden as an extension of their home. One thing is certain, nowadays the consumer is faced with much greater choice of patio products. However, before you commit to buying garden furniture from anywhere, you need to have thought about what it is you exactly want and what type of garden furniture best suited to your outdoor space. There are a few general things which you need to consider, regardless of whether you’re buying your garden furniture from a high street shop or online, and some which are specific to internet purchases alone. As always, Lazy Susan is on hand to guide you through the do’s and don’t of purchasing garden furniture online. There are a few initial factors you need to consider before clicking the ‘Buy’ button and making your garden furniture purchase online…

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