Last month we posted the first part of this article. In that we looked at a range of outdoor furniture trends, from living room style outdoors to extending patio tables.
I didn’t want the article to become too long, so made the decision to follow it up this month. The Lazy Susan team and I still had several outdoor furniture trends that we felt could be big in 2018.
So here we are again, part two, ready to share them with you.
I like writing these articles too. We spend a number of days each year visiting the various home, garden and furniture shows in the UK and Europe. These posts are a great way to share what we’ve seen, predict what the we think will be the big trends in our industry.
The outdoor furniture industry is moving fast, materials are improving, and the fashion cycle seems to be speeding up. A decade or so back, we seemed to lag behind the rest of the home industry, or at least that’s how it felt to me.
Trends seemed to stay relatively static, more emphasis was placed on improving the quality of our range, than it was on introducing new styles etc.
And whilst of course quality is still vital, I feel we have caught up with the rest of the home industry in terms of demand for new styles. Things are now moving quicker.
Gardens are no longer just places to work in or look at from the kitchen window. They are now becoming part of everyday living. Part of the home as much as the kitchen or dining room.
Patios, play areas, outdoor seating, entertaining, we are opening the inside of our homes up to the outside. That boundary is becoming blurred. The garden is becoming an integral part of our everyday lives.
And while I’m all for innovation, new product development. I don’t just like it for fashions sake. Fads don’t interest us here at Lazy Susan. We want to see outdoor furniture trends that enrich our patios. That serve a purpose.
We want to see disposable BBQs and plastic chairs replaced by technologically-advanced outdoor grills and good quality patio furniture that will last for a number of years. This is what we have strived for from day one, these are the things that underpin our product offer.
In 2017 the market for outdoor products was estimated to be worth over £4bn in the UK alone. This was an increase of 3 per cent on 2016. With forecasters predicting it will grow by a further 2 per cent this year.
As an industry we are bucking broader economic trends. While our 2018 outdoor furniture trends illustrate that we’re using are gardens more than ever, and in more diverse ways than ever before.
More 2018 Outdoor Furniture Trends
So here’s just a few more of the things Lazy Susan feel will be big this summer…
Modular Lounge Sets
There is a lot of rattan modular outdoor sofa sets on the market in the UK. However, I have to be honest, and I know we have sold rattan in the past, but I hate that stuff. It is a nightmare to keep clean, it doesn’t stand up to the elements and I am yet to sit on a comfortable rattan sofa.
Plus, the majority of it looks and feels cheap. For me, if you want a modern modular outdoor dining set, stay away from rattan and go for something like the made Catania Collection from Made.com (pictured above).
Constructed from powder coated iron and polywood, it not only looks good, but delivers on both comfort and quality of materials. Designed with clean lines and a sophisticated colour palette, it’s a minimalist collection that will enhance any patio. Catania also comes with detachable, thickly padded cushions for extra comfort.
Outdoor Coffee Table Nests
Like many of the new outdoor furniture trends we are seeing emerge in our gardens and on our patios, they’ve originated from inside the home. I’m not sure when coffee table nests were first introduced, but they’ve been in our living rooms for many a decade.
However, they’re not something you tend to see outdoors. That’s changing and in the last couple of years we’ve seen an influx of garden specific nests of tables.
A little expensive, and I’m not even sure if they’re available here in the UK, but the Concrete Coffee Table Nest (pictured above) from Australia’s Moss Furniture is absolutely stunning.
The outer table provides a nest for the smaller table to rest beneath. Constructed from powder coated steel, fibre glass and concrete.
Concrete is another thing you don’t associate with our industry, well apart from to put the furniture on. However, this material is right on the outdoor furniture trends money and this coffee table nest shows it off perfectly.
As a material, we’ve again seen concrete used inside the home for benches, table tops, and most notably on kitchen countertops, it is extremely tactile and very durable.
Recycled Plastic Furniture
The concept of using polywood and recycled plastic has been around our industry for a few years now. However, with recent media focus on the problem of our excessive use of plastic and the impact it is having on our seas, this versatile material is back on our outdoor furniture trends list for 2018.
The London Bench and Picnic Table from NBB Recycled Furniture (pictured below) is the perfect example. This bold, sophisticated and modern dining set is manufactured from 100% recycled plastic.
As a material it is perfect for the patio. It is durable, with NBB claiming it will last at least 5 times longer than timber. The dense solid plastic is chip, crack and splinter proof.
It is easy to clean and low maintenance, and unlike the real thing it needs no surface treatment or yearly staining.
The recycled plastic material is designed to look like painted timber, but it will withstand harsh weather conditions all year round and not rot. Plus it is UV resistant and non toxic.
Japanese inspired furniture
Japanese style gardens have been featured at many of the recent gardening shows we’ve visited over the last 12 months or so. The recent Chelsea Flower Show even had the O-mo-te-na-shi no NIWA hospitality garden.
Organic lines and simple structures are the fundamentals of Japanese garden design, and to complete that look, you need furniture inspired by those same characteristics.
The Tanso range by David Irwin for Heals was originally inspired by the simplicity of Japanese furniture.
Constructed from a highly robust and weather resistant Grade A Teak, and is perfectly suitable for outdoor use yet its simple aesthetic means it would look just at home indoors.
For me, the attention to detail and craftsmanship of the this range elevates the quality of outdoor furniture even higher, further blaring those lines between indoor and outdoor living. All things we at Lazy Susan are trying to achieve with our furniture.
Oversized outdoor pillows and cushions
In the past, outdoor cushions have always felt a little limp, flat and not the comfortable. But probably one of the biggest areas of innovation in our industry over the last decade has been in outdoor fabrics and upholstery.
Lead by the likes of Sunbrella, fabrics are now fit for purpose. Designed to last, stand up to the elements, and most importantly deliver indoor comfort outside.
For too long plump cushions have been reserved for the inside of our homes, while our outdoor furniture has been paired with pillows and cushions that were less plump shall we say.
However, in 2018 we are seeing a big shift towards oversized pillows and cushions designed specifically for the outdoors.
Take the GRENÖ range pictured above from Ikea. The look like they belong in your living room but they are specifically designed to be used outside.
They’ll add a little extra comfort to any garden sofa or chair by providing some extra lumbar support or armrest. Not to mention the fact they look great.
The covers are easy to keep clean and fresh, and if needed you can take them off and machine-wash it. They’d look great on some of our garden chairs.
50’s retro outdoor furniture has been popping up all over the place in the last 6 months or so. I’m not sure why, who started this but I’m glad they did. It translates so well onto the patio, and I for one am a big fan of a little vintage flair
Pastel colours are the way to go. Stay away from that awful american diner theme of red, black and chrome, that has no place anywhere but back in a 1950’s soda bar.
For me, the go to place for this look is 1stdibs.co.uk. They have a compressive range of stunning original 50’s pieces from Salterini Woven Ribbon Chairs and Table Patio Set by Maurizio Tempesting (pictured above) to a pair of Russell Woodard Black Sculptura Settees.
This is the real deal. True vintage pieces. So be prepared to pay for it if you want the best. If you want to simply recreate the look with modern pieces, then the Poppy range from Holloways (pictured below) is my recommendation.
They’ve applied all their modern know-how to vintage design so you get the best of both. 50’s looks with modern outdoor performance.
Poppy features a metal frame and a man-made fibre weave, ensuring that they are totally weatherproof. They can be left outside in heavy rain and will come to no harm.
The soft curves make the Poppy chairs amazingly comfortable, even without cushions. However the optional cushions will add that touch of extra luxury for all day lounging.