We’ve been wanting to write this article for a month or so now. We like to start the summer season by looking at what’s happening in our industry, and seeing where we fit in. Things have just been super busy and demand for Garden Furniture is at an all-time high right now. So, it is nice for the Lazy Susan team to finally sit down and compile our top garden furniture trends for summer 2021.
Like most, the pandemic has had a dramatic impact on our industry. And the least we say about the B-word, the better! Demand is currently outstripping supply. A recent article in This Is Money highlighted that due to COVID:
Popular retailers like Argos, John Lewis and Ikea along with a host of other major firms appear to be running low of garden furniture stock with one even posting a warning on its website. Argos currently has a sign stating that due to 'high demand' stock of garden furniture is low. Meanwhile, on John Lewis, it has 72 different garden furniture sets on its website. However, the vast majority - 60 items - are currently showing as out of stock.
A spokesperson from Ikea is quoted in the same article as saying:
Throughout the pandemic, we have seen an unprecedented demand for products that help people to live, work and play more comfortably from home. This was especially true as we went into lockdown last spring and customers were keen to make the most of the beautiful weather, with searches for Ikea sun loungers increasing by as much as 1,364 per cent year-on-year between March and May.
At Lazy Susan we too experienced this in summer 2020, it caught us off guard if we’re being brutally honest, but we’re better prepared for summer 2021. If anything we are the opposite this year. Our warehouse is well stocked and the Customer Service Team have made a few improvements/tweaks to our order processing systems!
The fact is though, people are simply using their gardens more than they ever have... Staycationing, staying home to stay safe, reticent to travel, traffic lights, vaccine passports, isolation, etc, and as much as the travel industry needs us, many are put off and feel travelling abroad is still too much of a risk (and hassle).
The This Is Money article backs up what we've experienced since the start of the pandemic, and market/retail analysts, Mintel are predicting that this trend will most definitely continue for the foreseeable:
Demand is one of the biggest factors with 48 per cent of consumers intending to spend more on gardens and outside areas, according to data from Mintel. Gardens and outdoor areas remain in the spotlight, as many housebound consumers look to extend the scope of their living spaces with the return of warmer weather. This timing mirrors that of last year, as sales surged in the run-up to the bumper Easter bank holiday weekend. Moving forwards, this focus will remain, even as restrictions begin to ease from later on in the month.
On a purely product development level, COVID has also made its presence felt. As a team we would often be found at many of the big garden and furniture shows, looking for inspiration, keeping up with the competitors, etc. With much of those postponed, moving online or opening with reduced visitors, we've had to look at a different way of working, but that's something the Lazy Susan team have embraced. Again, we’ve not let it hold us back, and we've some incredibly exciting new products coming soon, so please watch this space!
The latest garden furniture trends for summer 2021
Back to the latest garden furniture trends for summer 2021…
These trends would usually be selected/predicted from those aforementioned furniture shows, etc. This is an article that in the past has almost written itself. However, this one is going to be a little different.
We’ve had to work just that little bit harder, and we too have moved our search online and in print. Looking at competitors, leading furniture designers, style mags, analysing hashtags on Instagram, searches of Google, etc, just to see what people are posting and talking about.
So, this article will be a mix of photography, many of which will be photos from our own customers (and if not one of ours, then there’ll be links to places you can buy), and opinions. Hopefully, you’ll find something to inspire for your own garden as we fast approach the school summer holidays!
1. L-Shaped & U-Shaped Outdoor Sofas
The outdoor sofa is a trend that has been around for a number of years. But as with anything in our industry they evolve and improve. Better materials, functionality, form, etc, all progress from year to year. Much of the outdoor sofas on the market are modular so they allow you to configure for your patio/garden. Purchase the components you like, add to the set over time, move things around to suit.
The L-shaped configuration has been popular for a while now, however, the biggest trend we are seeing for summer 21 is the U-shaped. The Halo set (pictured above) from Moda captures this look perfectly. Their 9 seater set features a large sofa with reclinable sections, a footstool that provides extra seating when you're not relaxing with your feet up, and a stunning stone coffee table that is perfect for creating the ultimate in intimate chill zone.
2. Reclining Garden Chairs
I suppose you could say our next trend is one of those that’s come back around. Like the saying goes; “if you hold on to things long enough, they come back into style”. But unlike the 70s/80s ‘caravan’ style chairs, the 2021 versions come in a sleek modern design constructed from innovative materials.
Take the Steamer Chair from Vonhaus (pictured above), it combines the durability and elegance of hardwood with the comfort of polyester cushioning, all wrapped up in a sleek minimalist design that just screams retro-modern. Whether you want to lie down in the sunshine or sit upright to enjoy a summer cocktail, the 7 (yes, 7) backrest positions and adjustable footstool will help you find the sweet spot. You can also achieve this trend in a more classical styling with our new Stella Sun Lounger (pictured below).
3. Party of 6
This is a trend from the algorithms. One of the most popular specific search terms on Google at the moment is “6 Seater Garden Tables”. This is a trend where here at Lazy Susan we have most definitely got you covered. Sofas aren’t for us but garden tables are our forte!
One of the best sellers for us over the last few months is our Alice set in slate grey (shown in the above customer photo). This six-seater garden table features a beautiful lattice tabletop with an intricate woven border. Much loved by our customers this is reflected in over 120 positive customer reviews.
A 6-seater garden table is a perfect size for small gatherings such as BBQs and parties or even just a relaxing family evening spent outdoors under the summer sun. Not too big and not too small, the table is made from high-quality cast aluminium that is incredibly lightweight at around 19kg, don’t worry though, no sacrifices have been made in terms of strength and durability.
4. Pull Up A Garden Bench
Again, this is a trend where we’ve got you covered, and is something we’ve gleaned from what we are selling. We covered this one in much more detail last month in our pair your garden chairs with a garden bench post.
And humble the Garden Bench might be, as we pointed out in that article, we’re seeing Lazy Susan customers work it into a number of popular garden furniture trends:
- Creating seating zones
- Pulling up extra seating to larger sets
- Complimenting smaller sets
- Creating a more informal seating area
- Extra seating for the kids to share
- As a focal point
- Getting the party started
- Enjoying the view
- Framing and enclosing
Our Garden Benches can also be purchased at a discounted price if purchased with one of our Garden Furniture Sets too...
For example, if you purchase our best selling June 6 Seater set with Oval Garden Table in Antique Bronze (pictured above), then there is an option to add the coordinating Jasmine Antique Bronze Garden Bench (pictured below) as a gift, saving you around 40% off the RRP.
5. Bringing The Inside, Outside
We couldn’t have a garden furniture trends for the summer 2021 article without this one. It has probably been in each trend piece we’ve written for the last 5+ years. It has also had many a full article dedicated to it such as our recent bringing the indoors, outdoors post. But as new products come onto the market, be it bigger better sofa sets, wood-fired pizza ovens, outdoor soft furnishings, etc, this is a trend we see continuing.
Many of us are opening up our homes to the garden, blurring the lines between inside and out, creating spaces that extend our living space. Alongside that is the big shift to outdoor furniture that is just at home inside the home as it is on the patio. And furniture that also blurs those lines is one of the big statement trends for this summer. The outdoor sofa and rug are probably the pieces that best achieve this look. Take the Pulse Chaise Sofa Set from Maze at Next.co.uk (pictured above), it wouldn’t look out of place in your living room or on the patio.
6. Seamless Transition
Following on from the above trend and taking it to the next level is the seamless transition. Blurring the boundaries even further by utilising the same materials inside and outside. The buzz-term in the home and garden design industry at the moment is “Biophilic Design”. Which I’ll be honest is a terrible sounding name but I promise is an interesting concept…
For those unfamiliar with the term, it is basically architectural design that increases the connection to nature. Making the ‘flow’ from inside the home to outside as seamless and natural as possible. Of course, you need large sliding glass doors to truly achieve it. The space has to feel/open up as one. But once you have that in place there are a few design tricks that will help to further create a seamless transition.
One of the easiest ways to achieve this trend is to arrange the furniture on the patio and adjoining room as if it is one space. If you also utilise the same materials, accessories, soft furnishing, etc it will further pull the space together. However, the real trick to getting it spot on for Lazy Susan is the flooring. There's some great timber and ceramic options that can be used inside and outside the home such as Grange Grey Matt Floor Tile from Tile Mountain. Their photo (shown above) captures the seamless transition trend to absolute perfection.
7. Hanging & Cocoon Garden Chairs
The pandemic has left us all looking for a little home comfort. The fashion industry has seen unprecedented demand for loungewear. Delivery firms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats are busier than ever. And the same extends to our homes and gardens.
We’ve seen everybody from Made.com to Aldi - whose Egg Chair is somewhat of a cult favourite - launching products recently. But it’s not just the pandemic driving this trend, social media has played its part too. A quick search will see many an influencer curled up on a comfy hanging egg/cocoon garden chair.
House Beautiful recently published their 21 hanging egg chairs for your garden this summer but our personal favourite has to be the stunning Globo Royal Garden Hanging Chair & Stand from Cuckooland.com (pictured above). It's up the top end in terms of price but it is as much a work of art as it is a comfy garden chair.
8. Concrete Garden Furniture
Concrete has a bit of a bad rep but it is a stunning material. I myself have a concrete countertop in my kitchen and it is both beautiful and practical. Many think it would be cold to the touch but it is tactile and polished to create a dramatic effect/finish.
It’s not a new material in terms of furniture design but 2021 is definitely seeing both an influx of stunning new pieces and an increase in demand.
Some of our favourites are the stunning 4 Seater Concrete Garden Dining Set from Beliani (pictured above) and the beautiful Talland Table from Garden Trading, which utilises a poly-cement to achieve a sleek concrete-like look/feel (shown below).
9. Outdoor Kitchens
Is a kitchen, furniture? We think it is. And outdoor kitchens are one trend we expect to only get bigger here in the UK.
An outdoor kitchen might sound a little pointless for the UK, after all, we aren’t blessed with the best climate. That said, in Scandinavia, they’ll cook alfresco even in the coldest months, so don’t let a little drizzle put you off!
As long as there’s a cover, additional cooking elements such as a prep area, outdoor grill or wood-fired pizza oven, for example, will all definitely take your cooking up to a notch. It’ll allow you to cook truly authentic food that just tastes better than what you can achieve inside a regular indoor kitchen.
If you can position an outdoor kitchen just outside the door of your indoor kitchen then not only are you extending your living/cooking space, you're helping that natural flow between inside and out. When it comes to outdoor kitchens in the UK, our advice would be to start with My Outdoor Kitchen. They have a comprehensive range of built-in outdoor kitchen units and free-standing/modular units such as the stunning Skeldervik from Sweden (shown above and below).
10. Front Garden Focus
This was another trend we touched on in our pair your garden chairs with a garden bench post. While the focus is often on the back garden in terms of function, the front garden is often more about curb appeal. However, we’re seeing a growing number of our customers sending us photos with garden furniture at the front of their properties.
The garden bench (as shown above) is the obvious choice but we are seeing 4 seater and 2 seater bistro sets too. For many, it is a way to make the most of the sun, especially if you have a North Facing back garden, or if the view from the front is one you want to sit and take in from time to time. If this is a trend you’d like to achieve, then start simple, position a Lazy Susan Garden Bench out the front and you’re good to go.
11. Balcony Garden Furniture
This is another trend that is popular on social media, with many people sharing what they’ve achieved in a small space. Over 1 million posts and counting on Instagram at last search with hashtags like #balconydecor, #balconygarden, #balconydesign and #balconygoals.
Again, we’re assuming the pandemic will have played a big part but if a balcony is all you’ve got, then you have to make sure it works twice as hard to give that little bit of ‘outdoor' we all need. Now more than ever!
However, take a look at Instagram for a little inspiration and you’ll be wowed by what many have achieved. I warn you it's easy to get lost in the scroll.
When it comes to balcony garden furniture, then we have you covered with this trend. Our range of 2 Seater Bistro Sets such as our London Rose set (pictured above in a customer photo) is perfect for a balcony. And that is some beautiful tiling!
12. All White Metal Garden Furniture
Be it the romance of white furniture, outdoor fabrics or stunning flowers, white is one of the outdoor colours for summer 2021. The #whitegardenfurniture hashtag may not currently have the numbers of the above trend on Instagram, however, what it lacks in posts it more than makes up in good looks. The photos are all absolutely stunning.
There is just something about an all-white garden furniture set that really adds a touch of sophistication to a patio, as the customer photo of our 6 Seater Alice White Metal Garden Table with upgraded Jane Chairs (above) illustrates perfectly. OK, maybe the setting is helping a little too. But trust us when we say, you won’t be disappointed if you opt for a white set. Pop over to our shop to view our full range of White Metal Garden Furniture.
Get your garden ready for summer 2021
There is definitely a major theme running many of the Garden furniture trends for summer 2021 that the Lazy Susan team and I have selected. The spectre of COVID still looms large, and it has certainly made us realise the importance our gardens play in our lives. And if we’re spending more quality time in them, then they need to look good and be functional, providing us with a place that we want to spend time and that fits with the way we use them.
If you do purchase garden furniture from Lazy Susan this summer, then please take a few photos for our Do Some Good charity campaign. Simply take a picture of your Lazy Susan furniture and we’ll donate money to charity. Send in your snaps to [email protected] or tag us on Instagram or Facebook @lazysusanfurniture.