Trends can be tricky things to predict. They are the result of a complex interplay of factors, such as consumer preference, innovation, cultural influence, and societal changes.
The terms fad and trend are often used interchangeably but for us and the furniture industry they are very different things:
- Trend: A trend in our industry will start slow, take time to gain traction and have staying power.
- Fad: A Fad, on the other hand, will rise quickly in popularity and then fall just as fast.
As a business we are not interested in the latest fads, we want to see materials, styles and types of furniture that will make a lasting impact.
Our focus is on driving the garden sector forward and helping it develop and change for the better. To do that we need products and concepts that will encourage us to use and embrace our outside spaces.
Predicting furniture trends is essential though - for both us as a business and for our customers.
It is something we try and do regularly as it helps us to stay competitive and it helps you to make well-informed choices for your patios and gardens.
Whilst our collection is focused on classical styling, we still want to try and influence garden design and the wider garden sector, by offering products that are fit for UK patios, in an enduring style.
A good trend for us is one that is relevant, innovative, authentic, practical, adaptable, and accessible. Good outdoor furniture must have staying power to make it timeless and less susceptible to rapid obsolescence.
However, they have to be fit for purpose or they will fall into the fad category.
By that, we mean furniture that is weather-resistant, durable, comfortable, low-maintenance, and stylish, at a competitive price with a robust warranty and returns policy.
With all those elements in mind, and based on our extensive research at the leading trade shows, conferences and industry expos, these are our design team's top 20 trends to keep an eye on in 2024:
1. Sustainable Materials
We expect the trend towards sustainability to continue across the garden furniture industry in 2024. Consumers are increasingly seeking eco-friendly options, such as furniture made from recycled materials such as reclaimed timber or sustainable woods like teak and bamboo. This is a subject we looked at in detail regarding our cast aluminium range in our recent Can garden furniture be recycled? article.
2. Modular Furniture
Modular furniture has been around for a while now but we have seen a big focus in the UK on improving both design and the quality of materials. The most popular option in this category is the large modern sofa-style sets that can be rearranged and adapted to different functions and layouts. Look for ranges that deliver clean lines and endless versatility with seating combinations and configurations to create the perfect fit and function for your patio.
3. Outdoor Living
Creating comfortable and stylish outdoor living rooms is another trend that we love and is one that will endure. This includes the use of outdoor kitchens, weather-resistant sofas, sectionals, coffee and dining tables, and pergolas as well as outdoor rugs and cushions to bring the indoor living experience to your patio.
4. Mixed Materials
Garden furniture designs often incorporate a mix of materials, such as metal, wood, and wicker. This creates a visually interesting and unique look for outdoor spaces. Mixing materials on your patio is very much on trend and we recently looked at how you can pull this look off in our Should my patio furniture match? article.
5. Rustic Chic
Rustic-style patio furniture is another big trend we are seeing across our industry and we’re seeing several pieces that are designed to evoke a natural, rugged, and traditional farmhouse-style aesthetic. Think weathered and aged timbers and metals reminiscent of the countryside or rural settings.
It can work well in various outdoor environments too, from rural cottages and cabins to suburban homes looking for a more natural, country-inspired style. The appeal of rustic furniture lies in its ability to blend with the outdoor surroundings, bringing a relaxed, comfortable, and nostalgic ambience to your patio or outdoor space.
6. Earth Tones
Neutral and earthy colour palettes remain the popular choice on the patios of stylish UK homeowners. Reflecting a desire for a calm and natural outdoor environment, we are seeing earthy tones like muted greens, pale blues, burnt oranges, natural stones, and light browns continuing to be the most in-demand and on-trend.
7. Smart Furniture
With the rise of smart home technology, we have seen several outdoor furniture sets with integrated features like built-in USB chargers, LED lighting, and even weather sensors to provide more convenience and comfort. Whether this is a fad or trend, we are still on the fence, but we are a fan of anything that improves the outdoor living experience, so this is more of a one-to-watch.
8. Retro Style
Vintage and retro designs are making a big comeback in the UK, with patio furniture inspired by mid-century modern and bohemian styles. These looks will bring a sense of nostalgia and personality to outdoor space.
9. Small-Space Furniture
With outdoor spaces becoming smaller, especially in urban environments, there's a growing demand for compact and foldable garden furniture that can fit well in limited spaces. Some of our favourite on-trend pieces include; Nesting Tables, Folding Bistros, and innovative Storage Tables, Benches and Sofas. The furniture doesn't have to be small, it just has to fit and function to give you the best use of that space.
10. Artistic Furniture
Unique and artistic furniture designs that serve as focal points in the garden are another big trend that is gaining popularity. These can include benches in unusual shapes, using bold statement colours, and innovative materials to create furniture that is as much a work of art as it is functional.
11. Fire Pits & BBQ Tables
Fire pits and fire tables are fast becoming staples of garden design and this a trend we need here in the UK. They provide warmth and ambience, allowing outdoor spaces to be still used when the sun sets and temperature dips.
12. Handmade Furniture
Handmade patio furniture is coming back, and whilst it isn’t cheap, what you get is unique, customisable, artistic, often sustainable and eco-friendly. It is well-crafted, with a focus on quality and durability, which can result in a longer-lasting and sturdier product, and there is something nice knowing that you have purchased from skilled individuals, small workshops or family-run businesses.
13. Industrial Style
This is a design style that draws inspiration from industrial spaces and factories, often characterised by a combination of practical and rugged elements. It takes a keen eye to pull this look off but when done right it is wonderful. Think raw materials like metal, wood, and concrete paired with minimalist design. Industrial patio furniture often evokes a vintage or retro vibe, harkening back to the mid-20th century and the heyday of modernism.
14. Mediterranean Terrace
Mediterranean-style patio furniture is the complete opposite of industrial in look but it is also focused on the use of natural materials like wood, wrought iron, and stone. These materials are chosen for their ability to withstand the sun while adding warmth and texture to your space.
Earthy colours such as terracotta, yellows, warm whites, and shades of blue and green, reflect the colours of the region's landscapes. Rustic finishes, pergolas, potted plants, lush greenery, and even climbing vines are all combined to complete the Mediterranean terrace look to bring a touch of romance to your patio.
15. Lightweight Furniture
Buying lightweight patio furniture is another emerging trend and it offers several advantages over more robust pieces and materials. It is easy to move and rearrange, more convenient for homeowners who prefer hassle-free maintenance, takes up less room, is easier to store in bad weather, and is a budget-friendly option for those looking to furnish their outdoor spaces without breaking the bank.
16. Outdoor Kitchens
Yes, you can have an outdoor kitchen in the UK. Outdoor kitchens have become increasingly popular here, despite our well-earned reputation for having a wet and unpredictable climate. With the right planning, design, materials, and equipment, you can create a functional and enjoyable outdoor kitchen that allows you to make the most of your outdoor space, even in less-than-ideal weather conditions.
17. Natural Materials
This ties in with several other trends in our top 20 but we are seeing a big shift away from the moulded plastics and poly-rattans here in the UK. The use of natural materials is nothing new but with their eco-friendliness, timeless appeal, and connection to the outdoors, we are seeing a surge in popularity for furniture made from sustainable materials such as wood and metal.
18. Garden Structures
Garden structures, such as pergolas, arbours, and gazebos, placed over your patio table are a trend that we can fully endorse for several reasons. They protect from the sun and rain, creating the perfect spot for your outdoor dining table but they can also help define and enclose your outdoor dining area, creating a more intimate and inviting space for entertaining and dining.
We looked at the Danish concept of Hygge and how it emphasizes comfort, cosiness, and well-being in our How to create a cosy patio with our garden tables article. We focussed on how it is a wonderful approach to patio and garden design that will enhance your outdoor living space by making it warm and inviting.
While traditionally associated with indoor spaces, hygge principles can be applied to your patio to create a comfortable and relaxing environment, simply pair comfortable seating, and cosy accessories with an emphasis on outdoor dining and spending quality time with loved ones.
20. Metal Meshwork Furniture
Metal meshwork furniture is fast becoming a popular and fashionable choice of outdoor furniture style in the UK. Our last trend for summer 2024 offers a sleek and modern aesthetic in a material that is perfectly suited to our climate. The meshwork design allows for excellent airflow and drainage while delivering a look that’s a true modern classic.
If you have any photos of your new Lazy Susan Garden Furniture, we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Here.