It is a big part of this blog, we like to look ahead, try and forecast what myself and the Lazy Susan team think will be the hot trends in the garden industry. We don’t always get things right, but I like to think that these articles will inspire somebody. Help them decide on their next piece of garden furniture.
Plus our minds are always in that headspace. We are always working on new product development, looking to fine tune our collection, identify gaps, and most importantly predicting (at least trying our best) what the market want in 2 or 3 summers time.
We have a number of different ways to do this. Visiting the home and garden exhibitions and trade shows is a big indicator. In more recent times we’ve taken cues from other sectors, interior furniture trends have had a massive impact on our industry. As have the leaps and bounds we’ve made in terms of production and quality of materials.
However, for us, probably the biggest driver of product development is good old fashioned consumer demand. Our customers tastes have defined our offer. Their feedback has helped us fine tune our collection into a range of furniture that fits what our market wants.
A garden furniture range that is fit for purpose. That will stand up to the elements but will deliver what we need it to on the patio, both aesthetically, and in terms of function. Stylistically it fits with the style of our homes too, it can sit on the patio in both the sunshine and summer rain, but works with how we like to use our gardens.
Yes, we’ve made mistakes. We’ve introduced materials and styles that have not sold as well as we would have hoped. And I am sure we will again in the future. There is an element of risk in any fashion led business.
However, in cast aluminium, we have a material that we have 100% confidence. Our customer testimonials support this. We have a classically styled range of garden furniture that will look at home on any patio. That won’t date quickly like many of the fads we see come and go in the garden industry.
The garden industry is fully dependent on the weather. A good summer, means good sales. If the sun shines, our products sell. It is as simple as that. Like many an industry, we are not recession proof. And who knows what Brexit will bring. However, the biggest motivating factor in our industry is the sun.
So whilst this article will look ahead to some of trends we think we’ll see in our gardens next summer, for me the biggest thing for the garden industry in 2019 will be another summer like the one we’ve just had. My fingers are crossed.
Our first prediction for 2019 is that sun Loungers will continue to be high on the wish lists of many. And again, I think this one is all down to the great summer we’ve just had.
Demand for them in the UK has never been higher. Yes they’ve always sold well overseas, but now we are seeing greater demand at home too. They’re a great alternative to say a garden bench, allowing for some true relaxation when the sun shines.
Flexible garden furniture
Lightweight and easy to store furniture is becoming a key factor for many.
Our homes are becoming smaller, space is at a premium. Plus, how we use are gardens and patios is changing. We demand furniture that functions in a number of different ways, from dining to good old fashioned lazing in the sun.
Flexibility is becoming the key word in our industry. Furniture that is foldable or stackable has been around for a number of years but is high on the wishlist of many consumers. But we’re also seeing greater demand for garden furniture that isn’t to heavy.
Now this is a fine balance and where I feel our pieces really excel. You want furniture that you can easily pick up and move around the garden. Flexibility, that word again. However, you need some weight to ensure it won’t blow over in the wind, so that is feels of substantial quality.
Cast aluminium is the perfect material. Easy to pick up an move but not so light that it will blow over.
Retro Garden Furniture
The retro trend is one that doesn’t seem to go away, both inside and outside our homes. I guess its a bit of a catch all term you can lump all sorts of different styles in. And I guess the trend I’m referring to here is the emergence of a more retro look being used in the poly rattan market specifically.
When the garden industry latched on to the latest developments in sythentic rattan, the majority of the furniture was very modern and functional. Square sofa style seating etc. For next summer we will see an influx of more retro styled pieces. They’re more playful and some innovative use of colour is helping take them to a whole new level of retro cool.
A great example is from the good folks over at Wayfair. Their Pelayo chair from Mistana has the retro vibe down to a tee, and it is available in some great colours. It’s another great example of garden pieces that look just as at home inside as the do out on our patios.
Garden lighting, much like garden furniture, is another sector within our industry that has benefitted from some great innovation in recent years. I guess you could even say it has lagged behind its interior sibling but all that is changing. Lighting is becoming intelligent, more sophisticated and of significantly better quality.
As with this inside of our homes, LED Lighting is leading the way. The advantages of LED are well known but the big shift we’re seeing is with the quality of the units and innovative new ways of fitting, fixing and installing. From strip lighting under steps to sunken deck lights. You get great feature illumination without some big plastic outdoor spotlight.
Take the 24V Large LED Deck Light from Lighting Direct, this recessed LED deck light is stylish, discrete and delivers a beautiful frosted diffused light. Garden lighting is getting smarter, there is a greater choice. You can pair units with a soft diffused white light for a more relaxed ambience, while a brighter colour is better suited to an outdoor dinner party.
Comfort is king
Comfort is still at the top of our list. The latest buzzword in the garden industry is ‘outdoor homing’. Very much a continuation of the outdoor living trend, bringing the inside outside trends we’ve discussed on this blog many many times over recent years.
Same principle, it is all about making the outside of our home as comfortable and functional as the inside. Introducing outdoor fabrics and interior styling to the patio. Creating a space that can be used all day.
Tickle me pink
The new buzz colour of the moment is pink. Not a bright neon pink but a subtle blush was all over the recent home and garden industry shows that the Lazy team visited.
The Lucinda Dusty Pink Stacking Chair from CB2 is the perfect example of how you can be all over this trend for 2019. These modern bistro style chairs feature a beautiful matte dusty pink powder coated finish that would look just as good inside the home as out.
The next big patio flooring trend in the garden industry is definitely ceramic. Garden designers are running the same ceramic flooring from the inside of your home and onto the patio. We have seen this with other materials, but the latest advancements in the ceramic flooring industry are also allowing for that perfect continuity of inside and out.
Plus as a material it is perfect for the patio. It is highly weather resistant, easy to clean and very durable. And yes I know what you’re thinking, slippery when wet (wasn’t that a Bon Jovi song?), but the new styles feature a thicker tile that has a non slip texture/finish.
The Spaces™ range at Topps Tiles is, for me, leading the way. I love the subtle greys of their Terrazzo Flint, which brings the on-trend yet classic look of Italy to the inside and outside of the home.
And its not just one tile fits all. They are the same colour/style but they’re fit for purpose and a perfect match. the range features a 10mm indoor tile and a more robust 40mm outdoor tile. This gives you the seamless transition from home to garden, without the cost of having to run the more costly outdoor tile inside the home too.
The difference between the two tiles is that the outdoor Spaces™ tiles come with a 30mm layer of Serafoam on the bottom of the 10mm porcelain tile which is resistant to weather extremes and has a 25 year frost resistance.
So that’s all for now. Our looking ahead to 2019 in the garden industry. I appreciate that most of the focus was on garden furniture, but hey that’s what we do. Anyway, I’m sure we will pull together a few more of this type of post between now and the New Year. So be sure to check back, and I’ll try and include other items such as the latest BBQ’s, fire pits and planting etc.