We had a great summer in 2018. With that came the opportunity for many of us to get outside and enjoy our gardens way more than usual. And people using their gardens means increased demand for outdoor furniture. So by virtue of all that sunshine, Lazy Susan had a great year in terms of sales. But also demand is rising for the number of pieces of outdoor furniture we are placing on our patios.
A table and few chairs will no longer suffice. The more home and garden savvy of us want more pieces. There’s a greater emphasis on maximising use of our outdoor spaces. Creating a space that serves a number of functions, from relaxing to entertaining. Designing that space to function as efficiently as any room inside the home.
The latest outdoor furniture and accessory trends for summer 2019
As an industry we’re along for the ride. Outdoor furniture has evolved dramatically over the last 20 years. As consumers we’re demanding more in terms of both style and form. Pieces that not only look good on the patio, but also deliver in terms of function, be it dining or reclining.
Improvements in manufacturing and material technology is giving us furniture that is not only stunning to look at, but that will also stand up to the elements. Outdoor furniture that is designed to be left outside should be a given. But gone are the days of pieces that require a significant amount of maintenance just to keep them weatherproof. But enough about our industry, lets dive straight into some of our trend tips for 2019…
I have made my disdain for media buzzwords known on this blog many a time before. I don’t know why, they just annoy me. However, some you just can’t seem to ignore. Inside Out please stand up. However, the latest of these that I am loathe to use but I’m afraid I have no choice, as I just can’t think of something better, is ‘homing’.
We touch on it in this months other Lazy Susan blog article, but I resisted using the term in two posts. It is more integrated into the general bringing the inside out section in that post. However, it really is a more broader trend all of its own, a sort of flipped on its head version of the same thing. I hate the term but I guess it works.
The idea behind homing is simply to make your outdoor space as beautiful and comfortable as the inside of your home. To give it the same attention to detail. As a trend I suppose it is open to interpretation and the obvious starting point is comfortable seating, multifunctional spaces and outdoor soft-furnishings.
However, for me where this one seems to differentiate itself from just bringing the inside out, there’s less focus on blurring the lines between the two. The outdoor space is treated as a separate entity. Not everybody wants that seamless transition from home to patio, not all of our homes suit it.
How to achieve homing in your garden
For me, homing is more about creating a garden that functions as a garden should. A quiet place of beauty where we can take the time to relax and enjoy a little fresh air. Yes, that space should feel as comfortable as the inside of your home, but not necessarily a part of it. Sometimes we need a little detachment.
The key to this trend for me, is all in the use of natural (or at least natural looking) materials such as wood and wicker. Pieces that look like they were designed for the garden. I know I have also made my disdain for timber furniture known in the past. I’m just not fan of the maintenance they require. However, these Harmen Outdoor Chairs from Rowen & Wren (pictured below) are a little different, and most importantly for me, tick all the homing boxes.
Made purely from wood and rope, the Harmen chairs and footstools are simple and striking, more art than furniture. This is Scandinavian design teamed with traditional craftsmanship. And whilst I’ll admit, they don’t look that comfortable in the photograph, don’t let that fool you.
You can use the Harmen chair in two different positions, upright for reading and enjoying a G&T in the sun, using the footstool to rest your drink. Or pop it in recline and pop your feet up. I was surprised that, even without cushions how comfortable they were, and in terms of TLC, just let them age naturally.
They also fold away too, making them ideal to store in the winter months. But the aspect that seals the homing trend deal for me is they look like they belong outside, they have been created to deliver comfort but from natural materials. In many ways I suppose homing is the antithesis of the inside out trend, you’re creating clear boundaries, but you still end up with an outdoor space you’ll use. A space that works with your home, invites you outside. It will have all the comfort and function, it just won’t blur those lines.
I suppose now I’ll counter homing. Plus, we seem to include this in every trend article I write, so it would be rude not to include it in this one with a bit of a 2019 spin. A major part of the Inside/Out trend is, well, bringing the inside out. With that comes interior decorating trends tweaked for the patio and garden. And like interior trends they evolve, new trends become popular, tastes change.
Interior trends are influencing our outdoor spaces more than ever before, but for 2019, the big one has to be colour. Inside them home and now outside. And by colour I mean bold bright paint, prints, coloured furniture and accessories, bold fences, vivid pots and planters – you name it.
You could even take it one step further and invest in the latest in outdoor wallpapers. Yes, you read that right, wallpaper for the exterior of your home. And before you scoff, let me enlighten you. Not only is this a great concept (as crazy as it sounds) but there is some incredible designs that will turn your garden into a modern paradise.
The prints are often graphic, colourful and they’ll definitely take things up a notch by turning any dull old wall into a bold feature. We put it on the inside of homes so why not the outside too? It might sounds like a step too far, but just look at some of the photographs.
If outdoor wallpaper is for you, then Wall & Decò are the market leaders. Or should that be innovators? Anyway, their OUT System is a technical covering for the outdoors that is easy to install and resistant to the elements. Take their Toco print pictured above, yes it is a brave choice, but look how fantastic it looks. Head over to their website to be truly inspired.
Pots & Containers
Pots are going to be well and truly in next year. Were they ever really out? My wife and I have always been big fans of the container. Not only do they add a beautiful splash of colour to our patio but we love the flexibility. We like to swap them around, replant them etc, keep things interesting.
Gone are the days of simply using those white plastic tubs you could buy from the local garden centre, 2019 is the year to invest in some statement pots to really make a splash in your garden. The high street and online is awash with choice, from hanging containers to designer containers, you are guaranteed to find your perfect match.
Don’t be afraid to spend big too, good containers are an investment that will bring joy for many years to come. I am big fan of the Savanne planters (pictured above) from Iota. They have a natural look, with their grey-brown colour and rough-hewn texture, they fit perfect with our home and garden. And in keeping with their organic look, they come in a gently rounded shape that will sit easily with most garden styles.
Patio Dividing Planters
However, if you really want to be on trend for 2019, then it is all about the patio divider planters. Use them to separate the patio from the rest of the garden, or to sub-divide the patio into different functions such as dining, cooking etc.
These contemporary zinc trough planters from Primrose.co.uk (pictured above) will beautifully offset the plants in your garden, complementing their natural beauty with their sharp modern design. The raised base gives this planter a premium look whilst the galvanised finish offers a high resistance to the elements, meaning that this planter offers both style and durability. The great price also means you can buy several and make a real statement.
Linear and Large Format Paving
When it comes to paving we are seeing several trends continue from recent years and few new emerging at the garden design shows. Victorian style monochromatic tiling is most definitely making a comeback, while tiles that can be uses inside and outside the home are appearing in evermore colours and finishes.
However, the one for anybody looking to build a new patio the summer is the clear shift towards larger and more linear pavers over the smaller block setts. Homeowners (and house builders for that matter) are definitely looking for a cleaner, more modular look. Pavers are minimal with a tactile feel, and demand is increasing for the large oversized slabs and plank-style paving.
The Italian Porcelain Crest Silver tiles pictured above from Infinite Paving are a great example of just how stunning the large format tiling can look on the patio. Italian Porcelain paving provides the looks of natural stone paving with ultra hard wearing and easy maintenance. It provides a tough luxurious finish with a crisp modern look.
Love them or hate them, this is a trend that will continue into summer 2019. I have owned one and it wasn’t for us. We preferred to use the dining table or sun lounger so we got rid to make space. That’s not to say I don’t like them. I didn’t like the one we had. It was all form over function. Looked good but uncomfortable to sit on.
However, this was 3 or 4 years ago, and since then there has been some great styles launched in the UK. They are perfect for creating that Inside/Out look. Pair with outdoor armchairs, coffee table, canopy and soft furnishings. You can create the perfect outdoor oasis. Just make sure you do what I didn’t, and try before you buy. We do it with the sofas for the inside of our homes, so makes sense to do it with those we place on the patio too. Sadly, I learned the hard way.
A good friend of mine purchased a THETIS Black Aluminium Garden Corner Sofa from Maisons Du Monde (pictured above) last summer, and I am big fan. Nothing like the rubbish poly-rattan corner sofa I had. In fact think I may of included this in a previous post, apologies if I have. But I love it. Sleek, stylish and it definitely delivers maximum comfort. It also wouldn’t look out of place inside the home, and for me that’s what it is all about in 2019.
Lightweight and Easy To Store
This is another of those trends that has evolved over the last decade. More of a consumer demand I guess. It perfectly illustrates how, as an industry, we have had to look to develop of furniture to better meet the demands of out customers. Weight is an important consideration.
At Lazy Susan, we’ve found consumers want furniture that feels sturdy. Pieces you can leave on the patio and it won’t blow over. However, they also want to be able to pick it up without putting their back out. Move it around the patio, or most importantly, pop it in a garage or shed when its not being used.
Modern Garden Furniture
Take our Modern garden table range (pictured above). It is constructed from a lightweight yet strong, weatherproof aluminium. The coordinating chairs combine cast aluminium with a hard-wearing outdoor mesh fabric. You get a light sturdy frame combined with a soft tactile material that delivers on comfort.
Our modern sun loungers (pictured above) are the same, and this choice of material/construction makes perfect sense when consider how we use them. The sun is constantly moving, thus the lounger is too. Yes the wheels help too. But even with wheels that would still be difficult with say a heavy timber lounger, with ours it is not an issue, but the fact it is constructed from cast aluminium means it still feels robust, well-made.
Half way through writing this article I realised I would need to do a follow up. I have so many exciting outdoor furniture and accessory trends for 2019 that I want to share. However, I appreciate these articles can get a little long, so I will wrap it up here. Please be sure you check back with Lazy Susan for part two next month. For now, here’s hoping these freezing temperatures pick up, and we start to see a little sun sooner rather than later.