Expanding to Outdoor Living Spaces

The American home is now moving outside its doors and into their patios, yards, decks, lanais and verandas. Their balconies and porches are even made use into extra rooms, as well as courtyards and terraces. 

Furniture these days that are found outdoors are no longer made out of plastic, in fact, new designs look so fabulous that the outdoor furniture may  fit the indoors too. 

The outdoors these days are made to be much more comfortable, just like the indoors. Some say that furniture makers and designer no longer draw a line between the two kinds of spaces and may even place kitchens, dining sets, fire pits and entertainment out in the open. 

Jay Joyce of Tuesday Morning stores for the South East market states that the Delray Beach, Florida homes are making its way towards maximizing spaces. 

“So many [homeowners] are taking advantage of their patio or balcony space,” He said. “With the economy being so tight, a lot of people are staying home, entertaining at home. They’re using their outdoor space like a living room space. You see some homes with their kitchen and flat-screen TV outside.”

Sears and Kmart manager of West Palm Beach, FL Marian Wikenczy shares that this is the new trend this year. The casual lifestyle is going outdoors to entertain, as based on their sales. 

“What we are seeing the costumers really respond to are chat sets,” Wikenczy said. “Or they can have the whole dining room outside; with some additional seating, maybe a chaise lounge and a bistro two-seater.”

The outdoor furniture industry nowadays are all about developments, technology and diversity. The materials are well made to fit the outdoor environment. As said by Director of marketing for the Design Center of the Americas, Josh Fein, the furniture now is technology based.

“With the new teak woods and batik fabrics now you can create pieces that last forever. Outdoor fabrics are so superior than they were in the past. In my grandmother’s day outdoor fabric was very obviously outdoor fabric. Now you can’t tell. Some young couples are using outdoor fabrics inside because they have children and pets. It’s just better. It resists staining, mildew, fading and repels water. And it’s not wicker anymore, it’s rattan. You can have it for five years and there won’t be a chip or a dent in it.” he said.

Meanwhile, customers like David Bromstad is thanking improvised wood composites and polycarbonates as they are well fit for his stylish outdoor room. 

“The manufacturing companies are offering outdoor furniture that feels like an extension of your home so that’s it’s not just a pool or barbecue area. Sombrero fabric, for example, feels like indoor fabric. They are using wood composites like teak and eucalyptus. And vastly improved polycarbonates where an outdoor couch can have elegant arms and legs with a resin that looks and feels like wood.” he said.

Wikenczy also adds that manufacturers these days are mixing in materials, such as wicker, stone and tile. This way, variety is featured and quality is made for the better. Best part there would be the fact that customers love it! 

In the coming trend, Sears and Kmart foresees that lighted outdoor spaces will also be a hit. Chandeliers, lighted gazebos and the like are coming their way. Meanwhile, retailers focus on modular tables, decorative pillows and storages. These focus on maximizing spaces. 

“I think people are going to do a lot more dining outside,” said Joyce. “So we have a big variety of umbrellas. We are really going to see a big push this fall for things like that and acrylic dinnerware.”

Rates of customers getting interested in outdoor kitchens are also at a rise. People are all about extending their homes as much as they can, according to Sivan Kathein who is a contractor in Florida. 

“Our clients express the need to feel a sense of comfort with their outdoor spaces.” he said. 

In Florida, there would be a lot of difference when it comes to the outdoor spaces and even HGTV's Bromstad testifies to this expansion trend happening in every home. 

“Up in Minnesota, where we’re from, we call it a porch. But here in Florida it’s called a lanai. I shopped where everyone else shops: Pottery Barn, CB2, Target. There’s plenty of good-looking stuff out there. You don’t really need an interior designer. Especially in the last three or four years the economy has made people really want to find out what they can do themselves. With the Internet, people have so much information at their fingertips. They’re very savvy. They feel like they can take on interior design themselves.”

Posted by Diane Araga, on October 9, 2013 at 10:00 AM