After hunkering down for months during the economic downturn, many homeowners say they're planning to liven up their outdoor living spaces as the weather improves. So, in designing for the 2010 outdoor season, manufacturers of outdoor furnishings have been focusing on dazzling color to brighten moods, plush comfort to ease tension and increased value to minimize the impact on wallets. "Small improvements can have a big impact on outdoor spaces," says Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of the American Home Furnishings Alliance, "and that's just the kind of psychologically rewarding purchase many of us are ready to make." StatePoint Media
Nothing brightens a patio faster than a splash of color, and warm, cheerful red is the color of the moment. Some outdoor furniture manufacturers are letting red stand alone, such as Laneventure, which has set rich cherry blossoms against a near-white background. Others are complementing reds with other colors. For instance, Agio International is showcasing its new Disney Yacht Club collection in red, accompanied by nautical stripe accent pillows, while Veneman is swirling a deep crimson background with crisp, white vines.
Calming shades inspired by nature, including leaf green, sunshine yellow and watery blue, also offer dashes of color this outdoor season.
Plush cushioning is fashionable and affordable, as manufacturers take specially engineered outdoor foam to new heights. From deep club chairs to generous chaise lounges to sumptuous daybeds, homeowners seeking sanctuary in their outdoor spaces will find many lush choices.
Motion is increasingly popular, adding comfort to new designs. For example, a three-position recliner from Pride was added to six different collections, and Domus Ventures has added massage features for two of its lounge chairs, operating on weather-resistant batteries that recharge through a solar panel side table.
In all price points and styles, design details are important because manufacturers are seeking to offer something extra to lure consumers back into stores.