Living for all Seasons
International Casual Furnishings Association
Jackie Hirschhaut is vice president of the American Home Furnishings Alliance and executive director of its outdoor division, the International Casual Furnishings Association. Here, she proves that as seasons change, South Floridians don't need to pack away outdoor furnishings. These new products will weather well on hot tropical days and cool seasonal evenings.
The importance of the outdoor room keeps growing, and manufacturers are increasingly addressing the desire to continue using outdoor spaces even when it's cool outside. For 2016, there are a number of new products that will enhance outdoor spaces and make them more comfortable, cozy and functional for year-round entertaining and relaxing.
In addition to providing protection from the afternoon sun, TUUCI's tricked-out Ocean Master Max, OMX Dual Cantilever umbrella provides lighting and heat to keep the fun going well into the night; TUUCI.com.
The Family Table
Pride Family Brand's Villa Bianca 108-inch fire-top dining table can seat up to 10 people, and the live-edge tabletop simulates natural wood. It is shown here with two swivel rockers and eight sling dining chairs; PrideFamilyBrands.com.
Topping the list of products to outfit outdoor spaces is anything with fire, whether it's a pit, a table or a bar. There are so many options today—you can get whatever fits your space and budget. Table heights go from conversation height to dining to counter to bar. And sizes go from extra-small for balconies to extra-large for those who want to seat a crowd of 10 to 14 people. These fire tables are perfect for extending the alfresco dining and entertaining season.
The Franklin high-dining set from Agio can seat up to 12 people. The 36-inch dining table with fire has a porcelain tile tabletop with a wood-grain pattern. All-weather wicker bar-height stools have quick-dry foam beneath the wicker seating; Agio-USA.com.
Manufacturers are coming up with creative solutions for addressing the growing need for outdoor lighting. Gloster's voyager rechargeable lantern stays lit for eight to 10 hours after charging. The lantern won the prestigious Lillian B. Winchester Award for Best of Show at the Casual Market Chicago, our September trade show where new designs in outdoor furniture are introduced for the coming year. The lantern has a remote-controlled dimmer switch and a power cord for recharging. (See all award winners in the IDEAS column on page 34).
Gloster's voyager rechargeable lantern has a remote-controlled dimmer switch and a power cord for recharging. After charging, it provides light for eight to 10 hours; Gloster.com.
In addition to the traditional natural gas and propane fire pieces, manufacturers also are now offering alternatives. EcoSmart fire pits, which use ethanol, provide the comfort and warmth of traditional fire pits but eliminate the concern some homeowners have with fire. Plus, they don't need to be connected to a gas or propane source. Lloyd Flanders introduced EcoSmart fire tables in its new Generations collection for 2016, and Brown Jordan Fires also offers EcoSmart fire tables.
Lloyd Flanders' Generations collection, designed by John Caldwell, features subtle curves and deep seating accented of stainless steel. The 48-inch round EcoSmart fire table with travertine uses ethanol, eliminating the need for gas or propane; LloydFlanders.com.
Fabric Your Way
Outdoor sectionals and modular pieces are hugely popular these days, and what better way to enjoy your outdoor space than to curl up in a big, deep-seated sectional. These pieces are customizable as well and designed to fit a variety of spaces. Plus, the fabrics today are amazing. They are as soft to the touch as indoor fabrics, yet they withstand the elements. We're even seeing faux leather for outdoors, as shown here from Woodard.
Woodard's Atlas group has a great look for fall with its Brisa Distressed Lasso and Brisa Distressed Chamois faux leather cushions and chestnut brown frame. The generously proportioned seating ensures comfort; Woodard-Furniture.com.
Outdoor accessories are just the thing for creating a seasonal look. Easily adjust looks to the seasons by exchanging pillows and rugs, which are available in an endless array of colors and patterns.
Surya's rugs with coordinating accessories can easily change with the season. The hand-hooked Marina polypropylene rug, Davis table lamp with polyester shade and ceramic pots provide a simple, seasonal refresh for this Lloyd Flanders seating group; Surya.com.
It is exciting to see so many great new products that enhance the enjoyment of outdoor spaces year-round.
OW Lee's Luna Collection deep-seating group features hand-forged scrollwork on the arms and cast aluminum or fabric buttons. The Casual Fireside Collection of hammered copper fire pits are available in various heights; OWLee.com.