“Mix materials; create each area to be interesting and most of all inviting,” advises Dottie Eder, owner of Dodds & Eder Home. “The leading trend is lounging! Consumers continue to add to their outdoor spaces to include sectionals, beds, and deep seating lounge areas. They’re accompanied by fire tables that enhance the early evening hours.
“Mix it up, too, when it comes to furniture,” she adds. “The largest difference we see in the industry for the past ten years is mixing of materials when decorating their spaces. Gone is purchasing all your products from the same manufacturer. We guide our clients in coordinating a more interesting and design oriented look, while making it serve the client as well. The influence of the European market has had the largest impact of all. European design is sleek, clean, low profile, and high design.”
Zoe Hoare of English Country Home says that faux wood is big this year, as is the more traditional iron and stone faux bois furniture. She says, “The new ceramic and stone tables are so beautiful and hardwearing that the same materials are being used in bathrooms and kitchens too.” As for fabrics, Zoe says, “All the fabric houses now have an outdoor range, and the outdoor fabrics are now so sophisticated, many are being utilized indoors as well as outdoors. The lines between the two areas are being blurred as the outdoors fabrics have more texture, color and designs than we have ever seen before. There are now nearly as many outdoor fabrics as indoor!”
An outdoor kitchen is a gathering spot just as much as its indoor counterpart. Michael Gotowala at Hampton Fabulous says, “The secret to a really outstanding outdoor living space is that it elevates the quality of life for all family members. A fabulous design incorporates every family member’s lifestyle indoors and outdoors. Designing and building a fully equipped outdoor kitchen for both culinary and recreational use allows guests to mingle freely and indulge in their surroundings. A grand outdoor kitchen also invites guests to participate in food preparation and serving.”
Besides, Michael says, the outdoor kitchen keeps the party outside, so you won’t have guests in your personal space. And just like your indoor kitchen, you can never have enough outdoor counter space. “Outdoor counter space welcomes guests to put down their belongings, encourages people to sit and enables a great buffet presentation as food becomes ready.”
Climate control is also a must for your outdoor kitchen. A covering extends the season and offers shade. As well, Michael notes, “the ability to mount overhead heat, fans and lights in the ceiling is essential in hosting an outdoor kitchen space for the many family celebrations throughout the year, both day and night.”
Here’s to summer in the great outdoors!