New Trends in Patio Furniture

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Many of you may have noticed some changes going on in our patio department in the last year or two. Over the last 15-20 years the outdoor patio industry has changed significantly.  What used to be the norm is no longer the case.  Some of the changes we have made are radical, some, not so much.  So, to begin with let’s talk about dining sets.  Thirty years ago when Jeanne & Dennis started carrying patio furniture, a standard dining set consisted of a 42” round glass table and four dining chairs.  Now dining sets are large in scale, up to 120”, come in many configurations (rectangular, octagon, oval and extending), and need to seat at least six people.  Our most popular dining set is the Telescope Leeward set that includes an 88”-120” extension table and can sit up to 8 people.  Size is everything!  It also used to be that your standard table was a glass top table.  Now glass tables are the least purchased type of table we sell.  The textures and styles of tables have changed radically.  Teak, marine grade polymer, aluminum, wrought iron, cast aluminum, mosaics, and recycled plastic are now some of the most popular and widely purchased styles we carry. When thinking about buying a dining set there are many more things today that you need to think about than there were 20 years ago.   First, how many people do you want to seat (minimum/maximum) at the table?   Do you want a glass or solid top surface table?  Does the table need to extend to a larger size or can it stay a stationary size? What kind of chairs do you want (sling, cushion, wrought iron, woven)?  Is the height of the set (dining, counter or bar height) something you also need to take into account?  People don’t think about this but, if you have a deck or balcony you may want to think about purchasing a counter or bar height set instead of a dining height set.  Bar & counter height sets will get you raised up high enough that you won’t be looking straight at the railing, but above it.  What better way to enjoy the view?  So when you come into Seasonal let one of our sales associates walk you through the variety of dining sets we show and let us find that perfect set to enjoy your favorite meal on!

The next set of changes you will see is in our seating area. The styles, materials and fabrics have changed dramatically in the last 5 years.  There has been a huge shift in patio furniture towards seating groups (and away from dining groups) and this category alone accounts for at least 50% of the sets we stock.  Sectionals, traditional seating sets, chat groups, and cuddle sets are among the variety of seating options we have to offer.   Our sets are shown in a variety of materials including vinyl, loomed wicker, teak, resin, aluminum, wrought iron, marine grade polymer, and recycled plastic. We have also made an effort to show our customers a wider variety of designs other than the traditional “New England” look.  Contemporary, Transitional, Country, Vintage and Classical is now found in our patio area. We are also encouraging our customers to mix and match product textures and styles to create their own look.  Things don’t always need to match anymore.  As Jeanne used to always say “it doesn’t have to be matchey poo” all the time.  We’re mixing it up with room settings combining teak tables with woven chairs, loomed wicker with wooden rockers or vinyl seating with a stone top fire pit. Decorating today is easier than ever before and the trend is to make your outside area an extensions of your indoor style!  The other major change in our seating groups is in fabric choices.  Sunbrella & Outdura fabrics have become the go-to choice for outdoor furniture.  These fabrics are durable, fade resistant, kid proof, pet friendly and super easy to clean.  Two thirds of our seating pieces are covered in either Outdura or Sunbrella fabric and we are very proud to also be a Sunbrella fabric dealer. So stop in and check out our Sunbrella kiosk for upholstery ideas for furniture, curtains, pillows, cushions, awnings, boats and RVs.

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