It’s that time of year again when the first sight of tulips signals a move to the great outdoors just in time for High Point Furniture Market.
Depending on your locale, the spring, summer and fall months provide an excellent climate for outdoor living. And as the trend of treating the outdoors as an extension of the house continues, home furnishings are stepping up to the plate with a variety of sophisticated and weather friendly fabrics, furniture and accessories.
This High Point season Summer Classics incorporates customized outdoor rooms designed with relaxation and functionality in mind. Leading up to market we looked to a few of our favorite designers for tips on creating your own outdoor retreat.
Tailoring your décor to complement the colors of nature, making space for dining and entertainment as well as a functional room layout are just a few of the main considerations when planning your exterior’s interior. “My number one piece of advice is to buy the best quality,” says Shay Geyer, owner and designer of IBB Design Fine Furnishings. “Well made outdoor furnishings have rigorous testing and high standards to ensure these pieces will withstand the outdoor elements. No one wants to replace the furniture once a year!” Based in Dallas, the designer notes, “In Texas, we have hot summers with intense sun. I always suggest looking for woven fabrics as printed fabrics often fade much faster. It’s important to read the light fast ratings and take into account if the fabrics will be sitting in direct sunlight or under a covered patio.”
When choosing color, the sky is literally the limit – no pun intended. Geyer notes that she “steers clear from boring beige as there are so many beautiful colors in nature to pull from to create a palette.” If you are poolside, the aqua and blue shades of water provide a variety of tones to choose from, particularly the classic blue and white palette which is on trend both indoors and out. “I also love black and white with punchy pops of color – think Palm Beach Chic,” details Geyer. She also advises the use of Sunbrella fabrics that are made to “take on the abuse of Mother Nature.”
Summer Classics Creative Director, Chris Hutchens designed the High Point Showroom to be one of great serenity. “We’re keeping the colors neutral with some pops of vibrant jungle colors and beach tones,” Chris explains. “The overall feel is soothing. We want the showroom to feel like an escape from reality.”
Function obviously plays a key role in your design plan and entertainment is paramount and has recently been a major outdoor furniture trend in the industry. Pamela Kellogg of Costa Mesa, California based Designers Resource Collection details, “Gone are the days where there was one specified sitting are in the backyard. People desire to have more of an experience and are maximizing the use of their space to create more of an outdoor living area, full kitchens, cabanas and bars are being installed along with fireplaces and TV/entertainment units. And daybeds are being used in dedicated lounging areas lending to more of luxury type feel.”
Materials are also key. Kellogg says her clients “Often wish they could have their outdoor design match their indoor décor. Well they can! There are so many amazing stylish options for furniture and accessories! Whether your style is traditional, modern or eclectic, there is something for everyone.”
And be sure to think about accessories, garden stools, colorful pottery and Summer Classic’s Wendy Jane performance pillows which have the look and feel of custom-made down pillows. These pillows will be showcased for the first time this High Point Market in Interhall showroom 201.
As for the designers favorite Summer Classic recommendations, Kellogg’s “current crush” is the Malta Collection by White Label/Summer Classics. “I love the blend of the Natural Teak (also available in weathered grey teak) with the aluminum “X” clean design on the sides. Blend in the Sahara chaises with the woven and teak to mix up the textures while keeping the transitional lines. And buddy up the armless chaises to create a double chaise.”
In addition, two Summer Classics collections featured at High Point, we showcase a mix of materials that come together to create beautiful designs. The ever popular Peninsula has a durable aluminum frame and is hand-woven in our N-Dura resin wicker creating the perfect timeless coastal look. The Coast collection, constructed using a teak frame with a mix of batyline sling upholstery, offers a minimalist, yet modern take on outdoor furniture design.
Bring the Indoors, Out
Furniture for an outdoor refuge is similar to those for the interior as the function remains the same. Geyer favors Summer Classic’s Roma Collection. “Talk about form and function! I love the classic lines of the aluminum wrought iron frames and the plush cushions provide the perfect comfy place for relaxing,” she explains. “And the Caroline nesting table is definitely on my favorites list. With nesting tables, you can split one of them apart to move around to use with another piece of furniture. The stacking cube is also incredibly versatile and can be sued as an end table, bunched together to form a cocktail table and even stacked to create a towel storage rack.”
Renee DiSanto of Park & Oak in Glen Ellyn, Illinois suggests a variety of styles to consider when devising your scheme. “Tuscan style gardens tend to incorporate stone work, a Mediterranean plant palette, boxed hedges, gravel and unique benches/individual chairs throughout. Country style gardens have a bit of a farmhouse, Victorian feel and usually incorporate picket fencing, stone and brick, wicker furniture and bench seating. English garden characteristics include ponds, ruins, cobblestone and bench seating n niches while tropical garden and are all about the trees of paradise, palms, hammocks and teak or rattan patio furniture. Classic French gardens incorporate elements like birdbaths, pea gravel antiques and cast-iron seating. And last but not least, coastal style gardens – outdoor entertainment with a lot of seating, seagrass and teak furniture.”
Whatever you decide to create, make your space both personal and magical. And don’t forget the bug spray!
Be sure to visit the Summer Classics showroom at Interhall showroom 205 to see our best-selling collections and so much more! If you can’t be there, check out our Instagram page @summerclassics to follow along!