Outdoor Room Tips for 2016: Bringing the Indoors Out
Designers who are looking for an innovative way to assist their clients in crafting an endless summer of fun should consider bringing the indoors out with these outdoor room tips. The creation of outdoor spaces of luxurious livability is on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down. Bringing the indoors out represents not only challenges but opportunities to make an inspired statement of magnificent beauty. Thanks to amazing strides in material technology and durable performance fabrics, the possibilities of designing for fun and play with luxury outdoor furniture and accessories have grown tremendously. Designing outdoor spaces has never been easier or more enjoyable.
Challenges in Designing Outdoor Spaces
Mimicking the look of the indoors outside – i.e., seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor living – presents an exciting opportunity to create exterior spaces without limits. But there is so much to choose from; the options are immense. The challenge is determining where to begin. Generally, solutions lie in understanding a client’s lifestyle and expectations. Some ways to meet the challenges of exterior design are to:
- Choose luxury outdoor furniture and fabric that reflects the style and color of the home’s interior
- Explore colors that work together to establish a smooth flow with a defining theme
- Use accessories to tie larger elements of the design together
- Extend the concept to include the garden or surrounding foliage, with both planters and fabric choices
- Incorporate flexibility into outdoor spaces – for example, in using a variety of seating options such as intermixing benches, chairs, and lounges
Key Trends in Exterior Design for 2016
One of the biggest trends for 2016 in designing outdoor spaces is flexibility of use. Dedicated dining areas continue to remain popular, but the trend toward “chat and chill” configurations of furniture is gaining popularity. According to Casual Living magazine, the chat group is projected to surpass the dining set as the fastest growing segment of outdoor furniture. The chat area is the epitome of relaxation and comfort, and its allure lies in its flexibility. Indoor-style seating in luxury outdoor furniture includes sectional pieces, lounge chairs, and ottomans that can be grouped or separated at will. Luxury outdoor accent pieces, such as side tables, coffee tables, portable fire pits, and bars can further define this shape-shifting intimate space.
The trim, graceful look and clean lines of contemporary-styled luxury outdoor furniture continue to grow in popularity for 2016. This elegant ambience of urban chic is characterized by the use of metals or metallic finishes, especially the sought-after looks of shimmering platinum and near-bronze. Yet this graceful styling isn’t the cold, minimalist look that is often associated with modern furniture. It’s still decidedly opulent in its sleekness and is a welcoming addition to any outdoor lifestyle.
Know the “Ins and Outs” of Fabulous Outdoor Fabrics
Bringing the indoors out calls for the creation of harmony between interior and exterior spaces and between outdoor furnishings and their setting in the natural world. Fabric is a fantastic choice for enhancing and harmonizing natural surroundings. An explosion in technology has enabled a vast universe of high-performance fabrics mimicking their natural counterparts (yet they are all made from acrylic-based processes). Fabric selections will often be driven by branding but designers can expand their outdoor fabric offerings by taking the following factors into consideration:
- UV exposure rating/fade-resistance
- Waterproof versus water resistance
- Resistance to mold and mildew
- Resistance to stains
- Cleanability/amount of maintenance required
As for color, tropical and natural patterns and bold graphics are trending for 2016, as are navy and other dark blue colors. These blues are not only exotically nautical, they also imitate the opulence of old money. They pair well with any number of other colors to create any desired mood. In particular, neutral colors, beiges, and grays are always a mainstay, and their versatility partners well with navy and dark blue.
Make Outdoor Luxury Carpeting a Focal Point
Carpets and rugs are now one of the most sought-after accent elements in defining outdoor settings. Rugs can make expressive statements, and they come to the party with an openness that creates a wonderful foundation to build on. Rugs are fabulous separators – they define areas and aid in delineation between spaces used for play, dining, conversation, and more.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to the luxury outdoor rug:
- Furnishings should be placed on the rug.
- Furnishing should be placed so that only the front legs are on the rug.
The ultimate determination in executing the exterior design will be guided by the look the client has requested. Other considerations in choosing luxury outdoor carpeting include:
- The walking and movement area required in relation to the rug size
- The specific location of the rug, i.e., on a patio, porch, deck, gazebo, or breezeway
- Architectural elements, such as a fireplace or fountain, that could interfere with placement or create safety issues
- Appropriateness of the size of the rug in relation to how it will complement rather than distract from the surroundings
When designing outdoor spaces, if the rug is to be the focal point, the simple rule is that the more the rug is visible and not concealed beneath furniture, the greater the statement it will make. Other rules of thumb are:
- Bold colors or designs create intensity that draws the eye to the rug. Conversely, subdued colors and patterns divert attention away from the rug to other design elements.
- The style, placement, and scale of furnishings affect how the carpet is perceived.
- Light colors make the area look spacious, while dark colors draw in the space and make it seem cozier.
Even though a rug can be a focal point for an outdoor space, it should still complement, not compete with, its surroundings. Bold rugs work well with bold furnishings. Simpler rugs with border designs welcome basic yet elegant fabrics to be their ally. Weaves, colors, and patterning are all defining elements that lead to endless possibilities when bringing the indoors out.
Top Trends in Luxury Outdoor Furniture
One of the hottest trends of 2016 for luxury outdoor furniture is mixed-material design. Pairings such as wood and resin, wood and iron, or stainless steel and teak are particularly popular. The rustic contemporary style, for example, combines modern seat materials and colors with the look of hand-hewn wood embellished by materials such as chicken wire, stone, or weathered metals. This trend allows for daring exploration and experimentation in the design of outdoor spaces, especially when addressing the challenge of deviations from precisely matching styles while maintaining a cohesive flow at the same time. Designing with contrasts to create a dynamic fusion is always an exhilarating ride down the creative mountain – even more so when designing to bring the indoors out!
The modular outdoor suite is another exterior design trend meant to combine quiet sophistication with a relaxed lifestyle. The suite typically is comprised of a double-seater couch, slipper couch, coffee table, and standard ottoman. Multi-purpose bolsters are movable and can be used as pillows, armrests, or separators. A few other hot and trending outdoor room tips in luxury outdoor furniture for 2016 are:
- Outdoor daybeds – the perfect mini environment to nap, read, sunbathe, or meditate on nature’s wonders
- Midcentury modern styling in luxury outdoor furniture – it coordinates beautifully with interior pieces
- Increased use of rattan and wicker – their versatility and natural appeal is a sought-after look, and they’re more durable than ever with advances in technology
- Multi-use luxury outdoor furniture – from tables and benches with built-in storage to ottomans that also serve as side tables
- Sculpted armchairs – a functional art piece that’s a great accent and conversation starter
Designing for outdoor spaces should include a consideration of all of the elements that comprise high-quality and sumptuous living. Luxury outdoor furniture also encompasses a huge array of distinctive, trend-setting coffee and side tables, stools that function as seating as well as side tables or mini-ottomans, trolleys for drinks and serving trays, poolside towel caddies, and other ancillary but decidedly useful pieces that also add a great deal of panache to an outdoor space.
Keep the Home Fires Burning
Moving the indoor fireplace outside is a hugely popular trend for 2016. The element of fire in the outdoor room, like an interior fireplace, creates a natural focal point, adding warmth and enhancing the ambience of the space. Tables with fire options are increasingly popular because they facilitate great conversations and lend an air of romance and sophistication to gatherings over drinks or dinner. Outdoor fireplaces or fire pits are also popular options for grand and elegant exterior design. They can serve as the centerpiece to anchor a gorgeous rug and amazing furniture and fabrics. An outdoor fire source can also extend the amount of time spent in the fresh air. There’s no need to mourn the end of summer’s warmth when summer can last into fall’s crisp temperatures. The colorful leaves of autumn can be enjoyed so much longer with the warmth of an outside fire element.
Enjoy Dining al Fresco in a Formal or Casual Setting
Bringing indoor dining outdoors is a leading trend for 2016. Family dinners and gathering with friends to share food and laughter are prized experiences of the outdoor lifestyle. From formal luxury outdoor dining sets to multi-purpose, modular suites, dining “al fresco” or abierto is a cause for daily celebration. Carpeting, dinnerware sets, table settings, and linens can all be stylistically mixed and matched to suit any taste and preference. Lighting elements can also make the outdoor dining experience an extravagant toast to the glories of Mother Nature and the intoxicating delight of dining among the trees and flowers as warm breezes fan the air.
As the trend toward outdoor dining grows, it’s natural that the kitchen would follow the dining table from the indoors out. The rage for outdoor kitchens began in California and is now quickly sparking a movement across the country. Designing an outdoor kitchen can be as easy as, well, pie. Lifestyle is the great definer in establishing the elements that will lead to a fabulous outdoor kitchen. A preference for barbecue, for instance, will define a source of heat. Are cocktails important? Are salads a must? Narrowing down what’s essential to outdoor cooking helps in the planning of space, appliances, and all the kitchen elements that are needed for a spectacular yet functional outdoor kitchen.
For more information on outdoor furniture for 2016, please contact your local Summer Classics dealer.