Looking for ways to update your porch, patio or deck this spring? It can be easy as pouf! That’s right, you’ll find poufs – as well as ottomans and other pretty perches – designed for the great outdoors in weather-resistant fabrics or all-weather wicker.
Just as eye-catching as these snazzy seats is the dazzling array of outdoor accent pillows. Big, bold florals that look fresh from the canvas of an exuberant painter come in all price ranges. These, along with coordinating cushions, add instant color and style to your outside space. Not all patterns are big and bold, however. More tranquil prints in neutral or soft colors exist as well.
Whatever your style, and whether you’re investing in new furniture and accessories this season or combining a few new pieces with your old, exploring what’s new out there is like taking a mini-vacation.
Many fashion trends spill over to outdoor decor. Stripes, for one, both narrow and bold. Target shows bold stripes on chair covers, accent tables and other accessories in two popular color families – pinks and oranges or blues and greens.
Nautical themes, a perennial favorite, range from the sedate to the whimsical. Navy, white and red stripes come into play here, as do anchor motifs, starfish and other seaside themes on fabrics and accessories.
And modern graphics – so popular in spring fashion – are another option.
“Graphics are big – the geometrics and chevron stripes. You’re seeing them more and more,” said Wendy Bailey, of Arthur’s Home Furnishings, 4288 S. Buffalo St., Orchard Park.
Some other trends:
Blue and white. Nautical is nice, but blue and white can be so much more. Ethan Allen shows blue and white fabrics on a cast-aluminum chair and settee with nary a sail motif in site. You’ll also see the classic color combo on the three outdoor terrace areas being decorated by Arthur’s for the upcoming Decorators’ Show House, April 27 to May 19 at the Knox Summer Estate at Knox Farm State Park just outside the Village of East Aurora. (See www.jlbuffalo.org for details).
“It just looks so fresh. We’ll have navy wicker and white wicker and light blue fabrics with a few other colors,” Bailey said.
Umbrellas galore. There simply is no end to the colors, designs and styles available. At Menne Nursery and Garden Artistry, 3100 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst, Guy Berberich this week pointed out one in black with a zebra-print accent. Zebra print! This is in addition to the assortment of solids and stripes.
Rounded shapes. You’ll still find outdoor furniture, often modular, with clean lines and 90-degree angles, but rounded podlike shapes offer some competition. One example: Lowe’s (www.lowes.com) offers the Sylvan Park cushioned chair and love seat in all-weather wicker by allen + roth. And the Kellswater five-piece all-weather wicker sectional forms a half-circle.
White furniture. Natural wood furniture, weathered finishes and bronze, onyx or gray aluminum frames are still very popular, but white finishes also are showing up. At Menne, white furniture frames are the backdrop for pretty green and blue cushions, pillows and accessories.
Hanging chairs on stands. These go beyond your classic porch swing. Add a cushion, a pillow or two, and tell your co-workers you’ll see them in August.
Some other tips:
• Pay attention to details to create a place you love. As Berberich put it: You can accessorize the outside of your home just as you would the inside. That means decorating with the new generation of outdoor rugs, decorative accessories, wall or fence art, lamps, dinnerware and more.
• Add pots that echo your color scheme. You can even use tall plants in them to create privacy.
• Stackable chairs are a great option for people who like to entertain, and they’re widely available. Pier 1 offers woven faux wicker stackable chairs in several colors. Target’s Nicollet sling chair by Room Essentials comes in rose, red, green, turquoise, gray, tan or stripes. As the description reads: “Party, then stack.”
• Scour thrift shops, garage sales and estate sales for outdoor furniture and decor. Something may need fixing or a fresh coat of paint but that’s what weekends are for, right?
• Turn a seldom-used but pretty corner of your yard into a quiet sitting area. All you need is a chair or two with a small table. An outdoor bistro set is another option. Have some fun with color by echoing the color of nearby flowers in bloom.
• Think function when selecting new pieces. An all-weather wicker deck box or trunk designed for outdoor use can be used for both seating and stashing stuff. A table with a lower shelf doubles your surface space. An outdoor tea cart on wheels offers mobility.
And if you do decide to add that new pouf or ottoman this season, find a stylish serving tray in a size and shape that fits on top. It’s the perfect spot for serving snacks or drinks.