Every year brings our outdoors closer to our indoors, at least in style and comfort. Indoor design and fashion trends naturally flow out the French doors. The result is that not only do you end up with a comfortably stylish backyard; it becomes possible to consider your deck or patio as simply one more room.
SO WHAT'S NEW IN 2015? MadMen may have entered its final season, but the madmen flair lives on. Mid-Century Modern continues to be a front-runner for style of all kinds, including patio furniture. Mid-Century Modern defines those years (1945-1965) after World War II; it has also expanded to include the late 60's and on into the early 70's. Mid-Century Modern furniture reflects the architectural stylings of that time period; simple, easy, open, and clean. Angular geometric shapes and organic, curvilinear designs forged a connection between man-made and organic forms and replaced the fussy, exceedingly ornamented style of previous years. Furnishings of this period began to have more than one purpose; you could rearrange, repurpose, and reassign Mid-Century Modern furniture and much of it bended, folded, and stacked as well.
Interestingly (to me, anyway) it was during the 50's that Americans really began to entertain outdoors; this was the original era of sliding patio doors, barbeque grills, backyard pools and metal gliders. And here we are, in 2015, once again proving that everything old is new again. Mid-Century Modern has reappeared in all its uncomplicated glory and has taken over our backyards.
Family Leisure has some fabulous representative Mid-Century Modern collections from various vendors. Since they fall into a variety of price-points; Mid-Century Modern is available for every budget. So if you have a taste for low-slung sofas and architectural coffee tables, check out some of these offerings.
Leaning towards the “modern" in mid-century, the Ashbee Sectional features those crisp horizontals that define the style as well as the convenience of customizable sectional seating. This gorgeous collection offers ottomans that can double as tables (just add a tray) and extra seating. The separate pieces can be arranged and rearranged to suit your particular needs. Feel like napping? Move it around and make yourself a nice nest. Company coming? Open it up and utilize all of the seating you need.
The Bellaire Cushion Collection is a patio furniture version of the iconic Eames chair which first made its appearance in the late 50's. The Bellaire is a triple threat; it is tasteful, durable and extremely comfortable. Extra-thick, water-resistant cushions offer the ultimate in worry-free relaxation. The Bellaire can be customized in your choice of frame finishes and fabrics; check out the geometric prints with lots of texture for a true mid-century feel.
Another contender from Homecrest is the Airo 2 Deep Seating Collection. The Airo 2 has a decidedly mid-century design with Homecrest's amazing cushionless cushions. The Airo 2 is crafted from flexible “sling" material that forms completely comfortable and plush seating without a foam cushion core. Rain water will just flow right through so there is absolutely no worry about the weather.
The Kinzie and the Benton are new introductions from Homecrest that have distinctively modish appeal. They both offer pleasing combinations of form and function; they are comfortable and casually chic. The Kinzie has a “demi-arm" and angular curves that create a unique design. The Benton, with its unusual arms, was created by Homecrest with a new technique for forming aluminum extrusions. Either collection will have you humming the theme song from the “Jetson's."
Old-fashioned cast aluminum doesn't normally lend itself to Mid-Century Modern designs, but Gensun has managed to take this traditional technique and give it a 20th century twist with the Phoenix Collection. This fresh take on tradition offers a simple slat back design with bridge arms and tapered legs. It's available in both dining and deep seating versions with coordinating tables.
The Sutton Collection offers a mixed-media combination of cast aluminum and all-weather wicker transformed into graceful furniture that could grace any mid-century or 21st century patio. Compelling right angles against gentle curves create a geometrical design that is not only pleasing to the eye; it is also comfortable to sit in.
WHITECRAFT BY WOODARD
The Barlow Dining Collection is a carefree synthetic wicker set with simple yet sophisticated swirling chairs. The gorgeous herringbone weave is the perfect complement to the curved chair backs. Buy a few sets for extra seating; the chairs stack away for easy storage.
Whitecraft has a modern version of time-honored wicker furniture with the Mona Collection. The Mona has the appearance of woven hyacinth but is constructed completely of weather-friendly synthetic materials. The Mona has simple, horizontal lines and aluminum accents.
Zuo Modern has has an entire line-up of contemporary and modern patio furniture with Mid-Century styling. One example is the Swordfish Deep Seating Collection. Strong horizontal lines are complemented by the angular appeal of the coordinating cushions. The water-resistant, juicy orange fabric manages to be exuberant and elegant at the same time.
Miami is synonymous with fashion-forward and trendy; and the Miami Deep Seating Collection by Compamia deserves its name. Sleek and angled, the Miami is a brilliant combination of Mid-Century style and 21st century know-how. Crafted of no-maintenance resin, the Miami maintains its ties with nature via Compamia's trademarked “Wickerlook" surface. Another collection by Compamia to consider is the Artemix XL. Simple and elegant, the Artemis XL offers oversized resin slat back chairs with bridge arms and matching slat tables in a lovely Dove Gray finish.
Last, but never least, is the Tres Chic Sectional. Sectionals were all the rage in the 60's and 70's and they have made a huge comeback in the last few years, both in indoor and outdoor furniture. The Tres Chic Sectional is exactly what it claims to be: très chic. It's a glamorous combination of teak slats, chrome accents and to die for cushions.
If you have modern sensibilities and want to get your Don Draper on, check out these and other Mid-Century Modern patio furniture collections at familyleisure.com.
IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL
Another patio furniture trend that stays strong for 2015 is world or global style. The earth gets smaller and smaller and those lines that distinguish one culture from another become increasingly blurred; well, at least in fashion and design. A propensity for global style can be born from frequent travels, a partiality towards a certain culture or cultures, or repeated viewing of the Travel Channel and Nat Geo. The marriage of various cultural designs and décor can result in a potpourri of beauty and design. Think texture, natural elements like wood and grass, metallic accents, and brilliant colors.
Asian elements can be found in water features, pagodas, lanterns and plant life. For Asian-inspired furniture, check out the Emerald Sectional by Sunset West. It has a nice simple Asian allure with the low-to-the-ground ottoman and short backed seats. The Delray Deep Seating Collection by Zuo Modern is another great contender for your Zen patio. Or take a look at the Zuo Modern Sandbanks Dining Collection, the Stanley Patio Stacking Set or the Wreak Beach Deep Seating Collection.
North Africa makes an appearance in Moroccan-style poufs and ottomans, colorful glass lanterns, vibrant cushions and rugs, canopied daybeds, and exotic fabrics. The South Shore Collection by Woodard would make the perfect palette for a Moroccan patio. Ebel's Dreux Collection offers a canopied day-bed that would be an ideal addition. The Dreux is also available in deep seating and dining. The Black Sands Collection by Tommy Bahama would make a picture-perfect back-drop for your Moroccan dreams. Some other Moroccan-friendly furniture sets: the Vinings Collection by Meadowcraft; the Monte Cristo by Cast Classics or the Del Cristo by Woodard.
South Africa adds bamboo and woven natural grasses, billowing curtains, rattan and animal prints. The Serengeti Collection by Woodard offers a unique aluminum and synthetic wicker designed to bring the feel of the wide open plains of Africa to the suburbs (or anywhere else you may live).
From the beautiful Mediterranean regions you can draw terra-cotta and stucco accents, ceramic tiles, stone fountains, urns, arches and cast aluminum furnishings like the Grand Tuscany Collection from Hanamint. Another perfect pick for this Spanish Modern style is the Grand Terrace by Gensun or the Florence Deep Seating Collection. Some other Mediterranean gems include any of Alfresco Home's fabulous tables, Tropitone's Montreux dining and deep seating; and the Kingstown Sedona Collection by Tommy Bahama.
Make a run for the border and add some South American finesse to your surroundings. Statuary, baskets, woven fabrics, primary colors, pottery, cactus and other succulents will all add a Latin atmosphere to your outdoor space. Sunset West's La Jolla Dining offers a dazzling spot for taco night and would dress up your patio for your “down Mexico way" décor. Some other South American-ish collections to look at; the Modesto and Ridgecrest collections by Woodard; the Aviano Armless Deep Seating Collection by Tommy Bahama; the Monticello Deep Seating Collection by Meadowcraft.
GREEN IS MORE THAN A COLOR
As we become increasingly conscious of the impact our choices have on the environment, eco-friendly options continue to appear across the board. This is true of patio furniture as well; every year brings more “green" choices. Family Leisure sells the Berlin Gardens brand of furniture; high density polyethylene (HDPE), which is used in the production of milk jugs, is recycled into what is essentially lumber. Berlin Gardens forms HDPE boards which are cut and constructed into incredibly durable and surprisingly comfortable furniture that includes candy-colored Adirondack chairs. Check out the Berlin Gardens brand at https://www.familyleisure.com/Casual-Patio-Furniture/Berlin-Gardens.
Mid-Century Modern, Global and Green are just a sample of what is trending for 2015 in patio furniture and outdoor décor. And if none of these float your boat, familyleisure.com has hundreds of other styles to choose from.
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