Trends in Patio Furniture

Thirty years ago most Canadians had a wooden picnic table with attached benches in their backyards and nothing else (except the Sears metal shed of course!). Today people are spending thousands to buy dining sets for outside meals and wicker and other deep seating sets for entertaining. To say nothing of outside fire pits, kitchens and everything in-between.

So – what is the next trend?

We do know that Canadians are not going to give up living outside as much as possible. Our summers are too short to waste them and more families are giving up on the traditional cottage and so the alternative is to focus on the backyard at home.

The wicker trend, which started ten years ago is starting to fade. Once the big box stores and mass merchants start carrying something you know it is about to die. Instead buyers are starting to look at mixed materials sets – wicker combined with teak or metal combined with deep cushions. These unusual combinations will continue to develop.

Backyards will get smaller and so people will look for sets which are versatile and able to change from dining to seating. Colours will become more vibrant and people try to make their small backyards stand out and be dramatic. Cushions in contrasting colours are the easiest way to achieve this.

Sun will continue to be an issue and the trends in umbrellas are toward side arm (cantilever) umbrellas as these give more shade, especially to deep seating groups.

People will start taking patio furniture indoors and so buyers will look for sets that can do double duty – outside in the summer and inside in the winter.

Metal tubing sets with fabric sling seats are making a comeback. Cheap sling sets, sold by the mass merchants gave this type of furniture a bad rap. However now that the mass merchants have dropped this type of furniture buyers are starting to realize that the problem is quality (or lack thereof!) and not the sling itself. (anyone see a parallel with glass topped tables!)