This time of year we have the added use of our outdoor “rooms” for entertaining and general living space. Having an outdoor kitchen with a separate covered eating area in addition to a sitting area with a fireplace is all the rage. And people are furnishing these rooms and accessorizing like never before. Colorful drapes with bold patterns provide privacy and a focal point. Cushions and outdoor carpets give you endless opportunities to express your personal style.

Garden furniture trends are moving away from the traditional table & chairs with an umbrella for shade and moving more towards a more relaxed seating style. Deep cushion style seating that looks and feels more like interior furniture is becoming more popular due to both advances in UV-resistant and waterproof fabric technology and the desire to include pops of color and texture. These low maintenance fabrics allow you to be as comfortable outside as you are inside. If your seating serves double duty it will extend the use of your outdoor space. Current outdoor furniture should maximize its potential with built-in storage and reconfigure easily from dining to conversational settings.

Grandma’s wicker is no longer your only option either. Traditional wicker and wood is being modernized with accents of metal, glass and stone. This works well with the rustic contemporary style that is migrating from the indoors. Bistro tables made of weathered metal base and a stone table top with bar-height stools of hand-hewn wood is just an example of this current trend.