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Every season, homeowners and interior designers are kept on their toes with a shake-up in indoor and outdoor living trends. This season is no different, as patio furniture is shifting from practical to indulgent in both form and aesthetic.

This is largely due to last year’s indoor-outdoor living trend, a concept that encouraged transitional decor pieces that had a place both inside and outside the home. Using this as a foundation, 2018 has created new trends in patio furniture that allow for comfortable outdoor seating and entertainment.

We reached out to interior designers to get their take on emerging trends in patio furniture and how you can incorporate them at home.

Eclectic Materials

Step aside, plastic! This season, patio furniture is mixing organic materials to create a unique style.

Kelley Lauginiger, lifestyle blogger and digital content strategist from furniture and mattress store American Freight, suggested mixing materials, like wood, metal or wicker, for a fashionable and universal look.

“This makes it easy and affordable to update just one piece of furniture without having to overhaul the whole setup,” said Lauginiger

By using multiple materials in your furniture, you don’t have to worry about matching the materials of your patio or accessories you might add for aesthetic; instead, you can seamlessly add or remove different styles that work with the many different elements in your furniture.

Wicker Outdoor Patio Chat Set

Image: Target.com

Metal and whicker patio set $223.99

Plush Outdoor Seating

The trend of indoor-outdoor living has also sparked a desire to incorporate fully upholstered outdoor seating, like sofas and daybeds.

Deborah Holt, digital marketer from Sunnyland Patio Furniture, suggested using upholstered materials to have both the look and feel of indoor furniture.

“What’s great about fully upholstered furniture is that it has the comfort of indoor furniture with the durability of outdoor furniture,” said Holt.

Make sure to shop for water-resistant materials that can also take a beating from different types of weather conditions. Holt also recommended storing cushions and pillows when not in use, extending the life of your outdoor furniture.


Image: Wayfair.com

Outdoor daybed $1,299.99

Colorful Cushions

After the announcement of Pantone’s Color of the Year, ultra violet, interior color schemes moved from neutrals to bold colors and complementary patterns. Consequently, outdoor decor is following suit.

Rhianna Miller, trend forecaster and in-house home and garden design expert at Rubber Mulch, suggested looking for nature-inspired palm tree prints, modern floral patterns, Bohemian patterns and globally influenced prints as well as bold, dramatic colors when it comes to choosing your cushions.

The bold colors and patterns will pop against the wood, wicker or metal seating material, making your outdoor seating brighter and more inviting to guests.

Cotton Seat Cushion

Image: HM.com

Patterned seat cushion $12.99

Unique Accessories

Another way patio furniture is moving away from a focus on functionality is by adding accessories to outdoor spaces to enhance both the comfort and style of the outdoor experience.

Holt suggested pulling colors and patterns used in the home into the colors of your accessories, like pillows, rugs and accent pieces.

“Adding these additional items not only makes the outdoors feel more homey, it also brightens up the space and gives it more personality,” Holt explained. “The singular flow between the indoor and outdoor rooms make the outdoor room feel more like an extension of the home and not a separate outdoor living space.”

A few pillows, a rug or even some decorative pieces go a long way, so don’t go overboard with the decor. Try adding a few elements at first to avoid cluttering the space.

Integral Indoor/Outdoor Rug

Image: Anthropologie.com

Integral outdoor rug $238.40

Fire Pits as Focal Points

Fire pits can do more for your outdoor space than roast marshmallows; it adds a focal point to your seating area or entertainment space, creating a warm and welcoming outdoor experience.

“An outdoor fireplace, chimney or fire pit is a natural gathering spot that brings people together and extends the amount of time that you can be outside,” said Miller. “Whether you go big or small, a fire element will enhance your outdoor experience.”

Create a cozy environment by arranging comfortable seating around the fire pit, perfect for a late-night gathering with friends and family.

Rectangular Extruded Aluminum Gas Fire Pit Table

Image: Amazon.com

Rectangular aluminum gas fire pit $449.99

Large Dining Tables

Since summer is a time to break out the grill, keep the party going with an dinner table that allows you to share a meal in the great outdoors. Large dining tables are making their debut this season, allowing opportunities to entertain or simply enjoy a meal outdoors.

“Small bistro tables for patio dining are a thing of the past,” Miller asserted. “In 2018, the trend moves to oversized dining tables that fit your entire family or an outdoor dinner party for friends. Big dinners shouldn’t be relegated to the kitchen when the outdoors provides the perfect backdrop.”

If you’re looking to add more entertainment elements, a bar cart is sure to create a great experience for your guests.

Rectangle Dining Table

Image: Target.com

Rectangle dining table $319.99

Modern Ceiling Fans

If you have a covered patio or deck, Miller recommended adding a ceiling fan to the space, creating another seamless transition from the inside to the outside.

“Not only does a ceiling fan increase the homey aesthetic, it makes the hotter days more bearable,” Miller explained. “If a ceiling fan creates a more livable scenario in August, you’re more apt to utilize your outdoor area more often.”

If you don’t have a covered patio or pergola, try adding a large, colorful umbrella that complements your outdoor decor while also providing a convenient shade for hotter summer days.

Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Image: Wayfair.com

Outdoor ceiling fan $186.15

Incorporating indoor-outdoor living into your patio furniture is one way to stay on trend this season. By using one of these concepts, you’ll be on your way to experiencing a fun and fashionable summer.

And remember: Even if your outdoor furniture is durable, it’s not indestructible. Make sure you keep your patio looking clean and inviting by protecting your outdoor furniture.

What trends are you excited to try out this season? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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