Whether it’s the clothes you wear or the decor you have in your home, fashions come and go. And things are no different in your outdoor spaces, either.
Sure, few of us (if any) are in the habit of changing our garden furniture sets every summer just to keep up with what’s in vogue. You certainly don’t need to start digging up lawns, ripping out decking and relocating flower borders year in, year out just to keep things fresh and up to date.
But if you are in the market for some new garden furniture, or even if you just feel it’s about time you gave the exterior of your home a little pick-me-up, it makes sense to familiarise yourself with the latest trends.
While there is a lot to be said for opting for timeless styles in garden decor, especially when longevity is such a factor, there’s also a lot to be said for keeping things interesting. What is style, after all, if not a way of feeling good about yourself and your surroundings?
Just as a new outfit can put a spring in your step and boost your confidence, a set of new-look garden furniture can help you fall in love with your outdoor spaces all over again, giving you an added incentive to put them to full use.
With that in mind, here are three hot trends in garden furniture that we expect to be big news in 2023.
This is a trend we’ve been championing here at Jo Alexander for a number of years now, but there are signs that it is really starting to take off. Our position has always been, great furniture is great furniture, wherever you place it. By thinking beyond indoor-outdoor boundaries, you can also extend benefits, such as having more comfortable furniture outdoors to make you want to enjoy fine weather for longer, or having more slimline furniture indoors for a less cluttered feel.
Versatility is the key here. Wooden dining tables are just as good for entertaining under a roof or under the open sky. With just a set of folding doors separating your dining room and patio or decking, there’s little hassle in moving it back and forth. And while you have those doors thrown wide, why not plush up your outdoor seating area with comfortable day beds and garden sofas – perhaps with an awning installed to both keep everything dry when the rain comes and provide welcome respite when the sun is at its hottest.
They say that fashions run in cycles, and that if you wait around long enough, you’ll see trends from times long past have their moment again. This is certainly true of zinc-topped tables, which are a hot topic once again. The use of rolled zinc on table surfaces was popularised in the 19th century, especially in the production of furnishings for bars and restaurants in continental Europe.
There were solid practical reasons for this. As well as being cheap and easy to produce (much easier, say, than smelting iron or steel), zinc is naturally stain-resistant and has antimicrobial properties, making it ideal where food and drink is served and consumed. What is more, surfaces exposed to the air oxidise to form a highly attractive gunmetal grey patina.
When used on garden tables, zinc has a definite retro charm about it. But another reason zinc topped tables are growing in popularity is because they are typically lightweight and easy to move around. Because zinc is nowhere near as dense and heavy as, say, iron, zinc table tops can be supported on light metal frames, making them a highly versatile choice for both inside and outside your home.
Finally, another way to get good vibes about the furniture you deck out your garden with is by considering the environmental impact of the products you buy. As green issues and climate change continue to demand more and more attention, thoughts of how we can do our bit for the environment are going to have a bigger and bigger influence on all of our purchasing decisions.
When it comes to garden furniture, there are some simple wins. Choosing high quality products that will last years is much more environmentally friendly than choosing cheap items that deteriorate and need replacing frequently. If you want to buy wooden furniture, check that the timber has been sourced from certified sustainable plantations or forests.
Another fabulous option we champion here at Jo Alexander is reclaimed teak. Teak is a remarkable tropical hardwood, not just because of its beautiful sandy-brown appearance and fine grain structure, but also because it is uniquely robust and weather resistant. High oil content makes it nearly impervious to water and rot. Because of its strength and durability, it has been used as a building material in tropical regions of Asia for centuries.
When these wooden-framed buildings are pulled down and replaced, the teak is often still in excellent condition. Instead of being dumped or burned, this resource of timber can be given a second life by being crafted into beautiful garden furniture – which also reduces the need for trees to be chopped down.
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