Expert: Bob Gaylord, President, Agio USA
Q: I love the look of wicker furniture, but wonder about its weather-resistance. How does its durability compare to wood?
A: Today’s all-weather wicker options will give you so much more variety, along with more durability and lasting beauty than traditional wicker and wood products, which require regular maintenance and upkeep.
Many all-weather wicker collections you find in showrooms today are extruded from polypropylene materials that resist the elements and can be manufactured in a wide range of colors and textures. These new materials are then hand-woven around the frames, so in actuality will far outlast and outshine traditional materials. All-weather wicker materials will resist fading and the weaves can range in looks from very traditional and elegant to modern clean looks that reflect a whole new level of sophistication available for your outdoor room. They’re easy to care for, resist mold and mildew and include UV-resistant properties that result in a beautiful, new look season after season.
Q: What are some ways to transition patio-living throughout the seasons, so that the outdoor area can be enjoyed year-round?
A: The amazing variety of living and dining groups, along with a multitude of accessories designed to maximize the opportunities for outdoor entertaining, has given homeowners the ability to create beautiful outdoor spaces for sharing with friends and family year-round. No longer is your outdoor area limited to the 4th of July barbecue after which you cover the set until next year.
When the season is at its peak, outdoor deep seating collections are comfy and casual, and offer seating and tables for chatting and catching up. Dining and living groups, comfortable reclining seating, and a multitude of entertaining pieces are in the norm with today’s outdoor market. As the summer months heat up, adding coordinating umbrellas to dining collections offer your guests the added coolness of shade. If you want to extend your outdoor entertaining into the fall and beyond, join the many homeowners who have found the warmth and ambience of adding outdoor fire to their spaces. Portable outdoor gas fire pits and chat groups are easy to use and provide seating and beautiful tabletops for serving up fun longer into the evening.
The ways to make your outdoor room work year-round are limitless. Express your style with different coordinating pillows throughout the year. Add all-weather outdoor rugs and accent pieces that add beauty and functionality to any outdoor gathering, whether it’s a cozy dinner for two or entertaining big parties by the pool.
Q: Decorating and furnishing the backyard and outdoor areas have become extremely popular. We are building and want to keep with the trend if it going to continue. What do you foresee will happen to outdoor living?
A: I think over the past decade, we’ve all seen a need to more carefully monitor our planning and investing. Several years ago, we noticed the emergence of the word “staycation.” Families and homeowners, in order to spend more quality time with friends and family and to improve and expand the quality of their spaces at home, began to invest in the outdoor room. In essence adding more living space at home increases the perceived value and offers new opportunities for entertaining and simply enjoying the company of others.
It’s interesting that the outdoor area – patio, backyard, pool, deck – is now the third most desirable place to add home furnishings. With innovations in styles and looks that range from very traditional to modern and sleek, homeowners have access to a palette of furnishings, with which they are able to create a space that really reflects their lifestyle and their entertaining style. That’s why you’ll continue to see new collections for outdoor living in all shapes and sizes, because regardless of the size of the outdoor space, the appeal of fresh air and entertaining outdoors is, and will remain, timeless.