Each September, the manufacturers of outdoor lifestyle furnishings meet in Chicago to share new outdoor collections with retailers from across the country.

Presented are the styles, colors and elements that will continue to support the escalating expansion of the outdoor living movement.

Leading any Market trends are always the new textile collections. Elaine Smith, designer of up-scale, outdoor pillows set the stage with colorful, fun whimsy patterns and textures. Bold saturated colors, including red, marigold yellow, Pacific blue, raspberry pink, corals and rusty orange are trending. Fun garden influenced patterns, like the new Tropical Bee, and Birds and Cages added personality to the mix.

The Casual Market At-A-Glance
Elaine Smith’s new collection includes bold colors and whimsy patterns. www.elainesmith.com

The bohemian-influenced Dune collection from Gloster, featured specially designed fabrics made with a 3D knitting technology. Supreme comfort is achieved by using these fabrics on upholstered cushions, quilted “blankets” and soft pillows.

At the center of this exploding market is fire. For the past decade homeowners have been consumed by incorporating fire features into their outdoor living spaces. In fact, consumers first purchase, most likely, is the fire feature.

The Casual Market At-A-Glance
Dune Collection by Gloster featuring new knitted fabrics. www.gloster.com

Most manufacturers offered their largest selection of fire feature options ever. Fire pits were even incorporated into the center of over-sized dining tables to turn the tide of declining sells in the traditional dining sets as they are as being replaced with fire focused entertaining spaces.

Black, white and gray finishes replaced the long-standing popularity of brown finishes. Castelle introduced designer Barclay Butera outdoor collection, Palm Springs. A strong geometric frame with black and white stripe cushions. 

The Casual Market At-A-Glance
Castelle’s new Palm Springs collection in black is designed by Barclay Butera. www.pridefamilybrands.com

A new Tangier collection from Richard Frinier for Century draws its inspiration from Moorish architecture.  The white woven fretwork motif is coordinated with teak occasional tables with scaglioia stone tops. True to Century’s core principles, individual pieces from the collection are gems, designed to enhance their customer’s existing décor, invocating memories of distant places and cultures.

Brown Jordon invites you to invest in the good life with their new contemporary Ciclo collection by Kevin Diedrick.  Ciclo is organic and modern. It features a day-bed, one of market’s hottest patio furnishing trends.

The Casual Market At-A-Glance
Brown Jordan’s new Stretch collection day bed, designed by Richard Frinier with proprietary Sunbrella flexible strap seating. www.brownjordan.com

Mid-century modern influence was well represented across Market. A variety of materials from teak and aluminum, woven and sling styles provide consumers with oodles of options. 

Designers presented dozens of right-sized possibilities for Urban dwellers. Smaller scale, compact and uniquely designed furnishings. Lane Venture’s award winning Jewel collection, is perfect for compact outdoor spaces. Inspired by origami it features sculpted folds, perched on an intricate base constructed of a modern network of angular aluminum.

Jensen Leisure Furniture’s “Rail Table” and bar chairs provide apartment dwellers the perfect way to enjoy their city views while enjoying a glass of wine or dinner. These pieces are manufactured from 100% Forest Stewardship /council-certified lpe timber.

The Casual Market At-A-Glance
Mid Century Modern style is present in the Urban Retreat Collection by Klaussner Outdoor. www.klaussneroutdoor.com

Glass table tops have disappeared from most manufacturers collections. They have been replaced with beautiful durable options. Porcelain with the look of natural unfinished or aged wood being the most popular. Laser cut patterned aluminum and cast iron table tops presented beautiful options.

The recent changes in Tariffs on imported products from China were front and center in discussions and signage.  Manufacturers with American made products made sure buyers knew they were not going to be effected by the new tariffs. It will be important to see how these changes affect prices and consumers’ behaviors.