Trending: Outdoor Living Decorative Trends

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If you live in California, especially near the beach, you know outdoor living and entertaining is almost a year round way of life for us lucky Californians. We thought it would be interesting to hear from some of the pros what the newest hot trends are for outdoor living. Since we have many outdoor stores and landscape architects available for us to shop and work with, we wanted to know what are the best sellers and also some ideas to spruce up the backyard...

We asked Karla Stevens owner of Patio Culture, an outdoor living and entertaining store located in Venice Beach on Abbot Kinney:

What do you see is a popular outdoor trends?
Soji Modern Solar Lanterns have been a popular sell at the store. Clients love the fact that they are solar (green) and easy to maintain as well as being beautiful! Also outdoor screening rooms and outdoor televisions are also a big trend this season. And we are doing a lot of awning type installation as well. Clients seem to love the slide on wire panels that feel a bit more modern than the traditional awning and have the capability of moving with the sun.

What colors patterns products or fabrics/materials do you sell the most of?
The new Trina Turk outdoor fabrics have been a hot seller this season. I would say the color trends this year for outdoor spaces have been grey and yellow, a beautiful combination.

Do you see customers entertaining more outdoors this year than last year?
Yes, Patio Culture has designed a handful more of dining and entertaining spaces for the outdoors that can accommodate more seating for bigger groups, which is an indication that clients are really utilizing their spaces for outdoor entertaining. 

What do clients always look for?
Outdoor rugs and interesting lighting.

Stephanie Addis of The Golden State Store (formally known as Poolside) an outdoor vintage boutique that sells restored patio furniture on Ocean Park Blvd in Santa Monica shares some insight about outdoor living trends:

What are some popular outdoor trends?
Indoor/outdoor pieces, restored vintage. We specialize in restoring vintage furniture…which is the best kind of recycling! I have a client in Trousdale who hired me because I offered to restore a pair of Brown Jordan chaises that came with his Wallace Neff home. Several other designers told him to trash them but I forbid it, they belong to that house.

What is selling or what are you selling out of in your store that customers keep buying?
We feel in love with a tattered Van Keppel /Green cane/iron lounge chair I found during Modernism week in Palm Springs. The architecture of the chair was (still is) perfect…simple and well designed. I had my fabricator replicate the frame and rope it. We made a few of them for the Ace Hotel and they’re amazing! I sell them for indoor and outdoor, I have a pair in my living room, my kids climb all over them. When friends come over we drag them outside around our giant fire bowl.

Do you see customers entertaining more outdoors this year than last year?
Absolutely! The recession has forced people to cut back for sure, we can’t spend crazy like we used to. Something really cool has come out of that… people are staying home and realizing “hey, we live in a beautiful place! This is California! This isn’t so bad at all! I love being able to teach my kids how to relax at home, we don’t need to wait for the holidays or summer vacation.

Are people spending more money this year on their outdoor spaces?
No doubt, yes. Instead of dropping thousands on a vacation they’re opting to invest in something more long term. Outdoor spaces have become important real estate.

Knibb Design Showroom in Venice Beach, a landscape and outdoor furniture showroom answers a few questions about landscaping and trends for outdoor spaces.

What do you see are some popular outdoor trends?
A big trend we’re seeing as landscape designers is people moving away from big lawns and looking for water-saving alternatives. We created the Knibb Modular Garden as an answer to our clients looking for lower cost, water-reducing gardens. It incorporates a gravel hard scape, drought tolerant plants that still look incredibly lush, and all on a drip irrigation system. It can reduce water usage up to 70%, so we really see that as the new direction of gardening in California.

What is selling or what are you selling out of in your store, that customers keep buying?
Our most popular furniture piece is our modern picnic table. It utilizes re-purposed wood, but the vibrant, primary-colored steel frames give it a fresh, contemporary feel. People are looking for recycled and reclaimed furniture, but they don’t want it to look old. We are trying to bring a certain “chic-ness” to the reclaimed furniture world by making the old look new again.

Are people spending more money this year on their outdoor spaces?
We wouldn’t say people are spending more money this year on outdoor spaces. What they are spending is being spent in a smarter, more sustainable way. For instance, we have clients re-doing their gardens in order to reduce the water usage, installing smart irrigation systems, or adding in vegetable and herb gardens. People are really aware right now of what type of impact their space has on the environment and in the long term.

If you would like some more resources on outdoor furnishings check these sites for more ideas and options The Teak Warehouse, Berks Patio and Grow. And please share with us what are some ideas that you have implemented in your outdoor space. What are you doing to create a more inviting outdoor space?

"Trending" is a weekly report from Vanessa De Vargas, owner of Turquoise, a Los Angeles furniture and interior decor business.

(Top image: Gregory Han)