HIGH POINT, N.C. – With Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer just around the corner, it’s time to make sure your outdoor space is ready for relaxing and entertaining in the precious warm months ahead.
“With the wide range of outdoor products available today, consumers are enjoying their outdoor spaces more than ever,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of the American Home Furnishings Alliance and executive director of its outdoor division, the International Casual Furnishings Association. “Today’s outdoor spaces are just as much a part of the home as the interior. Consumers are outfitting their porches, decks and yards with comfort and practicality in mind so that they can sit back and enjoy their spaces with family and friends, or all by themselves.”
Consumers can make their outdoor spaces just as comfortable and beautiful as their interiors, she added. For those who want to curl up outside to relax, maybe even to watch TV, big, deep-seated outdoor sectionals and sofas are the perfect choice. And today’s outdoor fabrics are superdurable, yet they feel soft to the touch and come in an unbelievable array of colors and designs.
And, just like inside, accent pillows are the perfect accessories to liven things up outside and to add another layer of comfort. A group of four lounge chairs sometimes accompanied by a matching coffee table or fire pit, are popular choices for consumers who like to entertain. And, for dining alfresco, choices are endless. Consumers who want to serve a crowd can even find extending dining tables with new designs seating up to 14.
And don’t forget the shade: Umbrellas are a must in sunny spots, and they also add a nice splash of color. “As the weather warms up and summer approaches, consumers are being bombarded with choices in outdoor products,” Hirschhaut said. “Many will head to the big-box stores – or even the grocery or drug store – and choose something because it is inexpensive and easy. That choice may end up costing them more in the long run, if the product doesn’t hold up. I encourage shoppers to consider the quality as well. Many outdoor products are built to last for years and won’t need to be replaced so soon. Specialty stores are well-equipped to educate consumers about the choices available in a range of price points.”
The American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C., represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, including about 100 manufacturers of outdoor furniture and accents.