ICFA publishes 2016 trends report

Flloyd LandersHIGH POINT, N.C. — The International Casual Furnishings Assn. (ICFA) is reporting that the personal outdoor spaces of 2016 look like interior spaces.

“The backyard room is here to stay and just keeps growing in popularity,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) and executive director of the ICFA.

Consumers shopping for new outdoor furnishings this spring will find mixed materials such as teak or other woods mixed with wicker, aluminum and stainless steel, both in single pieces and collections.

Neutrals, especially gray and beige, continue to dominate the color palette this spring, but fresh new colors add pizzazz. Citrus tones such as citron green remain strong, and celadon and mint green are emerging. Pantone’s two colors of the year – Rose Quartz and Serenity – also are being used as accents for outdoor products since they work well with neutrals.

Consumers can choose seating covered in faux leather that will hold up outdoors. Woodard is among manufacturers offering additional colors in Brisa, a polyurethane from Ultrafabrics that mimics leather. At Century Furniture, the Trove bench by Candice Olson Outdoor appears to be covered in tufted leather, yet it’s concrete, surprising to those who take a seat.

Convenience also is in the spotlight this spring with a focus on cushions and seating that dry quickly, eliminating the need to take cushions inside during rain showers. Homecrest Outdoor introduced new technology with its Airo2 modular pieces that have the look of a deep seat without any inner cushion material; it is low maintenance and fast-drying. Likewise, Century’s innovative Driluxe cushions are designed to dry quickly and feature a water-repellent cover on a high-resiliency foam core that is wrapped with 100% polyester fiber. They are breathable, so only the cushion fabric casing needs to dry, not the entire cushion.

“Consumers want their outdoor spaces to be relaxing,” Hirschhaut said. “Manufacturers understand that and have created new products that will allow them to spend less time maintaining and more time lounging.”

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