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Attract Attention - Take it Outside

November 8, 2007

Recently a business meeting brought me to a new location in Orange County for lunch.  Being in the design end of the casual furniture business I am always interested to see developers utilizing outdoor spaces. The creation of casual spots for relaxing outside is not only the hottest trend for homeowners it is also spreading to other venues.  These unique outdoor settings with fireplaces allow visitors a place to take a break from shopping, continue conversations after the meal has been finished in the many restaurants and allow viewing the stage for entertainment as well as the giant video walls.

This is Southern California’s newest shopping center, which boasts 1,000,000 square feet of dining, shopping, and entertainment. There is a blend of specialty stores, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, movie theatre and a number of other entertainment venues. This is a lifestyle destination that the developers hope to have customers coming back to again and again.

Isn’t this the same hope that dealers and designers alike hope to achieve when a customer purchases casual furniture for the purpose of creating an intimate family room in the outdoor spaces of their homes?  A surprising fact regarding the selection of the furniture for this setting is that the furniture is not low-end, nor is it chained down in place. This center showcases JANUS et Cie: two seat sofas, lounge chairs and cocktail tables, There are giant commercial umbrellas in colorful hues along with standard umbrellas that dot the landscape outside the restaurants in additional colors. The placement of throw pillows on the sofas and chairs pleased my designer’s eye.

I know that similar shopping centers exist in Arizona. Do you know of a center in your local that has ventured into this latest trend of creating outdoor spaces in public places?

I would like to hear from you to see who else and where else we can find this leading edge of design?

Yours from Outside Views….Marcia Blake