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Making Space for Furniture

January 4, 2008

Finally California has received some much-needed rain. As we brace ourselves for an onslaught of another rainstorm it is a perfect time to reflect on the outdoor room.  If you are lucky enough to have a covered patio you have much less to worry about than those of us who have our outdoor furniture and accessories exposed to all of the elements of winter. Of course in Southern California the elements are clearly not nearly as severe as in other areas of the country.

Thankfully, the fabric manufacturers over the past years have developed beautiful textured fabrics that withstand the cold, rain, snow, wind and sun. The furniture manufacturers are producing furniture that withstands the most severe of elements. In addition, there are products on the market that assist in protecting furniture and accessories such as furniture covers and places to store cushions and pillows.

The problem that I have encountered much too often is that the landscape and traditional architects do not fully consider the placement of outdoor furniture when designing the hardscape and softscape that we call our outdoor room.  Even those architects that create covered patios, verandas and outdoor kitchens do not consider the type of furniture that the homeowner will place in these areas and if you are lucky enough to find one who does, they clearly don’t realize that the scale of the outdoor furniture has evolved over time and is no longer small.

Manufacturers are designing and producing large scale, deep seating furniture pieces and consumers are demanding these large scale items as well.

Have you ever tried to squeeze a sofa, love seat or club chairs under one of these newly designed outdoor pavilions? It doesn’t work!

So my question to you is when will the architects catch up with the trends? Will it be sooner or later, when the trends start reverting back to smaller scale furniture?

What are your Outside Views? ….. Marcia Blake