Earthy hues that blend into the landscape tend to dominate the outdoor furniture market. Understated woods, metals and cushions are easy-to-incorporate neutral elements.
But outdoor spaces also offer the chance to be more adventurous than we are inclined to be indoors.
Maybe bolder balconies and peppier patios on your redecorating radar?
“Vibrant color has dominated the home furnishings arena since last fall, and after an unusually cold winter, the time's ripe for bright color to become a focus for our outdoor spaces. Color is a great energizer,” says Jackie Hirchhault, marketing vice president for the American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C.
Aimee Beatty, in-house stylist at Pier 1, says lively outdoor pieces give people a way to make a statement. She suggests adding a colorful bench to the patio to coordinate with a more traditional or neutral dining set. “One new piece is a simple, budget-friendly way to make a big impact,” she says.
Pier 1's Paris-inspired Neely Bistro Set comes in red or peacock blue rust-resistant cast aluminum. Frontgate's powder-coated aluminum side and bar chairs in fresh colors like aqua and melon come in whimsical designs like curlicues and floral motifs.
The Rock Point acacia wood bench can be had in red, marine blue or dandelion yellow, and is foldable for off-season storage. Synthetic rattan chairs are weather resistant and come in ocean, purple, orange and yellow. ( www.pier1.com)
Z Gallerie's Madison garden stool comes in gold for a touch of metallic flair. The Mimosa lantern features a filigreed Moroccan motif in mandarin, white, lemon and aquamarine. (www.zgallerie.com)
Usable as either planters or beverage receptacles, LED-embedded resin GardenGlo containers provide glowing illumination in a range of colors. ( www.gardenica.com)
Seattle-based designer Nicole Ketchum creates lightweight acrylic chandeliers in 11 colors that can be hung from trees, deck roofs or anywhere you'd like. Choose a faux ornate pattern or an octopus. (www.chandelierbynk.com)
Outdoor polypropylene rugs add color and give outdoor spaces a more finished look. Horchow's Geometric Twist collection puts a crisp white graphic on a tangerine, lime or navy background for punch, while Dash & Albert's indoor/outdoor rugs feature East Asian graphic motifs, chevrons and sailing stripes. ( www.horchow.com)
Dash and Albert's new outdoor pillow collection includes exuberant retro-Hawaiian prints, sea horses, crewel florals and bubble patterns, all in a riot of fun-loving colors. (www.dashandalbert.com)
Designer Elaine Smith has come up with a collection of outdoor pillows that reflects a childhood surrounded by global art, and a love of fashion and nature. She's done an Asian toile pattern in an aqua/white combination, a zebra print in chocolate or blue, and a hula skirt motif in a kaleidoscope of tropical hues. ( www.authenteak.com)