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Product Trends Born in Chicago

February 2017

All signicant product trends in outdoor living originate from the show oor of Casual Market Chicago. This is where exciting new categories such as fire pits and outdoor lighting were born, as well as the latest in contemporary styling for the more traditional product staples.

Colors have become bolder and vibrant, materials have become cutting edge and outdoor fabrics are better made than ever before. With nature as the backdrop, entire rooms are being created through highly stylized groupings of deep seating sofas, design-driven coffee and end tables, and high-tech outdoor replaces and re pits that complete the look and extend the season well beyond summer. Here’s a closer look at some other major trends that will be on full display this September:

Blended design palettes

Outdoor furniture designers look to nature’s raw beauty to nd inspiration for many of their new collections through organic, natural materials. Explore this signi cant design trend at many of the leading showrooms.

Drawn to texture, mixed materials

The juxtaposition of hard and soft surfaces, so common in nature, is becoming more evident in outdoor materials and textures. Weathered gray nishes that result from years of exposure, are increasingly duplicated for a distressed, aged appearance. Mixed materials as well, continue to gain momentum, with teak, ipe and other woods paired with all forms of aluminum, wrought iron, stainless steel and other metals.

Taking the talk outside

The chat group category of outdoor furniture is exploding. Expect to see an unmatched offering of product that captures this relaxed spirit prominent in Chicago, from big names to new emerging resources.

Shelter from the sun

Shade products are also experiencing substantial growth. An outdoor staple, look for a plethora of options this year that combine on-trend color and design options with new forms of functionality.

Fashion first

Pillows and other accessories now embody all of the major trends seen in the indoor market, from interesting architectural elements to popular mid-century modern and minimalist designs. Always a strong draw, manufacturers in this category embrace the looks driving other fashion-conscious markets.

“Manufacturers and retailers have done a great job of addressing the rising popularity of outdoor spaces by focusing on fresh new colors, styles and materials,” says Jackie Hirschhaut, executive director of the International Casual Furnishings Association. “And after the winter that many have had, spring and the outdoor living that comes with it will be even more welcome.”