Trends for outdoor furniture in Kiwi homes for 2022
If you're planning to sell, make sure your outdoor furniture is quality and on-trend.
It might not feel like it, but spring and summer are coming and if you’re planning to sell this year, you’d be wise to start thinking of ways to display your outdoor living spaces at their best to discerning home buyers.
And if you’re thinking of dusting off the old timber table that’s seen better days and you want a good price for your home, think again. Outdoor furniture has moved on in recent years, and unless your chairs and tables have been beautifully looked after, you might want to look at investing in some new pieces. Look for pieces that are made from more durable and lower maintenance materials, and in the latest on-trend colours.
One of the key messages from interior designers and home stagers is that you want your carefully crafted interior design to work in collaboration with your exterior design too. Don’t just get the interiors of the home done and treat your outside settings as an afterthought because you’ll be underselling your home.
Exhibit One home stager Sommer Olsen explains: “Over the past few years we’ve seen exterior spaces becoming more of an extension of the interior living spaces. Possibly the enforced isolation of the pandemic encouraged a shift in focus where people are maximising the comforts of their home, particularly outdoor spaces and making them usable year-round.”
The line between indoor and outdoor spaces is continuing to blur, she notes. “We’ve seen designers and manufacturers further develop innovative materials and products that are designed to withstand the elements and look as beautiful indoors, as outdoors.”
And why is it worth the investment? Research shows that a well-designed and presented outdoor living space can improve the value of the home – some results show an increase in value up to 10%, says the home stager.
Of course, any outdoor furniture you invest in, you’ll be able to take with you when the house sells so it’s not wasted money.
Gaby Muir from Finer Home home staging and interiors, suggests prioritising the deck as the main spot to put your new outdoor furniture. A lounge setting can work well on the deck and maybe an occasional chair, she suggests. A generous dining table near the BBQ also sends the message that this is where you can eat on summer evenings.
Latest trends in outdoor furniture design
Mieke Lambermon from home stager and interior design firm, Amazing Interiors, says the trend for outdoor space is very much about biophilic design in 2022. “We‘re all connected to the planet and we work alongside it,” she explains.
Younger people have a huge awareness about buying products that aren’t disposable, so the senior interior designer doesn’t advise any cheap plastic pieces.
“The themes are biophilic and vintage for outdoor furniture so designs are timeless and eco. All that underpins a love of outdoor spaces and nature and thoughtful use of resources,” she says.
Amazing Interiors’ go-to for outdoor furniture is the Belgian designer Vincent Sheppard. He does robust, beautiful furniture designed to be timeless and to last forever, says Mieke.They carry the range for inside and outside and the weave is impervious to UV, rain, dirt and dust. The furniture is popular with lodges and hotels, she adds.
The designer understands the attraction to wooden furniture but in terms of sustainability and reliability, if you’re using imported wood, the construction of those products won’t have longevity. “You’re going to have to nurse them,” says the designer.
Colours for outdoor furniture in 2022
The colours for 2022 are earth colours, golden hues of wheat and putty, deep butterscotch and shades of greens from the rainforest, says Mieke.
If you’re looking for inspiration on fabrics for outdoor furniture, take a look at James Dunlop and Sunbrella™, she says. The pro-outdoor fabric is UV resistant and very practical and it’s not dull. There are 1970s-inspired geometrics on cream backgrounds and lots of ticking in multi coloured strips.
If your outdoor space is limited, outdoor mirrors on walls are a good idea for creating depth and space, suggests Mieke. Under the mirror you could have a window box of white geraniums or star jasmine and enjoy the fragrance.
In outside areas where people sit and have conversations, fragrances, colours and textures are all important, she says. ‘You’re creating another room that has to surprise and delight all your senses,” says the interior designer.
Joanna Rogers, owner of Auckland outdoor furniture retailer, Jardin NZ, brings in Fermob outdoor furniture from France which comes in beautiful shades from ink blue to orange and black cherry. The attractive colour palette means that people use the tables indoor and outside, she says.
It’s a good idea to focus on how you use the space, whether it’s lounging or dining. If you go for a lounge suite, nesting tables can be a real feature, where you can have a bit of fun with colour, says Joanna.
Fermob is made of steel which is recyclable, and the weight has been lightened up. As for colours, the shades are greens, earthy reds and warm greys as people are gravitating away from the hard blacks and charcoals, moving to softer tones, says Joanna.
The global trend for outdoor furniture can be seen in Fermob’s collections this year. It’s all about soft edges and curves, says the outdoor furniture specialist.The Sixties Fermob chairs, for instance, have a retro vibe and they’re exceptionally comfy and don’t need cushions, says Joanna.
The Sixties chair can be used as a dining chair inside or an office chair, she adds. And people will often bring their Fermob tables inside to add a bit of colour, she notes.
Outdoor furniture designed for New Zealand
Christchurch-based Ico Traders’ designer/owner, Miranda Osborne makes an outdoor furniture wire range which is full of colour and inspired by 1960s wire furniture. The furniture pieces are either made in mild steel or stainless steel, the stainless steel working well for places that are close to the sea like Omaha and Waiheke Island, she says.
If you live by the ocean, you don’t want wood, or plastic, says the Ico Traders designer, who says she sells to Fiji and Niue as well as to New Zealand.
Ico Traders chairs and tables have an undercoat which is anti-rust and anti-heat and they can be painted in different colours.
“In New Zealand, we’ve been such a throwaway society and with Ico it’s about being sustainable and reusable. You’re buying once and buying well and you’re able to repowder and give the furniture new life, says Miranda.
She has outdoor furniture for anything from a small balcony to a country home. The range includes stackable dining chairs that are used inside and outside.
Her Benmore bench can be used as a table outside and equally can be placed at the end of a bed.
“We try to make the furniture as multi-purpose as possible,” says Miranda.
Fabrics give lots of choice now
Kerry Dunphy, co-owner of Outside Space, sells outdoor furniture for the Kiwi climate and explains things have moved on from rattan or wicker to powder coated aluminium in greys, white or charcoal which give more of a modern look.
Outside Space doesn’t do wood any more, she says. “Sitting outside you don’t want to be worrying about when you have to do your next sand or to stain your furniture,” she laughs.
New Zealand outdoor furniture has a unique style and the weather elements here mean materials are important. Kerry looks at trends in Holland, the Nordic countries and Spain for inspiration, she says.
It’s well worth your while to invest in attractive outdoor furniture that will last, adds Kerry.
“You’ve got to sell the dream and having ugly outdoor furniture doesn’t help,” says Kerry.
The Outside Space director, says traditionally outdoor furniture has been designed more for men while she caters more for women.
In terms of colour palettes in its fabrics, colours are trending toward earthy tones, she agrees. Outside Space, which uses Sunbrella(™) or Agora (™) fabric, has a nutmeg fabric and Grove, a deep green fabric, as well as a warm linen look in outdoor upholstery.
Plums, mulberries and burnt oranges are other shades she’s seeing.
She doesn’t recommend putting in loud, gaudy, throw cushions, you want them understated and luxurious, and not matching, but colours that you know that work together, says Kerry.
People are getting a lot smarter about creating cover over their outdoor spaces, adds the Outside Space owner. Whether that’s a pergola or a louvre system or a 4m x 4m umbrella. She doesn’t recommend a charcoal frame unless it’s a seriously well covered area, otherwise it will get too hot.
Outdoor rugs can add some colour. “Outdoor rugs are all about creating a room feeling. Plants go a long way too though don’t go for oversized pots any more, she adds.
“Don’t mix your looks when staging, have one egg chair and an aluminium brown table. It looks like a yard sale,” advises the furniture retailer.
Ideally you’ll carry your look from inside to outside so that if tones inside are greys and blacks, then that should be the look outside too, she advises. “You don’t want to contrast but rather be more cohesive,” she says.
Little touches that can make a world of difference
Marlborough-based Interior designer Jenny Saggers who runs an interior and exterior design company with husband Christo at Collaborate, says it’s well worth taking the trouble to create an outdoor setting.
In her own case, the Saggers family built in a daybed in their Marlborough courtyard that comes apart. There’s also a water feature and a bar. Jenny suggests little things like a ceramic bowl on an outside table, plants, string lights and lanterns to bring an outdoor setting to life.
“It’s another room of the house,” she says.