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OUTDOOR SPACE

Suit Up Decor Now to Save Money in the Long Run

With winter almost a memory, Houstonians are getting ready to return to their porches and patios.

“Now is the best time for consumers to get a better deal on outdoor furniture,” says Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of public relations and marketing for the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

“Selling new outdoor furniture is not a high priority right now for retailers, because it’s not a high propriety for consumers, adds Hirschhaut.

“With spring time just around the corner, the idea of being out of doors is more appealing,” says Rebecca Fischer, a marketing specialist for JANUS Et Cie.

Buyers are seeking “durable, low-maintenance pieces that are designed for comfort,” Fischer adds.

This year, bringing the indoors out is trending. Outdoor furniture borrows design aspects from interior pieces but are built to outlast the elements with synthetic materials and outdoor fabrics.

“People want to go outside to escape,” says Will Garant, design consultant at Modani in Houston. “Outdoor beds have a resort feel and provide a more intimate seating option.”

If you’re looking to buy now, think durability.

“Designers are using synthetic materials that look nice and expensive, but can also be hosed off at the end of the day,” says Elizabeth Munger, Munger Interiors.

JANUS et Cie incorporates synthetic fibers and materials that are engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions and ensure each piece remains beautiful season after season.

“Exterior furnishings are subject to direct or indirect sunlight, each and every day,” says Fischer. “If you think of what the sun does to your skin, imagine sitting outside 24 hours, 7 days a week.”

“Frames are treated to prevent rust or wear,” says Garant. “Instead of wicker, which is a plant fiber, we use synthetic rattan, a manufactured fiber that will actually last longer.”

Fabric designers like Richard Frinier and Joe Ruggiero are making headway in the great outdoors with chic patterns on tough Sunbrella fabric.

“Fabrics are more sophisticated so it’s easier to make outdoor living flow with the interiors.”

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