Buoyed by consumers’ ongoing passion for sophisticated outdoor living spaces, the inaugural Casual Market Atlanta trade show in mid-July offered a bounty of high-style furnishings collections and innovative items from more than 150 manufacturers and importers.
Jackie Hirschhaut, executive director of the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA), noted, “With consumers reporting increasing time spent outdoors on the patios, decks, and other spaces around their homes, many households are intent on creating an exterior room that mirrors the design aesthetic of their home’s interior.”
Seating as a Starting Point
“Chic yet comfortable seating is a primary component of the most polished outdoor spaces that often blend chairs with chaises for ultimate relaxation options,” said Hirschhaut. She pointed to designer Ann Marie Vering’s continued collaboration with Brown Jordan for 2024 with the mixed-media Oliver Collection.
Sculptural, low-profile metal frames and weather-proof nautical rope offer a modern, updated look to wicker. “This award-winning chaise is especially functional with its all-terrain wheels and a simple X-bar that ensures easy adjustment of the seatback incline.”
Eco-friendly Looks with Fashion Flair
“Sustainable outdoor furnishings are a high priority for savvy consumers who already favor eco-friendly products throughout their home’s interior design,” said Hirschhaut, adding, “The combination of good design with environmentally responsible elements is fundamental.” She noted that Foremost Home earned high marks in translating a timeless look in its Ming seating collection featuring a high-performance, polymer frame material that boasts tough construction and maintenance-free care, paired with high-performance, solution-dyed acrylic cushions.
Best of Show
“As a complement to a variety of seating options, the most interesting occasional tables for the out of doors successfully mimic popular indoor looks,” Hirschhaut continued. Bernhardt Exteriors earned the Lillian B. Winchester Best of Show award with a simulated faux bois motif to create an organic outdoor look. Constructed in cast aluminum, the Milos cocktail table features intertwined branches of a tree while the Cyprus side table resembles a slender tree trunk.
“Mixed media is still a popular trend, and the glass-reinforced concrete tabletops are shown in a bone finish, paired with shiny nickel bases for an elegant flair,” she remarked.
Fire Pits Gain Popularity
Hirschhaut also observed boosted interest in outdoor fire pits over the past few years. “It’s not unusual to see an exquisite fire feature as the central component of many outdoor seating arrangements.” In a unique upscale approach for next year, Ocean Rock USA utilized a single porcelain slab over a metal frame for its Carrara Marble Porcelain Fire Table.
“The construction creates a work of art through the seamless connection of all veining patterns on the surface,” she said. The maintenance-free unit turns into a coffee table with a porcelain lid that can be in place at all times or tucked underneath with a special sliding storage system when burning.
Don’t Forget Outdoor Accessories
Along with beautiful furnishings, upscale outdoor rooms are complete with unique decorative yet functional accents. Prolific shade supplier Tuuci broadens its assortment in 2024 with a collection of garden planters that can serve as a versatile space delineation or a finishing botanical accessory. “There are a full complement of sizes and finishes available to match form with function, and beautifully designed to endure fierce coastal environments,” she explained.
With greater time enjoying the out of doors, designers have a significantly expanded offering of products available through the casual furnishings and outdoor furniture showrooms at AmericasMart Atlanta. The next Casual Market Atlanta runs July 15-18, 2024, with an opportunity for sourcing and education before year-end at Outdoor Design Days, September 18-20, 2023.
The International Casual Furnishings Association, a subsidiary of the American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C., represents more than 125 manufacturers and importers of outdoor furniture and accents, along with retailers, designers, independent sales representatives and suppliers to the industry. www.icfanet.org
ANDMORE, formerly International Market Centers, is an omnichannel wholesale marketmaker that fuels opportunities for wholesale buyers and sellers to connect, grow and prosper through physical markets, design centers and digital channels. The company owns and operates more than 20 million square feet of premium event and showroom space, hosting live events in Atlanta, High Point, N.C., Las Vegas and New York City. By pairing face-to-face events with always-on digital tools, ANDMORE provides truly omnichannel business platforms for its global wholesale customer base. www.ANDMORE.com