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5 Outdoor Furniture Trends for 2021

Everybody wants their design sensibilities to be considered classic. After all, trends come and go, but timeless pieces will last you a lifetime. This being said, it would be foolish to deny that trends can be a fun way to mix up your style and add new life to your space. Outdoor furniture trends are no exception.

In 2021, trends are not limited to clothing or indoor home decor. The last few years have shown a real shift towards a desire to make outdoor space more livable. And in order to do this comfortably, you need a great set of outdoor furniture.

This shift has meant that outdoor furniture design has come further into the mainstream. Trends that may have once been limited to the serious design space are now permeating farther and farther into general culture. With countless Instagram accounts or websites such as Pinterest allowing you to tailor your home decor to your liking, it’s very likely you have been pulled in many of today’s most popular design choices.

While we can’t recommend basing your entire design on what is trendy in the year 2021, knowing what is popular can help you spice up your space this year. If you’re looking to refresh your outdoor living space without a full renovation, consider incorporating a few of this year's top trends in your own backyard.

1. Rattan

As well as materials such as wicker and cane, rattan furniture has come back onto the scene in a big way over the last few years. While 70’s style has been experiencing an impressive resurgence in clothing and fashion, textiles such as rattan and wicker are also enjoying a boom.

This textile is loved for its ability to automatically add an earthy feel to your space. The material adds organic appeal to hardscaping, and when paired with potted plants can make even concrete decks and patios feel more down to earth. This could explain why the trend has reached past outdoor furniture pieces and into the indoor realm as well.

Of course, rattan isn’t the perfect material for everyone. While some may consider the look a little too bohemian for their tastes, many also take issue with its durability. Classic wicker or rattan pieces are not known for their longevity. Splitting, rotting, and fraying are all common with this material. Luckily, the modern day revival has come along with modern day materials.

In 2021, rattan textures can, and are, being mimicked using synthetics or composite blends. Unlike the original iterations, these upgrades can stand up to weather, wind, and rain, and will last you a while in your space.

Rattan isn’t for everyone, and won’t be in style forever. However, for those looking to soften or add a natural element to an otherwise harsh outdoor living space, purchasing a chair or two can help to soften the space nicely.

2. All White

From Kim Kardashian to Celine Dion, to seemingly every newly rich social media influencer around, all-white interiors have been a mark in those aiming for an upscale feel to their space for the last few years. All-white walls, furniture, and notably the all-white kitchen have become a marker of wealth, style, and simplicity. As minimalism has come to the forefront, bold color and darker woods and countertops have been pushed into the background.

While this trend has been popular indoors for years, it has gradually made its way into outdoor spaces as well. White outdoor furniture such as couches, pillows, and even tables and planters have come onto the scene in a big way. We agree, all white can offer a serene, peaceful look to your space. However, leaning too hard into an all white backyard is not only impractical, but may enter into unwelcoming territory quickly.

To fight white furniture becoming more off-putting than comfortable, try adding color elsewhere. Flowering plants, touches of natural wood, or a beautiful outdoor carpet can help soften a harsh white canvas without distracting from a minimalistic appeal.

A word of warning, however. While beautiful, all white furniture is rarely a practical choice for those with kids, dogs, or adults prone to spills or dirty feet. If you see yourself eating on your outdoor furniture set, or inviting Spot up to cuddle, consider opting for a removable slipcover. Bleach can be highly effective, but some stains are forever.

3. Multipurpose Pieces

Now more than ever, we are expecting a lot from our homes. This includes our indoor and outdoor spaces. If the past year has done anything, it’s shown us the value of cultivating a home space that can serve multiple purposes. This trend has been embraced by those creating not only indoor home offices, but outdoor work spaces as well.

Especially in fair weather climates, a rise in utilitarian outdoor spaces has given rise to multipurpose furniture pieces. Whether it’s a coffee table that doubles as a dining table, or a dining table that doubles as a desk, people are in the market for utility.

Thankfully, functional furniture comes in all kinds of shapes, styles, hues, and finishes. From teak to concrete, from mid century to contemporary, this trend allows for flexibility. With a little bit of digging, everyone can find a way to incorporate utilitarian style into their outdoor living space without the fear that it may quickly lose style-relevance.

4. Fire Pits

For many, fire pits have long been outdoor staples. Many grew up roasting marshmallows in their backyard, or spending long days curled up by the fire. However, pits of the past have often been less than aesthetically pleasing. In 2021, this has changed. Like so many things, modern makers have found a way to bring fashion to function. Many of today’s fire pits look more like an art piece than a place to burn wood.

Whether you’re looking at a stand alone wood burning pit, or a propane fueled selection, including a fire feature can be a trendy way to make a statement. From rustic to modern, classic or unexpected, fire pits have taken their cues from architecture and furniture design in 2021.

Often, the inclusion of a fire pit depends on your space. Larger spaces can think bigger, including extensive pits that double as tables or entertain large groups. However, even small outdoor living areas can capitalize on this trend. Creating a seating area on a small balcony or patio and centering a beautiful fire feature can make even the smallest space a great place to relax and unwind.

5. Mid Century Modern Inspired

If you’re just now getting on the mid-century train, you may be a little late. Some interior designers argue that this trend is on it’s way out. Still, there’s no doubt the hold it has had in the indoor and outdoor furniture world over the last few years. From brands like CB2 to small decorative items found in stores such as Urban Outfitters the sleek, low profile lines of mid century furniture have been all over Instagram. They’ve even been the prevailing style in some of the year’s most popular Architectural Digest Celebrity Home Tours.

Trends that call back to such specific areas are often to ebb and flow in popularity. So unless you see yourself loving the look for a very long time, it may not be a great idea to overinvest. However, a beautiful mid century dining table, or outdoor accent chair in the style can bring the trend into your space without threatening to feel dated.

Moving forward, the mid century style will continue to evolve. While other styles such as Art Deco and Farmhouse sensibilities may begin to overshadow the trend, elements of this style will always remain popular.

For a space that can’t be pigeon-holed, try outfitting your patio or deck with furniture from multiple eras. Tying different styles together with a cohesive color palette can help you enjoy all your favorite trends without creating an outdoor living space that is stuck in 2021.

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