By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub
Great design isn’t just for your indoor space. Fabrics are more fashionable. Seating is more comfortable. Homeowners can watch television outdoors in a covered outdoor space or chat around a propane fire pit. Four local experts give us the latest news on what’s hot in furnishings and pools.
1. “The latest trend in outdoor furniture goes hand in hand with the trend to extend living areas into outdoor spaces. We find consumers are shopping for and creating outdoor living rooms in addition to outdoor dining al fresco. We even see television installations in covered patios.” Vanessa Northrop, vice president of marketing and branding for City Furniture
2. “Gas fireplaces that have become more affordable and eco friendly have led to the addition of sectionals, sofas and loveseats for the outdoors. Who wants to sit around a fire at night in an old metal chair that is not very comfortable when you can replicate the comfort of your den or living room? Home entertaining is increasing in popularity and many people even have TVs mounted inside so you can watch your favorite movie or TV series in the great outdoors. Enter a big comfy sectional and all you need now is the popcorn, the remote and a cold drink!” Pat Howard, vice president of Sklar Furnishings, Boca Raton
3. “Your pool surface makes the difference. With over 200 pool surfaces to choose from today, we can create pool water illusions that previously were not possible. Today pool surfacing is an art form and the single most important factor in creating dynamic pool water effects. Water features add a new dimension of sound and visual effects that can change the outdoor environment completely. Choosing the appropriate pool surface, tile, deck, water features and lighting can transform any back yard into a resort retreat.” Cliff Freyman, owner and president of Cliff’s Pools & Patios, Sunrise
4. “The new trend in swimming pools is the oversized first step or beach step, which has become popular in new pools and remodels. It adds a whole new dimension to the pool that did not exist several years ago. It can be a place for the younger kids to play, almost like a kiddie pool within the pool. The older kids and adults can use it to hang out or to get sun. It also allows the opportunity to walk several feet out into the pool and still only be ankle deep. We often install bubbler returns on these steps, which can be upgraded to include color LED lighting. Umbrella holes are also very popular which allows the easy installation of an umbrella to shade the step.” Bryan McCallum, owner of Watermark Construction, Fort Lauderdale