Living easy Fabric solutions turn the outdoors into practical and pleasureable spaces with all the beauty and comfort of a room indoors.
Excerpt from Specialty Fabrics Review | May 2014 By Carla Waldemar
Photos: left Alpha ProductionsImage and right House of CanvasImage
Outdoor rooms can be as large and elaborate as indoor spaces—fully functional when they include protection from wind and rain, comfortable seating and retractable shading.
So at the first drip of a melting icicle, folks started thumbing through seed catalogs and searching for the perfect barbeque recipe, plotting their return, at last, to the great outdoors.
While people are keen on outdoor living, we like our outdoors fringed with 21st-century comforts. Give us shades, canopies and awnings that shield us from potent UV rays, windy gusts and downpours. Give us screens to block the bugs and acorns, and furniture upholstery that’s long-lasting, low-maintenance, element-resistant—and stylish. To go along with that, we’ll need a matching pool cover, grill cover, cabana and shade sail for the play area.
Bolstered by the stagnant economy and the stress of life’s demands, families are choosing to spend more time together and spending a chunk of disposable income on the outdoor amenities that foster that goal. Northerners opt to make their homes their castles, gathering by the pool or on the deck as soon as winter finally disappears. Those in southern regions yearn to enjoy a breeze, just out of reach of the sun’s rays. End product manufacturers are saying “can-do” to all of the above, and textile manufacturers are ready with plenty of choices.
Fabrics for all preferences
Natalie Scott, vice president, sales and marketing for the casual furniture division of fabric manufacturer Sattler Corp., of Hudson, N.C., confirms that fabric sales for outdoor residential use, such as Outdura®, are big and only getting bigger. “Business is up, and the outdoor room is one of the fastest-growing categories—a trend that’s here to stay,” she says. “It’s the highest focal point of home-improvement dollars spent today and equally important in new construction. Abetted by heat lanterns and fire pits, people enjoy them for multiple seasons, and with that, they want to be comfortable. Today the outside is just like the inside, with deep seating, decorative pillows, trim and outdoor rugs merchandized together to provide the same aesthetics as an indoor room. The East Coast is leading the way, by sheer population.