The latest home décor trend is moving the comforts of the indoors outdoors. Steepleton Vice President Gunar Graven shares pointers that elevate exterior living spaces into stylish sanctuaries.
It’s summer, and the living is… outdoors. And it’s so comfortable that we’re staying there until October or November. “We’ve extended the season,” says Gunar Graven, vice president of Steepleton in Saint Matthews. “Customers are thinking of using their outdoor spaces nine or ten months of the year and that has changed the way outdoor furniture is designed.”
Newer outdoor collections have deeper seating, more sophisticated fabrics and more comfortable cushions. “We’ve moved beyond your traditional wrought iron or woven steel back that we grew up with in the Eighties,” says Graven. “Outdoor furniture looks and feels much more like what’s sitting in your family room.”
That means furnishing your outdoor space is no longer a matter of just buying a three-piece set and an umbrella. “You’re adding end tables and firepits and accessorizing with pillows,” says Graven. “It’s a much more finished look.” At Steepleton, designers can come to your home, measure your space and make suggestions. They’ll also deliver and set it all up—including the firepit. (Although a plumber will have to come install a gas hookup if you choose a gas model.)
Here, Graven’s advice for creating an outdoor living space you’ll enjoy most of the year:
1: Opt for weatherproof fabrics.
“Sunbrella is the leader. It’s not going to mold or mildew and you have almost unlimited options.”
2: Choose your firepit carefully.
“Firepits can be done with three different fuel sources: natural gas, propane tanks or logs. They each have their advantages. Natural gas means you always have a fuel source, but the line has to be installed by a plumber and that means it’s stationary. Propane tanks have to be replaced similar to a gas grill, but we sell a lot with 20-pound tanks and those last quite a while. People either love or hate firewood, but, of course, your clothes smell like smoke!”
3: Go for upgrades.
“Granite-top firepits have been really popular this year. They’re beautiful and durable and they create a more finished look that reflects our new attitude about outdoor living.”