Color and more!
Even though we may be lamenting the end of the warm weather season here in Rochester, our furniture buyers just returned from the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market trade show in Chicago with plenty of ideas. The four-day show is a sort of one-stop display for all things related to the expanding world of outdoor and casual living. It gives them a chance to view the newest, most innovative products from leading manufacturers around the world as well as discover the latest trends in color, product design, fabric patterns and more.

Jimmy and Kathy make the trek for us each year, navigating over 30,000 square feet of furniture and accessories. Here is the low down on what they saw, heard and overheard on their trip.


Outdoor furniture design continues to be more high-end and fashion-forward. The days of poorly constructed folding chairs are over. Customers want their outdoor furniture to last as long as their indoor furniture does.
Multifunction: Pieces incorporating other aspects of life, such as umbrellas with docking station and light fixtures.
Outdoor Fabrics: Continue to evolve, with more color variety, patterns and textures than ever before.
Going Green: Many manufacturers are going green with FSC-certified wood or reclaimed materials recycled from plastic and garbage bags.
Sectionals: Sectional furniture with thick cushions and chaise lounges are equally wonderful for entertaining and relaxing.

Pedestal fire pit

Pedestal fire pit

Gas Fire Pits: They add a focal point and, let’s face, cool nights like these are perfect for a bit of flickering warmth.

Time for Comfort

By comfort, of course we mean a comfortable feeling to sit in; but, this year, it also is a trend. The “Comforting Trend” aims at making people feel comforted, safe and secure in their own backyards. Families are seeking the security of their homes, where life is familiar. This plays out in a casual lifestyle that has hallmarks of ease, informality, authenticity, and—best of all—relaxation.

You’ll see lots of natural fibers and sustainable products as well as a resurgence of nature in design motifs, color and art.  Kathy noted that one of the most popular new colors is a weathered blue- or sliver-gray that is like driftwood. “It’s a very natural look that will make you think of being seaside,” she says.
In addition, look for ‘ethnic glam’ designs, which are pattern-on-pattern, map motifs and may include hand-worked decoration such as beading and embroidery.

Color palettes include: soft olives, deep turquoise, light taupe and dark shades of brown enriched by hints of red. These hues can be described as sturdy—and they work well together.  They speak of hand-hewn objects of substance in a range of natural, outdoor shades.

Some sample colors in the 2012 palette

Some sample colors in the 2012 palette

A second palette is influenced by history. It evokes movies like The King’s Speech or the Boardwalk Empire series on HBO and is made up of wine and plum, warm beige and wood tones, as well as classic rose. A touch of frosted almond adds a soft and subtle glimmer.

These palettes pull from nostalgia, simplicity and earthbound colors. They create an escape from visual overload. Which is exactly what most of us are looking for in our backyard retreats, isn’t it?

Feel free to stop in at Pettis Pools & Patio’s East Rochester location where you can get some great end of season deals right now—as well as dreaming up the perfect backyard for next season.