Chicago's Great Outdoors

Palm Springs RattanPalm Springs Rattan

Chicago's Merchandise Mart hosted the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market last month, and exhibitors showed off everything needed for the outdoor room. Introductions at the show reflected indoor styles and designs as the outdoors becomes just as comfortable as the indoors. -Duke Ratliff


Palm Springs Rattan

Reflecting indoor furniture trends and the increasing popularity of sectional sofas, Palm Springs Rattan featured its Kokomo Sectional, designed to accommodate varying outdoor room sizes and layouts. With all-aluminum frames and a synthetic weave, it's specially engineered for outdoor exposure and long life. The set includes plush outdoor cushions and elegant design with the multiple fabric selection options that Palm Springs Rattan is known for.



Agio added a tall dining fire table with a strip burner feature to its Balmoral Collection, which reflects the style of an English Garden. An adjustable gas flame serves as the center of attention, giving consumers an opportunity to entertain longer into the evening. Perched atop an aluminum and all-weather wicker base is a porcelain table top with copper inlay. Balmoral seating features aluminum frames with tailored, weather-resistant cushions in a warm beige fabric complemented with a coordinating geometric pattern.


OW Lee

OW Lee showed its Palisades Collection, reflecting a transitional California style with a modern feel applied to a traditional form. A statement of design and sophistication, according to OW Lee, Palisades is available in nine frame finishes and over 100 stock fabrics. The collection features dining, deep seating and table bases.


Pride Family

Cast-aluminum outdoor furnishings manufacturer Pride Family Brands introduced numerous collections at the show, including French Quarter with what the company called "over-the-top craftsmanship." "Unlike any other outdoor collection in the marketplace, French Quarter exhibits our overall attention to detail and craftsmanship," said Steve Lowsky, president, Pride Family Brands.  "We are confident that this collection will be among our top attention-getters at the upcoming markets with its extensive woven aluminum and intricate cast elements."  French Quarter is constructed of cast and extruded aluminum in a woven aluminum bordered by curving and ornamental castings. On cushioned units, the weather-resistant tailored cushioning features a cast aluminum button tufting for a finished look. The collection is available with numerous finish and fabric options, and includes cushioned dining and seating with action and stationary units. The French Quarter's deep-seating group includes standard sofas and loveseats as well as stationary and action lounges with ottomans.


Zuo Modern

Zuo Modern headed to the Casual Furniture Show with contemporary designs such as the Golden Beach Collection. Made from an aluminum frame and UV-resistant fabric and anti-microbial foam cushions, the collection comes in numerous pieces including a chaise, corner chair, middle chair and coffee table to create various configurations. "This year we added some new sleek materials to the construction and fabulous additions to our color selection," the company said. "More comfy seating and more versatile outdoor living is the theme of our new pieces."



Woolrich, known for its lodge style, has extended its Adirondack-inspired designs to the waterfront with the Dockside Retreat Collection. The group consists of a curved, three-piece sectional, lounge chair and ottoman with complementing cocktail and end tables. The pieces are constructed using Viro All Weather Wicker, making all of the pieces UV- and weather-resistant. Although the collection's lineage is based on iconic Adirondack designs, Dockside Retreat puts a thoroughly modern spin on the classic silhouettes. "Inspired by waterfront living, whether that means a lakefront cabin or a house overlooking the sea, Dockside Retreat is ideal in any outdoor setting thanks to its exceptional comfort, good looks and durability," said Sharon Kepley, licensing manager for home furnishings at Woolrich Home. "Washable and durable, these 100 percent recyclable pieces will wear beautifully no matter the conditions." At the show, the new Dockside Retreat Sectional was shown in a golden sand tone known as Sailcloth Shore, a 100 percent solution-dyed acrylic fabric, with coordinating accent pillows in an ivory-hued Sailcloth Salt and Sailcloth Seagull, and an alternating stripe of ivory, gray and golden sand.



Lexington Home Brands launched its highly anticipated initial offerings of Tommy Bahama Outdoor Living off-site at a 22,000-square-foot studio about a mile from the Casual Show's Merchandise Mart location. The assortment included eight collections comprised of 160 SKUs of deep seating and sectional, outdoor dining, bistro tables, bars, fire pits and occasional tables. Lexington launched the Tommy Bahama indoor collection in 2000, and the outdoor collection, including Island Estate (shown), reflect the designs of their indoor namesake collections. "A key element to our success with Tommy Bahama indoor designs has been the concept of bringing the outdoors inside," said Phil Haney, CEO of Lexington Home Brands. "It seems somewhat intuitive that this would work with equal impact in the opposite direction."

HFN Staff | News & Commentary

HFN provides detailed information on the key home classifications: Housewares, Tabletop, Floor Covering & Rugs, Furniture, Home Textiles, Lighting, Home Decor, Mattresses & Bedding, Gifts, Major Appliances and Consumer Electronics as well as Business, Finance and Retail.


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