Survey: Outdoor Lifestyle Is a Priority for Households in 2019

March 27, 2019
HIGH POINT, N.C. — According to new research, 47% of Americans plan to purchase at least one piece of new outdoor furniture or accessories for their homes in 2019, with nearly one-third expecting to add multiple pieces of furniture to their porches, decks and patios this year. The research also revealed that 83% of households have an outdoor living space, with the majority (50%) seating four to eight people.

America’s 2019 Outdoor Furniture Priorities:

  • Improving the comfort of our outdoor spaces is ranked No. 1 (47%), followed by enhancing their functionality (30%) and style/aesthetics (23%).
  • Replacing our furniture because it is worn out (71%) tops our to-do lists, as well as finding items we like better (23%) and are more in style (7%).
  • New home furnishings for outdoor spaces are our third household priority (29%), behind purchasing pieces for our living rooms (40%) and our bedrooms (37%).

The good news for homeowners today is that eclectic, collected spaces are in fashion for outdoor spaces, and adding furnishings that create a curated look is easier than ever. A range of pieces can be found in a variety of materials, such as all-weather woven vinyl, aluminum, iron, rope, painted glass or wood (or wood look), that can fit into any décor.

“There are no two outdoor living spaces that are alike, as we have more freedom to creatively decorate and personalize them,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of the American Home Furnishings Alliance and executive director of its outdoor division, the International Casual Furnishings Association. “We have the ability to make our outdoor spaces anything we want them to be, and today’s trends allow us to design spaces we love.”

This Year’s Outdoor Furniture Trends:

MIDCENTURY MODERN AND OTHER RETRO LOOKS: Designers are finding inspiration in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, with midcentury modern style especially popular this year. Classic lines and design elements such as hairpin legs are showing up on outdoor pieces for a fresh, yet timeless look.


FIRE: Fire elements remain strong and have become a standard in outdoor living. They are offered in all shapes, sizes, heights and finishes. Consumers love outdoor pieces with fire for the inviting ambience they provide.

SIMULATED WOOD LOOKS: Wood looks come in all types of materials and finishes — aluminum, porcelain, polymer – for a natural look that stands up to the elements. Many of today’s faux wood pieces can be left out in the sun, rain and snow and retain their good looks.

LOW MAINTENANCE: Quick-dry strap seating is providing a low-maintenance option for consumers who don’t want to deal with cushions. Simulated wood looks also fit in this category as faux wood is often easier to maintain than real wood.

Elaine Smith

COLOR: Blues of all hues are rising in popularity, including navy, indigo, denim, steel, Pacific, cobalt, powder blue and sky blue. Sea and spa colors also are trending. New this year are shades of pink, including dusty rose, bronzy shades (from terra cotta), peach, blush, raspberry and coral. These shades mix well with gray and taupe, as well as indigo. Gray finishes also remain popular.

TEXTURED FABRICS: It’s amazing what manufacturers are doing with outdoor fabrics today, including knitted acrylics that create blanket and sweater looks, or the illusion of texture. Outdoor fabrics have come so far that many consumers are opting to use outdoor pieces indoors because of their beauty and durability.

The research was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of the American Home Furnishings Alliance and International Casual Furnishings Association among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18 and older between January 3 and January 9, 2019.