Outdoor Furniture Trends and Tips: An Interview with Mike Voyles from Home InfatuationMarch 19, 2012 Interview, Patio Design
The Home Infatuation blog is full of great patio decor photos and inspiring design tips, and the Home Infatuation online store sells luxury patio furniture and outdoor living products. We recently had the pleasure of talking to the owner of Home Infatuation, Mike Voyles, and asked him to share his knowledge about outdoor furniture and accessories.
Texas Custom Patios (TCP): What are some new outdoor furniture trends for 2012?
Mike Voyles (MV): We tend to specialize in contemporary furnishings, whether it’s outdoor lamps or furniture. Throughout the industry as a whole, you tend to see a lot of wicker, metal, and contemporary things. Outdoor daybeds have become popular in the last few years too.
The trends aren’t changing that dramatically, but they’re shifting towards certain niches. A lot of people are doing balconies and rooftop gardens. There are more products aimed at urban living and smaller patios.
Also, there’s been a trend towards better quality. Outdoor furniture keeps getting better—almost looks like something you can put in your house. For example, there’s furniture that looks like leather, but can be used outdoors.
Another trend is lighting. Outdoor lighting has gotten much better – more stylish. You see furniture and accessories with LED lights. Something that’s popular on our website is the furniture with lighted planters.
TCP: What’s the best way to protect patio furniture from wind, rain, and other weather?
MV: Everything we sell is durable and weather-resistant, but if you can afford to put a patio cover over your furniture, then definitely do it. A patio cover will keep you from needing to clean your furniture all the time, and protects it from birds. A lot of manufacturers make covers that are suited for their own pieces.
TCP: What’s the best way to clean your outdoor furniture?
MV: Mild household cleaners are fine for the frames. Most of the fabrics can be spot-cleaned with household cleaners. Nowadays, there are plenty of cleaners out there, so it’s pretty easy to do. The hardest material for people to take care of is stainless steel – mostly because they think they don’t need to clean it at all. You need to wipe it down, especially if you’re in a coastal area where you might get salt spray.
TCP: We loved your recent blog posts on outdoor curtains. They’re beautiful, but do they tend to get dirty? How do you keep them clean?
MV: They’re machine washable. Not only our brand, but all of them out there are made of machine washable fabric.
TCP: Can you hang them from most patio covers?
MV: Most people put up something to hang them, like a wire clothesline. If they have a loop at the top, you can just put up a rod. You can buy support poles and rods.
TCP: What are your favorite accessories for the patio?
MV: Pillows and rugs. They have really come a long way in terms of their quality. The pillows we sell can be used indoors and outdoors and look very nice. They’re extremely durable and UV resistant.
Lighting is another favorite accessory. There are lots of choices now and you can get electric or rechargeable.
TCP: How have you decorated your own backyard? What’s your style like?
MV: Definitely contemporary, with a monochromatic, black and white scheme. Not just contemporary furniture, but rugs, pillows, and lighting. Also, you’ve gotta have an outdoor tv. We sell them up to 55 inches now. They’re weather-resistant and work well in the outdoor light. They even work down to temperatures of zero degrees…if you want to be outdoors in that weather.