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Once upon a time, home owners used their outdoor space for practical purposes only; often using the space to grow vegetables and build pathways for ease of access to and from the properties. However, as we have become more and more house proud, so too we have become gardeners and outdoor specialists; using our gardens to sunbathe, entertain, and create our own little pocket of natural beauty. As such, the growth of outdoor collections and specific outdoor brands has grown exponentially; no longer simply featuring in garden centres and DIY stores, but also now across homeware and craft shops, as we all seek to embrace the great outdoors and turn our patch of ground into something beautiful.
One collection which has surged in popularity is outdoor chairs and furniture, particularly with the population embracing “staycations” and the chance to enjoy the summer months from the comfort of their own back garden. One stipulation we know our members are interested in is outdoor furniture which can be easily moved and stored during the winter months – whether it’s a BBQ, outdoor chair, or even the decadent addition of a hot tub or portable swimming pool. Other popular collections and searches in the outdoor category include outdoor accessories – including solar lights and tools for gardening – washing lines and other practical tools, and outdoor products suitable for pets – including outdoor houses, water and food bowls, and even cooling paddling pools.
Our members love to learn about the best ways to encompass various style trends across their homes – and why limit this to within your four walls? Styling your outdoor space is an easy way to ensure an impressive continuity between the inside and outside of your home, and can turn a basic and quite boring patch of grass or patio into a haven to be enjoyed – with the addition of the right furniture and other products – from BBQ’s and hot tubs in the summer, to fire pits and blankets in the winter.
One of the most important things that we recommend all our members to consider when buying for the outdoors, is the space they have available, the access to sunlight they have in their own outdoor space, and of course the material that their chosen product is made from. Even in the height of summer, the UK is not opposed to a downpour of rain or some strong gusts of wind, and so making sure that any outdoor purchases are weather-proof is key to getting the best from your item. TOP TIP: Before investing in large outdoor items and pieces of furniture, consider the space you will put them, and ensure that this location receives the desired amount of sunlight or shade – depending on your preferences.
Aside from garden centres and specific outdoor retailers, homeware stores and independent businesses are gradually increasing the amount of outdoor collections and products they offer – recognising and acting in response to our growing preference for “staycations”. One particularly popular offering is for outdoor products that can not only be packed away for winter but can be moved in line with the movement of the sun, or transported for a day trip to the beach or a local park.