By Laura Love Bardell

The signs of spring are everywhere. Days are getting longer, the chill of winter is slowly fading, and nature seems on the verge of exploding with life and color. After being indoors for months of cold weather, our thoughts turn to enjoying time outside with friends and family. Now is the perfect time to rejuvenate your outdoor spaces with a fresh new look, expanding your entertaining options and increasing the usable square footage in your home.

Wondering how to make the most of your patio, deck or other outdoor area? Here are some of the top trends in outdoor furniture for spring 2018.

Use Indoor Styling in Outdoor Spaces

With so many improvements to outdoor furniture materials, it is easier than ever to decorate a porch, patio, lanai or deck in a way that reflects your individual taste. This spring’s outdoor furniture pays homage to trends for indoor furniture:  

Upholstery: Overstuffed and richly upholstered sofas and chairs need no longer remain inside. Modern outdoor fabrics look just as good as their indoor counterparts and are better able to withstand the elements, including sun, wind and even rain. To provide the best care for upholstered outdoor furniture, be sure to follow manufacturer recommendations for outdoor fabrics.

Rustic Farmhouse: Bring a touch of bucolic charm to your outdoor space—outdoor furniture trends for 2018 draw heavily on modern farmhouse styling. Look for sofas, chairs and accent tables made from natural materials, including weathered-look woods or woven rattan. Cushions with neutral hues—think warm greys, tans and browns—add to the look.

Urban Industrial: If you prefer an edgy mix of raw wood and metallic detailing, you’re in luck. Spring of 2018 is the perfect time to add mixed-material furniture to patios, balconies and decks. Select cleanly styled pieces that juxtapose live-edge wood with steel, iron, bronze or brass elements. Just like the farmhouse trend, urban industrial pieces feature warm greys and earthy browns. The similarities end there, though, as this trend also brings in bright pops of color, including rust, tangerine and mustard.

Adjustable Sectionals: Sometimes, outdoor spaces are the most flexible areas of our homes. There, we can enjoy quiet mornings with a cup of coffee, lunches and snacks on the patio, and al fresco dinners—the options are nearly endless. Today’s outdoor sectionals are the perfect fit for a multi-functional space. They offer numerous configurations and can be rearranged at a moment’s notice for parties, barbecues, outdoor movie nights and meals under the stars.

Consider Color and Pattern Trends

Outdoor spaces provide myriad opportunities for experimenting with bolder colors and patterns that may not exist inside the home. Here are some ideas:

  • This year, green is having a strong moment, as well as nature-inspired palm-print textiles and updated floral patterns.
  • Coastal blues featuring playful nautical prints and watercolor-effect patterns are also in the spotlight.
  • Bohemian patterns and globally influenced treatments for textiles and decor are on trend. Bedeck side tables with Moroccan-style lanterns and candle holders.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns in your selection of decorative pillows, throw blankets and rugs.

Add Finishing Touches

This season is all about bringing indoor comfort and style to outdoor spaces with details that make decks, porches and balconies uniquely yours. Set out a coffee table and coordinating side tables and decorate them with candles, centerpiece bowls and lanterns, opting for flameless candles in spaces where children or pets play. Fill outdoor planters with ferns, succulents or seasonal varieties and tuck next to chairs and ottomans for texture and interest. Illuminate the space with on-trend string lights made for outdoor use.

Last but not least, consider the floor. Easy to clean and durable, indoor-outdoor rugs now offer a multitude of patterns and colors that pull together any decor scheme. If a rug doesn’t fit into your plans, consider adding an outdoor firepit—another trend for spring 2018. Outdoor fireplaces warm up fresh spring evenings, cool summer nights and crisp autumn days. If you select a wood-burning one, complete the look with a sleek set of fireplace tools.

Laura Love Bardell writes for Crate and Barrel, where she creates inspirational, design-savvy content. In her spare time, she enjoys triathlon training and spending time with her pets and family. 

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