Casual Market 2016
Another Casual Market Chicago has come and gone, and once again the show proved to be “the ultimate destination for all things outdoors.” We had a great time exploring the showrooms and exhibits, and enjoyed the events we were able to attend.
The outdoor furnishings market continues to grow and expand, bringing with it some new trends. Here are a few that we noted:
- Poolside cushions seem to be ditching furniture frames altogether, and have really become stand-alone cushions—think structured bean bag chaises with matching ottomans.
- Where frames are still included, there is a trend to make the furniture less bulky, while increasing the size and visual dominance of the cushions for a much more upholstered appearance.
- Fabrics featured bold patterns, and we saw ambitious pairings of different patterns on the same frame.
- The frames themselves incorporate great details with either texture or weaving.
- Outdoor lighting continues to expand, using eclectic bulbs and wireless lamps for side tables. It’s really starting to mimic what you see indoors.
- The custom furniture covers we featured in our booth drew a lot of interest from visitors.
Making the Outdoors Count
We attended Libby Langdon’s keynote presentation, “Interior Design Meets Exterior Design.” She spoke about how changing consumer lifestyles are affecting the casual living market. Langdon also pointed out that outdoor areas can be considered a part of a home’s total square footage, and provided tips for retailers to appeal to the growing demographic who want to furnish their outdoor spaces. She reasoned that consumers often underestimate how many days out of the year they can spend outside—once they realize how much time they have to utilize their outdoor space, they are more willing and excited to spend the time and money to make the area beautiful.
The continuing emphasis on the importance of outdoor spaces was a common theme at this year’s show. We noted a growing interest in adding furniture and textiles to even the smallest of outdoor spaces, such as urban patios and balconies.
What’s new at Easy Way
Because it’s one of the largest gatherings of vendors, manufacturers, retailers and merchants in the U.S., Casual Market Chicago always gives us a great opportunity to meet face to face with our customers. We had a lot to share with visitors to our booth:
- New products, including our new Eddie Bauer line
- Our new production facility
- Industry trends
Thank you to everyone who stopped by—we’ll see you again next year!