It's not too early to start fantasizing about warmer temps, especially because that rise in mercury means the start of Dallas' favorite pastime: patio season.
You should also get a jump on assembling your own outdoor oasis, and the experts at Sunnyland Furniture know exactly what's on-trend this year. Sunnyland has been a Dallas furniture fixture since 1946, and in 1989 David and Debbie Schweig bought the family-run company and doubled down on offering stylish merchandise at discounted prices, all with some of the best customer service in the city.
Today, Sunnyland has one of the biggest showrooms in the country plus an onsite warehouse and design consultant on staff. Its 365 delivery service means that local customers only pay a delivery fee once per year, no matter how many trips are made to their home. And, of course, set up is always included.
Here, David Schweig and outdoor design consultant Teresa Scott offer their tips for putting together the patio of your dreams.
Long gone are the days of one-size-fits-all outdoor furnishings. We now live in a world of complete personalization, and outdoor manufacturers have responded with furniture pieces that speak to a variety of trends and styles.
"This year has seen a wave of outdoor blues, mainly dark and spa hues, frequently used on cushion sectionals, accent pillows, and rugs," says Schweig. "In the past few years, dark finishes and weaves were a mainstay, but now light gray and driftwood weaves and finishes are the bestsellers."
White and neutral finishes continue to be on-trend, giving outdoor collections a modern and crisp look. White also pairs well with dark blue or patterned cushions, but combine it with gray or black and white striped cushions if you're going for an ultra-contemporary look.
Light it up
Nothing beats the ambiance of outdoor lighting, whether that's string lights, flameless candles, or fire features. Fire pits are now a highly sought-after outdoor centerpiece, and now they come in a variety of options.
"There are bar-height fire tables, large dining-sized fire tables, small coffee-table-sized fire tables, and low-profile fire pits," says Scott. "And fire glass has become a popular way to enhance the look of outdoor fire pits and fire places."
LED mood lighting is even being introduced into fire pits, like the O.W. Lee Zen fire pit which glows in over 1,600 colors and can be customized with different finishes and tabletop variations.
It's hip to be square
Square-shaped chairs are replacing curved arms, while geometric shapes are being used in the designs of everything from sofas and chairs to tables and accent pieces. Larger club chairs now have a seat at the table, and are replacing narrow, stiff dining chairs.
Cushion designs are also getting crafty, with hidden cushion seating taking on a common problem. Outdoor manufacturer Woodard has designed the Reynolds collection, which has reticulated foam hidden inside its woven furniture.
"It's a big hit for those looking for style and comfort without the fabric, and also keeps pesky squirrels from tearing cushions apart," says Scott.
Give the inflatable unicorn a break and stretch out on some in-pool furniture. More and more pools are being built with Baja shelves big enough to accommodate chaises and loungers that rest slightly in the water, and many — like the Ledge Lounger — have matching in-pool umbrella tables and coolers.
Some items, says Schweig, never go out of style. Ceramic garden seats have been a mainstay for years, he points out, and not only do they come in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes, but can serve as accent pieces and additional seating when needed.
Show some love
It's important not to skimp on taking care of the outdoor furniture you spent so much time picking out (and enjoying). When it comes time to store cushions, umbrellas, and pillows for the winter or before inclement weather hits, hose off debris and dirt and scrub with soap and water when needed. For special materials like ipe and teak, it's important to follow manufacturer's instructions for sealing and cleaning. Utilize protective covers and your outdoor furniture will look like new for years.
The Sunnyland experience
The sales team at Sunnyland Furniture has a wealth of patio furniture knowledge, and the company's low turnover (many employees have been there for 10 years or more) means that there's a good chance if you return to the showroom even years later to purchase more pieces, the original sales person will still be there to help you again.
Sunnyland has also worked diligently over the last 48 years to have a positive impact on the Dallas community, participating in sponsorships, fundraisers, and donations. Even its logo reflects this, with the 11 rays of sunshine representing commitment to its customers, its team, and its community.
At Sunnyland's Big Green Egg events, ticket sales always benefit a local charity — for example, at the Turkey Time Eggfest it partnered with Focus on Teens, which provides drop-in centers for homeless teens on high school campuses within Dallas and Fort Worth independent school districts.
Each year, Sunnyland also hosts the Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship. As the title sponsor, Sunnyland transforms its parking lot into a two-day event venue. With more than 20 vendors, celebrity judges, live music, and entertainment, the barbecue draws more 1,800 attendees from around DFW and benefits the Congregation Beth Torah and the Community Home for Adults.
Sunnyland Furniture is located at 7879 Spring Valley Rd. and can be reached by calling 972-239-3716 or visiting www.sunnylandfurniture.com.