Accessorizing with Outdoor Space Fabrics

Want to add some pizzazz to your patio or pergola?

Dazzle your guests by adding exciting and colourful outdoor space fabrics for extra elegance and ambience in your outdoor space. Outdoor fabrics have come a long way. These days, your outdoor sofa can be covered in a material that’s just as soft and gorgeous as the fabric on your living room chairs. The choice of colours, patterns, and textures has never been better.

Decorative and fun fabrics can be used for patio cushions, accent pillows, throws, and outdoor curtains as well as retractable shades for patios and pergolas to provide style as well as shade. So what should you search for when choosing outdoor fabrics?

Here’s what you should know about the latest and greatest outdoor fabric trends:

Design Tips for Choosing Fabrics
Brunelleschi Construction
Brunelleschi Construction

Bright and cheerful colors with vibrant hues and playful patterns are a big trend this summer season. Graphic and geometric – almost art deco-like patterns – are going to be popular. Ethnic tribal themes in sophisticated colors like spicy reds and golden browns or sunbaked yellow gold combined with warm gray are also fresh looks this year replacing the standard floral and tropical styles.

If bold and bright is not your style, you may prefer a coastal-inspired look. Coastal chic is popular for inside and outside décor this season and is fashionable and timeless at the same time. Try sea greens and blues paired with cream for a relaxed, tranquil feeling. Or pair deep navy with soft cream white with pops of red or bright blue to complete the look.

Of course, neutral colors never go out of style. In fact, you’ll notice that higher-end outdoor furniture favours neutral colors that will stand the test of time and trends. Popular neutrals this summer include grays, natural browns, or if you feel brave, you can try white upholstery. Neutral fabrics allow you to add your own flair and change styles easily with bold and bright accessories. This is a good choice if you have a great view since subdued fabrics won’t compete with the scenery.

When planning your outdoor space, use a similar style and palette to the closest indoor room for a smooth transition. Also look for hues and patterns that complement colors already in your outdoor space such as plants, patio furniture, and the color of the outside of your home. Keeping those tips in mind, your choice of design will depend largely on your personal taste and style.

Look for Durable Fabrics
Natalie Younger Interior Design, Allied ASID
Natalie Younger Interior Design, Allied ASID

New technology has revolutionized the world of outdoor fabrics. Today’s outdoor textiles are durable and resistant to liquids, stains, odors, mildew, and fading.

You’ll want to keep in mind some well-known names in the industry to ensure you purchase quality outdoor fabrics. Sunbrella tops the list, known for their ultra-durable fabrics along with a color selection that’s second to none. They offer fabric for shade structures, outdoor furniture fabric, outdoor draperies, and outdoor accessories including throw pillows, blankets and even rugs. Their fabric’s 10-year limited warranty for awnings and 5-year limited warranty for furniture fabric are the best in the industry.

Top Gun’s and Weldon’s water repellent and waterproof fabrics come with a specially formulated coating that will not harden, crack, or peel after outdoor exposure or in extreme temperatures. The coating adds UV, mildew, and water resistance but can also breathe so it will not trap excess moisture. These fabrics are often used for retractable shades and canopies that will be exposed to the elements.

Since fabrics come with varying degrees of water protection – water resistant, water repellent, and waterproof – consider your climate and the function of your outdoor space. If your outdoor fabric will be exposed to light rains, water resistant fabrics will be suitable. If you live in a climate with greater precipitation, water repellent fabrics offer more protection. Waterproof fabrics are recommended if your retractable shade, canopy, or cushions will be subjected to constant rain throughout the year.

Caring For Your Outdoor Fabrics
Harold Leidner Landscape Architects
Harold Leidner Landscape Architects

One of the best ways to keep your fabrics looking good and to delay the need for deep or vigorous cleanings is to hose canvas off on a monthly basis with clean water. This practice will help prevent dirt from becoming deeply embedded in the fabric canvas and eliminate the need for more frequent vigorous cleanings. In most outdoor environments, a thorough cleaning will be needed every two to three years.

Keep in mind these tips when purchasing outdoor fabrics and you’ll create an outdoor space you’ll be proud to show off to your neighbors, family and friends.