A Guide to Modern, Traditional and Transitional Furniture
Creating the perfect aesthetic for your outdoor space can be a little overwhelming. With new design trends popping up regularly, there are countless outdoor furniture styles to choose from; however, most furniture can be divided up into three convenient categories: modern, traditional and transitional. Read on to learn more about these looks and discover which one is right for your own porch, patio or backyard.
Sometimes referred to as “contemporary,” modern-look outdoor furniture tends to feature sleek silhouettes, clean lines and fluidly designed frames. While modern furniture typically leans toward a minimalist, less-is-more school of thought, there are many bold, attention-grabbing pieces that can be classified as modern (Woodard’s eye-catching Gelati Furniture comes to mind).
Additionally, when crafting modern furniture, manufacturers often utilize cutting-edge materials that offer superior outdoor performance and cater to green living—think Telescope Casual’s Marine Grade Polymer lines, or eco-friendly plastic lumber furniture from Polywood®. Though modern furniture has industrial influences, it doesn’t sacrifice comfort for the sake of style. In fact, deep-seating, full-cushioning and glider/spring rocker bases are all very common in modern outdoor seating.
Top modern outdoor furniture styles include:
Lloyd Flanders Contempo Collection
Telescope Casual Ashbee Collection
Woodard Metropolis Collection
Harkening back to past eras, traditional-look outdoor furniture features artisanal workmanship and designs that brim with rich details. Rather than create or anticipate trends, these pieces adhere to tried-and-true principles of craft and comfort. Yet, within the realm of traditional furniture, there is plenty of room for variation; the Homecrest Liberty Collection, takes its inspiration from classic American porch furniture, while OW Lee’s San Cristobal Collection sports noticeable Spanish Baroque influences.
Traditional furniture also places an emphasis on the use of natural materials (such as Lloyd Flanders’ teak tables ), as well as staples of outdoor design like wrought iron and steel.
Top traditional outdoor furniture styles include:
Lloyd Flanders Reflections Collection
Telescope Casual Villa Collection
Woodard Cortland Collection
Can’t decide whether you favor modern or traditional styles? Transitional-look furniture might be for you. Simply put, transitional furniture is designed to blend into a wide variety of outdoor settings, and can also coordinate with either contemporary or classic arrangements. Transitional furniture sometimes balances a progressive use of materials with a more traditional sense of design. For example, Telescope Casual’s Chandler Collection is made up of timeless slat-style furniture that features MGP flourishes.
Transitional pieces are also created with convenience in mind, and common attributes include quick-drying sling fabrics, durable aluminum frames and stackable designs. Because this furniture is versatile and easy to maintain, it’s a popular choice for both home and commercial settings.
Top transitional outdoor furniture styles include:
Lloyd Flanders Hamptons Collection
Telescope Casual Leeward Collection
Woodard Maddox Collection