According to Michael Yaraghi, the owner and president of Safavieh, a home furnishings brand with 12 locations in the tristate area, including four Long Island storefronts, the significance of the outdoor space within the home setting has greatly increased.
“The outdoor space right now is becoming very important in people’s lives, especially here out east where the warm weather season is very short,” said Yaraghi.
The increased emphasis on the outdoor space has changed the landscape and perspective of outdoor furniture.
“The nature of outdoor furniture has changed,” said Yaraghi. “A lot of the fabrics, they are becoming indoor/outdoor. The outdoor feeling that was just outside is also coming indoors. Some of the outdoor furniture is actually being used inside homes because of the casual lifestyle these days.”
According to Yaraghi, this fusion between indoor and outdoor furnishings can be credited to the increased popularity of the open concept design and laid-back lifestyles. When homes are more open, the outdoor patios and sunrooms are more likely to be prioritized.
“That open concept you see in the homes, beforehand, there were formal living rooms, formal dining rooms, formal kitchens,” he said. “Now, it’s all one big room, all open and you have this flow of just walking in a big space.”
With new innovations in fabrics, making them waterproof and weather resistant, Yaraghi insists that comfort does not need to be sacrificed while furnishing outdoor areas.
“The very important point I will make is comfort,” he said. “Make it comfortable and relaxing, where you can actually sit there and feel that you’re not sitting stiff in a plastic chair. The technology of fabric has improved a lot, it’s almost hard to tell what’s an indoor fabric or an outdoor fabric.”
Among the indoor elements being seen in outdoor design are sectionals, deep sofas, large dining tables with cushioned seating and even artificial plants. With the new fabrics and the use of organic materials, like teak, marble, stone and Rotan, outdoor furniture has become more comfortable and more durable.
That heavy presence of organic materials and the mixing of textures has changed the overall aesthetic of the outdoor design.
“It makes the outdoor area look a little bit more interesting than just being a cookie-cutter type of look,” said Yaraghi. “Organic material has a live edge look, it has that unfinished look, but its beautiful.”
While making outdoor furniture purchases, Yaraghi advises that it will be worth it to buy high-end, quality products and work with a designer to plan how to use the available space.
“Buy quality product with good brand names,” he said. “Make sure that you work with a designer that can scale the furniture and measure the space to put it where it fits best.”
Overall, Yaraghi suggests visiting a showroom, like the one at Safavieh, to make the most informed purchase possible.
“If you buy a product on the Internet, it may be inexpensive, but it will probably fall apart in six months, and there will be no way to make sure it fits in your home,” he said. “Come and visit our showroom. You can see a variety of colors and designs and be able to make a smart decision.”
Safavieh Home Furnishings is located at 2 Channel Dr., in Port Washington.