THE BOOM OF OUTDOOR SPACES POST COVID-19

Many of us would agree that the outdoor boom began as a necessity in the COVID era.

 

Confinement showed us our shortcomings in our homes, making us value every window, every balcony and every square meter, forcing us to adapt our homes to new needs and new priorities. Teleworking was installed in our homes overnight. Those who had an outdoor space turned to the adaptability of it, transforming it into a more comfortable and functional space, making the most of it and enjoying it. Others longed outdoor spaces and directly decided to change their lives and change their urban residences for more rural ones, where they could enjoy the outdoors. Thus, the outdoors have become the epicenter of the home, hosting activities that previously took place in other rooms of the house or outside of it.

Therefore, that initial need that seemed temporary, soon became a change in lifestyle that may have come to stay, although only time will tell, for now, studies indicate that there will be a sustained growth until 2030 of around 3%. After the COVID and after the long-awaited vaccination, everything points to a resurgence, in which people have a great desire to live, to recover “lost time”, to enjoy the outdoors, the beach, the sea, the countryside and the terraces. A boom in outdoor spaces that will be boosted in the new POST COVID era. But how long will it last?

What we can see for now is the clear transition that outdoor spaces are undergoing in the hospitality sector. They have gone from being used only when the weather permitted, usually in the spring and summer seasons, to being a space present throughout the year. That is why their adaptation has become a necessary task, which extends to the office. The uncertainty is whether this need will go beyond the Post COVID 19 era and will be here to stay, or whether it will be a temporary boom that will disappear after two or three years, and the interiors will regain their prominence.

Since the end of 2020, the demand for contract projects for furnishing terraces of restaurants and bars, rural houses and hotels has skyrocketed, representing a significant growth in sales of outdoor furniture. It is a sweet moment for the outdoor furnishing and in parallel, also for the adaptation of indoor furniture for use in ventilated indoor spaces or outdoor covered spaces, which are still semi-outdoor and which we understand will be the trend in new projects.

Many outdoor spaces are being redefined and transformed with all the style and amenities that were previously only found in indoor spaces. And in turn, indoor spaces will also be contemplated with this new vision to the outside, where ventilation, windows or views will take a great protagonism. Something that does not leave the new workspaces and the office world indifferent. A greater coexistence awaits both types of furnishing, where Outdoor and Indoor can end up merged in multipurpose spaces.

Materials are of great importance, as outdoor furniture goes from being stored for more than half of the year, to being pieces present during all seasons, which means not only thinking about greater durability of the furniture but also in greater comfort and cozy aesthetics of the room, with diverse budgets, beyond the luxury hospitality, which expand the market. Suitable outdoor materials such as aluminum, rattan and resin make room for other materials, such as steel, which is more commonly used indoors, but which with appropriate treatments and coatings with epoxy polyester paints, become perfectly suitable for outdoor or semi-outdoor spaces.

In terms of design, outdoor furniture has always had a not so seasonal expansion towards the Caribbean and America, where these spaces are the attraction of a climate that accompanies them almost all year round, so the design accompanying luxury, has always been very present and is certainly an added value of the big brands of outdoor furniture that have been projecting their sales to these exports. This contrasts with new spaces in places where the seasonal climate determined that the design could not be so relevant to be a temporary, seasonal, or even nonexistent furniture, now in this post Covid era, design and comfort in any outdoor covered or open-air space will come to the fore. We are looking for the concordance between indoor and outdoor furniture, often looking for a polyvalence, furniture that has a place in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

delaoliva, aimed at the office sector and new workspaces, shows in its seating attractive and functional options that extend the collaborative area of the office to the outdoors, with an internalised and localised manufacture within the Community of Madrid, which translates into a reduction of intermediate costs, a better delivery time and greater flexibility in the offer, thanks to the control of the production processes. With COVID-19, delaoliva shows new concerns that arise in response to the needs of its users and customers. delaoliva does not seek to enter a new outdoor furniture market, but to satisfy these new needs, giving the possibility of using and adapting its products to outdoor spaces through an extension of the finishes or a more correct explanation of the existing ones. The materials will always be the best allies.

Tubular and sheet steel are materials that form a relevant part of delaoliva’s furniture. And the epoxy polyester paint used incorporates a treatment that makes it suitable for outdoor use. Polypropylene casings are another material that is an ally for outdoor use. Therefore, to the question of whether they can be used outdoors, the answer is yes, although the steel may rust slightly over the years, with easy recovery with new paint, but let’s not forget that the paint used is for outdoors.

Other materials that delaoliva incorporates are upholsteries suitable for outdoor use, such as the Valencia collection. And to the sample book, it adds new options of specific fabrics for outdoors. Suitable for covered and ventilated outdoor spaces, and we could say for moderate outdoor use.

The collections that are incorporated into the collaborative OUTDOOR of the office world, are OUTDOOR chairs for outdoor collectivities: POPPEA, OLÉ, designed by Ximo Roca; NUK. And other collections for controlled outdoor use, using outdoor upholsteries are: JAPAN, PUZZLE, LOOP, HUG stools, WING 900 chairs and KUA and WIDE tables with 13 mm phenolic HPL tops.

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