When Oxley’s Furniture first started making aluminium garden furniture in 1991 the concept of luxury garden furniture did not exist. Outdoor furniture was seen to be purely functional, providing a bench as a place to sit or a table and chairs at which to have a picnic. Sun loungers in particular didn’t seem to be created with comfort in mind. All furniture was made as cheaply as possible in plastic or wood using a lot of sling type fabric and there was no thought of making sustainable garden furniture in the UK.
In the thirty plus years since we started, the choice and range of the garden furniture available to buy has changed out of all recognition. The vast majority of outdoor furniture that is sold is still cheap and functional but at the other end of the spectrum, luxury outdoor garden furniture is available in the same breadth of choice as indoor furniture. The choice of material this furniture is made out of is vast, from luxury aluminium garden furniture to teak.
The change in the types of furniture available started to happen in the 1990’s with the creation of company’s such as Oxley’s, Dedon and Royal Britannia. These companies saw the advent of outdoor living on the horizon where their customers would want to entertain and relax outside, in the same way they did indoors. Oxley’s have always specialised in pieces of furniture that are not only comfortable and practical but are items of beauty in their own right. This has always meant that customers can choose the furniture that reflects their own individual style, finished in their choice of colour to work with its surroundings.
Before this, furniture was either wood, white, black or dark green. Dedon introduced the world to plastic weave in designs that were very contemporary and really introduced outdoor deep seating to the world through their use of this material in interesting shapes. Since then, manufacturers of luxury outdoor garden furniture have now been concentrating on the choice of style for individuals as well as comfort.
Not only has the idea of luxury outdoor garden furniture grown in popularity over recent years but there has also been a rise in the need for sustainable garden furniture. It is now more important than ever to provide luxury garden furniture that is sustainable. Manufacturers need to ensure that they are using sustainable practices throughout their business and align their values with that of the customer.
Another major development in recent years has been the astronomical expansion of variety in outdoor fabrics. For the first 10 years of business Oxley’s only sold cushions in ecru, spruce, taupe and navy! Now every order we sell has a different fabric from the wonderful choice provided by the best fabric houses around the world.
The concept of luxury outdoor garden furniture has not been around long, and it will be interesting to see what different trends and designs pass the test of time. Oxley’s has pushed the boundaries of what is possible with luxury aluminium garden furniture and look forward to seeing what we can achieve in both the luxury and sustainability sector in the next 30 years.