Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Carefree Summer Furniture

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Carefree Summer Furniture

Article excerpt

RELAX. WHILE SPRING brings a million things to do outside, worrying about your outdoor furniture no longer has to be one of them.

Thanks to dacron, aluminum, faux wicker and other up-to-the-minute materials, you don't have to run out and grab your chair or cushions every time the sky clouds up. You don't have to worry about metal rusting when it rains.

"You can just sit on your deck in your high-back chair and fall asleep," says Mark Acord, manager of Seasonal Concepts, 14121 Manchester Road in west St. Louis County. "The high-back is the most popular chair right now - the aluminum and fabric sling, without a cushion," he says. "It dries out in 15 minutes." For traditionalists, there is wicker look-alike furniture that can be left out in the rain. "We're seeing a lot of interest in woven vinyl over aluminum frame," says Joe Forshaw of Forshaw of St. Louis, 825 South Lindbergh Boulevard in Ladue. "It's really more comfortable than wicker because it gives a little more. And they've improved the cushions so much, they really are outdoor. They're made of tiny strands of acrylic fiber, and with the synthetic stuffing, if they get wet, you just turn them on their sides to drain the water out." Acord agrees. "One of the most popular four- or three-season type furniture is an all-weather wicker that has an aluminum frame and bands woven of stainless steel and fiber." Most wicker lovers choose old-fashioned styles, curving Victorian rockers and sofas with plump cushions. Cast aluminum is another favorite of traditionalists, Forshaw says. "For the higher-end customers, the ornate, old-fashioned cast style with dolphins and stars is always popular," he says. "And St. Louis has always liked the plain-vanilla wrought iron like Woodard diamond mesh." Woodard, one of the major manufacturers of outdoor furniture, has "some nice, new pieces with coil base spring chairs," Forshaw says. …

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