January 21, 2021


We truly believe in the potential of the outdoors. Looking ahead, we feel confident that access to safe outdoor spaces will continue to encourage and nourish people now and well into the future. Reports and studies consistently show that getting outside and connecting with nature provides numerous benefits to our overall health and wellness. So, what does that mean for site furnishings? Site furniture is an increasingly important element to public space design. It is essential in welcoming outdoor interaction and guiding how an outdoor space is used or perceived.

Easton Table Bench

Over the past year, we have seen signs of emerging trends in landscape design and outdoor furniture installations that are relevant to creating functional, healthy outdoor spaces for long-term use. Read on for our 2021 commercial outdoor furniture insights.


Dining out has taken on a new meaning and the shift to more outdoor dining options is a trend that may be here to stay. Whether it is an individual restaurant offering outdoor seating, or a town or park providing a common area of picnic tables, commercial-grade outdoor tables have become a necessity in public space management. Powder coated steel table options have the weight and durability to stay in place through any weather and the ability to easily be wiped clean between uses.

Court Yard Table

Lamplighter Bench

Large table tops have also trended for park and office settings to give flexibility in spacing and seating capacity while offering outdoor social and work spaces.

Penn Table Stadium


Among the many things that have been taken outside this year, the education industry has realized the opportunity to engage students in new ways through outdoor settings. Whether it is increasing entrance seating, adding playground buddy benches or including table sets for outdoor classrooms and cafeteria extensions, education has gone beyond the classroom in new ways that will continue to be important in cultivating beneficial student growth experiences. Our kid-sized outdoor furniture has consistently been finding its home in school and daycare settings.

Atticus Bench with Litter at School


Open streets, outdoor markets, curbside shopping - our streets are no longer just a place to park. Parklets and the use of other sidewalk and alley spaces have become new opportunities to increase outdoor seating and promote safe patronage of local businesses. Benches, tables, trash cans and bike racks are vital to encourage walking, window shopping, dining or biking through town. Whether you are retrofitting your existing sidewalks or starting a streetscape overhaul, plan for wide open spaces, walkability and well-furnished areas for outdoor community usage and public events.

Schenly Benches

Penn Tables in Parklet

Bike Rack Reading


If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to be ready to adapt. That holds true for public spaces. It is important to have the ability to be flexible and adapt to the changing needs of crowd management. Lightweight chairs and single seating benches give pedestrians the flexibility to create their own spacing and adjust distances to their own comfort levels. We have seen increased installations of 2 ft versions of our benches to act as individual commercial-grade chairs. We have also customized benches with clear separation to encourage private space among users.

Exeter chair and Atticus Bench

The use of free-floating movable chairs has been a rising trend in recent years that has gained even more relevance lately. It gives the user a freedom to improvise while creating an inviting atmosphere. To that extent, we recently launched a series of lightweight, stackable and movable chairs. The Mingo, Lexi, Coda, and Preston chairs allow for mix and matching table set designs and they provide the flexibility for a property owner to easily create or quickly remove seating options as needed.

Lightweight Chair


Of course, equipping the outdoors sometimes can only go as far as the budget allows and this past year has seen no shortage of budget restrictions as well as creative fundraising solutions. Sponsorship benches have always been a great option for colleges, downtowns and other organizations on a tight budget. Use personalization and customization to offer benches and other site furnishings as a way to raise money for improvement and revitalization projects. A bench sponsorship program generates pride in the local community and solicits passionate involvement from those seeking to recognize or memorialize someone while improving outdoor spaces.

Lampligther bench with plauqe


Public health still currently remains at the forefront of people’s minds and there will continue to be an attentive focus on the cleanliness of our community spaces. For that reason, we have standardized our Gloss Black Keyshield® powder coat finish to include a silver-ion, anti-microbial additive that prevents the growth of pathogens and is easy to clean and disinfect. What has been popular in the healthcare industry for years is now available for the safety of our outdoor spaces and site furnishings.

Gloss Black Powdercoating

As you plan new projects, upgrades or replacements to your properties this year, consider how landscape design can inspire confidence in the outdoors and promote safe engagement within your communities. The warmer temperatures of spring will be here before we know it and now is the time to plan the outdoor spaces that will welcome families, students, employees, pedestrians and more back into the fresh air of nature. We recognize that staying in may still be necessary at times, but we can still help shift the focus to preparing safe ways to get out.