Summer is practically here, and the great outdoors await, but to enjoy the nice weather with family and friends, outdoor living spaces have to have enough seating and furniture to be comfortable. Of course, there are the usual folding chairs and string lights available at the big box stores, but with all the cool designs out there, why go the predictable route? New materials, shapes, and cool colors take outdoor furniture to a whole new level. These great styles will provide plenty of inspiration for your own patio or deck decor upgrade:
Fermob’s Surprising Teak chair is a new take on their steel favorite. The mix of materials is a brand hallmark and the result of a collaboration with teak expert Vlaemynck. It’s a durable choice for the patio, with a sturdy metal frame that is tempered by the smooth teak seat and back that add warmth and comfort. The of the pink finish on the frame is a vibrant accent and will rival the flowers in the garden for cheeriness.
Throw a Little Shade
The typical patio umbrella is round with a pole in the middle, but new styles like this Eclipsum by Umbroso are very different. More than just an umbrella, it’s a design object that will draw attention to the deck or patio. The large ring has a shade stretched inside it, creating a stylish, shade-making element that is offset, making it easier to position over chairs, lounges or a bar area.
A far cry from the usual outdoor lights, these Cyborg fixtures by Karim Rashid for Martinelli Luce are modern and futuristic looking. Made from high-resistance fiber-reinforced concrete, the medium includes different aggregates for texture and depth. The shape of the three-legged lamp makes the central LED light source more dramatic, concentrating the light and shadow it casts on the lawn and topography. The downlighting adds an artistic element to the yard or patio.
The Knit Look
Kenneth Cobanpue’s outdoor sofa and chairs wrap your guests in the seat like a comfy knit sweater. The outdoor fabric is fashioned into a knotted frame that has a very textural look. Instead of the usual woven straps, this is a trendier style that is very distinctive — and comfortable. The Cabaret set has a tall profile that is more eye-catching than the most common types of outdoor furniture. This innovative and versatile design can be used indoors or out.
A Swingin’ Seat
Copbanpue’s singular style of woven knotting takes another form in this hanging chair called the Dragnet Swing. The comfortable latticework shell comes in red and black. The process involved a stainless steel frame that is wrapped with fabric in a look that resembles a fisherman’s net, which was the inspiration for the design. It’s a casual and breezy form that will make any outdoor space feel more up-to-date.
Originally made from rattan, the Belladonna Garden Sofa from Sika Design is a durable and marvelous piece for a porch, patio or any jungalow-style space. The design was conceived by famous designer Franco Albini and now has been reborn in a weather-resistant version that includes aluminum and art fiber. The updated materials will allow you to enjoy the sofa for many years with a minimum of maintenance.
A Substantial Set
For those who prefer that their outdoor furnishings resemble indoor versions to a greater degree, the Swing Collection from Ethimo is a sophisticated option. The lounge furniture, which is the result of a collaboration between Ethimo and designer Patrick Norguet, feature metal as well as plenty of teak. The combination of vertical wood lines and horizontal metal lines creates a balanced look that is modern but never cold. The set, which includes chairs, sofas and tables, makes outdoor “living room” in the truest sense.
Outdoor Mid-century Twist
It’s as if Mid-century modern and island style had a baby: Kettal’s Vimini Collection by Patricia Urquiola has blended the best of both styles. Classic wooden silhouettes from the era mix with just enough outdoor wicker for a light but very design-forward grouping. In fact, the name was chosen because Vimini means wicker in Italian and sounds like Bimini, which is an island favored by the rock star Spanish architect and designer.
In what the company calls “Mediterranean meets the Hamptons,” the Marea chair by Andreu Carulla and Joe Doucet for Calma has two options depending on how free-wheeling you want to be. The stately, stylish and grounded version hangs in a sturdy wood frame while the other option is to be suspended from above, swinging as freely as the wind. In either case, the chair is deep, tall and meant for comfortable lounging.
Whether tucked away in a smaller backyard or sitting beside a grand swimming pool, this covered lounge bed, also from Calma, provides a touch of privacy for an afternoon nap or an escape from the sunshine. A slatted cover offers some shade, while the double-sided lounge design for a couple of people to lie down and face each other, facilitating conversation but preserving personal space.
Set low to the ground, the Ona Collection from Skyline Design Solutions features a pallet-like platform that is topped with lofty cushions set in a comfortable design. The simplicity and low profile of the pieces lend them a Mediterranean flair that focuses on the contrast between the wood and the deep cushions. The collection is ideal for a poolside location or a patio meant for entertaining.
The marriage of materials in the MBRACE collection by Sebastian Herkner for DEDON creates a tropical but sophisticated seating set that elevates any outdoor space. A little unconventional for the poolside, especially when compared to traditional poolside furniture, MBRACE fashions great style with a Nordic aesthetic from solid teak and woven fiber. The pieces include styles for dining as well as lounging in casual luxury.
Space considerations, as well as family size, can be considered with the Sensa sofa from Tribu. Units for seating one, two or three people can be combined into different configurations. The set has amazing versatility with its platform frame and pillow-like cushions that form not only the back but the seats as well. Moreover, the seats can be customized with regular or extra deep versions of the cushions. Integrated table sections made from glazed lava stone that can be included at any point in the layout and the frame is crafted from powder-coated aluminum, available with match or teak wood legs.
Elegant Outdoor Dining
It used to be outdoor dining meant a picnic table with benches, but fortunately our desires — and the designs to meet them — have improved by leaps and bounds. One of the chic options is Tribu’s Tao table collection. The slim, sculptural pedestal of the dining table supports a thin table top made from refined lightened concrete. Designer Monica Armani reportedly aimed for a look of “elegant solidity,” which it certainly has. The table is flanked by the Tosca dining chair, which has a powder coated stainless steel frame that is woven with an innovative material. The braiding is actually foam mousse is encased in a seamless sheath of knitted textilene and polyolefine which makes the chair super soft as well as weather-resistant.
An Airy Chair
Sometimes the setting calls for a piece with a lighter air than a substantial armchair or sofa. This is the case for the Nodi chair, also from Tribu. The spare geometric metal frame is paired with a seat and back fashioned from weather-resistant interlaced rope made of Canax®. The minimalist aesthetic has a modern feel yet is still somehow refined and casual at the same time. The seat is angled downward for comfort as well as a welcoming presence.
Poolside Canopy Bed
The outdoor version of a traditional canopy by Tribu offers more luxury than the indoor style. Next to any body of water, the Pavilion Daybed by Monica Armani for Tribu can be customized as a minimal covered design or outfitted with sheer curtains that add a bit of privacy when desired. Available in different paint finishes, the powder-coated aluminum frame supports a canopy of smooth teak slats that offer a little shade and a sense of protection. Thick, comfortable cushions present a very welcoming spot for long periods of lounging.
A very decorative set with low-profile lounge units, the Eddy Collection from Italy’s Flexiform offers endless comfort. The main structure is very light yet durable, made from stainless steel 316. The pieces are upholstered in hand-woven polypropylene fiber offered in a range of sophisticated colors, all featuring a breathable yet water-repellent liner inside. Whether you choose a pale earth tone or a deep bordeaux, the pieces will add modern sophistication to your outdoor living space. The base is crafted from marine plywood.
The iconic Mah Jong sofa from Roche Bobois has been an indoor favorite since designer Hans Hopfer created it in the 1970s. Now, you can have this low-set design for your outdoor space as well. The absolute freedom in designing and arranging the elements are much like its namesake game because you can move the units at will. The overall vibe is very artsy and casual, with absolutely no pretense. While solid colors are available, today’s versions also include upholstery collaborations with some of the world’s greatest designer.
A Natural Look
Launched in 2017, The Erica collection from B&B Italia has a natural look thanks to its light but earthy colors, both for the upholstery as well as the woven design. The seats can satisfy personal preference with three seat depths and different types of upholstery, which is surrounded by the criss-cross woven pattern. The overall appeal is the level of comfort combined with a natural feel that works amid the trees and grass, as pictured here, or beside a swimming pool.
A Modern Oval
Oval tables have long been a favorite for indoor dining and now that softer, rounded form is available for the outdoors in a modern iteration. The Ellisse table from Varashin Outdoor Therapy is ideal for a terrace or garden and is made of powder coated aluminum that is available in a range of colors, in addition to customized high-pressure laminates that feature a marbled look. It is paired here with the Summer Set dining chair by Christophe Pillet.
Small families that love to entertain will find an extendable table a must-have for the patio or deck. The Piper table by designer Rodolfo Dordoni for Roda is a mix of durable and stylish materials. The main structure of this simple but elegant table is stainless steel with a top made of Lapitec®. This material is an innovative full-body sintered stone that is created in large slabs, which enhances the aesthetic value but maintains the high physical and mechanical properties, much like a technical porcelain. The utility of having a modestly sized table for daily use and a larger one for gatherings cannot be overstated.
Is it a lounge chair or a sofa? Or both? It doesn’t matter when the piece is as comfortable and stylish as the ARENA by Roda. If you have room for one lounging piece, make it this one by designer Gordon Guillaumier because it’s perfect for snuggling in solo or sharing it with a second person — or several children. It fits the definition of casual seating that is great poolside but also makes a smaller outdoor space far more functional.
Minotti’s Quadrato seating pieces are said to be inspired by the classic teak duckboard used in the yachting industry as well as the Japanese Metabolist architecture of the 1950s and 1960s. Designed by Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, the modular system is based on suspended square platforms that serve either as tables or as the base for seating units. The design is very refined but has the casual appeal that consumers desire. The large unit is a combination of a lounge chair and a sofa that can accommodate a number of people.
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