Time spent outdoors is more valuable than ever before, with most people around the world spending the majority of their time at home due to the COVID-19 crisis, only able to enjoy the change of seasons in a limited capacity. Surely those with access to sunshine and outdoor spaces – backyards, gardens, terraces and the like – are already making full use of them after days spent indoors; BBC reports that sales for home and garden products have surged as result of the pandemic. But even as restrictions ease up, it’s safe to say these domestic, private green havens will play a much larger role than normal in people’s lives this year, considering 2020 events and trips are still being cancelled left and right. That means that now is the time to outfit your great outdoors with design products that are not only durable and sustainable, but visually pleasing too – the promise of retreat makes these times all the more liveable.
A two-seater sofa, round-top coffee tables in two sizes and an armchair comprise Thea, a lounge collection by Roda (pictured in header). The outdoor and garden furniture manufacturer enlisted the expertise of hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany to devise the inviting system. Taking its name from the South American plant Calathea, the aluminium framed, traditionally finished collection reflects shapes found in nature.
Patricia Urquiola’s Andreu World seating collection Nuez Outdoor brings sophistication to exterior environments. Building upon an interior range of the same name, the outdoor chairs can be selected with either a sustainable four-legged teak base or a specially treated metal sled base. For added comfort, users can fit the soft-coloured seats with removable cushions.
Lightweight, stackable and produced in 14 hues, Fast’s Ria chair is a match for both residential and contract settings. Designer Alberto Lievore took inspiration from the Galician coast and Norwegian fjords while drafting the silhouette of the die-cast aluminium body. Eventually this premier model – made complete with fabric or eco-leather cushions – will be supplemented with other variants that maximize Ria’s versatility.
Flexform officially launched its first outdoor furniture collection during the 2019 Salone del Mobile, a reflection of the brand’s observation of shifting attitudes surrounding exterior living. Antonio Citterio’s 2004 design of the Peter chair, for example, was upgraded for the outdoors by replacing the cowhide seat and backrest with polypropylene and selecting high-performance stainless steel for the structure. ‘Basically, nothing has changed as far as the design goes, but we had to concentrate on selecting materials that would withstand any weather conditions,’ says Saul Galimberti, director of Flexform’s R&D department.
Embracing. Structural. Refined. These are all words that describe Folio, an armchair created by Raffaello Galiotto for Italian outdoor furniture brand Nardi. Made from a sheet of perforated fibreglass resin, the design has two iterations: one with a fixed base, the other a rocking version. Simple reclining mechanisms and soft internal padding make for an effortless, relaxing lounging experience.
Belgian carpeting pioneer Limited Edition combines aesthetics with innovation and quality, creating products that pair traditional braiding and hand-stitching with simple graphic patterns. UV-resistance, easy maintenance, waterproofing and anti-slip properties are only a few of the perks that come with the company’s outdoor carpets. Pictured is the Poolside range, which is offered in a variety of natural colours ideal for any swimming space.
With its latest project, Italian company Corradi wanted to go beyond the idea of developing another outdoor product – architectural structure Imago, rather, is a space to be lived in. Three versions of the self-sufficient solution – Gourmet, Feeling Good and Dreaming – enable a user to create a functional kitchen, wellness or bedroom area outdoors, pushing the boundaries of the exterior.
SOLANAS CHAISE LONGUE
Argentinian architect Daniel Germani developed the outdoor furniture collection Solanas for Gandia Blasco. A sculptural chaise longue is one of an array of new additions to the product family. Its structure, like all of the Solanas pieces, is made of aluminium: thermo-lacquered welded profiles and microperforated sheets. A water-repellent seat makes the chaise ready for poolside relaxing.
Sharply linear in its construction, Vondom’s Frame collection is informed by elementary geometry. Designer Ramón Esteve and Vondom aimed to help users create serene and timeless shapes in their outdoor environments. The Frame aluminium tables, lacquered with a black or white finish, are constructed in a variety of sizes. What’s more? They’re fit for indoor use, too.
LA LAMPE PETITE
Sunbrella x Maiori
Providing illumination in interiors and exteriors, La Lampe Petite has an unparalleled solar energy conversion ratio. A product from lighting company Maiori and performance fabric leader Sunbrella, the easy-to-carry lamp shines for up to nine hours after a full day in normal sunlight. The hybrid module also has Bluetooth capability, rendering activation and programming seamless.
Christoph Kahleyss and Birgit Hoffmann are the designers behind Leyasol, a collection of outdoor furniture – also suitable for indoors – based on Freifrau’s classic Leya line. ‘Essentially, we’ve made Leya ready to go outside,’ explains the duo, ‘and the way we did it was to develop a fine, yet weather-resistant wire frame which replicates the shape of the characteristic Leya shell.’ The versatile Leyasol range includes a bar chair, chair, lounge chair, wingback rocking chair, wingback chair and swing seat (pictured).