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Outdoor Furniture as Functional Art

GardenDesign.com published a great review of outdoor furniture from the Milan Furniture Fair.  We particularly like the press given to the idea of outdoor furniture as both functional and artistic.  Why should the modern indoor-outdoor lifestyle be anything but beautiful and practical?  We also like the trend in outdoor furniture becoming more richly upholstered – when you spend so much time “living” outside, why shouldn’t your outdoor furniture be on par with your indoor furniture?  Our favorite here is the Ligne Roset Serpentine chair (pictured above).  Can we say gorgeous enough?

One of life’s most fundamental acts, sitting, took on new meaning at the fair, especially with trends in outdoor furniture design. We saw many richly upholstered pieces for outdoor use—some with practical applications, others with elements of fantasy and whimsy. B&B Italia paired its retro line of Husk Outdoor recycled (and recyclable) plastic chairs with plush but decidedly eccentric waterproof cushions, a look that would work well poolside. Ligne Roset debuted its own equally arresting quilted and tufted Serpentine chairs by Eleonore Nalet.

Cabanas and tents seem to be ceding their traditional roles and evolving instead into true outdoor rooms, the most alluring example being Patricia Urquiola’s Cottage for Kettal—an inviting, pitched-roof structure with echoes of vernacular Polynesian architecture. (via All Dressed Up: Outdoor Furniture | Garden Design.)

Want your outdoor area to feel more like a true outdoor room?  Here are a few tips from us at Naturally Modern:

  • Furnish your outdoor space with high-quality, beautiful pieces consistent with those that furnish your interior spaces.
  • Use textures including richly upholstered outdoor pieces, pillows, blankets, umbrellas, etc.
  • Landscape, landscape, landscape – whether minimalistic in design or not, make the landscaping in your outdoor area like the artwork displayed in your home.
  • Do not underestimate the power of outdoor lighting – whether small ambient lighting dotting a pathway, or embedded in a fence… to full-on outdoor lamps and overhead lighting.  We especially like lighting on dimmers to create just a “glow” when you don’t need the full light spectrum.  Candles can also not be underestimated – tea lights can be your friend.

Good luck with your design.  We’d love to hear your tips for  luxury, modern outdoor living!

PS:  If you like the look and design of the Ligne Roset Serpentine shown at the top of this post, you might also like the new richly textured and upholstered pieces from Kenneth Cobonpue called “Rapunzel” – see below:


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