Velvet, marble and brass — yes, we're talking about patio furniture and accessories.
With innovations in design and more durable materials, the luxury you love indoors is now available for the outdoors.
Think velvet cushions, tailored detailing and rich, soft upholstery. “Then there’s Carrara marble tabletops, Italian volcanic rock finishes and even natural brass, like Brown Jordan’s classic Kantan collection,” says Waynette Goodson, editor-in-chief of Casual Living and Exterior Design magazines
Casual Living’s features editor, Jennifer Bringle, says decorative accessories, too, are being elevated.
“We’re not talking the tiki torches and scratchy coir rugs of yore,” she says. “Innovations like solution-dyed acrylics, polypropylene weaves and water-resistant LEDs mean that outdoor accessories offer the same level of on-trend style and luxury as their indoor counterparts.”
California designer Barclay Butera has a collection for Castelle that would look equally at home on a city terrace as on a suburban pool deck.
The collection’s aluminum frames are hand-cast, using a process that eliminates air pockets, making the material nearly as solid as iron. The pieces are made using the same techniques as fine interior furniture, with carefully finished joinery, hours of hand-finishing, custom detailing and thick, high-quality cushions.
Prices tend to reflect the luxury features. Butera’s three-seater sofa lists for around $5,000.
At Gloster, the Cradle outdoor daybed, designed by Londoner Henrik Pedersen, is a framed circle of powder-coated aluminum and teak with a thick slab mattress, and retails for more than $10,000.
Vondom collaborates with international designers and architects on high-concept resin décor with an edge. There are pieces embedded with LED lights and ultramodern pieces in gleaming gold and silver. Teresa Sapey’s Adan collection of giant faceted heads has an Easter Island vibe.
On the more affordable end, CB2’s new outdoor collection includes Ceci Thompson’s French Riviera-inspired mahogany and cabana-striped sofa.
And the new Lilly Pulitzer collection at Pottery Barn includes the designer’s signature preppy-nautical prints on outdoor soft accessories, as well as crisp white, trellis-patterned planters.
Many designers’ patterns dispel the notion that outdoor furniture should be printed with tropical motifs.
Elaine Smith, a former jewelry designer in England, incorporates dressmaker details like silky fringe, hand-crafted knots and jewelry embellishments onto Sunbrella fabric. Her patterns range from jaunty nautical motifs to animal and tribal prints to florals.