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Design Outdoor Style Diary

Outside the Box

These outdoor rooms and furnishings will inspire adventures beyond your four walls.

We can all be forgiven for feeling a little claustrophobic lately, but the days are getting longer, and at some point in the not too distant future, warmer. Soon it will be time to open up the windows, put the screens on the porch, and dust off the chaise lounge. Taking advantage of the warm breezes and later sunsets can be done from the tiniest terrace to the most expansive wrap-around porch or flagstone patio.

Besides bringing great style to the great outdoors, furnishings and fabrics are now developed with a mix of new technology, including fadeproof, ultra-strong fibers, sustainable materials and traditional techniques. Gone are the plastic chairs that stick to bare skin and fade in the sun. In their stead, sexy styles that can withstand all kinds of weather conditions, can move from indoors to outdoors with panache, and can blend perfectly with any kind of decor, from midcentury modern to industrial to rustic.

The great outdoors is calling and soon we will be serving cocktails under the stars, playing cards on the veranda, and diving into the pool.


PAVILION’S MARINA collection of indoor/outdoor furniture, created in collaboration with celebrated designer Richard Frinier, was awarded the coveted Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, an award that was created in 1950 by design luminaries Eero Saarinen, Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., and Charles and Ray Eames. MARINA pays homage to the storied history of Miami as a destination for its legendary South Beach resorts and hotels. The design is a contemporary interpretation of vintage and retro-classic furniture updated with durable, weather-resistant materials in timeless, calm and relaxing colors.


GLOSTER’S Mistral, designed by Danish creative Henrik Pedersen, is a subtle and sophisticated design. Pedersen likens Mistral to a small, standalone hideaway, and suggests combining several units, “like a small, private archipelago where you seek refuge and hang out in lazy summer days.” The base is made of a tapered plantation teak platform supported by cast aluminum legs and finished in a durable, textured powder coat in a neutral Meteor color. The seating has upholstered slimline cushions and deep back cushions, and offers a selection of pillows to complete the look. The interchangeable back panels are handwoven in a distressed Koala-colored finish, and the large base can be configured as a sofa, left or right facing chaise, or a daybed. Ambient Pebble (left), also by Pedersen, is made from a natural stone base, which comes in either carbon (Nero Marquina) or fire (Terracotta, shown here), and comes with a resilient powder coated aluminum shade in matching meteor or terracotta. At the touch of a remote control, Pebble glows with soft luminescence. The lights can be solar charged throughout the day or plugged in with a removable cable, and the LED lighting offers varying levels of illumination.

RS Design Studio

In his own vacation home in Saugatuck, Randy Shingledecker of RS Design Studio wanted to import a Palm Springs resort feel to the Michigan countryside. Working with landscape designer Craig Bergmann, they created a pool area surrounded by turf in a grid pattern that echoes the architectural lines of the modern home. The home’s exterior features a Florida-style flat roof with broad overhangs and large windows. The porch (above), features patio doors that open fully to the outside, merging indoor and outdoor life. A sectional and pillows from Century Furniture provide ample seating and a comfortable break from the sun. Poolside, lounge chairs and tables by JANUS et Cie are perfect for sunbathing, and beyond the pool, another seating area with chairs by OW Lee is a great place for a post-swim cocktail. The dining area is complete with umbrellas by Anacara, dining chairs by Lloyd Flanders, and a bar table by JANUS et Cie.

Emil Garcia

In an historic Millennium Park residence, designer Emil Garcia of Centaur Interiors was brought in to renovate a recently purchased apartment with an ample terrace. The focal point of the project was to create a unique outdoor oasis for almost year-round use. The design team created a custom outdoor kitchen with concealed Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove appliances for entertaining, and a five-foot integrated Galley Workstation sink. The design features a floating steel trellis which integrates lighting, heating, water misters, and a motorized retractable awning. The terrace is fully outfitted with exterior grade televisions and speakers which are controlled with smart home technology.

Christa Abraham

Designer Christa Abraham of A+H Design, along with Warwick Hunt of Studio H Landscape Architecture designed this sunny and bright outdoor space for a private residence in Southern California, outfitted with stylish furnishings by MAMAGREEN. The vibrant STRIPE collection chairs, ottomans, sectional sofas and lounge chairs add a cheerful nautical flair. The BAIA Extending Dining Table provides ample space for outdoor meals. ALLUX sun loungers in white flank the inviting pool, and when it is time for a cocktail, the custom high-top table is surrounded by ALLUX bar chairs in bright orange for a splash of contrasting color.

Molly Wood

In a project by Molly Wood, an outdoor dining area is elegantly casual with the addition of the Lloyd Flanders’ Hamptons Teak collection dining chairs and table. The collection provides versatility, durability, and understated elegance, and includes freestanding sectional units, club chairs, arm and side chairs, occasional tables, and chaise lounges. The collection is available in 20 different finishes, including Hickory, shown here, as well as hues such as blue green sea glass and warm terracotta.


DEDON’S Tour du Monde continues, virtually, with these new collections imagined in spectacular style, amongst dramatic landscapes. Left to right: DALA by Stephen Burks is characterized by a weaving style so innovative that it has been successfully patented. Burks worked with colorist Giulio Ridolfo to develop new shades, including Rioja, Cuba, Bahamas, Ubud, and Ibiza. British designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby add the portable TIBBO foldable armchair, combining teak elements, a luxurious sling seat and backrest, and stainless-steel detailing. Sebastian Herkner’s award-winning MBRACE collection is beloved for its modern material mix, combining teak, woven fiber and an optional die-cast aluminum base. With KIDA, Burks has designed a hanging lounge chair that is the first collection to be wrapped rather than woven in DEDON Fiber. It features a cradle-like organic form that is open, airy, and inviting. Burks’ THE OTHERS is an anthropomorphic lantern collection that doubles as decorative art. The playful yet sophisticated line consists of a variety of hand-woven lanterns that can be used individually or arranged in totem-like stacks.