Inspired by nature with plenty of curves and visual appeal, new-look outdoor furniture is innovative, practical and unashamedly beautiful
An Aussie summer at home is the time to share long carefree days poolside with the family, and to relax on the deck and enjoy a casual brunch, or fire up the backyard barbecue and entertain your friends.
The sultry days of summer are longer, so there’s more time in the garden to plant festive and fragrant blooms, to nurture your lawn so it’s green and lush, and to put your hands in the cool earth to create a vegetable patch full of organic goodness.
During the global pandemic we reclaimed our backyards. We created more safe living spaces outdoors to relax in. And that mindset has continued; whether your outdoor spaces are compact or generous in size, a beautiful outdoor oasis at home has become an integral part of the way we live.
Creating warm liveable spaces outdoors with beautiful and practical furniture means you’ll want to spend more time there. Source quality furniture in timeless materials and beautiful colours and finishes and your new summer furniture will go the distance.
Perhaps there’s a need to update your tired alfresco setting or pool sun lounger? Or you may choose to integrate your existing furniture with other fresh new pieces, some of which you might not have considered before. As well as classic outdoor furniture, there are coffee tables, occasional tables, outdoor bean bags and plush outdoor sofas — all of these are hot property outside. Modern outdoor relaxation is taken to deservedly luxurious lengths with stylish day beds, ottomans, and modern bar stools and tables.
When designing spaces at home to relax in outdoors, be mindful of how those areas will be used. Will they be for large gatherings or smaller tête-à-têtes? If possible, separate your outdoor deck or patio into flexible zones that can be altered as the need arises. You might have a poolside space, an alfresco spot, a bar area, even a quiet zone where you can work outdoors on a sunny afternoon. Segment the spaces using screens, living green vertical walls, or you can also create separate areas with clever furniture placement.
Spaces that flow
This summer you’ll discover more furniture that can be equally at home indoors or out, provided it’s in a covered space. More durable fabrics and robust materiality is strengthening the indoor-outdoor connection. Always read manufacturers’ instructions carefully to maintain your pieces so they will last. Another tip: when including furniture outdoors, opt for similar looks to your internal spaces so there is cohesion in form and style.
Lush and lovely
Create warm intimate spaces with furniture that is comfortable, practical and perfect for lounging about on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Contemporary sofas are built for longevity and are unashamedly beautiful. Inspired colours like green or caramel offer an earthy connectivity to their surrounds.
Poolside you can relax and while away the afternoon after a refreshing dip. Outdoor pool furniture is comfortable, robust, plush and inviting. Pop an occasional table nearby for a cool drink and a book and you are all set.
Nude by nature
A soothing colour symphony made up of different hues within the spectrum of light browns, white and beige all fall under the umbrella of nude. A mix of dark and light can create both interest and harmony in outdoor spaces. Add some pastels for a subdued infusion of colour. Nude offers so much flexibility in design and it can, of course, suit any architectural style of home. Timeless and beautiful, nudes with fresh summer accent colours create a welcoming space you’ll feel right at home in.
Slimline and ’70s vibe
Furniture with clean lines that is durable and slender in form is popular. It’s comfortable, flexible and, of course, stylish. Look for pieces with patterns, muted tones, and sculptural form to make a big visual impact. Be playful and add some coloured cushions and accessories to complete the look.
Organic curves and materiality
Beautiful shapes inspired by the natural world represent a quiet simplicity and beauty in form. Weather-resistant wicker remains a strong materiality of choice — it’s timeless and beautiful. The look is a mix of modern and rustic. Generous padded cushioning creates an enjoyable space to relax in at home. It’s the ideal furniture for a comfortable get-together with friends or to host a casual summer brunch.
Using materials with warm materiality adds a feeling of understated luxury to your outdoor space. Organic rattan and bamboo are also popular material choices, and of course timeless timber will always endure. It does, however, require a little more work to keep it looking fabulous, or you can let it age naturally for a beautiful rustic look.
With a segmented or integrated sofa or alfresco setting, there are many potential combinations. It’s all about space saving, so modular pieces are perfect for balconies. Dual functionality saves you money, and modular pieces are unashamedly innovative and, of course, functional.
You can effortlessly create a beautiful outdoor leisure space your way to accommodate larger gatherings, or craft a more intimate setting. A modular sofa can morph into seating, and you can also pull it apart for separate pieces when you have guests. Two pieces and an occasional table tucked away can create a cosy nook.
More to store
Add an ottoman as a drinks table, or for extra seating or storage. With more time spent outdoors, the need for storage arises. Add some shelving to display items you love. For those you don’t, a variety of storage boxes can also offer extra seating when required. Storage bench chairs and coffee table drawers or shelves also offer storage capacity.
Crisp soothing white with a relaxed Mediterranean vibe adds an element of cool — this suits a Hamptons or coastal aesthetic. Or perhaps you prefer a minimalist or contemporary vibe? No matter what your taste, adding an instant pop of summer colour to your exterior living spaces gives it a fresh and fabulous look. Summer is all about fun and relaxation — it’s lively, playful and vibrant. Position some colourful scatter cushions on a cosy outdoor sofa and add a couple of light throws for cool summer evenings. A pretty outdoor rug underfoot adds texture, and some generous-sized pots filled with soft whimsical flowering plants will add to the ambience.
A selection of candles in fresh summer pastels artfully positioned on an occasional table can lift a space. Add some handmade ceramic bowls or vases with colourful blooms on an outdoor alfresco table for an instant feel-good look.