Our editors reflect on furnishings fit for the great outdoors.
THE PIECE: Delmi Hammock
THE DESIGNERS: Robert James Ramirez and Melissa Riling
FIND IT: pouch.nyc
THE INSPIRATION: A young company with an old-world touch, Brooklyn-based Pouch utilizes classic techniques of Central America to weave hammocks that suggest easy living amongst the chaotic lifestyle of metropolitan cities. The designs are elevated; the brand uses beautiful hand-dyed fabric and intricate patterns to create space-defining pieces that add movement and physicality to otherwise still environments. With roots in Chalate, El Salvador, Pouch’s corporeal approach inspires a more fluid living style.
A hammock offers… A fresh perspective on your surroundings. It has a purposeful anxiety-evaporating design: There’s a certain freedom and romance in the notion of being suspended midair, lying on your back and swinging to and fro.
The color… Extracted from plants and minerals, is hand-dyed, which infuses the yarn with its own wonderfully imprecise hue.
On craft: I love that this classic cradle is made by hand in collaboration with skilled artisans in El Salvador who use old-world handweaving techniques. Dedication to craft is a design trait I admire.
The Delmi Hammock… Is an “analog” retreat, a crocheted midair breather. I would relax into it (sans tech device) for a bit of daydreaming before curling up with a classic novel–followed by a proper afternoon nap!
I would place this hammock… In my backyard garden, under our majestic Royal Poinciana tree.
My favorite outdoor pursuit… Is a strenuous hike in the woods, which I consider a tonic for the spirit.
THE PIECE: Kantan Rocker
THE DESIGNER: Tadao Inouye
FIND IT: brownjordan.com
THE INSPIRATION: These rockers have history. Late Japanese designer Tadao Inouye originally created this award-winning chair in 1956 for Brown Jordan, and it is just as relevant today. Updated with a brass form and Suncloth straps in a melange of colors, the reinvented Kantan Rocker is at once minimalist and boldly sculptural. The fluid shape echoes the movement of water, while the lattice weave resembles a precisely laid stone patio; it is this juxtaposition that makes the design a chameleon that can blend and interact with many aesthetics.
Five words to describe these chairs: Surprising, bright, fun, colorful and comfortable.
The Kantan Rocker… Has the right amount of midcentury flavor combined with a modern approach to color.
I describe my aesthetic as… Midcentury Gothic. I live in a 1931 Spanish-style house, which still has a lot of its original metalwork and tile, but tend to gravitate to midcentury design in terms of furnishings. I’m also a big fan of color–one of my favorite pieces is our bright orange kitchen table my husband had custom-made. You’ll also find in my home a ton of art and design books we’ve collected, liberally sprinkled on most surfaces.
Color is… Always the way to my heart. But, I think balance is incredibly important. Generally, for a project to grab me, it needs to have a point of view and tell a compelling story.
I love outdoor living areas that… Bring a jolt of color into the landscape, whether it’s through bright cushions or pillows, an outdoor rug or a fun powder-coated finish.
THE PIECE: Bar Cart
THE DESIGNER: Henrik Pedersen
FIND IT: gloster.com
THE INSPIRATION: The bar cart continues to reign in popularity as a must-have in well-designed interiors of varying styles, and Henrik Pedersen’s model for Gloster takes the trend outdoors. His exhibits a mastery of restraint and a celebration of natural materials: The cart is constructed in teak, with soft joints where the wooden elements meet, and the trays are inspired by pebbles from the beach, molded and tumbled by the natural forces of the ocean. Much like a softly shaped stone, the piece has a tactility to it, drawing us in to trace the clean lines and examine each detail.
At first sight: This is a perfect casual-entertaining piece for summer parties. Outdoor furniture should never be too precious.
I would place it… On the patio of a villa somewhere on the beach in Southeast Asia–maybe Koh Samui in Thailand. I envision this bar cart pulled up next to me holding a cocktail and treats while I lounge in a hammock looking out at the ocean.
The exterior space of my dreams… Would be centered on entertaining, so this item would obviously play a role. One also can’t forget the point of being outdoors is to enjoy the natural beauty, so mine would be filled with flora and fauna, and the furniture would incorporate as many organic materials as possible.
I enjoy being outdoors… Even more during the evening than the daytime. I love watching the beauty of a summer sunset with friends and then gathering around a fire pit and talking late into the night. To me, that is the perfect alfresco experience.
The best indoor-outdoor transition occurs when… The architect, interior designer and landscape architect worked together as team, rather than separate entities.
THE PIECE: Daybreak Round Dining Table
THE DESIGNER: Marc Kurlander
FIND IT: linkoutdoor.com
THE INSPIRATION: Designer Marc Kurlander was inspired by the symmetry and repetition found in the contours of succulents to create the intriguing base of the Daybreak Round Dining Table, which is made of conjoined teak and stainless steel. Kurlander’s background in pottery and industrial design fostered a rich understanding in the constraints of different materials and the processes that contribute to varying outcomes of form and feel. The shape and details of often-overlooked elements–such as succulents–frequently influence his work, which often utilizes natural materials.
My first impression of the Daybreak table… Is its contrasting materials and how effortlessly the teak and steel join forces to create such a sleek yet functional outdoor piece. It’s a fresh take on a go-to item.
Where it belongs: This table would make a statement in an outdoor dining space for owners who desire the durability of teak but with a little more “oomph” in the design. Because of its clean lines and the band of steel on each leg, I can see this table working well in the exterior space of a more modern or contemporary home. But the silhouette also makes it conducive to any traditional setting.
When it comes to head-turning design… Furniture need not make a loud statement to qualify as a “statement piece.” I’m a true believer in the impact of a classic item made new again through a subtle twist. Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest impressions.
I’m always on the lookout for… Materials and furnishings that bring the beauty, comfort and ease of a well-designed indoor space to the outdoor experience.
THE PIECES: Ando Planters
THE DESIGNER: Joannah Kornak
FIND IT: hollyhunt.com
THE INSPIRATION: Executive creative director of Holly Hunt, Joannah Kornak believes these planters are an absolute necessity. They are the result of her own Goldilocks tale: After a hunt for new and exciting pieces to hold greenery proved disappointing, she created her own that are just right. Kornak’s approach to designing for outdoor living hinges on harmony with nature, durability and fun, all projected through an innovative and unexpected fusion of materials. Here, frosted resin and deep, blackened steel starkly contrast with the organic contents of the vessels.
What catches my eye… Is the surprising palette that’s an about-face from the standard-issue planter shades of gray, white and terra cotta.
On the form: Kornak has a gift for creating clean, contemporary pieces with an element of the unexpected. The simple lines fall into the “less is more” spectrum of elegance.
Looking at the colors… The lavender and chia shades are versatile enough to work all year round, indoors or outdoors, and offer a pleasing contrast to the green foliage the pieces are designed to hold.
About the material selection: The powder-coated steel bases offer ballast in terms of color and material to the vessels, whose resin surfaces have a serene opacity.
They are innovative because… Even something so simple as a hue decision becomes a design statement when it comes to planters. For the colorways, Kornak makes sure you’re spoiled for choice: They also come in blood orange, lemon, marsh, ocean, sky and deep sea. All shades pair perfectly with Holly Hunt’s Great Outdoors textiles.
The impression they leave: The Ando planters read as chic, modern and restrained.
THE PIECE: Virginia Bench with Herringbone Back
THE DESIGNERS: Anne and Will Massie
FIND IT: mckinnonandharris.com
THE INSPIRATION: The brother-sister duo behind McKinnon and Harris are antiquarians by nature who believe the garden is the extension of the home. With this in mind, they designed the Virginia Bench as an ode to their first collection, released in 1991, which featured benches inspired by the Regency style popular in England in the late-18th and early-19th centuries. This piece brings the look into the present with contemporary elements such as a complex curbing crest rail and tapered front legs.
On the brand: McKinnon and Harris have always reimagined traditional notions of structure and form without making their pieces appear anachronistic or unconventional.
The piece is reminiscent of… The garden bench crafted by the renowned 20th-century English architect Edwin Lutyens, who imaginatively adapted traditional architecture to suit the styles of his day.
To me, outdoor living is… About taking a moment to absorb your natural surroundings and exist in the present–enjoying a thrilling page-turner while basking in the sun’s ethereal rays or conversing with family and friends over a sunset cocktail.
My dream outdoor space… Consists of grass, a small field of wildflowers and a lattice-covered pergola with wisteria and bougainvillea growing above. This isn’t too much to ask, right?
What’s trending: Homeowners are striving to do everything outside they can do inside, so recently I have seen many outdoor cooking areas with pizza ovens and high-end appliances that are often found inside the home.