As outdoor spaces become extensions of our living rooms, and the boundaries between in and out relax, so contemporary patio furniture and lighting respond with design-led pieces for the open air and garden-ready counterparts of design classics.
Tropicalia Outdoor Armchair
Designed by Spanish-born Patricia Urquiola for luxury Italian brand Moroso, this colourful statement piece puts the humble stripy deckchair to shame. Its geometric tubular steel frame is plaited in thermoplastic polymer threads, criss-crossing in vibrant hues to create a multifaceted surface that’s both structural and graphic. With a knowing nod to op art painters such as Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely, the armchair is in itself a work of art. Urquiola’s Tropicalia range comes in a choice of colourways and also features a chaise, an outdoor bed and a swinging nest, proving that great design can be great fun, too.
Anglepoise Original 1227
The original Anglepoise lamp, designed in 1932 by George Carwardine, is the very definition of a design classic: it has its own Wikipedia page; it’s found Hollywood notoriety courtesy of Pixar; and its bendy anatomy has been imitated and reproduced the world over. Its evolution from office- to patio space, whilst staying true to its iconic form, is a welcome move for outdoor design lovers. This articulated wall-mounted lamp is part of Anglepoise’s Giant Outdoor Collection, and has been engineered specifically for garden use. Adding dramatic sculptural appeal to the modern patio, its imposing presence is a guaranteed talking point.
From £3,100 (anglepoise.com)
Lama Outdoor Chaise
When Milan-based Ludovica and Roberto Palomba designed this striking outdoor lounger, they took inspiration from the languid asymmetrical shape of Eames’ La Chaise, a 20th century icon, which in turn takes its cue from Gaston Lachaise’s sculpture, Floating Figure. Lama does indeed boast strong design genes – a tangible lineage in the very lines of the piece. Its painted steel frame is woven with nylon-reinforced PVC fibre, affording it a hard-edged aesthetic despite its comfy curves. A stylish update on the conventional sun lounger, the Lama chaise offers an edgier take on patio – or poolside – furniture, particularly in fashion-friendly black.
Sika Design Egg Chair
The Hanging Egg Chair was originally conceived by Danish design duo Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel in 1959. Bohemian in spirit, it became a true ’60s icon, foreshadowing Eero Aarnio’s illustrious Bubble Chair by almost a decade. The suspended wicker chair remains a firm favourite amongst design doyennes and brings a laid-back playfulness, as well as instant retro charm, to the contemporary garden. Its distinctive sculptural form offers the sitter an indulgent, cocooned spot that’s been ergonomically crafted for one purpose only: to relax in. Perfect for shutting out the world, this mid-century design classic is now more pertinent than ever.
Saarinen Outdoor Dining Table
Eero Saarinen’s “ugly, confusing, unrestful world” that exists beneath a table was the impetus for the American-Finnish architect to create the now infamous Pedestal Collection. It put paid to the muddle of legs, both human and furniture-based, that Saarinen found so troublesome, and in doing so, became a defining moment in modern design. Now, with the addition of all-weather materials, this instantly recognisable Knoll classic from 1957 is given a new lease of life outdoors. Its perfectly circular table top has been elongated to a 78″ oval, accommodating a few more guests – and their pesky legs – for al fresco dining.
£4,730 ex VAT (knoll-int.com)