Multi-tasking garden furniture: Outdoor furniture indoors

More and more Lazy Susan feel like our furniture is being asked to multi-task. Our customers want a patio table for the conservatory that can also be dragged outside for a family BBQ and still be completely fashionable and trendy all at the same time. Oh, and did I mention that it has to be comfortable too. With our desire for our furniture to be more versatile it’s no wonder that people are trying to bring the outside in. Outdoor furniture is becoming the newest trend in small apartment living in big cities. There are people bringing in outdoor patio seating to replace their sectional sofas and want pillows with outdoor material in their armchairs. This is definitely a way to bring unique furniture pieces into your home. If you have a small nook in your kitchen for example, then a small cast aluminium Bistro style table and chair set would be perfect.

Modern garden and patio furniture is becoming so stylish and comfortable that many people are bringing it indoors. Working with high-tech fabrics and some of the world’s leading product designers, cutting edge manufacturers are turning out outdoor sofas, easy chairs, tables and even carpets that can work outside your home or in your living room. Flexible outdoor furniture and accessories that is blurring the lines between your indoor and outdoor space. These pieces, many of them from Europe, are designed to provide interior-caliber looks and comfort for the outside. However, they can withstand the elements if necessary, although consumers seem to be buying them specifically for inside use and its not just for the conservatory. High-tech fabric and frames create a luxurious look and feel, plus a new level of durability for households that are alive with parties, children or pets.

Multi-tasking garden furniture: Outdoor furniture indoors

If your children spill a Fruit Shoot on a chair then you can simply take it outside and hose it off. Take the Mu collection (see above) from German outdoor furniture specialist Dedon. Founder and Chairman, Bobby Dekeyser says the collection, a collaboration with the Milan-based French designer Toan Nguyen, has definitely found its way into many a living room and he estimates that about a quarter of all Dedon outdoor furniture is used partly or entirely indoors. After three years’ extensive research into new fabrics and materials, Dedon launched its first full-fledged indoor-outdoor collection last year with French über designer Philippe Starck. Called Play (see below), it includes a series of stylish stackable chairs and tables with textured tops made from plastic and bamboo powder, a material that has primarily been used in flooring.

Multi-tasking garden furniture: Outdoor furniture indoors

Featuring a design that is elastic and durable, extremely lightweight and stackable, Starck defines the Play chair-armchair as ‘an idea that gives plenty of room to human intervention’. A piece of furniture that melds mirror-finish aluminium with solid teak, or polypropylene with the unalterable hand-woven synthetic fiber that has given Dedon its international name. Play is available in several colour ways, combinations and melanges of chalk and carbon, stone and terracotta, and bronze. With or without armrests, Play has inspired also ‘Play with Dedon’, a collaboration that encompasses ‘Bistro’, a table with a glazed porcelain ceramic tabletop that stands on a central pedestal made of moulded polypropylene, and ‘Dining’, a four-legged table in mirror-finish aluminium. And due to the use of an inert compound of powdered bamboo and plastic, the design is given the appearance of real wood.

Consumers like the versatility of modern outdoor fabrics, they tend to be a little more forgiving and stain resistant than conventional upholstery fabrics, plus there are many desirable options in terms of colour, pattern, type of material etc now which there never used to be in the outdoor furniture sector. Kettal, of Barcelona, is another compnay collaborating on outdoor furniture with high-profile ‘indoor’ designers like Hella Jongerius, who is based in Berlin, and Patricia Urquiola, who is based in Milan. The company recently launched its Vieques collection (see below) from Ms. Urquiola, featuring a newly developed woven nylon fabric that is waterproof. The fabric has a soft, natural feel similar to hemp, says Kettal vice-president and co-owner, Alex Alorda. The line includes an armchair, rocking chair and even a carpet that you can throw into the swimming pool if you so desire or use in your living room. The feel of the fabric is what has long set indoor furniture apart from scratchy lawn chairs or slippery sun loungers. The Vieques cushions are as soft as indoor cushions, but if you spill say coffee or wine on them, then they’re going to be very easy to clean.

Multi-tasking garden furniture: Outdoor furniture indoors

Kettal Vieques is a collection characterised by the combination of an aluminium frame with a new and revolutionary three-dimensional fabric, Nido d’Ape, with exceptional technical features, created especially for this collection and exclusively for Kettal. Patricia’s intention was to maintain the lateral aluminium double moulding but with a seat and back similar to taut netting, a soft and pleasant grid, in three dimensions, which Kettal have achieved after two years of research. Kettal Vieques is designed to be modular and consists of pieces for the living and dining room.

Multi-tasking garden furniture: Outdoor furniture indoors

The Gothic chair (see above) from Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel, the Dutch designers who make up Antwerp-based Studio Job, was one of the highlights at the 2011 Milan Design Week. Mr. Smeets coined the term “unidoor” to describe the chair’s suitability for both indoor and outdoor settings. Created especially for Dutch furniture brand Moooi, they were inspired by a 16th century-style neo-Gothic chair purchased by Smeets. The chair was recreated through an industrial method called rotational moulding. The functional and affordable archetype is designed for use both indoors and out, and comes in an array of 10 bright colors including orange, green, yellow, blue, red, pink and white. The chairs, which also feature contrasting studs around the seat, are currently on display at 2011 Milan Design Week as part of the Moooi presentation, The Unexpected Welcome.

Multi-tasking garden furniture: Outdoor furniture indoors

Swiss-based furniture company Vitra launched a major collaboration with Munich designer Konstantin Grcic earlier this year. Mr. Grcic’s Waver chair was inspired by his love of outdoor sports and can go anywhere inside or outside the home. Anniina Koivu, Vitra’s director of research, says the chair “has a hammock-like lightness” and is made from “strong and dense materials” used in outdoor sporting equipment. Ms. Koivu says the Waver would work well in a living room as a “contemporary lounge chair,” or outside under a tree.

The Waver armchair is the first collaborative project between Vitra and Konstantin Grcic. Waver embodies a new aesthetic, incorporating materials and construction principles from the outdoor sports that inspired the design. The idea behind Waver was to deliberately use no conventional armchair typology. Outdoor sports such as windsurfing and paragliding provided inspiration – the commonalities with the lightweight yet high-performance equipment used in such sports are abundantly evident in Waver. Waver offers a high level of sitting comfort combined with a simple technical construction. Like a paraglider in a trapeze, the user floats in a fabric-spanned seat, which is suspended inside the tubular steel frame by two belts and hung over the top.

Although the back is made of only one layer of fabric, it offers a comfortable contour thanks to its precise cut, at once supporting the body and allowing for a wide range of motion. The tubular steel frame is shaped to offer the flexibility of a cantilever chair, which when combined with a seat and neck cushion provide a level of comfort previously attainable only with conventional upholstered furnishings. As a swivel chair with a four-star base, Waver interprets a classic type of furniture with sweeping dimensions and unconventional lightness. The energetic colourfulness of the fabrics and the clearly emphasised connecting and functional elements give Waver its sporty look and feel. Its waterproof materials make Waver ideal for use as a garden or patio chair or as an informal and economical indoor seating option.

Cassina, of Italy, created buzz this year with the launch of made-to-order outdoor versions of pieces by Le Corbusier, including the iconic 1928 LC3 armchair. It uses a kind of stainless steel found in shipbuilding rather than the piece’s chrome-plated metal. Gianluca Armento, brand manager for Cassina, says the chrome-plated pieces can rust if scratched. He suggests combining the outdoor frame with the original indoor cushions. The company has carefully updated the materials and construction details to make these icons of the Modern Movement resistant to extreme climates. In complete collaboration with the Le Corbusier Foundation, with Pernette Perriand-Barsac; daughter and sole heir of Charlotte Perriand – and alongside the advice of Professor Arthur Rüegg, an historic authority on design.

Multi-tasking garden furniture: Outdoor furniture indoors

The collection includes the ‘Tokyo’ chaise-longue by Charlotte Perriand (see above) from 1940. The outdoor collection also includes some of the most important designs by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanerette. The seat of this chaise longue is composed of 12 curved wooden strips (teak, beech or bamboo). The joining elements connecting the strips to the bars below are satin brass studs. The base is in solid wood (teak, beech or bamboo). The mattress comes with water-draining polyurethane upholstery and stain resistant polyester yarn coated in PVC treated with an exclusive formulation, called Glen Raven, guaranteed totally mould resistant and ISO 9001 certified.

The collection includes the ‘Tokyo’ chaise-longue by Charlotte Perriand (see above) from 1940. The outdoor collection also includes some of the most important designs by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanerette. The seat of this chaise longue is composed of 12 curved wooden strips (teak, beech or bamboo). The joining elements connecting the strips to the bars below are satin brass studs. The base is in solid wood (teak, beech or bamboo). The mattress comes with water-draining polyurethane upholstery and stain resistant polyester yarn coated in PVC treated with an exclusive formulation, called Glen Raven, guaranteed totally mould resistant and ISO 9001 certified.

Multi-tasking garden furniture: Outdoor furniture indoors was last modified: by