Decor that brings luxe outside
Innovations in design, materials and manufacturing have had a big impact on home decor — outdoors as well as in.
Besides advances in durability, there's now an expansive range of styles that designers can tap in to.
Luxury is one of them.
Think velvet cushions. Tailored detailing. Rich, soft upholstery. Lacquered or carved artisan-made furniture. And lots of other high-end elements that bring the elegance and sophistication of a richly finished interior to a home's outdoor space.
“Think fully upholstered sofas covered in performance chenille fabric that's just as soft as traditional chenille,” says Waynette Goodson, editor-in-chief of Casual Living and Exterior Design magazines. “Then there's Carrara marble tabletops, Italian volcanic rock finishes, and even natural brass, like Brown Jordan's classic Kantan collection.”
No more scratchy rugs
Casual Living's features editor, Jennifer Bringle, says decorative accessories, too, are being elevated.
“We're not talking the tiki torches and scratchy coir rugs of yore,” she says. “Innovations like solution-dyed acrylics, polypropylene weaves and water-resistant LEDs mean that outdoor accessories offer the same level of on-trend style and luxury as their indoor counterparts.”
Barclay Butera, a designer in Newport Beach, Calif., has a collection for Castelle that would look equally at home on a city terrace as on a suburban pool deck.
The pieces are made using the same techniques as fine interior furniture, with carefully finished joinery, hours of hand-finishing, custom detailing and thick, high-quality cushions.
Characteristics like these, including the use of marine-grade steel and durable tropical hardwoods like Costa Rican teak, are the hallmarks of top-end outdoor furnishings.
Prices tend to reflect the luxury features. Butera's three-seater sofa lists for around $5,000.
Tropitone's Cabana Club collection blends woven, metal and upholstery elements in roomy, contemporary seating inspired by luxe resorts in Bali and the Cote d'Azure.
CB2's new outdoor collection includes Ceci Thompson's French Riviera-inspired mahogany and cabana-striped sofa. A daybed poises slim cushions on an iron frame given a rich golden glaze.
European midcentury modern looks are also finding their way outdoors. For Gloster, Petersen's chic, minimalist Blow side table perches a sliver of teak on a smoke, coffee or emerald-hued ceramic base. And Cecilie Manz's Atmosphere collection pairs a curvy, powder-coated aluminum frame with a slim teak seat, then pads the sofa and chair backs in hues like nightshade, salmon, quince and lichen.
The new Lilly Pulitzer collection at Pottery Barn includes the designer's signature preppy-nautical prints on outdoor soft accessories, and crisp, white, trellis-patterned planters.
Many designers' patterns dispel the notion that outdoor furniture should be printed with tropical motifs.
Brown Jordan's Suncloth fabric collection includes menswear-style houndstooth, tweed and even sweater prints. Elaine Smith, a former jewelry designer in England, now designs runway-inspired luxury outdoor pillows.
Kim Cook is an Associated Press writer.