As the days finally begin to get longer, we’re looking forward to those bright sunny afternoons that stretch seamlessly into warm summer nights. Whether looking for a comfortable lounge chair to soak in the sun with drink in hand or a sturdy table to load up with food and friends, these six modern outdoor furniture collections bring a splash of style to both private and public settings.
Named for the small, barely populated island that sits in the Øresund strait between the much busier cities of Copenhagen and Malmö, the Saltholm collection by Skargaarden was inspired by the notion of being both near and far, of creating moments of togetherness that are removed from busy everyday life.
But while the islet that informed the collection is spartan, the end result is far from austere: The oversized seats – both wide and deep – offer a luxuriously and comfortable counterpoint to the symmetrical framework of shapely dowel-like armrests and legs. Made from teak – a favourite material of the Scandinavian furniture maker for its resilience and strength in harsh climates – Saltholm includes a sofa, lounge chair and ottoman as well as a circular side table, and could work just as well indoors thanks to its relaxed elegance.
For its first-ever outdoor collection, Geiger transformed the popular Crosshatch settee and lounge chair using durable teak rather than the ash or walnut of the original indoor version, designed by Eoos in 2014. In keeping with its forerunner, the al fresco variant is defined by its gentle curves and signature diamond-patterned cording – made from all-weather nylon parachute chords, the intricate detail is both decorative and structural as the non-stretchable webbing will maintain its tautness overtime.
Visually and physically lightweight, Crosshatch Outdoors from Geiger makes a handsome addition to a variety of settings, from private backyards to office patios with the lattice-like back creating an enveloping nest; covered in weather-resistant linen-like Sunbrella Heritage fabrics (in charcoal or papyrus), the removable cushions can be securely tied down. The coordinating Crosshatch coffee table features an elegant cross-brace frame and slatted top that prevents rainwater from puddling on the surface (an ottoman and circular side table round out the collection).
When conceiving the Palmera collection for Pavilion, Stark Scott Studio took inspiration from a classic summer vibe – relaxing in the contoured embrace of a hammock while watching the dazzling shadow-play created as sunlight streams through palm trees. Wanting to deliver a similar “sense of place,” the designers studied ancient Caribbean hammock-making techniques and translated them into Palmera’s (Spanish for palm tree) sculptural wireframe seat.
Suspended from a continuous-line frame, the sling-like seat is comprised of 28 curved steel rods that are first laid by hand and then bonded into place with 148 resistance welds – an approach that blends handcraft with modern manufacturing processes. The expressive lines and tapered legs lend an appearance reminiscent of palm fronds, while the dimensions of the chairs (and matching tables) are carefully calculated to feel generous and roomy but also efficient for use in contract and hospitality settings, where space is a premium. A thickly padded cushion coupled with the precise seat heights and recline angles enhance the tranquility of an afternoon in the sun. Along with a rocking chair, lounge chair and ottoman, Palmera from Pavilion includes a dining chair and three dining tables plus coffee and side tables.
The curious name of Neri&Hu’s collection of outdoor furniture for Portuguese brand De La Espada is based on what German physician Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich determined in 1868 to be the “normal” body temperature. Translating that innately calibrated and ideal balance between too high and too low into a furniture set, the designers created the deceptively simple 98.6°F.
At first glance, the series – which consists of a dining side chair and armchair, dining table in two sizes, a bench, a side table, a coffee table and a sofa in three lengths – appears conventionally straightforward. But a closer examination reveals its intricacies and “tectonic sophistication.” Made from black-oiled European oak, the chair frames utilize a pinwheel construction, with the three axis points reinforcing each other and negating the need for under-seat support. Wide slats join the two structural sides, creating a pleasing rhythmic pattern that is most prominent in the longer dining table and bench. A gentle curve on the back and seat lends an overall softness to the architectural characteristic of the collection.
To serve as striking companions to his Bellmonde dining table for Dedon, Danish designer Henrik Pedersen has devised an armchair and lounge chair that are intended to cultivate a “chill-out atmosphere” and bring people together. After determining that curved and rounded shapes are ergonomically ideal for comfort, Pedersen crafted a wraparound “wing” to form a continuous and combined arm- and backrest. Woven using Dedon’s proprietary synthetic fibre (which has a soft hand and is non-toxic, UV- and water-resistant and 100 per cent recyclable), the cocooning element resembles a traditional crochet pattern and, combined with the generous seat, easily accommodates a variety of seating positions.
The Bellmonde lounge and armchairs are offered in a new colourway called Pine that perfectly complements the black pepper-powder coated aluminum frame. The dining table with aluminum legs (in black pepper or creamy lipari; in four sizes), meanwhile, can be specified with a smooth high-pressure laminate (in black pepper or solid lipari) or mineral composite (in ebony or mineral grey) surface.
The catalyst for Hay‘s Weekday collection by Hannes & Fritz may sound familiar to some – a convivial dinner party with not enough seating. Designers Hannes Breur and Fritz Gräber (who work collectively but remotely, with Breur in Stuttgart and Gräber in Zurich) cobbled a bench by hastily screwing together leftover wooden planks. Surprisingly pleased with the result – which reminded them of picnic benches in public parks – the two continued to refine the proportions to be even more charming and accessible.
Made from solid pine, the Weekday collection for Hay is comprised of tables and benches defined by their rounded edges (and offered in multiple sizes) that have a casual and friendly personality. Suitable for private and public settings, the pieces are treated with a weather-proof coating and are available in a selection of colourful water-based lacquers; optional seat cushions in a curated portfolio of textiles are also available.
Start dreaming of warmer days with these outdoor furniture collections from Dedon, Geiger, De La Espada and others.