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Right at Home: what's hot in outdoor furniture

GUDEX / 2015-02-11

Outdoor living spaces have come a long way from the days when "outdoor furnishings" meant a few inexpensive folding chairs around a flimsy plastic table.

 

Today's outdoor chairs might be wrought iron or wrought aluminum, with upholstered seats. The table might be stone or wood or an elegant faux version of either, and would not look out of place inside in the dining room. Add outdoor sound systems, carpets and lighting, and the backyard or balcony can look and feel like an extension of the home.

That notion gets ramped up this spring and summer; manufacturers are offering new furniture, textiles and materials that resemble indoor furnishings yet can withstand the elements.

Getting the right look can be tricky; you don't want it to seem like you just plunked a sofa from the living room down onto the patio.

Here's a look at what's hot for Warm Weather 2015:

VINTAGE MODERN AND ULTRA-MODERN

Watch for midcentury modern styling in outdoor pieces to coordinate with this popular interior style. Gloster's Dansk collection includes a chair with marine-grade, leather-look upholstery and teak tables, designed by Dane Povl Eskildsen. 

After World War II, California designer Walter Lamb was helping salvage sunken Navy warships at Pearl Harbor when he started messing around with the brass tubing and fittings. His prototypical outdoor furniture collection was put into production by Brown Jordan, the Pasadena-based company that pioneered outdoor furniture. Today's iterations of Lamb's pieces are still crafted from brass, which you can leave alone to develop a patina or polish to retain the shine. The seats are marine-grade cording. 

Luxe looks evoking old Hollywood are also in. Beautiful on an urban terrace, these pieces are chic and sophisticated, with tailoring details on upholstery, elegant finishes and striking colors.

Frontgate's Grayson Jade collection comes in a fashion-forward bright green, in a powder-coated finish that looks lacquered. Here too, a zebra-print outdoor rug and pillows with exotic botanical prints. (www.frontgate.com )

Gloster's Wedge seating has a stainless-steel base and waterproof fabric over a new type of outdoor foam that breathes well and resists mold.

And Candace Olson designed a collection for Century that includes slipcovered furniture, and a smart accent table crafted of brass-finished aluminum and topped with a faux-croc surface. (www.centuryfurniture.com )

GLOBAL STYLE

Global elements stay as strong in outdoor furnishings as they are in indoors: Those Asian ceramic stools show no signs of disappearing, and are offered in more colors and patterns than ever.

Look for Moroccan influence in lanterns, Mediterranean motifs in textiles, and Silk Road accents like elephant-shaped tables, daybeds and handcrafted accessories.

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