Seven esteemed landscape aficionados find themselves in good company with our assortment of alfresco furniture picks, making the segue into summer nothing but smooth sailing.
THE PIECES: Radiant Double Knitting Ball and Radiant Knitting Ball
THE DESIGNER: Janus et Cie
FIND IT: janusetcie.com
THE INSPIRATION: Taking their cue from the texture of yarn, the Radiant lamps are actually constructed of natural, undyed sandstone and beam from within, capable of casting an enchanting glow without being defined by the space in which they reside. Their versatility encourages a well-lived–and stylish–life among the indoors and outdoors alike, a Janus et Cie trademark.
At first sight: The Radiant lamps are elegant and timeless, perfectly reflecting Janice Feldman’s personal vision. I love how the carved surfaces contrast with the simplicity of the orbs, resulting in this beautifully crafted texture juxtaposed with minimal design.
On the job: My work has always been grounded in modernism and minimalist art; I am interested in the perception of nature and natural phenomena in relation to more structured forms.
In the daylight… These lamps look like elegant stone sculptures, solid and weighty. At night, they are transformed into lanterns, with an airiness that belies the materiality of the stone–I’m reminded of the paper lanterns you see in the Japanese toro nagashi ceremony.
At home: The subtle genius of these lamps is their versatility. They could stand on a table beautifully but could also effectively illuminate the small corners of a garden.
THE PIECES: Criss Cross Outdoor Pillows in Charcoal (far left)Â and True Blue, and Mr. Rowe Outdoor Pillow in Green/Blue
THE DESIGNER: Alex Mason
FIND IT: ferrickmason.com
THE INSPIRATION: Perennially cool and distinctly fresh are just a few thoughts that come to mind when dreaming about a Ferrick Mason textile, and the same is certainly true with the hip and artful brand’s inaugural outdoor collection. Thoughtfully picked from their existing indoor line, Criss Cross–a simple doodle reinvented into a perfect coordinate–and Mr. Rowe–a masculine design with a twist that was inspired by a dear friend–are the festive outdoor accents you didn’t know you needed.
At first sight: Alex Mason’s designs are as thoughtful and elegant as they are fresh and playful. Compared to previous collections, however, these patterns are a little more graphic and handsome, inspired by strong geometry over a more whimsical, natural form.
As a landscape designer… These accent pillows appeal to me not only for their ability to complement a wide variety of garden styles–traditional, Zen or modern–but they’d also pair well with other patterns, textures and colors.
Though a bit more contemporary and universal in style… Both of these patterns bring the art of Japanese shibori to mind, a style and mood that I’m constantly mindful about integrating into outdoor spaces.
I’m wholly attracted to… Gardens that combine structured, architectural form with native, seasonal and wild plantings: I’m moved by landscapes that elevate one’s understanding of the natural process.
THE PIECE: Maia Relax Armchair
THE DESIGNER: Patricia Urquiola
FIND IT: kettal.com
THE INSPIRATION: Known for its innovative yet stylish handcrafted designs, Barcelona-based Kettal partners only with the best–Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola included. Urquiola’s Relax armchair, part of her Maia collection for the international brand, is infused with modernity and lightness and breaks new ground on archetypical outdoor furnishings through the use of geometric patterns, high-tech braided fibers and a wide aluminum frame. The result is just as stellar as the collaboration itself: an exploration and reimagining of outdoor furniture to a distinctly chicer level.
Matt Wittman & Jody Estes
Architect and Landscape Designer
At first sight… Our initial impression of the Maia Relax armchair is one of weightlessness. The chair’s lightness lends a breezy informality that works to balance its sculptural and prismatic form.
With a minimal and functional spirit… The chair nevertheless appears comfortable–and almost playful.
Like Kettal… We err toward clean, crisp designs that complement modern architecture, so we appreciate how Patricia Urquiola and the brand are mindful of tradition–in both form and material–but smart in cleverly creating fresh pieces that adhere to today’s needs and experiences.
On the job: We also enjoy designing spaces that are functional and not overly complicated; we anticipate the movement of the people in it and, rather than attempting to control it, we work with that natural movement and flow.
At home: We see this piece living at a tropical resort or in a modern patio setting–not overly structured but intentional, with an abundance of comfort and coolness.
THE PIECE: Brixx Side Table Triangular
THE DESIGNER: Lorenza Bozzoli
FIND IT: dedon.us
THE INSPIRATION: As with all things Dedon and all things Lorenza Bozzoli, the Brixx side table, with its sleek powder-coated aluminum top and natural teak legs, elevates the everyday. The Milanese fashion and furniture expert’s marriage with Dedon, and their fine Italian craftsmanship, is nothing short of a refined and understated match made in heaven–resulting in the Brixx table and its collection’s stunning counterparts.
At first sight: It’s immediately clear how well-crafted these tables are, and beyond that, they read as extremely chic. Dedon’s lines are always visionary and unique, and the same is true of Lorenza Bozzoli’s work. It’s contemporary and very personal; she doesn’t let functionality sacrifice style.
Speaking of functionality… This design is just the right height and you can play with configurations. I also love that the tops are natural trays and have drainage slots–versatile and perfect for all things poolside.
Mother Nature and the magic of the outdoors… Drew me to landscape design. The natural world has constant change and life cycles. This made sense to me as a child. Of course, once I was deeply engaged, I wanted to play with all the plants and forms and remake reality. Why not a mountain or a lake where there was none?
Visually and viscerally… The tables have a lovely lightness to them, and the fact they have three legs reminds me of Noguchi. The art of craft and the love for craft are what this design is all about.
THE PIECE: Custom Plain Weave Shore Rug
THE DESIGNER: Louie Rigano and Gil Muller
FIND IT: shorerugs.com
THE INSPIRATION: London design duo Louie Rigano and Gil Muller consider it their mission to create inspired designs that are as beautiful as they are functional. Their brainchild, Shore Rugs, breaks free from the traditional rug vernacular by using custom-engineered silicone cords to fashion products with a high domestic appeal, indoors and out. Combine that allure with their penchant for brilliant color palettes, like this custom ombre design, and prepare to experience, visually and tangibly, a rug like no other.
At first sight: I was drawn to the chunky, bold weave of this custom rug. It introduces a profoundly noticeable texture into the piece; you immediately sense substance and durability but the interplay of color introduces an artful playfulness.
On the job: I particularly like the idea of contrasts in garden designs–wild and exuberant plantings within a formal layout and areas of shade contrasted with open bright sunny spots in a garden–and routinely stress the importance of good lines, ones that pull you into an outdoor environment and beg you to come and explore. It’s important that a well-conceived garden speak to you in this way.
Old and new: Shore Rugs’ use of technologically advanced materials in a way that harks back to the long tradition of handwork is admirable. The actual material also communicates an ease of maintenance, which is key for the outdoors.
Landscape architecture… Weaves all my interests–science, art, horticulture, craft, design, technology, history and the outdoors–into a cohesive whole, coincidentally not unlike one of these rugs.
THE PIECE: Windsor Casual Chair
THE DESIGNER: Weatherend Estate Furniture
FIND IT: weatherend.com
THE INSPIRATION: Over a century ago, landscape architect Hans Heistad began designing outdoor landscapes with complementing furniture for seaside properties along the coast of Maine. Among these dreamy coastal estates was Weatherend, and over a hundred years later, Weatherend Estate Furniture continues to produce stately and sophisticated pieces. Using techniques typically found in yacht building, the heritage brand reimagined the Windsor–a contemporary interpretation of the first outdoor chair introduced to America–which celebrates the seating staple’s rich history and ageless design.
At first sight: I admire the subtle maritime aesthetic that Weatherend often applies to their works. There is something that feels particularly “right” about this design and its exceptional craftsmanship.
As a landscape architect… I am especially drawn to the style and flexibility of a design. If you’re going to bring something into your home, indoors or out, these two qualities are paramount.
On the job: I greatly enjoy collaborating with designers and architects to create beautiful and environmentally appropriate spaces, ones that harmoniously marry the site and the client, and I feel like this chair would be an easy fit for so many atmospheres.
At home: The joinery and overall mood of this piece make the Windsor Casual chair the perfect solution for any space craving an elegant yet rugged piece of furniture. To me, it would seem most at home on a deck overlooking the ocean or atop a posh sailboat or yacht.