Explore the World of Exteriors With 25 Innovative Outdoor Furnishings

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By Dwell
Merging material research and the art of industrial design unleashes the possibilities for striking outdoor furniture.


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Planter 

Made by hand in California, the TH2, or Hourglass planter, was designed by La Gardo Tackett in 1950 for the Architectural Pottery collection. Today it’s made by Vessel USA; each one takes up to two weeks to produce.


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Armchair 

In 2000, Kartell introduced the Bubble Club line of polypropylene furnishings designed by Philippe Starck. Comprising a sofa, a table, and a chair, the line has been a best seller ever since. Olive green, shown here, is one of the latest shades.


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Hammock 

This is the first such perch for Paola Lenti, the purveyor of fine handmade furniture for the outdoors. Designed by longtime collaborators Bestetti Associati, the multicolored textile is made of rounded rope yarn cords woven on a loom in Italy. 

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Light 

Giravolta is a wireless lamp that, thanks to a 60-watt LED and a battery, keeps full power up to eight hours. Its extruded aluminum handle, meant to evoke an oil lamp of yore, joins the base, while the swiveling light can turn 360 degrees. 


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Rocker

Designed to sport ultra-comfy cushions or exist simply without, Sebastian Herkner’s MBRACE rocker for Dedon is a statement piece with an extra-wide back and a solid teak base.

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Rug

Thank your neighborhood Swedish superstore for this flat-weave rug that’s easy to vacuum, easy to dry out, and easy on the wallet.

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Chair 

The Broom chair by Emeco is a sustainable choice that’s made in America from 75 percent waste polypropylene and 15 percent reclaimed wood fiber that would normally be swept into the trash. 


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Pillow 

Knot, from Crate and Barrel, is a worthy alfresco support player, thanks to its spun polyester cover, which protects against mildew and moisture. 

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Armchair

The slim tube frame of this lounge chair, part of the Modern by Dwell Magazine line for Target, never interferes with the landscape. Designed to look just as tidy with cushions as without, it’s rust-resistant to boot. 

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Lamp

A best seller in the American market, the KTribe lamp, designed by Philippe Starck for Flos, sports a die-cast aluminum base, galvanized structural elements, and an injection-molded polycarbonate inner diffuser. The outer diffuser is made from braided, colored PVC tubes.

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Table

Strut, a monochromatic outdoor table by Blu Dot, has been an MVP for the company since its introduction in 2005. No wonder: Zinc-plated powder-coated steel makes it ready for outdoor prime time, while its minimalist frame works nicely in any room. 

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Bar Stool 

The Palissade collection of outdoor furnishings by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Hay is a collection of 13 powder-coated steel pieces meant to be equally appropriate for civic spaces, hospitality environments, and residences. No small feat.

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Rug

There are a lot of reasons to like the Samson outdoor rug by Dash and Albert—it’s made of 100 percent recycled PET, a polyester fiber made from plastic bottles, and when it gets dirty, you can spray it down with a hose. The price tag isn’t bad, either. 

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Light 

A conical shade of spun aluminum complemented by three rings of die-cast aluminum directs a beam of light downward. Designed by Alfred Homann and Ole V. Kjær for Louis Poulsen in 1976, the Nyhavn wall sconce remains a best seller in the U.S. 

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Armchair 

Electrostatic powder-coated aluminum is the secret sauce for Amari, Janus et Cie’s enduring, best-selling piece. The overscale dimensions remind us that, for many people, outdoor furniture has to be lounge-worthy—nay, throne-worthy.

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Lamp 

Available in three sizes, these delightful lighting pieces by Foscarini are sculptural forms by day and glowing orbs by night. Made of polyethylene, the Gregg floor lamps are among the Italian company’s most popular pieces in the American market.

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Lounge 

Yes, an outdoor bed is a little much. But if you’re going to go for it, this one is made of powder-coated aluminum and 100 percent recyclable polyethylene. By Mario Ruiz for Gandia Blasco, the Flat Circular Bed is handmade in Spain.


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Bar Stool 

Patricia Urquiola designed the Maia line for Kettal in 2008 and it has held its place among the company’s top-selling inventory. With hand-braided Chenilletex fabric and an aluminum frame, it comes in a variety of pieces, from bar stools to lounges.


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Stool 

Of all the designers featured in these pages, we’d wager that Charlotte Perriand spent the most time enjoying the outdoors. This stool, the LC8, was introduced in 1927 and re-engineered for outdoor use in 2012.

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Table

Toronto-based MSDS Studio, led by Jessica Nakanishi and Jonathan Sabine, created this acrylic stone composite table for Muuto in 2017. Called HALVES, the piece is easily manipulated and can present different silhouettes based on which way it faces.

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Sofa 

Created by the hardest-working man in the sofa game, Antonio Citterio, this plush sofa with a teak frame is called Gio. All of the padded elements are covered in waterproof polyester. The wood has an intentional weathered finish.


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Armchair 

Variations of this staple form have defined American landscapes since the turn of the last century. This rendition from Room and Board, called the Emmet, is made in Duluth, Minnesota, from 100 percent recycled plastic. 

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Chaise Longue

In the 1960s, Florence Knoll, who is celebrating her 100th birthday this year, asked designer Richard Schultz for one thing: outdoor furniture that lasts. He delivered an entire collection.


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Table 

New to the market by Dallas-based company Sutherland, this laminated teak coffee table, called Plateau, is designed by Enrico Bonetti and Dominic Kozerski. We’re digging that brass drain, too.


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Chair 

We just love that the designers LucidiPevere describe Backpack, their new piece for Ligne Roset, as "a long sack made of waterproof rubber fabric with two cushions inserted into it."

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