LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Outside Influences


Ever innovative, designers are breaking new boundaries; the division between home and garden.

Design breaks out from the confines of the home as outdoor furniture takes interior inspiration.

Throughout history the garden has been one of nature's finest luxuries, an oasis of beauty dedicated solely to pleasure, and a personal space in which one may take retreat. It has also become a reflection of our lifestyle, from the languid sun loungers that stretch out lazily beside the poolside, beckoning us to take precious moments of repose, to the designated dining area – the home's social hub throughout the summer months.

This year the message is simple; move outdoors. If it's good enough for the home, it's good enough for the garden. As the boundaries between the two zones dissipate, home comforts are also crossing the threshold, creating an al fresco extension of our everyday living space. Even the humble barbecue has flourished into a fully functional outdoor kitchen.

Ever ahead in the design league, Italian manufacturers have tapped into the indoor/outdoor trend with spectacular aplomb, adapting existing high design collections into highly desirable pieces with impressive durability. This year B&B Italia made its outdoor debut with two collections, designed by Patricia Urquiola and Richard Schultz.

Delving into the archives revisiting Schultz's iconic 1966 collection, B&B Italia is just one of the many manufacturers turning to the past for future looks, giving rise to a renewed interest in twentieth century design. Conmoto's Springtime, designed by Matthias Demacker harks back to the reduced tubular Bauhaus style of Marcel Breuer, but it is the 40s-70s which has become the main breadth of inspiration for today's designers. The sinewy silhouettes of Harry Bertoia and Mathieu Mategot take on new forms in stunning modern reinterpretations by their present day disciples. Emu's Advanced collection best illustrates the return of the much loved, stripped back forms of these vintage masters.Point's Sillon pays homage to Isamu Kenmochi's 1960s round rattan chair. However, the focus lies more on the following decade as we look to 70s poolside lounge chic. Hedonistic, plumped up forms have become generous in size, with an emphasis on upholstery.

Savvy to the allure of star appeal, leading producers are bringing the big names out into the open. Emu's Advanced collection, boasts the creative talent of Jean-Marie Massaud, Christophe Pillet and Rodolfo Dordoni. But it is not only their outstanding form, for which today's designs are receiving high praise; the use of advanced materials offers both new forms of experimentation and creativity and added strength.
However, interestingly enough, many of the most innovative new materials and finishes still mimic natural looks, while the mixing of natural and the more widely used materials, such as teak and aluminium gives traditional styles a touch of modernity.

Though white may still be the perennial favourite for framework, black emphasizes a strong design element, while brightly hued upholstery in bold blocks of color give classic styles a new look, adding vibrancy and focus to the outdoor space. Summertime heralds a new mood of easy living.

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