Luxury outdoor living. Three little words that evoke a paradise of family and friends, a pool party, ice cold drinks and something delicious to eat fresh off the grill. If this is your idea of nirvana, we’re here to help. What are the best sources for luxury outdoor furniture? Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has rounded up the best sources for luxury patio furniture, just in time for summer entertaining.
how do you create the perfect space for luxury outdoor living?
This summer, several of us at Dandelion Chandelier are feeling compelled to overhaul our backyards, patios and terraces. The kids are slowly getting drawn into devices; friends are never without their phones nearby ready to prove or discredit your anecdotal evidence; and you always need to respond to one more text. We think a beautiful space for luxury outdoor living can provide at least a temporary antidote to modern digital life.
a return to an analog pace
Imagine your friends convening around the fire pit after spontaneously jumping in the pool for a night swim. Picture your partner grilling you a steak just the way you like it as you mix a cocktail at the bar, and catch up on neighborhood gossip. Envision sitting out on the deck with a paper and morning coffee while the kids play a board game (without arguing) on the sectional nearby. Well, maybe even the most well designed outdoor space can’t prevent kids from fighting. But everything else? Yes!
a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces
The most luxurious outdoor living spaces have an easy but thoughtful harmony to them. There’s a seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors. And who doesn’t want to increase their livable square footage? At their most gracious, a well-designed outdoor area with luxury outdoor furniture can compel people to enjoy their natural surroundings, find energy in one another’s company and just be in the moment.
Luxury outdoor living furnishings hold the potential for so many uses and wonderful experiences. But for many people, designing this space is often an afterthought. It almost seems nonsensical to devote serious money to furniture and decor that is at the mercy of the elements. And even if we are willing to invest in it, the design and style of patio furniture can often be boring and dated.
luxury outdoor furniture companies and online shops
We’ve consulted some of our favorite interior design and landscape professionals, as well as our friends who have stunning outdoor spaces to spill their trade secrets and style tips. In Section 1, we share some of the luxury outdoor furniture companies that kept popping up as recommendations by people in the know. In Section 2, we’ve listed some online shops where you can purchase high-end outdoor pieces yourself. And finally, we have some advice from a talented interior designer, for the finishing touches to pull it all together.
Here is the ultimate resource you need to create the perfect luxury outdoor living space so that you can spend your summer in analog, under the open sky.
the best Luxury outdoor furniture brands
Having finished a gut renovation of our home over a year ago, I know the feeling of decision fatigue all too well. But before you succumb to the cookie cutter furniture sets from the big box stores, here are 7 luxury outdoor furniture companies that might inspire you.
Last summer, we spent a glorious weekend at our friend’s year-round home in Provincetown. His outdoor living space overlooking the bay struck the perfect balance of looking beautiful and posh, but actually being comfortable to relax in. Think alfresco meals that lasted for hours with languid naps in-between.
The space was mostly furnished by the German company, Dedon which carries 40 collections designed by various designers, including Philip Starck and Jean-Marie Massaud. Styles generally lean toward contemporary modular shapes with clean lines and a Nordic influence of quiet luxury. Their diverse collections can be found poolside at the most luxurious resorts, spas and hotels around the world. No wonder we felt like we were at a 5-star hotel!
2. Royal Botania
Conceived by two Belgian engineers who wanted to solve the dual problem of poorly-made and ubiquitous colonial-style teak furniture, Royal Botania brings style without sacrificing functionality. The designs reflect the ethos of summer: simple, uncluttered, and graceful. Their ‘Tuskany’ day bed is the best we’ve seen and their dining tables and chairs are particular standouts for their elegant minimalism. Their furniture is a favorite aboard private yachts and 6-star luxury cruise ships.
LA-based interior designer Wendy Haworth brought our attention to Unopiu, an Italian outdoor furniture line that specializes in both classic and contemporary styles. We love the rounded edges of the warm and welcoming Agora collection which features seats with generous depth. The company also offers high-end garden accessories like outdoor shelves, carpets, umbrellas and planters to create a cohesive look.
4. Paola Lenti
Who says outdoor furniture has to be beige, greige and brown? For color lovers, there’s Paola Lentii, an Italian company internationally renowned for its original furniture designs. Their sherbet-colored offerings and nuanced forms based on nature are fun and elegant at the same time.
The textiles of high-tech weaves and proprietary rope, fibers and yards particularly stand out, giving their furniture a modern sensibility. And if you’re just looking for an easy update, take a page from our friend. She owns one of their quirky, colorful outdoor rugs, and uses it to add a splash of personality to her outdoor space.
5. Janus et Cie
Janus et Cie was consistently recommended by our expert advisers on luxury outdoor living spaces, and it’s not hard to see why. Each collection has thoughtful details and a highly refined aesthetic that look distinctive and frankly, expensive.
Their outdoor furniture is used in some of our favorite resorts, like the Four Seasons Oahu Ko Olina and the Ojai Valley Inn. As an outdoor company, we love that they believe in environmental sustainability and produce some of their collection from eco-friendly synthetic wood (made from recycled dairy containers).
6. Zachary A Designs
For urban dwellers, the coastal outdoor look might not always be appropriate. How does someone who lives in the city furnish their rooftop garden or terrace to blend in to a landscape that consists of skyscrapers and bridges? We were awed by the sculptural, faux-concrete sitting area at our stylish friend’s Brooklyn brownstone. Designed by Zachary Binter and handcrafted in Chicago, the furniture is made of a proprietary mix of stone, sand and fiberglass that make each piece deceptively light. The chairs, stools and tables all have a weathered, rustic quality with an Asian influence that makes a strong design statement.
As its name might suggest, Mamagreen specializes in environmentally sustainable furniture that also embodies modern luxury. Furniture designs are developed conscientiously, incorporating majority recycled or recyclable materials- like reclaimed teak, and built to last. Beyond solid wood, we especially love the youthful energy of their new ‘Andy’ line of colorful, sleek metallic accented chairs and tables.
the best Online Shops for Luxury Outdoor Living
Buying furniture online can be an anxiety inducing process. But if you’ve measured out your space (and had it double and triple checked), and maybe even visited a showroom or two, or already had the pleasure of enjoying it at a commercial property like a hotel or restaurant, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy online.
Archiproducts has an extensive outdoor section that showcases high-end traditional, new, and innovative brands. Some pieces are available for direct purchase. Others require a little more legwork – you either have to request quotes from the manufacturer or visit one of the listed retailers. Far from just showcasing garden furniture, you can also find resources for outdoor flooring, pools, hot tubs, and fireplaces.
2. Casa Design Group
Casa Design Group is an authorized dealer of many luxury brands. The retailer has a substantial selection of in-stock outdoor furniture available online. Their showroom is in Greater Boston. Brands include the likes of Royal Botania, Sifas, Manutti and Vondom.
3. One Kings Lane
One Kings Lane is based in New York City, with showrooms in Soho and Southampton. Their offerings tend toward traditional styles from Celerie Kemble and South Sea Rattan. But they also scour the globe for one-of-a-kind vintage finds. One Kings Lane offers very reasonable design and decorating services whether you’re looking for advice for one room or for your entire home.
4. Curran Home
Curran Home carries only the most prestigious and on-trend brands in home furnishings. The Seattle-based company will quickly become your go-to site for its sophisticated curated selection, crisp and easy to shop interface and free shipping.
6. Decor Interiors
Decor Interiors is a modern online boutique catering to interior designers, decorators and homeowners. In addition to carrying the most sought-after luxury sustainable furniture brands, the company is especially committed to service- offering 24/7 availability, free shipping and price match guarantees.
Final Tips from a design expert
So far we have mainly focused on the the biggest investment pieces- outdoor furniture. But as my go-to interior designer, Laurie Woods, reminds us, design elements like lighting and focal points have the power to actually draw people to the outdoors and encourage them to stay engaged there. These final touches are what truly create a luxury indoor-outdoor living space.
The most comfortable time to be entertaining in the summer in most parts of the country starts at dusk. Great lighting is indispensable to set the mood. As an elevated alternative to string lights, she suggests these luxury wireless outdoor lamps from Linda Allen. And of course, candles and lanterns are never out of style.
If your property is not situated by the beach or does not have a pool as a central feature, not to worry. It is easy to create a focal point with the use of a fire pit, sculptural water fountain or even a show-stopping tree. Which is important. Because your gorgeous new high-end furniture will be lonely if no none is drawn outside to it in the first place.
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Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, fitness and even investigating police misconduct. Julie lives in NYC where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing and spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.