We’re yet to build our dream villa by the Med, but, of course, we’re already collecting the best pieces to furnish it with, chosen from the latest outdoor furniture launches.

Best outdoor furniture for the summer

Ethimo outdoor furniture inspired by Yachts designed by Christophe Pillet

Christophe Pillet was inspired by the nautical world while creating Costiera and Baia, his latest designs for outdoor furniture specialist Ethimo. The designs are a contemporary interpretation of classic Mediterranean style: ‘we look at light and water from the sea, rather than the land, from a boat,’ sais the designer. The discreet silhouettes and the materials (wood, aluminium leather and linen, in colours referencing parasols) are developed into a system that includes sofas, armchairs, a day bed and tables featuring rigorous forms and welcoming upholstered seats. ‘I met Ethimo many years ago, it was an idealization of the Mediterranean life, and I wanted to be part of this story. From there, we became friends and collaborators.’

Pine outdoor furniture by Vaarnii

‘Brutally Finnish’ furniture company Vaarnii has teamed up with Henrik Tjaerby to create an engineering-inspired outdoor table and benches set featuring T-shaped beams and joints. The garden furniture set is made of pine, the company’s material of choice, heat-treated to make it more resistant and suitable for outdoor use - a technique usually applied to architecture, which inspired the designer. ‘This is such an honest design,’ explains Tjaerby. ‘The T element is a standardised size, its proportions are predetermined by their manufacture and dictated by function, ease of making and waste. I like things that are modular, and I like design that is easy to understand. In this series, nothing is hidden.’

vaarnii.com

Outdoor sofa by Tectona

​French designer Constance Guisset designed the Chelsea outdoor sofa for Tectona with relaxation in mind. The modular system lets the design adapt to a myriad of outdoor spaces, and the design was adapted specifically with a lower height and welcoming cushions.

blue sunbed by Edra

Paying tribute to the sea, Jacopo Foggini designed the ‘A’mare’ collection for Italian furniture brand Edra. Composed of handcrafted pure polycarbonate sticks, the collection comprises outdoor furniture such as chairs, armchairs, a bench, a sun lounger, a coffee table and tables in a distinctive translucent blue shade. 

Outdoor furniture swing by Dedon and Stephen Burks

First up, we have our eyes on Stephen Burks’ nest-like ‘Kida’ hanging chair for outdoor specialist Dedon, designed to allow users to feel ‘as free as the breeze’. Its sturdy aluminium rod frame is wrapped in cords of weather-resistant Fibre Touch, a synthetic, recyclable fabric used in three striped colourways.

A wall with square bricks is the backdrop to Michael Anastassiades collection of chairs and a table for Kettal. The outdoor furniture in the picture is green
Top, ‘Kida’ hanging chair by Stephen Burks for Dedon. Above, ‘Ringer’ armchairs by Michael Anastassiades for Kettal

Another excellent seating option includes London-based designer Michael Anastassiades’ ‘Ringer’ armchair for Kettal, part of a first joint collection referencing both the traditional game of horseshoes and a minimal approach to café furniture. The chair’s armrest comes with a slight flaring on the opening, designed as a subtle invitation to occupy the seat, and echoing the traditional Chinese Horseshoe Back chair.

Two chairs with woven seats, one natural wick, one black
Top, ‘Calipso’ sofas by Ilaria Marelli for Ethimo. Above, ‘Echoes‘ armchairs by Christophe Pillet for Flexform

And there’s more: Ilaria Marelli’s pebble-shaped ‘Calipso’ sofa for Ethimo, which levitates on a large floating teak base and allows for flexible cushion arrangements, suitable for both siestas and fiestas; as well as Christophe Pillet’s rustic-chic ‘Echoes‘ armchair for Flexform. Woven out of fine matt polypropylene cord (in natural, ice, straw or anthracite), the armchair is intended as a soothing blend of Mediterranean and Scandinavian style.

Woven lanterns by Kensaku Oshiro for Poltrona Frau photographed on rocks by the sea
‘Sparkler’ rechargeable lanterns by Kensaku Oshiro for Poltrona Frau

Other favourites include Kensaku Oshiro’s family of portable and rechargeable lanterns for Poltrona Frau, inspired both by amphoras and rice paper lamps. The eye-catching designs, called ‘Sparkler’, come in all shapes and sizes (including table, floor and standing versions), all with a practical horseshoe-shaped handle. They would look right at home placed on Paola Navone’s ‘Sunset Lounge’ table for Exteta, featuring a circular marble top supported by an exquisitely carved wooden base.

Outdoor kitchen by Roda, designed by Rodolfo Dordoni
‘Norma’ outdoor kitchen by Rodolfo Dordoni for Roda

Last but not least is Rodolfo Dordoni’s ‘Norma’ outdoor kitchen for Roda, developed in collaboration with Italian appliance manufacturer Ilve. It’s a modular system, comprising two freestanding modules – one with an extendable table – with tops made from sintered Lapitec stone. It’s so elegant we might get one for indoors, too. 

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