Designed for Outdoor Living
Memorial Day marks the official start of life outdoors — another form of “rapture” for many, including me — so here are a few patio furniture suggestions, prompted in part by my friend industrial designer Eric Pfeiffer of Pfeiffer Lab, who has just debuted an outdoor version of his famous bent plywood Mag Table. It’s the Metal Mag 3, made of steel in a brilliant orange and produced in collaboration with Offi & Company and Loll Design. With his steel Fire Ring that doubles as a coffee table with a resin-based top when not burning wood — also produced in collaboration with Loll Designs and also new — the outdoor room is definitely warming up. Other designs that caught my eye after a quick Web search include the elegant Valencia Teak Chair from Viva Terra, which is inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s famous Barcelona Chair (the name is clever, referring to another Spanish coastal city). Using wood that’s sustainably grown and harvested, the chair deconstructs to fold flat for storage. For the recycler who can’t stop dribbling — wait for it — what about this coffee table from Uncommon Goods that uses part of a gym floor for its top. Worth a free throw at least! If you are a do-it-yourselfer, why not bring back the classic picnic table-and-bench idea using reclaimed wood painted white to give a fresh contemporary twist (this example designed and built by Houseplans’ own Stephen Williamson). Paired with white-painted antique metal chairs the effect is summery and sophisticated. Classics are definitely in this year — at ICFF in New York last week (the International Contemporary Furniture Fair) the Editors’ Award in the Outdoor Furniture category went to an Eames outdoor furniture design from 1958 — for the Miller house in Columbus, Indiana by architect Eero Saarinen — retooled with new materials for today (image courtesy theoutdoorstylist.com). The chair is produced by longtime Eames manufacturer Herman Miller.
New Home Plans that Celebrate the Outdoors
The latest additions to the Houseplans.com inventory include a range of designs that deftly incorporate outdoor living. Plan 484-5 is a small two- bedroom house organized around what’s called a “Chill Deck,” which is really the outdoor living room.
Plan 519-1 is a small cabin designed for a sloping site and
includes a view deck off the living area and kitchen.
Similarly the focal point for Plan 449-2 is a seductive pool patio, complete with waterfalls. Time for a dip!