Modern Designs Reimagined for the Outdoors

Once upon a time the house and the garden were two separate zones, the backdoor the border through which great style could not pass. But a desire to extend our residential panoramas has prompted a shift in the way designers conceive these spaces. No longer the preserve of bulky wooden furniture, you can now enjoy iconic designs from the comfort of your patio. Our roundup includes all of your favourite indoor pieces, now suited and booted for any garden setting.

A landmark in a long and illustrious career, Piero Lissoni’s Ray is the ultimate Italian sofa. Its generous proportions are upheld by U-shaped feet, its low profile spanning out in an exhibition of comfort and quality. A modular system, it can be configured to fit any space through a luxurious combination of terminals, chaise longues and ottomans.

When B&B Italia first approached Lissoni about the possibility of creating outdoor versions of his indoor bestsellers, he knew the translations would require something special.  The velvety upholstery of the Ray Outdoor Sofa was swapped for interlacing rope patterns and Textilene braids, reminiscent of the Philippine’s Manila Hemp. The result? A graceful new outdoor sofa, that’s comfortable in its own skin.

The Clay Dining Table is the embodiment of industrial luxe. The recipient of four prestigious design awards, it’s two volumes meet in a gravity-defying feat, their opposite vertices balancing elegantly against one and other. Its striking lava stone finish is applied manually with a broad knife, the strokes conferring a distinctly utilitarian feel.

The Clay Outdoor Dining Table is visually indistinguishable from its indoor counterpart, yet in the context of the garden, its beauty is perhaps even more evident. More sculpture than furniture, its two volumes take on the appearance of balancing stones, adding an intriguing focal point to your outdoor space.

3) Float Collection by Paola Lenti

Here at Chaplins, we’ve long admired the seemingly clairvoyant powers of Paola Lenti. Sensing a disconnect between our indoor and outdoor spaces, she sought to unite them through a sensual collection of woven furniture. The soft yet supportive Float Easy Chair offers the perfect spot on which to unwind and is adored by children and adults alike.

Paola Lenti also offers an outdoor version of this family favourite. Boasting slightly larger proportions than it’s indoor counterpart, the Float Chaise Lounge can be positioned on your decking for a romantic set-up under the stars. These decorative gems are lightweight and easy to move, doubling up as a flexible seating option for when you’ve got guests to stay.

Inspired by a mythical Alpine creature named the Tatzelwurm, the DS-600 is the world’s longest sofa. Its meandering arrangement is formed using modular elements of an infinite number, and remains an icon of contemporary design.

First released in 1972, the DS-600 was relaunched at this year’s Milan Design Week to create applaud. The new version is heralded as an indoor-outdoor sofa, whose serpentine proportions can be used to extend your living space out onto the terrace.

Concrete finishes are having a moment. Cool to the touch and distinctly modern, they offer a minimalist design language rooted in the world of brutalist architecture. The Aplomb Pendant Light by Foscarini underlines this beautiful aesthetic, offering a focused gush of illumination exactly where you need it.

To perform an action with aplomb is to act with confidence in a demanding situation. In keeping with this idea, Foscarini has introduced this technically challenging light in a striking outdoor version. Offering classic Italian style, The Plomb Outdoor Pendant is built to withstand even the worst of winters.

6) Proust Armchair by Magis and Cappellini

Designed by Alessandro Mendini in 1978, the Proust Armchair takes inspiration from the Neo-Baroque style of 18th-century France, reimagining its ornamental silhouettes with 80s exuberance and patterning. It was the first item to appear in his iconic “Redesigns” series and remains the most loved of all his contemporary furniture.

In 2011, Magis won the rights to produce this stunning outdoor version. Working with rotational-moulded polyethylene rather than the usual solid beech, it’s ornate detailing takes on a surreal appearance in the context of the garden, gifting a new lease of life to this much-loved statement armchair.

7) Saarinen Dining Table and Washington Skeleton Side Chair by Knoll

Born from the restless imagination of designer and architect, David Adjaye, the Washington Skeleton Chair is a triumph of contemporary design. It’s elegant cantilevered legs steal the show, offering a masterclass in propping and balance.

The outdoor version of this modern dining chair is available in a variety of powdered finishes, the copper and nickel hues being exclusively for indoor use. Its daring silhouette is best paired with a Saarinen Dining Table, also now available in an outdoor format.

Perhaps one of the most recognisable objects of all time, the Panton Dining Chair is a true design classic. Crafted from one piece of continuous plastic, its sinuous form continues to delight fifty years after it’s inception. Available in a variety of statement hues, it offers timeless style for every space.

Transforming a classic so it’s ready to be used outdoors is no easy task. But thanks to the implementation of 21st-century resins and additives, you can now bring your Panton with you into the garden without ever having to worry about UV or wet weather damage.

Iron forging is an art that stretches back over millennia. Throughout history, it has been used to create an infinite number of decorative artefacts. The Officina Dining Table features a system of forged iron legs, reimagining this ancient technique for the contemporary age.

One of the many advantages of Officina’s wrought iron legs is that they only needed a light coating to be ready for outdoor use. Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, we recommend pairing with the Cyborg or Milà Dining Chairs for maximum impact.

10) Muse Outdoor Lantern by Contardi

Lanterns are the ultimate day-to-night lighting solution and are ideal for creating an intimate atmosphere. Contardi’s Muse takes inspiration from 18th-century street lighting, brought up-to-date by a honey silk braided handle.

The outdoor version is just as ethereal and available in a variety of battery-powered or cable options. The silk handle is replaced with a specially treated leather equivalent, ideal for withstanding all the outdoors has to throw at it.

All of these items are now available with spectacular discounts in the Chaplins Summer Sale. Shop online or pop by the showroom to start getting the most out of your home this summer. 

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