In this column, Avotakka’s editorial staff present their favorite products and interior design solutions that have proved functional. Avotakka’s producer Anu Karttunen presents six multifunctional products for the garden and patio.
Just the right shade
“Last year, we built a new larch patio next to our old wooden house, and it has already turned a charming gray tone. This spring we added a slate tiling extension to the patio. Now we only need new outdoor furniture for the living area and more plants for the garden.
I want my outdoor furniture to be as high-quality and timeless as my indoor pieces. They should look like they have always been there. Multi-functionality is a plus, since we don’t exactly have too much storage space. The patio is only protected by a large shade sail made out of canvas, so the furniture should be weatherproof as well. It would also be nice if the furniture wouldn’t need more maintenance than the occasional scrubbing.
“The colors used in the Linear Steel series are really amazing. The dark green would suit our patio perfectly.”
Muuto’s Linear Steel table fulfils all these requirements. The outdoor furniture collection designed by Thomas Bentzen is made of galvanized steel. The colors used in the collection are really amazing. Especially the dark green would suit our patio perfectly, since it matches the color of the door on our house.
The dark green benches from the very same Linear Steel series would be a great fit for the table. They are a versatile choice that can accommodate one, two or more people according to the situation. If you no longer need the seating space, the bench also functions well as side table, for example. During the winter, the bench would also fit well in the hallway.”
A sun worshiper's dream
“Although it’s very unfashionable right now, I love lying around in the sun. A good lounger is all you need. Fermob’s Bistro Metal lounger is a classic that is both comfortable and practical thanks to its UV protection and collapsible design. The fun thing is that Fermob’s Bistro furniture are based on the original model, which was patented in 1889. The classic design blends effortlessly into the courtyard of the old house.”
Adding festivity with tablecloths
“We have a small party coming up in the summer, and I’m hoping we can hold most of the celebration outside on the patio. A beautiful tablecloth always adds an air of festivity, but I don’t want to stash the fine cloths in the closet where no one can see them. I especially like the linen Usva tablecloths from Lapuan Kankurit, because they can also be used as covers or even picnic blankets. The classic stripe pattern is designed by Anu Leinonen.”
Inspiration for garden design
“I have read Johanna Vireaho and Hanna Marttinen's book Nordic Garden Design with such enthusiasm that my copy is already all dog-eared. The book has given me some really good ideas. I hope that they will help me turn the old, flat lawn into a charming garden filled with flowers and fun pathways, elevation differences and interesting views in different directions this summer. Or at least in one of the coming summers – daydreaming and planning are an essential part of the garden fever. The process shouldn’t be over too fast!”
An important rule of flowerpots
“The Nordic Garden Design book also taught me a very good rule of thumb regarding flowerpots: the pot’s height should encompass one-third of the height of the flowers and the flowerbed, or the other way around. I may already have followed this rule intuitively at times, but it also explains why some of my flowerbeds have looked slightly unbalanced in the past.
“It’s easy to combine a miscellaneous group of flowerpots into an impressive arrangement if they share the same color.”
It’s easy to combine a miscellaneous group of flowerpots into an impressive arrangement if they share an attribute, such as the same color. All my flowerpots are black, and Ferm Living’s beautiful Hourglass pot fits them to a T. Thanks to the chubby hourglass shape, the pot can be used either way around, depending on the size and shape of the flower. When winter rolls around, it makes for a charming addition to the indoor decor.”
A modern campfire
“Nowadays, many new yards and cottage areas feature a campfire area. Since staring into the fire has fascinated man since the dawn of time, I’m not particularly surprised by this trend. Röshults’ fire baskets are handmade in Sweden, and they’re also a great place for an outdoor candle. The fire basket must be placed on a non-combustible surface. In our case, that means the rock next to the patio. The surface of the rock gets warm in the sun, providing a perfect place to sit and marvel at the darkening summer nights.
Avotakka’s producer Anu Karttunen loves insightful design and objects with an element of surprise.
Text: Anu Karttunen Images: Manufacturers