Elegant and functional – new waves in exterior decoration in summer 2023

In the summertime, you also decorate the balcony, terrace and other outdoor areas, which have – stylistically – become an extension of the home. We listed the summer 2023 outdoor furniture trends – read on and get inspired!

GUBI Pacha outdoor lounge chair
People invest more and more in outdoor areas, decorating them in the same style as their interiors. Featured, GUBI’s Pacha Outdoor lounge chair and Carmel coffee table.

“THE MILAN FURNITURE FAIR confirmed that exterior decoration is one of the hottest trends at the moment. Invitingly decorated dining areas and spacious lounge areas with sofas and coffee tables are more and more similar in style to what people have indoors, and are often complemented by various footstools, pot plants, lamps, rugs and other textiles.

New upholstery designed for outdoor use withstands humidity and UV radiation, and various iconic designs are now being manufactured as outdoor versions. Developments in lighting technology, on the other hand, have revolutionized the options for outdoor lighting: low-energy, chargeable LED luminaires can be moved around and do not mind a little summer rain.

“The wider range of outdoor furniture enables you to create a continuum of style extending beyond the walls of your home.”

The wider range of outdoor furniture enables you to create a continuum of style extending beyond the walls of your home. Outdoor areas also allow you to let your hair down a bit in terms of colors and style. The key thing is that the end result is a functional outdoor oasis that reflects your personal style and is a joy to spend time in on those lazy summer days.”

• Read also: Milan Design Week 2023: The most riveting releases and exhilarating exhibitions >

HAY Crate patio furniture
HAY’s Crate and Weekday collections are shared by their design language and materials.

New forms of pine

Problems in material supply and demands for ecological solutions have in recent times made furniture manufacturers consider their options more widely, and the good old pine has made a comeback in design furniture. HAY’s Weekday collection, consisting of simple outdoor tables and benches, is by designer duo Hannes & Fritz. Resembling a classic picnic table set, the Weekday collection invites you to come together for a meal.

The manufacturing process of the pine wood Crate chairs and side tables, designed already in 1934 by Gerrit Rietveld, results in practically no wasted material. Their design fits the Weekday collection really well. If you prefer something else than the natural look of pine wood, the pieces are also available in lacquered colors.

HAY’s Weekday collection >
HAY’s Crate collection >

Cane-line Capture 2-seater sofa
The properties of outdoor sofas are more and more like those used indoors. The sofa set in the picture is from the Capture collection by Cane-line.

Couch potato favorites

Gone are the days when an outdoor sofa, at its very best, was a wooden or metal frame with a thin mattress on it. Modern sofas have proper, soft seat and back cushions – and an appearance that could be used anywhere in the house. Outdoor sofas are by no means small anymore, as they are often composed of modules that can be used to create quite sizeable seating areas.

The Capture sofa by Cane-line is upholstered with an AirTouch fabric that dries in just one hour after a rain shower. The modules can be used to create a corner sofa, for example, or a divan, whatever you prefer. The Virkelyst sofa by Skagerak, on the other hand, has a more traditional look, but the comfortable cushions and properties of the upholstery fabric are definitely modern.

Cane-line’s Capture sofa >
All outdoor sofas >

HAY Palissade dining armchair
The new color for 2023 in the Palissade collection is called Iron Red.

Instant classic

HAY’s Palissade furniture collection by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec was an instant hit when launched. The metal furniture with beautifully curved contours is durable and suits a variety of styles. Despite its robust appearance, the furniture is reasonably sized, and the smaller dining table and chairs without armrests, for example, fit in rather a compact space, such as a balcony.

The year’s new color, earthy Iron Red adds a bit of energy to the collection. The hue fits nicely in green gardens and, according to the manufacturer, becomes even more attractive with time. The Palissade collection was designed to withstand harsh weather, making it a choice for quality that will bring joy for years to come.

HAY’s Palissade dining armchair >
All patio chairs >

Fermob Bistro Metal chair
The Bistro collection by Fermob is a timeless classic.

Foldable and functional style

Trends come and go, but there are things that never go away. One such eternal classic is the Bistro collection manufactured by Fermob under the original design patented in 1889. These folding chairs and tables have been widely copied, but the original models are still exceptionally beautiful as well as handy to use and sturdy to sit on.

Products in this series are available in many bright colors, and the UV-protected finish ensures that the colors will also remain so. For an understated style, opt for a table and chair in the same color – and for a more colorful look, there’s nothing stopping you from buying every piece in a different color if you like. Whatever you choose, it’ll work fine, because the colors have been carefully chosen to go together.

Fermob’s Bistro chair >
• Read also: “Outdoor furniture should be timeless and of high-quality” >

Woodnotes My Outdoor lounge chair
The My Outdoor lounge chairs by Woodnotes can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Finishing touches for coziness

Just as indoors, coziness outdoors is built from small details that complement the furniture, such as textiles, candle lanterns or flowers planted in pots. Two particularly delightful trends have emerged recently: the use of recycled materials and a wider selection of textiles.

Just as indoors, coziness outdoors is built from small details.

Exterior decorators can choose from quite a wide range of cushions and throws made of suitable materials to complete the look and comfort of their sofas or chairs. Many brands also have weatherproof outdoor rugs that are close in style and appearance to indoor ones.

Woodnotes’ My Outdoor lounge chair >
All outdoor textiles >

Louis Poulsen AJ Garden bollard lamp
The AJ Garden bollard lamp is an outdoor version of Arne Jacobsen’s distinguished AJ lamp.

Light for summer evenings

The popularity of exterior decoration can also be seen in the fact that many lamp manufacturers have modified their classic lamps for outdoor use. The outdoor version of GUBI’s Satellite lamp from 1953 is available both as a floor lamp and a pendant lamp suitable for covered terraces. The AJ Garden bollard lamps by Louis Poulsen provide a stylish option for outdoor lighting.

Rechargeable portable lamps create a new level of adjustability, and they often come in miniature versions of old classics. Once the placing of lamps no longer depends on electrical connections, the location of sockets or the length of extensions, you can take the light where you need it.

If you are looking for something particularly versatile, you might want to go for &Tradition’s Lucca SC51 table lamp, which can also be used as a suspension light thanks to its clever design. And with a small accessory, the Lighthouse lantern by Cane-line can be converted into a solar light that charges itself in daylight.

Portable lamps >
All outdoor lamps >

Riikka Soini-Ferraguto

Interior designer Riikka Soini-Ferraguto, who works at Finnish Design Shop’s showroom, appreciates functional and beautiful design and strives to make long-term choices. Natural materials and vintage finds give any space character and softness.

See also:

Finnish Design Shop's showroom >
All products for patio and garden at Finnish Design Shop >

Text: Riikka Soini-Ferraguto Photos: Manufacturers

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