There’s an unspoken elegance to a well-arranged outdoor living space. Thankfully, folding chairs and clunky tables too focused on durability are a thing of the past—today’s outdoor furniture comes in sleek iron silhouettes, powder-coated finishes, beachy rattan weaves, and timeless pieces that echo classic designs of the 1960s. Some items smartly function as storage, while others are so clean that they easily pass for extra seating for unexpected guests around the Thanksgiving table come fall. Here’s some contemporary inspiration to keep your patio proper:
Luxurious Living Room Essentials
It’s time to expand your living room outside. Elongated sofas, love seats, and cushy chairs were made for cozy evenings enjoying sangria while the sun sets. Customize your own sectional seating arrangement with corner chairs and armless options that can be made to fit your exact patio dimensions. West Elm has many options to choose from. Side and coffee tables in earthy woods, stone, or metals are a wonderful complement to spring and summer’s lush greenery.
Alfresco Dining Sets
Food simply tastes better when it’s shared with friends and family outside. Create your own dinner scenario with a sleek dining surface surrounded by wood, metal, or wicker seats. Don’t forget the summer salad and corn on the cob.
Unexpected and Unique Seating
Loungers are a dime a dozen (although arguably, there’s no better complement to an outdoor pool). Switch things up with a cushy nap pod with built-in shade cover, a duo of hanging chairs, unconventional loveseats in stretchy PVC cord, statement chairs in fun shapes, or even a colourful hammock or contemporary rocking chair. Bring a touch of luxury to your garden, patio or deck with unique designs by Kenneth Cobonpue.
Fireplaces and Mood Lighting
Make your outdoor space truly sparkle with string lights, illuminating wall sconces, and warm oil lamps. Add decorative lanterns and oversized hurricane lamps to transform patios from casual hangout spaces to your private golden hour hot spot. For a modern campfire feel, choose a sleek outdoor fireplace or fire pit from a luxurious brand like Paloform.
Unique Planters and Accessories
The addition of greenery makes any space more inviting, and outdoor planters are an excellent way to show off your personal style. Go sleek with a bold planter from the Luxury Planter Collection, stay natural with stone or clay, or show off in marble and brass. Add hanging options, wind chimes, and watering carafes to add charm to your greenhouse.
Easy Textiles and Textures
Comfort is key outside. Choose pillows, cushions and seating pads in fun patterns and bright colours to punch up your outdoor space. Jute and polyester materials hold up against weather changes, and waterproofing saves your set from flash showers and summer hail storms. Designer options are readily available from contemporary décor companies. Consider the fresh stripes of Aelfie Oudghiri for CB2.
Serving and Drinkware
A beautiful outdoor hutch offers a home for all your sleek serving platters, fun snack bowls, and sturdy acrylic barware. Bright serving trays, wood cheese boards, and fun flatware sets make a great impression on new and returning guests. Keep a rolling cooler stocked with refreshments nearby and you’re set.
As far as your outdoors space goes, all the indoor rules still apply, but with a twist. Leave your delicate items inside, play more with colour, and be ready for company at a moment’s notice. With beautiful, functional furniture and accessories at the ready, you’ll look forward to recreating your oasis every summer.
Looking for more patio inspiration? Browse home listings across Canada that prioritize outdoor living. This article was originally written on August 21, 2017 and updated May 5th, 2020