Outdoor living spaces have come a long way from the days when "outdoor furnishings" meant a few inexpensive folding chairs around a flimsy plastic table. Today's outdoor chairs might be wrought iron or wrought aluminum, with upholstered seats. The table might be stone or wood or an elegant faux version of either, and would not look out of place inside in the dining room. Add outdoor sound systems, carpets and lighting, and the back yard or balcony can look and feel like an extension of the home. That notion gets ramped up this spring and summer; manufacturers are offering new furniture, textiles and materials that resemble indoor furnishings yet can withstand the elements. Here's a look at what's hot for 2015:
Watch for midcentury modern styling in outdoor pieces to coordinate with this popular interior style. Gloster's Dansk collection includes a chair with marine-grade, leather-look upholstery and teak tables, designed by Dane Povl Eskildsen. (gloster.com)
After World War II, California designer Walter Lamb was helping salvage sunken Navy warships at Pearl Harbor when he started messing around with the brass tubing and fittings. His prototypical outdoor furniture collection was put into production by Brown Jordan, the Pasadena-based company that pioneered outdoor furniture. Today's iterations of Lamb's pieces are still crafted from brass, which you can leave alone to develop a patina or polish to retain the shine. The seats are marine-grade cording. (dwr.com)
Luxe looks evoking old Hollywood are also in. Beautiful on an urban terrace, these pieces are chic and sophisticated, with tailoring details on upholstery, elegant finishes and striking colors.