The year's finest furniture
Luciano Scippa / Pimar
Combining an outdoor lamp with a handsome stone planter, Luciano Scippa's 'Lightflow' has all bases covered. Made of yellow limestone, the two-part design comprises an embedded LED light source in the base of the planter that casts a warm glow onto the smooth surface below. For those who want to take a little of the outdoors inside, an indoor version is also available.
Thomas Jenkins /
Price on request
Oslo-based British designer Thomas Jenkins has designed 'Knapp' in response to the short and wet Scandinavian summers. A stylish but sturdy blanket, it is made up of two layers: a waterproof Ventile sheet for placing on the ground, and a soft woollen fabric for sitting on. The two are connected with simple buttons in each corner so that they can be easily separated for washing.
Antonio Citterio / B&B Italia
The epitome of understated poolside elegance, Antonio Citterio's new lounger design for B&B italia has us reaching for our sunglasses and the nearest cocktail menu. Citterio's attention to detail is evident in honed features such as the discreet rollers that are used on the legs in place of traditional clunky wheels.
Bahí & Güell /
Set up in 2011 by Jordi Bahí and Jordi Güell, Bahí & Güell is a Catalonian design studio specialising in creating Mediterranean lifestyle-inspired products for cooking and entertaining. We are particularly enamoured of its compact tabletop barbecue, which is the perfect companion for casual dining on the terrace, in the garden or on the beach. 'Caliu' is proudly made in Girona, Spain, and is composed of four simple components: a stainless-steel grate and outer casing that can be turned upside down and used as a stand; a coated steel container for the coals; and two feet made of specially engineered cork by a Barcelona-based firm.
Fredrikson Stallard / Driade
What better way to celebrate summer's first dip in the pool than with a new sunlounger? Like a perfectly executed front-crawl, there's nothing superfluous about this one. Elevation is achieved with a simple lift and click; a visually pleasing basket weave peeks out from beneath the quick-drying padding; and a sturdy frame keeps the lounger stable. Until, that is, you need to move it to catch the sun, at which point the castored wheels practically turn on a dime.
Paolo Rizzatto / Serralunga
One of summer's pleasures is the chance to enjoy the great outdoors and toss back a few well-shaken cocktails in the garden. Seeing as we like to do it with a bit of élan, these 'Ping Pong Pang' chairs are just the ticket and ensure we're sitting pretty. Created by the Milanese architect and interior designer Paolo Rizzatto, the chairs come in a candy-store palette of hues. But more to the point, they're extremely comfortable, thanks to the moulded curvature of the seat and back, which also facilitates drainage. Made of 100 per cent recyclable plastic, the alliterative seats are coated with a special UV-blocking resin for a durable, all-weather finish.
ECAL/Kacper Hamilton / ECAL/Kacper Hamilton
Swiss ski maker Zai teamed up with ECAL student Kacper Hamilton to create this foldable ski tool and screwdriver designed to adjust ski bindings. Inspired by the simplicity of the higonokami, a traditional Japanese pocket knife, 'Higo' consists of three metal parts and two brass rivets.
Phase Design / Phase Design
From $800 each
Phase Design's Reza Feiz found inspiration for his aluminium planters (available in grey, black, white and yellow) in the urban silhouette of LA. 'I like the contrast between the organic, random nature of the plants being framed by the precise square aluminum bars,' says the self-taught designer.
Itay Lanido / Itay Laniado
We're not known for getting our hands dirty, but these garden tools by Israeli designer Itay Laniado have us itching to start our own co-op farm. There's a pleasing agrarian roughness about the set that includes a machete, shovel, spade and bow saw. But Laniado has done more than create pretty tools that look good propped up against the shed -- there is also a healthy dose of common sense practicality in his designs that promise great things for the future. The scythe for instance can be quickly dissembled for safe storage, but more ingenius is a groove in the handle into which is wedged a sharpening stone for use in the field.
Charamonte-Marin / Emu
If you detect a hint of the nautical in the fluid curves and metal tubes striped along the back of this sofa, you're not far off the mark. Named after a French navigator Marcel Junot, the Marcel is a flexible modular sofa that can stretch or contract according the size of your party. Its solid laser-cut steel form and all white colour palette are meant to evoke the parapet of an ocean liner, only instead of eyeing the distant horizon, you'll be scrutinising late arrivals to your party.
Emu / Emu
price on request
Tattered, sun-faded outdoor furniture speaks of careless housekeeping. Keep your guests' disapproving looks at bay with these striking patterned cushions by Italian outdoor furniture specialists Emu. The mass-dyed acrylic provides a tough barrier against both the sun and general weather damage. The cushion filling yields comfortably to pressure, but immediately plumps back to its original shape. Ten solid colours are teamed with ten patterns ranging from rugged geometrics and pretty florals to stripes and arabesque curls. You'll never again be short of an attractive pillow to sit or lean on.
Broberg & Ridderstråle / Roshults
If you're the particular sort, like we are, outdoor cooking is an acceptable activity only if it doesn't involve food prepping and washing up by a muddy stream. This garden kitchen sink allays any lingering phobias with its reassuringly sturdy profile. The corrosion resistant frame wraps itself around an oiled oak work-bench and a generously proportioned stainless steel sink. Water is piped in with a standard hose and drains away into a container that, in turn, is easily emptied into the gardenia bed. Two spacious shelves below deck keep assorted cooking tools and containers neatly stacked away. We won't blame you if you decide to cook outdoors on a permanent basis.
Mermelada Estudio / Mermelada Estudio
price on request
Outdoor showers, however attractively designed, tend to be hidden away against a wall feature and then unceremoniously ignored. The Delta, however, goes firmly against the grain. Barcelona-based Mermelada Estudio reworked the triangular form of the Greek letter to create a simple but stable tripod stand that connects to a hose. Water is fed through a long angled shower head that delivers a thick spray. Best of all, the Delta can be easily picked up and moved to another location or left in situ as a garden installation. Come winter, it's just as easily dismantled and packed away. That's the kind of shower power we'd like to see more of.
Tony Almén and Peter Gest / Nola
There are trellises and there are trellises. Tony Almén and Peter Gest's all-white version will turn even the dullest corner of your home into a picture perfect backdrop for a festive garden party. Made up of a series of slender identical panels, the trellis ripples outwards like a concertina. Repeating triangular cutouts form an attractive geometric pattern that also serves as gaps for vines to grip hold of and twine upwards. The versatility of the design means that the trellis can used as a single unit to, say, divide an indoor space, or as a series that runs along an outside wall like a living green tapestry.
Johannes Herbertsson and Martin Berg / RVW
The 'Haijk' flower pot is not content with playing host to the fruits of nature's intricate eco-systems - it also takes inspiration from its patterns for its own form. Designed by Herbertsson and Berg to be easily movable, the concept is that the pot should create a dialogue between the sun, the plant and the viewer. And, best of all, its base is made from pine and is accompanied by a tiny atlas which shows where in the world the tree was harvested.
Arik Levy / Flora
With his elevated garden storage containers and planters, Arik Levy brings new angles to the garden. At just the right height to double as seating, the containers are also handy for resting your glass on when you need both hands to throw another steak on the barbecue.
Aldo Bakker / Thomas Eyck
Dutch designer Aldo Bakker's watering can turns the humble tool into a minimalist sculpture. Each object in his shiny copper range, from soy pourers to candleholders, is a little mysterious in terms of its functionality, but this one will look lovely next to the herb garden regardless.
Héctor Serrano / Gandia Blasco
Héctor Serrano's new stool is the perfect summer patio perch. Available as a bar stool and a shorter single-tier version, in black, grey, white and brown, the 'Air' stool is intended to blend in with its surroundings. Serrano used moulded polythene to create a hollow volume with continuous triangular sections. The stool's name comes from its aerated shape; light and breezy, it won't block the view of your begonias.
Michael Koenig / Flora
Michael Koenig's galvanized, powder coated 'Sun Deck' comprises a bench and stool, which can also be used as a footrest. If you're not in the market for a flouncy floral lounger, which is something of a trend this year, Koenig's bold, graphic design is an altogether more attractive alternative.
Alessandro Bedetti / Artemide
Price awaiting confirmation
Outdoor lighting is rarely a thing of beauty but the subtle, Japanese aesthetic of Bedetti's Cyclops lights for Artemide make them a beautiful addition to an urban garden.
Rogier Martens / Weltevree
"Moving a bench with two people has always been a chore," explains designer Rogier Martens of his innovative wheelbench design. "This is a bench you can easily manoeuvre into position. The eye-catching wheel is an invitation to find the best spot." Made from Accoya wood the bench at first looks like a bit of a gimmick but trust us, it's really rather useful, particularly if you're not too keen on the person sitting next to you.
This little barbecue is so cute you just want to scoop it up and take it with you wherever you go. Which luckily, thanks to an ingenious folding trestle design and a neat canvas bag, you can. It conveniently folds up to the size of a laptop, so burgers, bangers and buns can be had on run.
Claesson Koivisto Rune / Sodra
Price awaiting confirmation
It's easy to go a bit gooey over the little multicoloured Parapu chairs - but that's one thing they won't be doing. Even if they get wet. Moulded from DuraPulp, a mixture of paper pulp and biodegradable plastic, the Parapu is as durable as it is practical fro outdoor use.
Nina Jobs / Nola
Nina Jobs' clever design sees the colourful 'Pandora' planter quickly and effortlessly transformed into a very practical stool thanks to a simple wooden lid. A very cunning garden plot indeed.
Sezgin Aksu & Silvia Suardi / De Padova
Named after a small town in Liguria, the 'Framura' collection was designed to inspire a slower pace of life. While not many need encouragement on that front, who could resist taking a rest on this lounger with its inviting pillow cushions and delectable little spoked wheels.
The Bouroullecs / Tectona
Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec are the masters behind one of the more handsome outdoor seating systems we've seen for a while. Designed for French brand Tectona, Pebble might be a bit large to sit in the palm of your hand, but bears many other aesthetic similarities to their namesake. The system consists of three large, circular seats made from woven resin on an aluminium frame, each of different height, with slightly concave dips in the middle. Add to this a shapely little armchair and side table (that doubles as a stacking back rest for the larger of the pebbles) and you’ve a sightly collection to scatter at will round the pool.
Richard Schultz / B&B Italia
To us an outdoor serving trolley harks back to a time when gin fizz was served daily at sundown, not exactly de rigeur in contemporary timetables. But thanks to B&B Italia's first outdoor collection, which includes this seminal Richard Schultz creation from his 1966 collection, updated to suit outdoor use, we might just squeeze half an hour into our day to lie back and sip something cool while the sun sets. The simple, retro design was initially designed in 1966 and put into production by B&B Italia in 1998. A decade later and the Italian big guns have chosen the trolley together with a two-seater sofa from the original collection to form part of its outdoor reportoire. And in the spirit of multi-purpose design, we think it'd look every bit as good indoors too.
Danny Fang / Fang Studio
Former senior designer at Marcel Wanders studio dutchman Danny Fang recently upped sticks and moved to Hong Kong to set up his own design studio. Whether he stopped off in Russia on his travels east we don't know but it's to this culture that he owes the genius of his first creation, the Matryoshka nesting furniture. Taking their cue from stacking Russian dolls of the same name, Fang's design comprises two large, square outdoor chairs and two footrests or stools that perfectly fit one inside another for ease of storage and transportation. Manufactured by Malaysian furniture company Kian, the woven polyethylene fibre and aluminium frames of the pieces combine to an astounding total weight of just 22 kilograms, yet retain enough sturdiness not to blow away in the wind.
Patricia Urquiola / Moroso
Designed by the indefatigable Urquiola each Tropicalia chair differs depending on how the three coloured threads combine when woven round the steel frame. So much outdoor furniture falls between the drab and rustic or industrial and clunky but the Tropicalia is refreshingly light on the eye. And if the idea of gardening turns you green, a couple of chairs will add a cheerful splash of colour to an outdoor urban space - a handy, low maintenance substitute for flowers.
Nicolas Le Moigne / Eternit
Price awaiting confirmation
Nicolas Le Moigne is a name to watch. The young Swiss designer, who graduated last year from ECAL, teamed up with his former college to design a series of outdoor elements, which were unveiled at Salone. Made from Eternit, a compound of cement and fibres, the planters and stools have all the rigidity you'd expect of their concrete material but on second glance a delicacy of form and detail that belies their industrial aesthetic. Le Moigne has exploited the fibrous element in the material to give a scaled, weathered appearance to the planters, like soft stone that’s been worn away over the years.
Henrik Pederson / The Design House
The idea of a barbeque is often more attractive than the reality. Much as mastering the art of a perfect temperature might be easy on paper everyone's fallen foul to the cindered steak, or worse, the raw sausage. Which is why a gas barbeque is an infinitely better option all round. Danish designer Henrik Pederson's HEAT range for The Design House has all the trappings of contemporary Scandinavian style. The HEAT 4 Burner is our favourite, combining every function you could possibly need (wheels, drinks cabinet, extendible table) in a slick, powder-coated steel cabinet. Even if you don't master the food first time round, looking the part is every bit as important.
Jon Eliason / Sagaform
If it follows that a cook is only as good as their utensils then aspiring outdoor chefs would be advised to get their hands on a set of Jon Eliason's new barbeque tools for Sagaform. The young Swedish designer who cites his influences as a combination of nature, history, science and meals, has created a set of beautiful teak handled, stainless steel tools, built to weather but to last also. Comprising a fork, a scraper, a fish slice and all-important tongs, the set is sturdy and old-fashioned; the sort of tools you’ll want to show off whilst whipping up a culinary triumph in the back garden.
Studio Job / Designhuis
Studio Job's designs are every bit as bold and unapologetic as the striking couple themselves. Farm, designed by the pair for Designhuis, is made up of 23 bronze and 6 wooden pieces in homage to the rural heritage of the Netherlands. From a Wellington boot to a belt, an eggcup to a milking stool, each of the 29 items is a quiet emblem of farm life, simple in form but elevated by virtue of their precious bronze finish. Though specific functions are debatable, we rather like the irreverence of using the pail as a decorative outdoor planter or bucket as the original object itself might have been employed.
Richard Schultz / Richard Schultz Design
Chair $3450, table $1520
While the original wing chair was designed to draw up to the hearth, protecting the user from chilly drafts, these days of global warming see Richard Schultz's fresh take on classic seating lend new intimacy to circular or rectangular groupings. While Schultz, who has permanent collections in Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art and Louvre in Paris, claims no green fingers, he is a consummate cultivator of planting design in the landscape. We think these environmentally-friendly, powder coated 3/16" perforated and folded aluminium Wing TM Chairs and low tables, in five bold metallic colours, bring chunky, rustic chic to any outside occasion.
We thought it only fair to throw open the doors to The W* House and share with you our wealth of experience in the design world. From cutlery to cupboards, pots to plumbing, The W* House features our favourite pieces of design from around the globe, room by room. We'll update them every time we find something new we like, building the collection into an archive for as long as the pieces are for sale. Practicality isn't often a buzzword at the Wallpaper* HQ, but when it comes to sharing our finds we wanted to keep things simple, letting you furnish your house the Wallpaper* way, with the click of a mouse.