Instagram boasts nearly 4.2 million posts tagged #outdoorliving. As enthusiastic a showing as that is, blurring the lines between indoors and out is not a new concept. Wraparound porches in the South predated the Civil War; Phillip Johnson completed Fallingwater in 1937; suburban backyards became a mainstay in the 1950s. In the 21st, everyone everywhere began clamoring for outdoor living rooms. Even Northeasterners started layering rugs on bluestone patios, fashioning tableaus that extended far beyond Adirondack chairs. We quickly learned that such floor coverings were magic in the kitchen too.
And then came Covid-19. Holdouts for whom dining al fresco conjured images of splintery picnic tables clamored to create outdoor oases. Thanks to new technologies in textile design, patio pieces are now upholstered in brocades and bouclés that are water-repellent, fade resistant and mildew resistant. Outdoor furniture is no longer utilitarian; it is luxurious. One just needs to experience FBN London’s sensuous lounge chair or Kettal’s chunky knit sectional sofa to understand. So use it outside, or yes, pull it in.