At this point, we all have at least some idea of what outdoor furniture typically looks like. Most pieces are made of wicker and teak, and forego dark, moodier colors in favor of lighter, brighter hues. Without fail, major manufacturers flood the market every year with new, glossy outdoor launches just in time for spring. We’ve saved you the trouble of sorting through all that clutter and picked out a few of the very best—pieces that feel similar to outdoor collections past, but are just different enough, bringing something new to the tried-and-true formula.
Senja, Janus et Cie
Bulky patio seating has been the style du jour for way too many jours. Senja enters like a cooling ocean breeze with a slim aluminum base beneath its plush linen cushions. And like any good modular system, it’s a bit like Lego: Pick the pieces you want, and then slot them together in whatever configuration best suits. Building blocks include sofas, poufs, side tables and chairs. You can now plan a little social distance even into your seating arrangements. Starting at $1,180
Perrow Drinks Cart, McKinnon and Harris
We feel outdoor cocktailing should be invested with a certain playfulness, without sacrificing quality. Perrow takes its cues from traditional garden trolleys but ups the chic factor. It’s built to last, too. The aluminum cart (offered in an array of candy-colored hues) is treated with a special coating, one the company has been perfecting for almost 30 years, making it highly resistant to corrosion. Our livers… well, that might be another story. $8,610
522 Tokyo Chaise Lounge, Cassina
You can’t go wrong with an updated classic. Charlotte Perriand, one of the design world’s most celebrated modernist creators, first planned the Tokyo lounge in 1940. It takes cues from her famous LC4 chaise, except, instead of steel and leather, this airier iteration is made of 12 curved strips of bamboo (plus some brass studs to hold it all together). Its compelling silhouette is sure to enhance your own during a snooze under the sun. $7,320
Bubble Chair, Ben Rousseau
We all know that bubble chair; the mod design is about as ’70s as bell-bottoms and tie-dye. British designer Ben Rousseau gives the beloved midcentury seat a contemporary upgrade, and a dash of fun as a swing, by swapping out its acrylic shell for a soft-yet-sleek steel. For those who are married to the old-school version, Rousseau can make a custom one that keeps the look of the original, transparent frame—with some built-in LEDs. Starting at $5,950
Wicker for outdoor furniture is nothing new, but designer Ann Marie Vering’s version certainly brings something different to the table (or, rather, the patio). Pavona’s all-weather frame is inspired by an unfurled fan, with curves and lines that create dynamic shadows. Craftsmanship is evident in the wicker component: It’s handwoven as one continuous panel. Starting at $1,265
Sadly, travel’s been a bit off the table as of late. For those experiencing a bit of wanderlust, there’s Arhaus’ latest outdoor collection, which wants to transport you to a far-flung, paradisal locale—no hotel reservation required. Canyon, with its solid teak frame, is reminiscent of verdant forests and picturesque beaches. It’s no substitute for actually being there, sure, but it’ll tie you over until your next big trip at least.
Hopper AA, Extremis
Picnic tables can be fun, but jumping the bench each time just to sit down can be a real pain. Belgian manufacturer Extremis eliminates these unnecessary acrobatics with Hopper AA, which includes four “pass-through zones” where you can easily slide in, take a seat and enjoy alfresco lunch with friends. Its sleek design is made even more straightforward by its materiality—rather than incorporating a bunch of disparate materials, Hopper sticks to the basics and is comprised entirely of aluminum.
Borea, B&B Italia
Reduce, reuse, recycle… or fashion said recyclable materials into cozy seat cushions. The Borea collection takes the latter approach, transforming ground up plastic bottles into a yarn that’s used in each piece’s upholstery—about 280 for a chair, and 510 for a sofa. Its sustainable circular economy continues even after you’re done with it, too, as each furnishing can be easily recycled. You’ll probably want to keep it around on your loggia for a while before tossing it, though.
Dedon’s latest takes a simple shape—the circle—and makes it interesting via intricate weaving techniques. The collection’s design comes courtesy of Stephen Burks, whose oeuvre regularly features colorful, carefully woven fabrics. Dala puts a more environment-first spin on that formula, transforming recycled polyethylene and expanded aluminum into beautiful seats, stools and side tables.