Rooms Without Walls

Inspiration for Minimal Outdoor Living

March 2020
5 minutes
Molo outdoor furniture by Kettal
Lounging on giant sofas with friends on balmy evenings.

Subdued lighting, chilled music, and the pop of wine corks.
Side tables brimming with delicious edible morsels.

Grab a throw when the sun goes down and light up the fire bowl.
Close your eyes and you're back in Sri Lanka on Summer vacation.

Want this every day, and not just on holiday?
Here’s how.

Outdoor Living has Evolved

Gone are the days of

  • rusty benches at the bottom of the garden buried in weeds and grass
  • rickety sun loungers with a G+T on the terrace
  • slatted teak tables, wobbly parasols and the BBQ belching smoke

Now your outdoor space can look as refined as your interior.
Elegant, stylish, sophisticated.
All with a minimal edge.

Set the Scene

Think canapés for 20, not chicken chasseur for 6

You love . . .

Catching up with friends - cool clothes, the clink of ice, a relaxed party vibe (no carrot and humus here!)

Flicking through Cereal and Monocle in the shade.

Scanning your messages with a coffee and croissant. Grabbing a zen moment before you head to work.

So what do you need in your outdoor room?

Senja furniture collection by Tribù
Senja Collection
Tribù

5 Elements to your Perfect Room

Creating your minimal outdoor room isn’t about plonking a load of furniture outside.
It needs a spot of thought.

Simplify it down to these 5 things and you can’t go wrong

  • canopy
  • seats
  • tables
  • rugs
  • lighting

Outdoor furniture no longer needs to be practical and ugly. You want comfortable and beautiful but also tough and weatherproof.

A few brands have really nailed this elusive combination.

Now I’ll walk you through each element and reveal the brands that are leading the way.

Canopy

In places like London, the weather can hurl anything at you.
For total versatility your outdoor room should give shade from the sun and protection from the rain.

There are some great design solutions out there that do both.

Pavilion H

For your ultimate, all season outdoor room, meet Pavilion H from Kettal.

A permanent room outside, it’s built around a metal framework.
Any size from cozy snug up to expansive living room.
Ceiling and side panels slot in to combat unpredictable weather.

Canadian cedar canopies, venetian fabric roofs, glass, stone or louvered sliding walls, and bioclimatic ceilings to protect you from anything.

With refined frames in 30 colours, the combinations are unlimited.

Integrated lighting and power give you all the options you can think of to host your effortless soirée

Pavilion H by Kettal
Pavilion H
Kettal

Pavilion Daybed

A more streamlined option is the Pavilion Daybed by the Belgian brand Tribù (my favourite outdoor brand BTW)

Super comfortable cushioned daybeds nestle inside a slimline frame.
Shade comes from teak or aluminium bars and a retractable fabric canopy.

This takes the poolside lounger to another level.

Pavilion daybed by Tribù
Pavilion Daybed
Tribù

Plants

And the most obvious shade creators . . . plants!

These three exotics will work great in giant pots and transport you to a Riad in Marrakech.

Trachycarpus, tetrapanax and banana.

Seats

Step aside upright hardwood dining chairs.
Sofas have arrived on the outdoor scene.

Amazingly comfortable, as beautiful as any indoor equivalent, and totally weatherproof into the bargain.

You’re going to love these!
But before you launch into placing an order, spend a second to think about layout.
This is make or break for creating flow and ambience.
And get the max out of your minimal.

To create intimacy seats should face inwards.
Choose one of these 4 layouts and you can’t go wrong.

L-shape, C-shape, Square, or Parallel.

Tosca sofa by Tribù
Parallel layout with Tosca sofas by Tribù
Tribù

Senja Meridienne

For dreamlike relaxation, stretch out on one of Tribù’s meridiennes.
I love Senja with it’s generous plump cushions to flumph into.

Team the oat or wengé coloured frame with over 100 stunning outdoor fabrics. Colour options have been edited to create sophisticated muted palettes. The epitome of refined taste.

I feel a siesta coming on.

Senja meridienne by Tribù
Senja Meridienne
Tribù

Kodo Cocoon

More upright than a meridienne, but just as squishy is Vincent Sheppard’s Kodo Cocoon.

It cradles you in a shell-like back, supported by woven rope.
The frame, a soft minimal grey, tones beautifully with the fabric spectrum.

Kodo cocoon by Vincent Sheppard
Kodo Cocoon
Vincent Sheppard

Bay Lounge Chair

Based in Indonesia, Gloster are the specialists in handmade teak furniture.
Grown on their own carefully managed plantations, the teak’s 100% sustainable.

They’ve developed a unique buffing technique, that gives the wood a silky smooth finish, even when wet. It ages to a beautiful silvery grey.

Composed of subtle angles, I love their Bay lounge chair.
It gently reclines with generous cushions.

This chair’s confident in appearance and design, but still very welcoming and tactile.

Bay lounge chair by Gloster
Bay Lounge Chair
Gloster
Ever wondered why teak is used for outdoor furniture?
It’s close grain and high natural oil content make it hard wearing and rot, sun, rain, frost and snow resistant.

Band Club Chair

Band by Kettal, strips back the classic club chair to it’s most minimal form.

Simple repeated angular shapes.
It embodies minimalism.

Shown here in teak it also comes in aluminium.
34 bold fabric options from saffron to lagoon.

Band lounge chair by Kettal
Band Lounge Chair
Kettal

Tables

Grab yourself a selection of occasional tables.
From coffee to side table you’ll have every option covered.

Hexagon

Inspired by the dramatic basalt of the Giants Causeway is Hexagon by Tribù.

A handcrafted lava stone top sits flush in a teak base.
The glazed enamel has a subtle craquelure effect and is water, heat, frost, UV and stain resistant.

They work beautifully nestled, giving two different levels or singly as a feature table.

Enamel comes in four rich colours - linen, moss, burgundy or teal.

Hexagon table by Tribù
Hexagon
Tribù

Natal Alu X-table

A totally different, but minimal side table by Tribù comes from their Natal Alu range.

Matt powder-coated aluminium, the X-table is simple and graphic.
Look closely and you’ll see some elegant design touches like angled corner joints.

In circular, square and rectangular forms, it comes in different heights. Combined with it’s fine, light structure it works in every situation.
A truly versatile table.

Natal alu x-table by Tribù
Natal Alu X-table
Tribù

Clamp

Equally minimal and modern is Clamp by Gloster.

The teak tray top perches on a graphic O-shaped base.

Gloster pre-treat their aluminium with chrome before it’s electro-statically powder coated. The paint’s perfectly even, resistant to knocks, scratches and total submersion in water.

The bad boy of occasionals.

Two simple variants, black or white, it works with any colour scheme.

Clamp table by Gloster
Clamp
Gloster
Aluminium’s used for outdoor furniture because it’s light, strong and almost never corrodes.

Rugs

When you think of outdoor rooms, how do you soften that stone or hardwood floor?

Rugs.

An expanse of stone can leave your carefully arranged furniture looking a bit lost.
A rug anchors your room and covers some of that stone.

But rugs outside?!
Don’t worry, no whiff of wet wool or rotting sisal here!
Many brands have designed completely waterproof options.

Loft by Tribù is a great example.
Although woven from manmade material, it looks totally natural, is soft underfoot and tough enough to withstand being blasted by the sun and rain.
Freshen it with a quick jet from a high pressure hose.

Discover the best at Tribù, Brita and Vincent Sheppard.

Loft rug by Tribù
Loft
Tribù

Lighting

No room’s complete without lighting.
To create your perfect ambience, outdoor lights are the make or break.

This is the stage and everything needs to shine.
Candles in storm lanterns alone don’t cut it.

You need year round illumination.
With the flick of a switch, everything’s beautifully lit.

Architectural lighting wizards Vibia, have developed a 'furniture meets light concept'. Innovative outdoor lighting fused with furniture.

Empty

A sculpture during the day it emits an atmospheric glow in the evening.

Made of polymer concrete it’s strong enough to perch on.
It also doubles as side table.

Empty outdoor light by Vibia
Empty
Vibia

Meridiano

Another design from Vibia is Meridiano.

Lit from underneath the delicate metal cage casts magical shadows.

It’s organic sea urchin shape introduces a decorative dimension to your minimal space.

Strong enough to sit on it’s available in 3 natural shades - khaki, warm grey or green.

Meridiano outdoor light by Vibia
Meridiano
Vibia

Not a rusty bench, wobbly parasol or greasy BBQ in sight.
Outdoor living’s grown up.

Reclining on sofas, the chink of ice, laughter in the moonlight.
You’ve cracked the code to an enviable outdoor living space.

Dan
Fitness Nut, Bookworm and Minimalist
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