Design your own alfresco sanctuary with these luxe pieces of outdoor furniture

By Kathryn Chung

<em>Photography Marco Craig</em>
Photography Marco Craig
Creating a more seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces is a persevering trend. As Patricia Urquiola's latest collection for Kettal illustrates, there are no rules when it comes to where to create your at-home sanctuary. 

There was a time when outdoor furniture was relegated to the realm of practical – sturdy pieces that while stylish, lacked an element of softness and comfort that we’ve become accustomed to inside the home.

Thankfully, talented designers have, in recent years, done away with the rule book, and have started looking at ways to translate the comfort of our indoor spaces into the outdoor realm. This burgeoning trend of bringing the indoors out has no doubt been spurred on by the way in which we have re-examined our spaces in the past two and a half years.

No longer separated by their traditional functions, spaces within the home have become influenced by our new ‘hybrid’ way of thinking. Living areas are doubling as home offices, and our outdoor spaces are becoming more and more integral to our everyday lives.

Kettal’s showcase at the Salone del Mobile 2022 beautifully captured this fascinating shift in furniture and interior trends. Created by renowned Spanish designer and architect Patricia Urquiola, the Kettal stand had two main areas dedicated to the outdoor and workplace environments, along with an exhibition space exploring material research and technology.

One of the standout Kettal collections that debuted at Milan was Urquiola’s own outdoor collection, titled Plumón. A creative who has long resisted the confines of singular design, Urquiola was inspired by the concept of creating new looks by dressing and undressing furniture. The pieces – various chairs, sofas and tables in organic shapes and plush textures – draws upon the Brazilian spirit of living in abundance, with roomy, comfortable furnishings.

Urquiola relied on detailed tailoring and wrapping techniques to create this feeling of ultimate comfort. Teak forms the structural basis of the chairs and sofas, which are then dressed in padded cushions that extend over the seat, armrest and backrest, in neutral, earthy shades.

As a designer, Urquiola has long embraced experimentation in her projects, using this approach to delve into the relationship between objects and spaces. The tables created for the Plumón collection demonstrate this, as she adopted a 3D stoneware printing technique to sculpt each piece.

“I am interested in the new poetics that come from new technologies,” she says. “We are going to be more and more artisan digital producers.”

The base of the table comprises of a hollowed-out and layered stoneware structure, one that looks handmade but is crafted from a special, CO2-absorbing polymer, made in collaboration with advanced manufacturing company, LaMáquina by Noumena. The striking, organic shapes are made without a set mould, meaning each table can be crafted as its own unique piece.

Discover the Plumón collection at studioitalia.co.nz

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