Outdoor design is now a trend and biophilia explains why

in Design Trends

Outdoor design is definitely a trend on the rise.
Now, it’s summer and you may argue it’s normal that everyone is talking about outdoor design, but actually, there’s more to it.

If you’ve followed DforDesign for a while, you’ll already know my opinion on the relationship nature - interior design. It’s a fact that nature acts positively on our brain, bringing a soothing and regenerating effect. Which is why I strongly believe that taking inspiration from nature to design interiors is the way to create spaces that improve our sense of wellbeing besides just looking good aesthetically. In other words, biophilic design is the way to go.

But back to outdoor design

Outdoor design becomes a trend

Looking at the latest developments in design it is clear that the industry is turning to nature as a source of inspiration, and not only to mimic natural shapes. The healing effects of nature on our minds are being mentioned more and more often and spending more time outdoors is an obvious strategy to benefit from them. Time spent outdoors can give us a rest from our restless society and help us preserve and improve our wellbeing on a daily basis.

This being the background, it comes without saying that the bland foldable tables and chairs that used to be called outdoor furniture are not enough to serve such an important goal!

So here comes the need for better outdoor design. Now more than ever, companies are focusing on outdoor furniture, expanding their existing catalogues or even creating dedicated outdoor collections when they didn’t have one. The objective is making outdoor spaces as well-designed as interiors, both in terms of beauty and functionality. This translates in high-performance fabrics that don’t fear the elements, modular furniture to shape and adapt the space as needed and a gorgeous aesthetics that has nothing to envy to indoor furniture.

Outdoor design on a deck overlooking the sea.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Outdoor furniture by Varaschin (opened in a new window/tab)

Embracing nature in outdoor design

Greenery is obviously one of the first ingredients of outdoor spaces, but not everyone has access to a big garden. Good news: the outdoor design trend is also thinking of the ones among us that only have a small space outdoors. For instance, it's common to see planters integrated into furniture, which allows adding more greenery without taking up any extra space.

Outdoor round table with integrated planter in the center.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Outdoot table with integrated planter. Credit: Ataman Mesh by Garda (opened in a new window/tab)
Outdoor planters that double as ambient light.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Outdoor planters with integrated light. Credit: Marquis by Vondom (opened in a new window/tab)
Wooden bench with two integrated planters.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Outdoor bench with integrated planters. Credit: Romeo & Juliet Mesh by Extremis (opened in a new window/tab)

Outdoor design calls for natural materials

If spending time outdoors is a way to connect with nature, it makes total sense for outdoor furniture to turn to natural materials.
And indeed, natural materials are a constant in the latest outdoor design collections (and I couldn’t be happier).
Wood, rattan and wicker are the first that come to mind, but they’re not alone. Clay and terracotta are also used often and their colour brings in a beautiful earthy vibe.

Outdoor sofa and matching coffee table in teak wood.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Teak outdoor furniture. Credit: Vis-à-vis by Tribù (opened in a new window/tab)
Terracotta lantern in several earthy colours.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Terracotta lantern. Credit: Step by Ethimo (opened in a new window/tab)

Another interesting material is cork. Despite not being used so often, it is a great option for the outdoor. It’s naturally waterproof, it comes in a variety of different colours and its soft touch is a naturally cozy texture.

Dark cork ottoman, perfect for a biophilic outdoor.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Cork ottoman. Credit: Cork44 by Gervasoni (opened in a new window/tab)

Cuddling furniture

Going outdoors to unwind calls for a relaxing space. And looking at the newest outdoor furniture, comfort is indeed a clear priority.
There are more organic shapes (that are naturally soothing to the eyes) and a mix of soft finishes and fluffy upholsteries are a clear invite to step back and relax.

Upholstered outdoor chairs with a soft look.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Soft upholstered outdoor chairs. Credit: Senja by Tribù (opened in a new window/tab)
Outdoor sofa and chair with a curved profile.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Outdoor seating with curved profile. Credit: Twins by Expormim (opened in a new window/tab)
Fluffy outdoor chairs.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Soft upholstered outdoor chairs. Credit: Brioni by Kristalia (opened in a new window/tab)

Many sofas and chairs also come with a high back that is clearly inspired by acoustic proof chairs (remember when we talked about silence being a new trend in interior design?). They create a sort of alcove inviting to escape from the surroundings and deep dive into a moment of full relaxation. Which is exactly what biophilic design would call a refuge corner!

High back white outdoor sofa with a woven back.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
High-back outdoor sofa. Credit: Esedra by Ethimo (opened in a new window/tab)

As a bottom line, outdoor furniture is now so beautiful that one could totally use it indoors too! But this is another story, and we'll get to it in a future post...

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