With the official start of summer a little less than a month away, we decided to look for some exciting outdoor design concepts so your lawn or garden will be ready when temperatures start rising.
Topping our list of discoveries is "An Onion Thing" created by Priscilla Lui (right), a student from the National University of Singapore. The sculptural chair made of fiberglass strands is designed to become part of the landscape as creeping plants grow through its fissures. We don't think it's available yet, but anyone interested in obtaining one or producing them might email prizzz [at] gmail [dot] com or call +1 65-94884585.
While we're on subject of sculpture you can sit on, check out oona, Paolinet's riveted polypropylene prototype (below) designed in both black and white by Johnlouis Petitbon.
Two more sculptural settees that caught our eye were created by Brooklyn-based builder/designer Ethan Ames: the sleek Sculptural Bench (below right) and the Laguardia Mat (below left) which can be shaped at your whim into a chaise lounge or even a twin wine chiller. Both of these pieces are part of the installation at blockparty, which we mentioned earlier here.
Alexandre Moronnoz's amazing Y Scalable Furniture, that we originally saw during Milan's Design Week, allows you to transcend the ephemeral park bench with an endless selection of forms and shapes that can be realized by a series of interlocking wooden boomerang Y's (pictured right).
Aduki mobile indoor/outdoor lights can add the final perfect touch to your desired ambience for any evening. Beautifully sculpted like a raindrop,
Mathmos for $60.
When heat of the sun (or your fifth bloody mary) gets to be too intense you can cool off with a shower right on your lawn with Extremis's ultra-modern Serpentine outdoor shower (below left) or seek shelter inside a Gandia Blasco "Tipi" (below right). The shower conveniently plugs into any basic garden hose and has a sleek design that would go with almost any outdoor aesthetic. The elegant white Tipi is an easy way to lend Fellini-esque style to your next beach adventure.
Take your favorite rainy-day game out into the sun with Spanish designer, Rafael Rodriguez's, All-Weather Foosball table. (You may have noticed it earlier on the recently-launched Thrillist Nation.) Made of stainless steel and 6mm aluminum players, this table won't corrode and is suited to any climate. Each corner has drink holders and all four feet have slip-resistant rubber based foot levers. It's available exclusively at Design Within Reach for $3,998.
Another hot item we found from Extremis is this award-winning glossy PicNik which provides a fun new take on the classic and can work as a nesting pair or as a stand-alone two seater. You can also get matching faux fur seat rugs to add extra fun and style.
In terms of more portable ideas, La Transportable, designed by Thomas Duserre (another Milan find), lets you easily bring your own coffee table along wherever you go (below, left). And available from Fred Flare, the Pocket Hammock made of comfy nylon mesh, stores away into a 12X7 cm travel pack (below, right).
And, for BYOB rooftop parties, the six pack tote from Built NY lets you transport canned or bottled beverages while absorbing outside condensation and providing insulation so your favorite drink will be cold when you get there.
Now you can enjoy a decadent hot tub experience almost anywhere with the Dutchtub. Dutch designer Floris Schoonderbeek has created a polyester tub with a stainless steel, wood-fueled system that naturally circulates water while heating it up to 100° F. Dutchtub.
Last but not least, we loved this mod Plantorb by Amy Adams who designed the well-loved Perch Birdfeeder in 2002. Her work is also on display at blockparty and the Plantorb is available from Perch Design for $96.