Gizmag's top 10 outdoor furniture items
January 27, 2012
Whilst most of the Northern Hemisphere is rugging up from the cold weather and dreaming about summer and sun, here are some outdoor ideas to add to your wish-list this year. Be it an indulgent lounge chair or your ideal cocktail bar, these designs will revive your backyard in time for summer.
Mexican industrial designer Victor M. Aleman has created this unique design that accommodates two. The lounge loops overhead like a rollercoaster, providing partial shade and creating an intimate lounge designed for couples.
Not surprisingly, this hammock for lovers is also a feature piece from Victor M. Aleman. Mua is a swing seat designed to appeal to any romantic. Made with an internal stainless steel frame, rattan palm exterior and foam cushioning, this design reinvents the hammock.
There's nothing quite like an old rocking chair for finding your center and chilling out. The SOFT Rocker was developed by Professor Sheila Kennedy and architecture students from MIT. The teardrop-shaped outdoor rocking lounge chairs have solar panels over the top to provide power for up to three USB devices, and some after-dark lighting to allow the party to go on after the sun goes down.
The SOFT Rockers are made from flat MDF panels which have undergone an advanced digital curving procedure based on the zipshape process, that was originally developed in Switzerland by Christoph Schindler. A lightweight Kuka robotic arm was used to remove portions of the structurally unsound wood to form an inside surface resembling a row of teeth.
The Cuebe outdoor kitchen is designed for the outdoor chef, and entertaining on warm summer nights. This compact stainless steel unit features two gas stoves, a teppanyaki plate and innovative storage draws. Cuebe is a simple, solid and practical outdoor kitchen with functionality and style by the Swiss designers ROB Gmbh.
This Outdoor Cocktail Bar by Italian designer Metalco would make an ideal addition to the Cuebe. The portable cocktail trolley provides almost everything you need to make cocktails - bar the alcohol. The unit features an ice maker that produces 25 kg (55 lb) of ice in 24 hours, a stainless steel bottle tray and cup holder, a black granite cutting board and chic stainless steel preparation area.
This mobile air-conditioned wine tasting trolley is for the wine connoisseur. Also created by Metalco, this wine bar features a wine storage cabin with dual temperature conditions. The upper shelf is great for white varietals maintained between 5-10 degrees Celsius (41- 50 degrees F) whilst the lower shelf is perfect for reds kept between 11-18 degrees Celsius (51-64 degrees F). The compact unit is a brushed stainless steel structure featuring a wooden top treated for outdoor use, a black granite chopping board, plus a stainless steel basin, bottle holder and glass holder.
This hammock/lounge is designed by Erik Nyberg and Gustav Strom for Royal Botania. The Wave outdoor furniture piece is whatever you make it to be - a sun chair, a hammock or umbrella. Combining design with functionality, this lounge is built using electro-polished stainless steel and two types of perforated fabric, one for the upper canopy and another for the seated area. The lounge can gently swing and offers 86 percent protection from the sun's UV rays.
Also from Royal Botania, Surf (unlike its cousin, Wave) is anchored on both ends, creating a lounge for one or two people. Featuring a metal frame and PVC-coated polyester seating, the Surf lounge is suspended in mid-air, offering the comfort of traditional hammocks, but with a unique style. Surf is compact and easy to install. It can either be fixed to a ground point or the hidden wheels under the base allow it to be freely moved around the garden.
Haugen/Zohar Architects has come up with this design for a backyard fire pit that can become a dazzling light display at night. Made from re-used materials, the fire hut is inspired by traditional Norwegian turf huts and is mounted on a simple concrete base. The structure is made of 80 layered circles and features an internal seating area where friends can gather around the fire and share stories. Each circle is made out of 28 pieces of naturally impregnated core of pine that are then positioned in varied spaces to create the chimney shape and holes for light to filter out. In addition, oak separators have been placed vertically between the pine pieces to assure sufficient airflow and providing ideal conditions for an outdoor fire.
French designer Pierre Stephane Dumas has created a range of portable transparent huts, offering a quiet space for retreat. The idea behind his Bubble collection was to create a temporary leisure accommodation that had the least impact on the surrounding environment, whilst also giving the impression of being amongst nature. The CristalBubble is suitable for spending a night in, and is easy to install. Featuring an air renewal system, the Bubble maintains its sphere shape by utilizing a blower that constantly creates soft pressure against the walls. This air pressure also avoids moisture problems and provides a constant flow of fresh air into the interior of the bubble.
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