Chic summer furniture for the great outdoors

Contemporary designs from Roche Bobois, Ligne Roset and Living Divani

Romero Vallejo for Gandiablasco Docks range, £2,740 for a two-seater sofa.
Romero Vallejo for Gandiablasco Docks range, £2,740 for a two-seater sofa.

Furnishing the great outdoors just got a great deal more interesting, with brands offering ranges that are as chic, and comfortable, as anything you might find indoors. Roche Bobois’s latest collection includes the Escapade (£3,180, fourth picture), a vast three-seater sofa with squidgy cushions and moveable supports. Designed by Zeno Nugari, it comes in a glorious Missoni fabric created specially for Roche Bobois, or in plain colours that wouldn’t look out of place in a contemporary sitting room. For lounging around swimming pools, a scattering of the company’s inflatable pop-inspired Airflower armchairs (£220) would be both fun and useful.

Nathan Yong for Ligne Roset solid‑teak Elizabeth armchair, £1,805
Nathan Yong for Ligne Roset solid‑teak Elizabeth armchair, £1,805

For something more flexible, Docks (two-seater sofa, £2,740, first picture) are practical, elegant modular blocks that can be rearranged according to whim. Designed by Romero Vallejo for the Spanish company Gandiablasco, the lightweight pieces have frames made of aluminium in white, bronze, sand and grey, while the polyurethane foam-rubber seats and cushions are covered with removable, water-repellent fabrics in myriad colours.

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Piero Lissoni’s long-standing collaboration with Living Divani has given us perfect examples of the genre. His Bubble Rock sofa (£3,482, third picture) remains wonderfully attractive, and could grace the most sophisticated of modern interiors. The marine-plywood frame has rubber-elastic-webbing cushions with removable covers. It also comes with a special weatherproof protective cover.

Piero Lissoni for Living Divani Bubble Rock sofa, £3,482.
Piero Lissoni for Living Divani Bubble Rock sofa, £3,482.

When it comes to chairs, the Singaporean designer Nathan Yong has expanded his black-stained-ash Elizabeth collection for Ligne Roset to include pieces adapted for the outdoors, such as a natural-finish solid-teak armchair (£1,805, second picture). A cooler aesthetic comes from the Nest Lounge series by Danish designers Cane-line. They use hand-woven rattan to create some beautifully lightweight and airy-looking armchairs with comfortable cushions (from £795).

Zeno Nugari for Roche Bobois Escapade sofa, £3,180
Zeno Nugari for Roche Bobois Escapade sofa, £3,180

For those who think every garden needs a swing seat, House of Hackney has a retro-looking one upholstered in its own distinctive green and white palm-leaf fabric (£5,850), with deckchairs (£355), some rather charming wicker chairs (£465) and a sofa (£900) to match.

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