Design moves seamlessly from the inside to the outside, configuring flexible outdoor spaces, like stages immersed in the landscape, in the name of comfort and practicality.

The outdoors as an extension of the indoors: it happens with fashion that adorns the body, but today it happens above all with the home which, from an intimate refuge, expands to accommodate new comfortable and increasingly less temporary spaces. Recent limitations have perhaps facilitated a trend which had already been underway since living spaces shrank in favour of an open-air corner: patios as a projection of living room relaxation, verandas as orangeries where you can read in the green, terraces where you can share moments of socialising and even small balconies to pamper with flowers, all become design opportunities for practising the concept of “outdoor interiors”. There is a return to natural materials, wood first of all, which guarantee wellbeing but at the same time interpret contemporary charm and expressiveness. This happens with the Calipso system for Ethimo, which, as designer Ilaria Marelli says, redefines the concept of the outdoors, favouring modularity and versatility: «All the elements that rest on the ‘oversize’ teak base can be freely positioned to be moved as you like». Since 2009, the year it was founded, Ethimo, a family-run business coming from the outdoor and gardening world, has been able to integrate new managerial skills, establishing itself as one of the major players in the outdoor sector, with balanced, contemporary proposals that blend well with the beauty of the Mediterranean landscape (and beyond). Emu, a historic company founded in Umbria in the 1950s, since 2017 back in the hands of the founders’ family and now an international player, is known for having introduced design to the outdoor sector, and has always stood out for its constant investment in technological innovation with an eye to the environment.

The study on the development of the material mix has recently suggested the combination of aluminium and steel with teak seats, generating collections suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Teak and steel converge in Florent Coirier’s revisited Lyze seating collection as well as in Arik Levy’s essential Shine collection, which in addition to seating includes tables with teak tops. The Jeko outdoor collection designed by Paola Navone for Gervasoni has an elegant yet informal decontracté style. Teak salvaged from the demolition – authorised by the local authorities – of traditional wooden houses on the Indonesian island of Java, cut, assembled and finished by hand, becomes the structural element (ECOTeak) for the collection with its clearly exotic inspiration. With over 130 years of activity, the small Udine-based craftsman’s workshop Gervasoni has been able to transform and expand its range of outdoor and indoor products, creating, thanks also to the creative contribution of Paola Navone’s art direction, a recognisable style of outdoor living. Established in 1882 and currently managed by the third generation of the family, the company became part of IDB, Italian Design Brands S.p.A., in May 2015. Paola Lenti’s style is light-hearted and cheerful. The company was founded in 1994 in the heart of the historic Italian furniture district, in Meda, and is famous for its propensity for innovation expressed in the development of high-performance yarns and in the development of technical fabrics, specifically for outdoor use and now also for indoor use.

With an international distribution, Paola Lenti offers colourful collections of seating, carpets and structures for the residential and nautical sectors. The contemporary style of Mogambo, a non-closable sunshade, together with Shell pouf, in polyurethane with water-repellent finish, is the result of a manual weaving obtained with Samo rope, an exclusive Paola Lenti material produced in rope yarn with a wide palette of mélange colours for the sunshade and hundreds of nuances for the seat. A combination of elegance and simplicity, geometric patterns and softness characterises the CleoSoft collection by Marco Acerbis for Talenti. The ever-present wood in the modular and customisable sofa is combined with the elegance of the textiles and cushions – padded with quick-dry foam and upholstered with removable fabric – to project indoor comfort onto the outdoor environment. Founded by a family of entrepreneurs, the Umbrian company Talenti, now a leading player on the international market, has chosen the path of design, functionality combined with aesthetics and quality to offer outdoor furniture that betrays a strong link with traditional craftsmanship and constant attention to innovation. Talenti boasts collaborations with important international designers and has an important network of flagship stores that represent its values throughout the world.

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