December 8, 2023


Amazing design, nonpareil

Beyond Garden Variety Garden Furniture

Gardens are among the most civilized of human habitats. Visually evocative and yet functional garden furniture is an important part of the lives that people enjoy in their gardens. Poets have written about gardens. Novels have been based around them. People have an ancient and intrinsic sense of peace and serenity when they are at one with their picturesque plot of land. Humans revel in the beauty of their garden flowers and other vegetation, but they survey that beauty from the benches and chairs that distinguish a garden from any other plant-filled yard.

The words lawn furniture used to call up images of cheap wooden picnic tables with tacky patio umbrellas, collapsible lawn chairs, overwrought iron garden benches, wildly outdated wicker, chintzy hard plastic bistro tables, fake teak bars, forty-year old Hawaiian torches and visual terrors of many other kinds. The modern era of outside living components having laid waste to the age of gimcrack, people are now inviting the future into their gardens.

Lawn furniture of all kinds are available in a vast array of colors, patterns, styles and functions. Even old stalwarts like rattan and updated wicker have been envisioned for today. Garden living gear ranges from the latest all-weather surfaces and materials to decorator patio groupings meant for an outdoor-indoor space. Antique reproductions have merged the vintage look with the latest inventions and materials. Neo fashion created with classic sensibilities has been married to high-tech devices to truly grace the garden. Tacky torches and lanterns have moved aside to be replaced by solar based lighting systems.

Livingroom quality comfort seating like sofas and sectionals are routinely grouped around outside televisions and other entertainment centers. All weather truly means all-weather now. Even if it didn’t, the walls of the home themselves, driven by retractable screens and similar devices, have become less rigid and circumscribed. Areas of the home may be transformed from outdoors to indoors in a matter of seconds.

Even the time-honored barbecue pit has been updated with the most advanced cooking systems, which swim-up bars and other conversation centered dining furnishings often surround. Dim evening light is banished immediately with advanced light-sensitive lamps. The party no longer ends at darkness. Life at home can go the distance from external to internal and back again.

With invisible components to high-tech security systems, modern tech has pushed slumbering outside past the spindly constraints of a hammock or one’s grandmother’s old summer sleeping porch. Snoozing under the stars no longer requires a smelly old sleeping bag and a pup tent. Entire bedroom sets have been created and stylized for the great outdoors. Day beds are very common. Canopy systems are at the ready for when weather changes.

What other innovations will come about as the lines between outside and inside continue to grow thin? The progress of technology seems to be the only limit to this convergence of human life. Landscaping and home decorating may somehow merge. Perhaps a home will combine elements of the outdoors and indoors, bringing together the best of both worlds to beautify and improve our lives.