Now that six more weeks of winter have been confirmed by our little groundhog friend Punxsutawney Phil, that gives all of us a little more time to get ready for Spring. When it comes to furniture especially, there are so many options that it can be hard to decide which direction to go in. I thought I would give you some things to consider, from the designer perspective when you are planning your outdoor spaces this year. My team and I put a lot of thought into answering these questions when we design. Checking just a few of these boxes can really take your space from being just aesthetically pleasing to becoming your favorite happy place in your home.
1. What is the focal point of your patio?
We all have different ideas of what makes a well designed patio. For me a lot of time it's plant life. There is nothing like a perfectly landscaped garden of any kind. When I started working with different materials developing what is now Bend Goods, I chose wire because I loved the look but also loved the way that it enhanced the space and didn't completely take it over. I love the way that wire furniture can almost be visually transparent. Especially when you are designing for small spaces, that visual concept can make your space feel double the size and much brighter in most cases.
2. Is your space making you feel nostalgic?
When I left my corporate job to pursue independent furniture design, having a nostalgic quality in my designs was very important to me. Still today there is nothing like seeing photos from the cocktail parties of the 50's, 60's and 70's in Palm Springs California. There is an energy that lives through that time that I have always tried to recreate. With any space, but for me especially outdoor, think about what you loved growing up. What had your parents or even grandparents done that made you dream and feel the magic that they had created? I feel as children we pay a lot of attention to details and remembering those details are what causes us nostalgia today. Try and tap into those memories.
3. Are you creating a space that feels permanent and comfortable?
In today's fast paced world, we are constantly being inspired by what's new and different. Most of the time that is in the hopes of selling us something. It's important to me that we are making spaces that feel permanent and comfortable. This kind of leads back to nostalgia as well. I loved my grandparents garden because I always knew what I was getting. It wasn't an ever revolving design with new furniture all the time. It was the perfectly grown and maintained garden and that patio set that they still have today. It's taking care of and having pride for what you have so that it will last forever. That new concept has really made comfort in what we have today.
4. Is your plant life right for your climate?
Having just lived through a couple years of major drought in Southern California, I think this concept has just been hammered into my head. I also agree with it pretty wholeheartedly though. For the most part, we all love where we liveand have chosen to live here for various factors such as the climate. Doing some research and finding plants that give you the look you are going for with the durability that can stand up to the weather is important. It gives you peace of mind when you are watching your garden flourish and not battling to keep it alive. It's also good on the pocket book when you are not having to over water and also constantly replace dying plans.
5. Does your style flow from indoors to the outdoors?
Living in Southern California, our lives are indoor/outdoor for upwards of 10 months out of the year. Having a style that easily flows from inside your home to your outdoor spaces creates a flow that can be felt both by you and your guests. That doesn't mean that you have to pick one style and stick to it, but try and have some accent colors that are shared. Put some of those plants that you can't live without but that aren't hardy enough for your climate inside so that life is throughout. If your space is a little smaller, buy furniture with finishes that can be used inside as well as out. Our powder coated options are great for a small dining room that seat four, but can be made to seat six. Keep the other two chairs on the patio ready for extra seating inside at a moment's notice.