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Room to Grow
Collections • Whether you’re hunting for a sofa in the perfect shade of blush or need some rooftop gardening ideas, our Collections feature lets you save all your obsessions in one place. Get inspired by some of our editors’ favorites.
How do you make the most of your outdoor space? • Readers tell us how they take advantage of their open-air environments.
Haute Verdure • A 19th-century Paris apartment building gets a two-level addition crowned by a terraced garden.
outdoor icons • If you follow furniture fashion, you’ve noticed that many new outdoor collections look like they belong in the living room rather than on the lawn. The pieces can be comfortable, but the trend has left us longing for the familiar forms and easygoing attitude of patio classics. We chose our favorite five and asked experts Aric Chen, the general and artistic director at Het Nieuwe Instituut in the Netherlands, and Emily Orr, the associate curator and acting head of product design and decorative arts at Cooper Hewitt in New York City, to tell us how these archetypes took over lawns, decks, and stoops across the globe. Then we gathered a group of contemporary chairs—most recently released or available in new colors—that riff on the qualities we love about the originals.
adirondack • “There are some crazy images of Victorian people putting their parlor furniture on the front lawn. This chair was different for its time because it was actually made for use outdoors, from local materials that reflect natural surroundings. It’s really part of a larger design story with the cabin and the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when people were fleeing cities and an escape to the mountains was seen as curative. Some chairs in this rustic style were made from branches, but the proper Adirondack was more manicured, with its smoothed, cut boards assembled in a geometric composition.”
lawn chair • “I grew up in Chicago, so there are a lot of wonderful midwestern vignettes where these chairs play a prominent role in my mind. I have an image of people pulling folded ones out of the trunks of their cars at the beach or Fourth of July barbecues, carrying a 7-Eleven Big Gulp in one hand. They represent that archetypal, postwar suburban lifestyle, and that makes them icons of Americana.”
bistro • “This chair strikes me as something that’s very temporary. You have a quick coffee, a chat with a friend. You probably don’t want to sit on that chair for hours. It’s ready for quick and multiple uses. And it’s something that can be easily wiped off and used by the next person.”
monobloc • “When I picture the white plastic chair, I see it discarded or empty, maybe left behind after someone’s moved or at a community center in the corner with a bunch of others after an event. But other molded, single-plastic chairs can be really elegant. The slats in the white plastic Monoblocs are there to relieve the tension in the material so it can stand, but it ruins the glossy, sleek curves that can be achieved with a more sophisticated manufacturing technique.”
acapulco • “In my mind’s eye this chair represents nothing but urban chic. It’s an oddly ubiquitous design in the Netherlands, where I live, even though we’re not known for our tropical, sunny weather. Maybe it’s wishful thinking that makes it so popular. But it is comfortable. Once you sink in, it hugs your body and forces you into a relaxed pose. Also, the air can circulate around it, so rain doesn’t collect on the seat. I have a version in white on my terrace, and even though I’m not a color person, I got a shiny yellow table to go next...