The Outdoor Collections Making Us Long For Warmer Weather
It’s almost time, in most of the northern hemisphere at least, to spend as much of the day outside as possible. (This is, we understand, both a statement of fact and a piece of wish fulfillment.) And while we have typically struggled to find effortlessly great outdoor furniture, the new outdoor dining and lounging collections from Danish design company Skagerak — which joined another Danish furniture mainstay, Fritz Hansen, to officially become Skagerak by Fritz Hansen last year — is a serious contender. Their new Pelagus series, named after the Greek word for sea, evokes a deeply relaxing, maritime atmosphere. But with their clean Scandinavian lines and unfussy simplicity, these tables, chairs, and sunbeds could fit in just about anywhere. A lengthy development process helped give the collection, designed by Stockholm’s multi-disciplinary Note Design Studio, a chameleon-like ability to blend with any given outdoor environment: a cabin overlooking the Swedish archipelago, a wooded upstate retreat, a suburban Connecticut backyard, a Brooklyn balcony. But these pieces — made of teak slats that develop a silvery-gray patina with weathering and powder-coated aluminum frames in neutral ivory or natural dark green — also stand on their own. The see-through Sling material on the teak-framed lounge chair and sunbed add to the light-but-substantial effect of the collection as a whole, which is tied together by a proportional coherence.
It was important to Note interior architect Susanna Wåhlin that Pelagus not be defined by any “discernable period.” Rather, it aims to resist trends and goes for versatility and durability instead. The same can be said of Skagerak’s Plank series, which launched in 2018 with a bench, and now has a matching table and chair, released earlier this year. Designed by Paris-born, Copenhagen-based Aurélien Barbry, the outdoor Plank collection seeks to use a minimum of materials, in this case sustainably sourced teak, to balance airiness with solidity. Form meets extra function here, too: the top of the bench’s backrest, also echoed in the newer chair, works as a built-in ledge for your perfect summer read and a cocktail to rest. Just sit back and exhale.