Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Whimsy, colour and luxury: the hottest looks in outdoor decor

Top tables

Teak is lovely, but it’s getting a bit tired. Hence all the colourful tabletops – vibrant alternatives to the ubiquitous woodsy look – on the market these days. West Elm’s mosaic-topped coffee tables featuring hand-inlaid tiles, for instance, are a fun (and practical) way to add pops of colour to an otherwise staid setting. Likewise, the Senegalese weaving technique used to braid the nets atop Moroso’s Banjooli tables, available in Canada through, gives off a psychedelic tie-dye effect. If you’re going to invest in a single outdoor piece this season, a high-impact table is the way to go.

Mosaic Tiled Bistro Tables, $479 each through

Roof service

Backyard staycations are decidedly less dull with an oversized moveable lanai in the picture. The Cottage, designed by Spain’s Patricia Urquoila for the Barcelona manufacturer Kettal, offers most of the amenities of a remote cabin – spots to sleep, read, perch a glass of wine – without the hellish country-bound commute (or lack of proximity to indoor plumbing). Roll-down sunshades provide both privacy and UV protection.

Kettal Cottage, $18,000 through

The new weave

Vintage macramé lawn chairs have a certain kitschy coolness, but there’s nothing cute about sitting on sagging, fraying yarn stretched across a creaky, rusty frame. Enter the L.A. studio Pacific Wonderland, which has updated the look – a hot one now – admirably. The structure is made of weather-treated (and very stylish) Baltic birch plywood, while the weave, available in a variety of colour combos, is durable polypropylene cord.

Palapa Lounge Chair, $800 (U.S.) through

Screen time

Screening off a patch of lawn is a necessity sometimes, such as when your neighbour is gardening in his yard and you don’t want him to see you, say, tanning. One of the more elegant solutions: the English-made PALMERAL windbreak, a tropics-evoking cotton-linen scrim mounted on hardwood posts. Retro and transporting at the same time, the beachy pattern looks like it was ripped from a 1970s bathing suit (in the most charming way possible, of course).

Palmeral Windbreak in white/green, £195 through

All the raj

Fran Devlin lives in Milton, Ont., but travels to countries like Morocco, Turkey and Vietnam to hand-select decor for her online shop, She found these kaleidoscopic standing umbrellas in Jaipur, India. The parasols are made from vintage cotton panels, so they won’t protect from the rain, but their vibrant patterning make them the perfect sunshades for a Raj-inspired picnic.

Indian garden parasols, $395 each through

Have a ball

B.C.-based landscape artist Brent Comber has aptly been dubbed the “wood whisperer.” Among other things, he shapes the trunks of naturally fallen trees into spheres, not just to make pretty lawn ornaments – though he certainly does that – but to tell the story of the tree’s growth, showing off the dendrochronology rings in a much more dramatic way than a simple, straight-across cut.

Shattered Sphere, price on request through

Sitting pretty

Short of space on your urban deck or terrace? When there isn’t much room for multiple pieces of furniture, a single, sculptural seat or lounger in a bright hue is all you’ll need for a strong focal point. Paola Lenti’s Orlando “garden sofas” with or without backrests, CB2’s polyfoam Criss Knit Pod and Karim Rashid’s Surf lounger for Vondom certainly fit the bill, creating maximum drama with minimal materials. Install two if you can squeeze them in.

Orlando garden sofa by Paola Lenti, from $1,028 through

Surf lounger by Karim Rashid for Vondom, from $1,260 at Design by Brown in Calgary (

CB2’s polyfoam Criss Knit Pod, from $229 through

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨