Not Your Garden Variety Furniture

While I am definitely not a landscape designer, in the summer, my attention gravitates towards creating inventive outdoor rooms.  This summer, it started with dressing up a client’s patio for summer entertaining, subdividing a teeny tiny space into both dining and lounge areas, adding outdoor curtains and casual lighting.  (Photos are coming as soon as the geraniums are planted in the flowerboxes).  Now I want a lounge area in my own back yard.  

Here is my dream, a mixture of fire and water, lounge and dining spaces with a modern feel.  It was created by a Jack Merlo, a landscape designer in Australia.  Be sure to check out his inspiring website.  I bet he would travel to the US for the right project.

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A backyard sanctuary includes many elements, not just furniture, but that is a fun place to start.  Here is some lounge seating that I am coveting that is  sleeker, higher quality and sexier than the patio sets you find at big box home stores. 


Fermob USA is a website filled with bistro sets, chaise lounges, unique occasional pieces and lounge chairs in gorgeous vibrant colors. 

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Teak is a material commonly used for outdoor furniture.  This laid-back sectional would be great for entertaining or an afternoon snooze.  

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Archie’s Island is a company with more colorful options.  Their palettes make me want to vacation in the caribbean, but the adirondack style chairs, dining furniture and benches are just as appropriate for those of us in landlocked states.

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This cross between a porch swing and a hammock would be perfect for relaxing and sipping lemonade.  

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Photo: Penobscot Bay Porch Swings



Originally designed in 1966 for Knoll furniture, Richard Schultz outdoor furniture is iconic modern design.  Mr. Schultz now partners with his son, Peter, to manufacture unique outdoor furniture including his original 1966 designs, shown below.

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Sutherland Teak – Designed to be a continuation of the companies interior furniture, Sutherland Teak is designed with comfort and durability in mind.  This collection has both traditional and contemporary pieces.

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Janus et Cie is an innovator in outdoor furniture design.  Their collections include pieces made of teak, weather resistant faux wicker, metal and HDPE made from recycled bottles.  Janus et Cie has an huge catalog, but here is my favorite piece.

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Stay tuned for my next blog highlighting some fun outbuildings, cottages, conservatories and shelters for your backyard retreat.


About sanctuaryhome

The Sanctuary Home blog was created in May 2009 to augment my interior design business, Jamie Foley Interiors. Below is the design philosophy that guides my business and this blog. A beautiful house isn’t a home unless it speaks to its occupants and fits their lifestyle in appropriate and unique ways. I believe that design can be approached in two ways. The first is from the gut, what feels right. The second is from a logical methodical perspective. I design using the second approach. I feel that having a reason why a piece is selected, having similar elements in the room or throughout the home makes it feel unified even if the similarities are not obvious to the casual observer. It makes a home feel special and contemplative. Building the interior of a home is a process. I create a plan for investment pieces that will last a lifetime, filling in with less expensive, less important pieces that can be replaced when they wear out or look dated with additional investment pieces or of the moment trendy items that update the home. Using vintage or antique pieces with new grounds a home. If everything in a home is new, it feels like a model home, it has no soul. If you use all old pieces, if feels like you live in a garage sale. The beauty is in the mix. Creating timeless interiors involves using pieces from all design styles. It gives the home a layered look and allows a home to look as if the pieces have been acquired over time. Using furniture from all one style or period makes a home look fussy and intimidating. I look forward to working with clients with all budgets and design aesthetics to create a home that special to their family. I encourage clients to express their individuality throughout the entire design process, this ensures your home fits your needs and will delight you every time you walk through the door.
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2 Responses to Not Your Garden Variety Furniture

  1. Jennifer says:

    I love that last pic. I could really use one of those for a Sunday afternoon nap.
    I have a quick question……what is the best way to weather proof a piece of furniture? We have a table that I would love to put out on the back porch, but I’m afraid that the rain, etc would ruin it.

  2. We’ve just added Janus et Cie to our lineup of luxury leisure furniture. It’s an amazing collection of pieces. If you haven’t seen the yoda chairs yet, check them out on our blog at
    They are wicked cool!

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