Italian-designed furniture for your home - Lifestyle NZ
 Italian-designed furniture for your home

Italian-designed furniture for your home

Well-designed outdoor furniture should not only complement the aesthetic of your garden, courtyard or terrace, but be comfortable, practical, long-lasting and enable you to enjoy these spaces year round.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

It’s no secret that Italian design is generally considered the best in the world—whether it is in furniture, fashion, art or cars. This reputation, developed over many hundreds of years, is a result of being innovative and combining simple shapes and designs with the best possible materials to create elegant, comfortable and timeless objects.

For the past 20 years, New Zealand furniture business, Studio Italia, has been bringing together the best of Italian-designed furniture, wardrobes and kitchens for New Zealanders. Now, the company has moved outside, curating a selection of outdoor furniture from some of the best-known designers in the world.

Sales and Design Manager, Joanna Hoeft says Studio Italia has selected pieces from some of the most significant international collections that will not only resonate with the New Zealand lifestyle and the way that people here use their outdoor areas, but that are also made with materials that suit our climate.

Over the last few years, the company has observed changes in the way New Zealanders think about their outdoor spaces. People are spending more on the design of their terraces and patios and using landscaping to create beautiful outdoor rooms, with fireplaces for warmth in the evenings and year-round weather protection provided by structures such as moveable screens and louvres.

“Because of this, homeowners are expecting to be able to use these spaces for many more weeks of the year, right into autumn and even winter, so they understand the value of investing in good-quality, long-lasting, outdoor furniture.

“They also like the idea of a seamless flow from the interior spaces to their outdoor areas, often with a connection between the style of furniture inside and outside the house. And, people want furniture that’s inviting, comfortable and not too minimal, so many of our pieces feature big, squishy, upholstered cushions. They want to create outdoor rooms and poolside areas where they can congregate with friends and family and relax for the evening.”

The Studio Italia outdoor collection allows designers and homeowners to seamlessly match the style of indoor and outdoor furniture.

Studio Italia: the elegance of European design in a local setting

The latest Flexform outdoor collection from Studio Italia is carefully curated to include only furniture styles and designs that fit the requirements of the local market and have a point of difference. Many of the styles began life as indoor pieces and have been redesigned with different materials to be used outside.

The Echoes Outdoor Armchair, from French designer Christophe Pillet—known for his deliberately simple styles—is a good example of this. Light, clean lines and a look of understated elegance, reminiscent of Mediterranean and Scandinavian design, are features of the Echoes Outdoor family of seating.

The collection includes armchairs with and without armrests, which coordinate with matching ottomans, chairs and dining chairs, stools and a slender chaise longue. The design concept for the Echoes seating is based on a bold material contrast–a sleek stainless steel structure is paired with a seat and backrest made from fine woven matt polypropylene cord in natural, ice, straw or anthracite colours. For additional comfort, there’s an option of a soft cushion available for the Echoes Outdoor chair. Additionally, most parts used in making the Echoes Outdoor seating can be recycled.

“Collections like this enable you to create a holistic story for your home, with a unified style that flows from indoor to outdoor living spaces,” says Joanna.

The Ansell Outdoor Sofa, from the drawing board of Italian designer Antonio Citterio, offers a more robust look. The distinguishing feature of both the two- and three-seater Ansell sofas is the unexpected combination of materials–a sleek stainless steel base supporting armrests and backrests made with Iroko wood slats.

The results are striking and reveal a perfect balance between the bold expressiveness of the wood and the lightness of the stainless steel base, which is finished in a choice of epoxy powder-coated colours and clad in water-repellent elastic webbing.

Soft, generously padded seat cushions, outlined with elegant tone-on-tone or contrasting grosgrain piping, ensure this sofa is very comfortable. Extra cushions in a range of sizes add comfort and a decorative effect.

Outdoor furniture arrangements should be as comfortable and detailed as indoor furniture layouts.

Studio Italia: a timeless aesthetic combined with practicality

“All of our outdoor pieces are made with appropriate materials and, in fact, because Italian manufacturers are generally making furniture to sell globally, their materials and technology are designed for climates that are even more adverse than we have here,” says Joanna.

For example, much of the timber used is Iroko, an exceptionally stable species of African wood that endures well even in temperature extremes. At the same time, fabrics are all hardwearing and highly durable.

And protection pieces, such as covers, are available for all Flexform outdoor furniture, enabling pieces to be left outside. This is especially useful for holiday homes, where homeowners might be away for relatively long periods of time. "It's easy to throw a cover over the furniture and know it will be well protected and ready for use next time you are there," says Joanna.

And Joanna’s tip for creating that perfect outdoor space: “Furniture is important, but the addition of an outdoor rug is a really key element. It pulls your seating area together into a single, unified space that’s inviting and comfortable. Flexform has a great range of outdoor rugs in various sizes and finishes.”

Find out more about the Flexform Outdoor Collection to create the perfect outdoor space for your home.

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