• June 22, 2018
    Last updated 7 minutes ago

design diary

Design Diary: stylish fun for sun worshippers

Al Fresco furniture has come a long way. These design-orientated brands deliver optimised performance with a seriously stylish punch

18:12 September 12, 2017

It happens to me like clockwork. Every year, come September, I find myself longing for afternoons and evenings enjoying life alfresco. Now, anyone who knows me knows, I am no sun worshipper. I live by my SPF50, but after a long summer when one can quite literally feel the sun burn your skin, the outdoors are a welcome break from stuff AC environs. These design brands make life under the sun tolerable, and smart all year round.


Industry leaders in stylish shades and parasols for 20 years, Tuuci was born from the marine industry. This means every single parasol, lounge and cabana they create has been meticulously engineered to perform in the harshest climatic conditions. Add to that, an unparalleled sense of style that makes their products covet-worthy for the most stylish of pools. Thoughtful design, buoyed by state-of-the-art engineering means, each Tucci product comes with 100 per cent replaceable parts and an environment friendly approach to production.


The Italian label specialises in high-quality outdoor furnishings and decor, taking its inspiration from the warm, inviting colours of the Mediterranean and the charm of humble, authentic places. Its contemporary design pieces are made with comfort and practicality in mind and deliver a sophisticated stance to any outdoor area. In design and production, Esthimo is guided by the nuanced choice of materials, colours, textures and attention to detail, to create unique elements that add an elegant, personal touch to the lushest properties around the globe.


A family business founded in Spain in 1966, Kettal is the final world in outdoor design. Known for its timeless, functional and expressive furniture and accessories, the brand’s work represents a contemporary culture and provides solutions to the emerging needs of modern life. Its success is rooted in a blend of creativity, customisation, innovation and modern production, but it’s their distinct colour palette — a balance of bright, moody and pastel tones — materials and evocative forms that make Kettal stand apart from the competition. Lending it a helping hand are A-list designers, with whom the studio regularly collaborates to create new families of products. Patricia Urquiola, Jasper Morrison, Doshi Levien, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are just a few names that have seen their vision transformed from a sketch to reality at the firm’s manufacturing facility in a small coastal town 45km from Barcelona.


This Spanish brand sells the enviable, made-for-Instagram outdoor lifestyle. Designed by and for dynamic people and innovators who appreciate style, the brand boasts of an enviable portfolio of design ambassadors: Eugeni Quitllet, Ora Ïto, Ross Lovegrove, Karim Rashid, Javier Mariscal among others. Diverse as these designers and architects may be, there are underscored by a passion for making a statement. The result is a diverse collection of outdoor loungers, poolside furniture, even lamps and carpets that are certainly not for the shy. Vondom’s deep rooted design culture means, each product is dialogue between the user, environment and form, creating unique outdoor ambiences. With an eye on present day challenges faced by our environment, the brand invests in research and innovate to develop high precision technology, creating more sustainable materials.


Esthec is a state-of-the-art, comfortable and contemporary terrace system that embellishes and enhances any space with its functional properties and sense of luxury. Durable, splinter free, simple to maintain and comfortable on bare feet even when it’s wet, Esthec’s outdoor applications include terraces, patios, residential balconies, spas pool decks, even docks and jetties. In addition to a wide range of finishes and colours, the beauty of the product is in the way it can limit the use of scarce natural resources in design and building materials.