IN PICS | 10 dreamy outdoor lounges to inspire you

10 October 2021 - 00:02 By Robyn Alexander
A leafy pergola combined with a river stone floor instantly creates a relaxed and laid back Mediterranean feel.
A leafy pergola combined with a river stone floor instantly creates a relaxed and laid back Mediterranean feel.
Image: Bureaux

A convivial, contemporary outdoor lounging area is more essential than ever at the moment — and not least because both family members and visiting friends always seem to gravitate naturally towards them.

Here are 10 enviable al fresco lounges to provide inspiration as you plan or renovate your own outdoor living space

1. CLASSIC CHIC

Under a pergola and with a river stone floor, this enviable patio is part of a holiday property on the Balearic island of Mallorca. The pergola is supported by plastered masonry pillars, with a forged iron top frame and cross wires covered with bamboo and a salvaged mature grape vine.

The built-in seating was added during the home’s recent renovation: “Small spaces always feel bigger with inbuilt seating arrangements,” says designer Oro del Negro of More Design.

DESIGN NOTES:

  • The seat pads and scatter cushions were upholstered in Tibi soft linen from Yutes.
  • The vintage wooden chair and table were purchased by the homeowners at fleamarkets on the island.
Carefully selecting statement pieces is key to combining more modern and vintage sensibilities.
Carefully selecting statement pieces is key to combining more modern and vintage sensibilities.
Image: Bureaux

2.  KEEP IT COUNTRY

Asked about the charming mix of vintage and reclaimed pieces that characterise their contemporary home in the Cape winelands — including this romantic veranda — the homeowners say: “We don’t find them; they find us. They are mostly passed-on heirlooms and junk-shop or reclamation-yard finds.”

The collection of blue and white plates that hang on the wall here, for example, belonged to one of the owners’ mothers.

DESIGN NOTES:

This is a look that can’t be forced, and takes some skill to put together to create a similarly dreamy and effortless feel.

Start with key pieces — an eye-catching vintage rattan chair, or a collection of vintage china — and build the rest of the look around them.

Sliding wood shutters offer the option of having an open space on sunny days and a more enclosed outdoor room on rainy ones.
Sliding wood shutters offer the option of having an open space on sunny days and a more enclosed outdoor room on rainy ones.
Image: Bureaux

3.  MIXING DECK

Sporting a panoramic view of the Atlantic ocean, this front deck is much more like an outdoor room than a conventional veranda: it has sliding wooden shutters that can be used to partially screen it from the elements — such as strong winds or harsh sunlight — or to fully and securely enclose it.

Apart from the shutters, all the timber used for the house — including this sculptural ceiling and the decking — is from an alien tree species that is now being systematically removed from local forests.

DESIGN NOTES:

  • The wooden outdoor furniture is from Bloc Outdoor.
  • The wall decoration was picked up on the homeowners’ travels.

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The homeowner custom designed the pergola and some of the furniture in this sophisticated outdoor space.
The homeowner custom designed the pergola and some of the furniture in this sophisticated outdoor space.
Image: Bureaux

4.  STONE COOL

A seriously sophisticated holiday home needs outdoor living spaces to match, and this elegant patio is perfectly appointed for relaxing, day and night.

Designed by the homeowner — who is the creative director of a large fashion retailer — every aspect of the space has been as carefully considered as the rest of the house.

The adjacent pool area is the perfect spot for magical summer parties al fresco.

DESIGN NOTES:

  • The metal pergola was custom made and is topped with natural cane. The outdoor lounge chairs are from Roda.
  • The tables are the homeowner’s own design.
  • The bright cushions that soften and adorn the pool’s stepped edge were made in Turkey for A Casa Bianca.

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Functional zoning of this undercover patio makes room for various activities and projects under one roof.
Functional zoning of this undercover patio makes room for various activities and projects under one roof.
Image: Bureaux

5.  SIMPLE PLEASURES

This sleek covered patio is used as an outdoor entertainment area for dining and lounging, with separate zones created for each function.

Aesthetically, the space is a considered dialogue between contemporary and traditional elements, with resolutely practical finishes — such as the polished concrete floors — softened by classically styled furniture that includes lots of natural wood as well as comfortable upholstered pieces.

DESIGN NOTES:

  • The wooden armchairs are from La Grange Interiors.
  • The shelf-cum-screen at one end of the space — which holds a mix of pot plants and collectable ceramics — was custom-made by Anatomy Design.

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Bold blue and green hues combined with natural materials and foliage throughout add a romantic touch to this outdoor space.
Bold blue and green hues combined with natural materials and foliage throughout add a romantic touch to this outdoor space.
Image: Bureaux

6.  GREEN ROOM

In a family home that’s all about seamless indoor-outdoor living, spaces suitable for enjoying family time and entertaining friends are an absolute essential. This patio runs the house's full length, and all the doors can be flung open to connect inside and out.

Interior designer Simone Hirsch of Simone Katherine Interiors has created a genuinely romantic space that includes this comfortable lounge area, festooned with hanging plants and surrounded by garden greenery.

DESIGN NOTES:

The choice of a bright blue outdoor upholstery fabric, combined with the natural textures of the plants, rattan furniture, grass matting, and side tables in stone and ceramic, makes for a vibrant space that also delivers warmth and understated luxury.

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Custom-made outdoor seating centrally placed in this open-plan barn-style home allows the family to engage with indoor activity while enjoying surrounding views.
Custom-made outdoor seating centrally placed in this open-plan barn-style home allows the family to engage with indoor activity while enjoying surrounding views.
Image: Bureaux

7.  BARN IS BEAUTIFUL

One side of this contemporary barn-style holiday home in the country opens up completely to an outdoor living area that the homeowner describes as his favourite part of the house.

Positioned so that it takes in views over the dam, orchard and forested surrounds, the decked entertainment area features zones for outdoor cooking and eating, and this pared-back yet luxurious seating space.

DESIGN NOTES:

  • The outdoor sofas were designed by architect Greg Scott with bases made from spruce to match the interior of the house.
  • The dining table was commissioned from James Mudge and the chairs are by Hay.
An open fire pit with built-in seating and natural shade is a winning combination, especially for smaller spaces.
An open fire pit with built-in seating and natural shade is a winning combination, especially for smaller spaces.
Image: Bureaux

8.  WHITE OUT

Gathering around an open fire is always going to be one of the best ways to enjoy spending time outdoors with friends and family.

This fire bowl is situated in an intimate outdoor “conversation pit” that is dropped below ground level and surrounded by built-in planters.

The plants and the change in level reinforce the feeling of privacy, with the naturalistic, largely indigenous planting referencing local landscapes.

DESIGN NOTES:

  • The fire bowl seen here is a clean-lined, contemporary design that can also be used as a braai and is available from Outdoor Warehouse. A wide range of styles is also available from The Firepit Company.

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Various seating options underneath a sleek slatted pergola overlooking lush surrounds.
Various seating options underneath a sleek slatted pergola overlooking lush surrounds.
Image: Bureaux

9. SUMMER HEAT

Perfectly suited to the seaside sanctuary of which it forms a much-used part, this pool-adjacent patio area is cool and relaxing.

Key to its success are the dappled shade provided by the slatted wooden pergola, and the provision of a wide variety of appealing lounge seating options, which range in style from the built-in banquette to rattan hanging chairs and canvas butterfly chairs.

DESIGN NOTES:

Offsetting the prevailing use of wood and concrete with canvas and rattan accents means there’s visual interest here as well as a variety of seating styles.

The latter facilitate almost any holiday occupation, from an afternoon chat to solitary reading.

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Muted colours and natural textures create an elegant and comfortable outdoor space to entertain in.
Muted colours and natural textures create an elegant and comfortable outdoor space to entertain in.
Image: Bureaux

10.  CASUAL ELEGANCE

This sophisticated modern veranda is situated in the new wing of a family home, and leads onto a verdant garden and swimming pool.

The restrained colour palette, traditionally styled fireplace and elegant lighting give the space the sort of sophisticated flair that is usually only seen in interior living rooms, and the easy, outdoor-style furniture lounge seating options convey a more casual feel. The result is a space that’s perfect for entertaining.

DESIGN NOTES:

  • Homeowner and interior designer Simone Hirsch of Simone Katherine Interiors designed the coffee table and whitewashed oak couch with cushions in an outdoor navy fabric, piped in white.
  • The wooden chairs with slatted backs are from Tribù. — Bureaux.co.za

• Photos by Greg Cox, Warren Heath and Elsa Young for Bureaux.


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