In recent years the design of outdoor spaces has undergone a significant change to keep up with the growing trend of outdoor living, which further calls for more versatile, comfortable and durable patio furniture.
Considering that the majority of designs are now suitable for both interiors and exteriors, Dubai-based outdoor furniture manufacturer Sun & Shades just launched its new brand S’N’S Haute Couture, adding indoor furniture to its portfolio of products.
“S’N’S is proud of its global presence thru several offices worldwide. The new brand now truly reflects the DNA of our company, which is known for its tailor-made furniture for exclusive clients and high-end properties,” says Mirko Habek, group managing director of Sun & Shades, which is now part of the SNS Group.
Habek says that an increasing demand to provide the comfort of indoor furniture has also influenced its latest Haute Couture 2017 collection, which he describes as “a balanced mix of contemporary and traditional outdoor designs”.
“Manufacturers are using a lot of different materials in trying to accomplish that, like thick and quick-dry foam and the latest artificial leather, which can withstand the harshest weather conditions. These advancements are now allowing us to design and produce furniture for the outdoors, which not only looks good but also provides the same comfort as indoor furniture,” says Habek.
The company has recently supplied its furniture for many luxury hospitality projects, including Jumeirah Al Naseem, Anantara Jabal Al Akhdar in Oman, The Address Boulevard Dubai, Westin Hotel in Doha and the refurbished Ritz Carlton in Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai.
“All of our collections can be fully customised to fit in with the overall design of the exterior area,” says Habek.
VERSATILE AND DURABLE FURNITURE
Koen De Cock, CEO of Tribù, explains that outdoor furniture is becoming “more courageous”.
“We are now seeing greater expressions in colour, shapes, and prints in overall design,” says De Cock. “Tribù brings more colour by adding colourful velvets to the collection. We are giving them a vibrancy by bumping up the saturation, making them energetic, yet luscious. They are mostly to be used for throw pillows or poufs. Sometimes, just small mixes in structure, using the same or virtually the same colours can give just that right accent to your outdoor sofa.
“For the structure, darker, rich colours are on the move. That is why we introduced our Tosca collection this year in dark wenge. It combines beautifully with the greenery outdoors. Weavers are also more fun than ever and new textures and multi-coloured yarns all bring new flair to this category.”
Since Tribù furniture is targeting on a rather small niche of customers with very specific requests and demands, De Cock says the biggest challenge to bringing good design is creating something unique and innovative that still matches the brand’s DNA and its values.
He says: “Over time so much furniture has been created, so creating new furniture that is truly unique and adds something new to this world and gives more opportunities to our customers is becoming harder,” he admits and adds that research and development is one of the cornerstones of Tribù.
“Our strength is our endless passion for seeking out new, natural-looking materials that defy all weather conditions. Beautiful examples are our Mood and Tosca collection, which are characterised by weaves that are surprisingly soft to the touch, without compromising on their weather-resistance.”
BLURRING THE LINES
As a ‘connector’ of indoor and outdoor spaces, Geze Middle East provides customised solutions for door, window and safety technology. Breaking away from the traditional four-walls and windows designs, Charles Constantin, managing director at Geze, agrees that creating a seamless flow between interiors and exteriors is another prevailing trend.
“Windows are now becoming double and triple the standard size; skylights are now frequently incorporated into residential projects and big glass balcony doors provide the seamless separation of indoor and outdoor areas,” says Constantin.
Geze’s products – swing operators and sliding doors – have been installed in many public buildings across the region, including Dubai Opera, Bollywood Park, Dubai Airport, Riyadh Airport and the Cultural Centre in Kuwait.
When it comes to public and commercial spaces, Constantin says that façades are no longer seen as barriers to buildings and the use of glass is the next step in modern façades. He also adds that the automation of windows and doors is another progressive trend towards turning spaces into smart buildings.
“One of the challenges in this market is the lack of understanding about the importance of smart building and how these solutions can significantly reduce the overall energy consumption,” he adds.