Thanks to technology and innovation, patio furniture has evolved dramatically to keep up with the growing trend of outdoor living. Patio furniture used to mean a charcoal grill and a few plastic folding chairs. Today, the outdoor space is an extension of our home and includes sophisticated appliances and comfortable, modern patio furniture.
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Image: Design Within Reach
Dimensions: 18″ W x 18″ D x 17″ H
Architect Frank Gehry — known for his twisting, unconventional buildings including the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles — created this cube ($250), available in a rainbow of colors. Made in the USA of durable plastic, it can be used as a seat, a side table, a foot stool, or group a few under glass for a creative and colorful coffee table.
Image: Room & Board
Dimensions: 29”/48″/60″ W x 15″ D x 16″ H
A minimal design offering several uses, the Cooper Outdoor Bench ($399-$599) can be used as seating around a dining table or in a sofa area, or as a side table or coffee table (indoors, too!). Made of solid aluminum and given a durable powder-coated finish, this bench is available in three sizes and eight colors.
Modern Outdoor Sofas
These sofas offer modern and versatile pieces for your patio area. Regardless of the style you like, add some throw pillows to give your seating area a customized look.
Dimensions: 48″ W x 29.5″ D x 35.5″ H (sofa), 31.5″ W x 31.5″ D x 28.5″ H (table)
This seating set ($1,450) provides an instant contemporary outdoor lounge. It includes not only the three sofa pieces, but also the coffee table and throw pillows. The outdoor fabric is removable and washable, and the frames are white rust-proof aluminum.
Image: West Elm
Dimensions: 71.5″ W x 31.5″ D x 38″ H
Made of all-weather cord hand-woven around a lightweight aluminum frame, the Huron Sofa ($1,399) comes with a seat cushion and three throw pillows (like the one on the right) in seal gray. Its rust-resistant materials and modern style will be right at home on any patio.
Image: Room & Board
Dimensions: 72″/84″ W x 35″ D x 28″ H
A perfect example of the indoors-out furniture trend, the Palm Sofa ($2,299-$2,399) — available in two sizes — looks like a modern living room sofa. The secret is in the construction: marine-grade plywood, a barrier-wrapped foam cushion and water-resistant Sunbrella Canvas fabric in 18 color options. The tailored slipcovers can be machine washed or simply hosed down.
Image: Pottery Barn
Dimensions: 43.5″ W x 28″ D x 22″ H
Following the trend in indoor contemporary furniture, add some curves to your patio area with the modular Palmetto rounded sectional ($849). Group as many pieces as you like into a seating arrangement; nine are shown above. Each unit, made of all-weather wicker, includes a quick-drying seat cushion and two scatter-back pillows in a natural-color, water-repellent polyester canvas.
Patio Dining Furniture
Enjoying a good barbecue outdoors is the highlight of outdoor living. Whether you have a small or large outdoor space, add one of these dining sets to update your patio area.
Image: West Elm
Dimensions: 66″ W x 38″ D x 30″ H (table), 19″ W x 23″ D x 32″ H (chair)
Upgrade your outdoor dining space with this Mid-Century set from West Elm ($3,199). Made of weather-resistant teak, the set includes six matching chairs. Need more seating? An expandable table also is available; it comes with a leaf that takes it from 72 inches to 95 inches wide, making room for up to 10.
Dimensions: 26.75″ diameter x 29.75″ H (table), 23.75″ W x 22.75″ D x 34″ H (chair)
BoConcept’s Adelaide bar-height table ($559) and chairs ($339 each) are perfect for smaller spaces or simply enjoying a great view. The two-tone modern furniture features eucalyptus wood legs and white seats and table top, and also works well indoors.
We think the following high-design items are worth the cost. They’re unique, fashion-forward and contemporary, creating a memorable outdoor space.
Dimensions: 50″/60″ W x 18″ D x 17″ H; 70″ W x 18″ D x 20″ H
The attraction of the Hive Bench ($1,795-$2,195) is its intricate pattern. The Hive appears delicate, yet the bent steel construction is surprisingly strong (some colors are not recommended for the outdoors, however). Available in three sizes and 15 colors to fit any posh patio.
Image: Switch Modern
Dimensions: 88″ W x 88″ D x 104″ H
The contemporary version of a wigwam, the Tipi Outdoor Tent ($6,620-$7,260) comes with a floor mattress and six throw pillows. Built for the outdoors in an aluminum frame, plastic fabric and vinyl mattress cover. A double-sized “gigante” version also is available for family campouts in the backyard.
Dimensions: 52″ W x 33.75 D x 18″ H (medium), 67″ W x 43″ D x 18.5″ H (large)
These rounded lounge “islands” ($2,328-$3,072) are made from a