Rethinking Outdoors

Dwelling & Design | Rethinking Outdoors


There are so many misconceptions out there. About anything and everything. Even when we think, “there’s no way someone could still think that…” well, come to find out a lot of people are clinging to a past or misconstrued version of something and still aren’t aware. 

Now that we’re getting on into the summer months, it’s become evident (to put it in the kindest way possible) that there is some slight confusion surrounding indoor/outdoor textile options. As your local design professionals, we’re happy to help clear this up! 

So exactly how are outdoor fabrics still perceived? 

Common misconceptions include: 

Ugly. Dark. Hard. Ugly again. Not off to a good start. Pretty much sounds like a dark hole of dreariness.

Uncomfortable. Absolutely no style. Must wash with detergent and a garden hose. Feel free to add your own quip in the comments section…

All of these sound about as desirable as wearing an ugly Christmas sweater in this frickin’ 115 degree East Coast sun.

The reality, however, as we’re sure you’ll be grateful to discover, is much different. Like, basically, none of those things are true! Haha!

On the contrary, it might be shocking for some to discover the true state of affairs. 

The same way you might imagine people first reacting to the invention of A/C. Or teleporting someone from the 1920’s to the present and showing them an automobile with power windows and door locks. Seatbelts, even. Throw a television inside to really blow their minds (a what?). And as we know, that’s just the tip of the ‘berg in our convenience-driven 21st century .

Honestly though, outdoor fabrics now deliver all the looks and feels of traditional indoor options, along with comfort, peace of mind, and toughness to battle the really extreme weather that seems to be the new norm. Plus, the additional benefits of stain and fade resistance, moisture repellants, and washability.  

FABRICS. Let’s start the tour here.

Thibaut | Portico Collection | Sunbrella

(Thibaut fabrics: Landmark Brimfield, Geode Ikat, Calypso Parterre, Calypso Catalina, Solstice Indira, Tropics Cape Town)

Thibaut | Portico / Cabana Cloth

It seems just like yesterday the Portico Collection debuted, with staggering volumes of awesomeness. Thibaut continues to provide a diverse selection of bright summer colors that take shape in a variety of solids, stripes and patterns. All with the quality you expect from arguably “the most recognized and trusted name in performance fabrics for over 50 years”…you guessed it, Sunbrella.

(Ralph Lauren fabrics: Sailcloth, Sur Floral Indigo, Sand, Cacao Weave Batik Blue)

Ralph Lauren | Whites Collection

Classic and clean, if you want to have your cake and eat it too, this might be your holy grail. A water and stain repellent WHITE fabric? Yep. Go ahead and take that deep, relaxing breath (you can thank us later) as you’ve now discovered that bright white light that keeps shining.

You have some really wonderful choices here too, with shades such as Bright White, Sailcloth, Terry White and more.

Schumacher | Chiang Mai Dragon

(Schumacher fabrics: Hickox, Chiang Mai Dragon in Blue China, Colada Stripe, Alistair Cadet.)

Schumacher | Chiang Mai Dragon

And now for that proverbial kick in the head to jar you from the land of simplicity to one far more riveting. Enter Chiang Mai Dragon, where flowers and flame-throwers frolic in one big fantasy scene. A charming tapestry you might expect to see on a penthouse balcony owned by “the most interesting man or woman in the world”. Where your boldness is only matched by your wisdom, good consumer. Excellent choice indeed.

Bella Dura | Soho Stripe

(Bella Dura fabrics: Soho Stripe: Lemon Drop, Ivory, Caribe, Mai Tai)

Bella Dura | Soho Stripe

Newly unveiled for the season, ‘Soho’ features seven striped choices, each colorful yet soft, like your favorite faded beach towel. (Except, the longevity of these fibers have a Color Fastness rating of 1500 hours, so you’ll enjoy that favorite faded beach towel for many more summers.)


(Scalamandre fabrics: Antigua Weave Hibiscus, Santorini Stripe Indigo, Borneo Ikat Mango, Santorini Stripe Seagull, Bali Floral Caribe)

Scalamandre | Isola Collection

A soaring new collection, boasting inspiration from the islands of Fiji, Lisbon and Bali (just to name a few), the Isola Collection from Scalamandre offers “(a) sophisticated palette…influenced by clear tropical waters, sandy beaches, leafy palm trees and vivid sunsets” (Scalamandre).

Add the finishing touches with an array of trimmings such as braids and tassels, for a fun, authentic, and truly designer style.

View the brand new Scalamandre Isola Collection LookBook.

Cowtan Tout | Manuel Canovas

(Cowtan & Tout featuring Manuel Canovas fabrics: Rhodes Ocean, Lagon Emerald, Seychelles, Patmos Lagon)

Cowtan & Tout | Manuel Canovas | Malfa Outdoor

While most companies play it safe by following trends and refusing to rock the boat with something unorthodox, this line from Paris we can honestly be described as fearless.

Throwing a party with all the windows and doors open. Open to new experiences and interpretations, both culturally and stylistically.

“Essentially European, the Manuel Canovas unequaled color philosophy is the foundation of all the collections”. We can dig that all day (or night) long!

Particularly indulgent are the richly rendered banana-leaf inspired designs with diverse green and blue palettes, that immediately launch one on a tropical vacation getaway.

Outdoor Fabric - Pool

WANT LEATHER? You have choices in that department as well.

Kravet | Extreme Faux Leather

(Kravet samples: Spartan Bronze, Wisteria, Sapphire, Malachite)

Kravet | Extreme Faux Leather

For those loving the luxury of leather, along with a full spectrum of colors (80+) from the entire rainbow.

A few of the water-inspired shades we really like include: Bermuda, Caribbean, Poolside, and Surf. Sapphire and Malachite are lovely as well.

Delany & Long | Outdoor Leather

(Delany & Long samples: Bluebird, Sky, Marine, Sail)

DeLany & Long | Outdoor Leather

For those who absolutely won’t settle for anything except the real thing, you are indeed in luck, our leather-loving friends! Also, a fabulous option for indoor dining areas.

BONUS ITEMS (to compliment the lounging experience):

Designers Guild | Indoor / Outdoor Pillows

Pillows by Designers Guild

Another outlet for bold and enlivening colorplay, the magic of Designers Guild comes alive with a variety of outdoor options. Double-down with reversible pillows that both the kids and adult kids will be fighting over for that afternoon nap or evening around the patio firepit.

Rugs by Company C

(Company C ColorSpree Rugs available in the following colors: Indigo, Lake, Newport Red, Gray Heather)

Rugs by Company C

Color, style and durability are the not-so-secret ingredients of these rugs by Company C that check all of the boxes. Handwoven artisan craftsmanship? Check. Eco-friendly and made from recycled bottles? Check (and you’d never realize!). Mold and mildew resistant? Check. Need we say more? No, not really. 

Moral of the story? We’ve got you on this, happy (and now enlightened) homeowners of the 21st century. Also important to note: these products are extremely strong, but not invincible. How you care for the furniture and fabrics will ultimately determine their longevity.

(Want more options??…there’s always more! Just check out our updated Pinterest board.).


Dwelling & Design

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