September. Spring. At last! It is really six weeks of soft opening for summer. Luckily, I got a bit of a jump start of inspiration when I was in Milan in April, where I was spellbound – more than usual – by the way the city suddenly pops with fresh energy, street life, and a hyper decorative celebration of outdoor living. People really attend to their personal patch of outdoor space. Even if it’s just a balcony, they pack it with sunny punches of colour via window boxes planted with lush leafiness and hanging lanterns. Of course, cafe, park and alfresco life was buzzing because of the Furniture Fair, and this is where I saw a real escalation in lifestyle-centric furniture design, geared for all-weather glam lounging.
First of all, colour. Forget stone, sand and ash, forget trying to camouflage your outdoor furniture. You’re sitting outside, that’s all, what’s the secret? It’s much more upbeat to go big and make a statement with raspberry crushcoloured loungers and coral-pink parasols. And if your floor isn’t ready for its close up, a bold striped outdoor rug will sort that super fast. For a ton of new products, design solutions and shopping advice on the subject, check out our bumper compilation of outdoor sanctuaries in Outdoor Thinking, page 47, and then if it’s a proper urban wonderland you’re after, dose up on the new invasion of jungle prints we are in love with this season in Running Wild, page 41.
You’ll probably spend some of spring planning summer and getaways, so I hope you enjoy the houses in this issue, which all cater to familyfriendly living in various ways and for various lives. From a retreat on a river, a beach house, and two city homes, each creates a sense of place and clever ways to commune in contemporary ways.
Enjoy the issue.