Summer In The City

by Laura Barnett Sawchyn, IIDA TCW

It seems many vacationers this summer will be swapping the allure of beaches in Bermuda or trekking through the Rockies for destinations much closer to home. Weekend trips to Wisconsin, Michigan or Indiana may still be in the offing, but if your summer holiday spot is your own backyard or that ever-so-precious high-rise terrace, consider making an investment in new outdoor furnishings and accessories to make the space a true urban escape. The latest open-air materials and finishes are dependable, retaining the value of your assets for years to come, and surround you in comfort and style.

Innovation and quality are the operative words when it
comes to recent al fresco designs. It's been years since we've had
to rely on rickety aluminum frames with textured plastic straps
that fly away in the slightest air current and mark their place on
the back of our thighs with waffled red marks. Every year there
are more and more chic furnishings made of durable materials that
won't take flight when the breezes blow across our windy city.
Fabrics that are sun- and rain-resistant keep the colors from fading
and the mildew at bay, while actually looking and feeling good at
the same time. Some of the furniture styles are so attractive and
versatile that you may not relegate them to the porch at all, but
consider them for indoor use.

Fire up the grill, sit back, kick off your sandals and
put up your feet to enjoy the summer breezes off Lake Michigan.
Staying home for the summer has never been so comfortable or
looked so good - and a little extra comfort is just what we all need
this season. 

The whole family can hang out together in this oversized hammock. (right). With this ingenious support frame, you can set it up anywhere, no trees required. The canopy is removable for serious sunbathing - sunscreen not included. Available from Henry Hall Designs at Bradley Terrace 

Red is the color known to stimulate our appetite. When it's applied to this spectacular dining table (below), you may never stop eating! Made to withstand the weather, McKinnon and Harris pieces are manufactured of heavy-duty aluminum with a full range of colored epoxy and lacquer finishes. This tray table is another fine example of their classic yet contemporary styling (above). Load up the tray with snacks in the kitchen and carry it out to the terrace, where it fits securely atop the table base. The base can also be used without the tray. Available at Bradley Terrace Outdoor Furnishings 

Light the night with this large-scale lantern (right). It stands 36" high with a 60-watt bulb, making a statement on the floor or tabletop. The Yonaga lamp is constructed of exterior fabric and an unoxidized brass frame. UL approved for outdoor use, the simplicity of the designworks with modern or traditional furnishings. Available at Janus et Cie

The graceful lines of the Crinoline Chair are formed of hand woven
synthetic fiber on a powder coated steel frame. There are other chairs and tables available to complete the series and several color choices, plus a natural fiber weave for indoor use. Available at B&B Italia

The modern look of Fusion successfully blends the cultural elements of European materials, American design and Asian craftsmanship. This innovative and contemporary design evokes an attitude of couture furniture as its bold profile generates international appeal. Reminiscent of furniture traditionally used for indoor placements, Fusion uniquely mobilizes to the outdoors. Shown in Bronze with Windsurf cushions. Available at

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