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Friday, May 22, 2009

Sunbrella and Outdoor Interiors

Time to decorate our outdoor interiors and many of us turn to fabrics we hope will hold up to the elements as they sit exposed outside all day and all night. Sunbrella is a name brand that's gotten regular noun usage over the years, much like Formica and Naugahyde became the catchword for all countertops and vinyls, whether it was the actual company's product or a competitors. What you want is an outdoor fabric that's 100% acrylic polyester or both; mold, moisture, chlorine and UV resistant. Today they come woven and printed in some pretty spectacular patterns, some with such a luxurious hand you won't believe it's the same stuff as good ol' striped awning material or stiff marine covers. I have to admit there is an appeal to the solid color traditionally seen on outdoor furniture like high school-gymnastic-mat blue or forest green awning fabric for that retro look on your old 50's glider...or the widest stripe imaginable on a low slung deck chair. Sure, you can still have that but get some new, why don't you so at least you have something clean this year to start off the next several years of enjoying your outdoor seating. Instead of marine blue you may be tempted by Tangerine. Or instead of black and tan stripe - maybe something more tiki in nature...there's a lot to choose from and as you can see, French styles, Hollywood Regency and iron frames are all the rage and not too hard to find.
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Vintage iron furniture in Stillwater. Groundworks Solarium "Floral Tracery" by Lee Jofa.



A variety of methods help keep cushions in place, from tie-backs, D-Rings plus clips, snaps, buttons, loops to hang back cushions on so they don't blow away - many styles can be employed to keep cushions wind-stable.









That last image belongs to a patio grouping pictured below and their cushion mates are stationed up on a second floor balcony.





I love this client's choice of lime with pink and khaki, Sunbrella patterned seating cleverly using the "wrong" side, which is more intensely colored with solid pillows and an Amy Butler-esque print for the small one. I want to include a few scenes from the cool and collected self-designed interior of this client's Cathedral Hill home, she has quite a touch...


One of my favorites, "Hibiscus" from the now discontinued Pindler and Pindler's Lanai Collection. This 2 piece set had been painted and original spring cushions fully restored, was sold and now happily resides at a lovely Kenwood home in Minneapolis.






3-Season Porches throughout the Twin Cities gets their highest use now through October, and many use any fabric that's appropriate for the piece or the owner's delight, such as this Erja Hirvi designed "Lumimarja" by Marimekko on an Edwardian wicker. This one was actually a cotton and curled hair mattress cushion fill, to wear soft and sculpty.




I have many outdoor fabric lines to choose from, and they're usually shipped within a week's time. My sewing machine is eagerly loaded with Anefil outdoor thread and new cushions can be sewn up for you in a matter of just a day or two - depending on how many you have.

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