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Refined Garden Decor To Make The Most Of These Glorious Summer Days

The sun is shining, the birds are singing – time to spruce up your garden! From art-inspired outdoor furniture to modern interpretations of garden tools, these elevated, iF award-winning designs show how.

Everyone who has a garden can call themselves lucky, even more since last year. Having your own little refuge to retreat to after a long day or week is one of life’s simple pleasures. A garden not only brings you closer to the workings of nature, but it’s also a favorite among hobbies next to desk work. So it’s no surprise that more and more people even want to plant a vegetable patch to harvest their own produce. Green living in all aspects of our daily lives is the big trend these days, and there are several ways to make the most of your little paradise.

iF award-winning designs 2021

The “Lou Collection” consists of a sofa, a lounge chair and a pouf in a sculptural design.
LOU Collection | Manufacturer: Iniciativa Exterior 3i SA, Vilamalla, Spain

The “Lou Collection” consists of a sofa, a lounge chair and a pouf in a sculptural design.

The “Meta Garden Reel” is a modern reinterpretation of an ordinary garden hose and adds a stylish touch to any garden.
Metal Garden Reel VTYGG100 | Manufacturer: Takagi Co., Ltd., Kitakyushu, Japan

The “Meta Garden Reel” is a modern reinterpretation of an ordinary garden hose and adds a stylish touch to any garden.

“NUTA” is a sophisticated seating collection in subdued colors made of technopolymer that stands for style and durability alike.
NUTA | Manufacturer: Gaber, Caselle di Altivole (Treviso), Italy

“NUTA” is a sophisticated seating collection in subdued colors made of technopolymer that stands for style and durability alike.

Made of recycled plastics, this colorful chair series is both sustainable and playful.
“KADA” Plastic strip chair series | Manufacturer: Letright Industrial Corp., Ltd., Hangzhou, China

Made of recycled plastics, this colorful chair series is both sustainable and playful.

This vertical awning provides much-needed shade while offering the opportunity to create some privacy through a minimal design.
The vertical awning Micro 2020 | Manufacturer: Lewens Sonnenschutz-Systeme, Ludwigslust, Germany

This vertical awning provides much-needed shade while offering the opportunity to create some privacy through a minimal design.

A mobile bar to serve drinks outside? Thanks to the “Dometic MoBar range”, making cocktails in your garden is no longer a dream but the best way to entertain your guests.
Dometic MoBar range | Manufacturer: Dometic Group AB, Solna, Sweden

A mobile bar to serve drinks outside? Thanks to the “Dometic MoBar range”, making cocktails in your garden is no longer a dream but the best way to entertain your guests.

The sunshade “Jumbrella outSide” is a beautiful addition to any garden and provides additional flexibility with its side pole.
Jumbrella outSide_4x4m | Manufacturer: Bahama GmbH, Reichshof, Germany

The sunshade “Jumbrella outSide” is a beautiful addition to any garden and provides additional flexibility with its side pole.

A real highlight for any garden, the “Outdoor Living Box” acts as a unique pergola with a striking design and integrated LED line that adds a special touch to balmy summer evenings.
Outdoor Living Box with integrated Ledline | Manufacturer: Aluvision NV, Deinze, Belgium

A real highlight for any garden, the “Outdoor Living Box” acts as a unique pergola with a striking design and integrated LED line that adds a special touch to balmy summer evenings.

The “Solar Breaker Pergola” with its rotating slats is designed to provide shade but can also be used with photovoltaic panels.
Solar Breaker Pergola | Manufacturer: Solar Breaker Sp. z o.o., Warsaw, Poland

The “Solar Breaker Pergola” with its rotating slats is designed to provide shade but can also be used with photovoltaic panels.

The “HYDRA” pergola awning is another prime example of a stylish garden accessory, adding an elegant touch while being multifunctional through the use of various materials and fabrics.
HYDRA | Manufacturer: KE Protezioni Solari S. R. L., Noventa di Piave, Italy

The “HYDRA” pergola awning is another prime example of a stylish garden accessory, adding an elegant touch while being multifunctional through the use of various materials and fabrics.

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Contemporary garden decor is an eye-catching way to spruce up your green space. From sculptural designs to minimal aesthetics to bold colors, the common thread is a refined definition of what garden furniture can look like. With a focus on sustainable materials and eco-friendly solutions, the modern garden is a reflection of current consumer trends, combining an urge for nature with an elevated design.

Gold awarded: Vitocal | Manufacturer: Viessmann Climate Solutions SE, Allendorf (Eder), Germany (see image above) A contemporary heat pump powered by renewable energy, with a black monolithic shape that enhances not only the environmental footprint but also the green space.


Contemporary garden decor is an eye-catching way to spruce up your green space. From sculptural designs to minimal aesthetics to bold colors, the common thread is a refined definition of what garden furniture can look like. With a focus on sustainable materials and eco-friendly solutions, the modern garden is a reflection of current consumer trends, combining an urge for nature with an elevated design.

Forget about squeaky deck chairs and awnings in flashy colors. Today, it’s all about elegantly integrating the garden into the living space. The indoor/outdoor concept is popular with designers and architects alike. The key? Furniture so beautiful and timeless that you can’t tell if it’s made for indoors or out, from sofa-style seating to stylish bar carts.


Short interview with Irmy Wilms-Haverkamp, designer and iF juror

 

iF: What are the current trends in garden design and how have they evolved?

Irmy Wilms-Haverkamp: The garden, as an oasis of relaxation, is the antithesis to the digitalization and acceleration of our lives. Modern kitchen gardens and urban gardening connect us humans with the feeling of naturalness and also self-efficacy. Growing our own food and having an outdoor kitchen are both a longing and a status symbol. The automation of gardening, e.g., with app-controlled watering systems, creates more time for recreation. The new demand for garden living is reflected in the livability of garden furniture: weatherproof, soft upholstery, valuable materials, outdoor carpets, lights, aesthetic architectural elements for conservatories, gazebos, etc. ... Of course, the megatrend of sustainability is also of formative importance in the garden.

iF: What are the elements that have the most impact when sprucing up your garden?

Elements that make outdoor living more weather-independent have a particularly great benefit, such as architectural extensions, gazebos and interesting weather protection.

Contemporary, homely furnishings, with lounge furniture, inviting dining areas and sculptural outdoor furniture quickly and effectively set the scene in the garden.

Architectural quality is created through the spatial and stylistic combination of plantings, architectural elements, interesting ground changes, lighting, etc. ... Thus, the garden is structured and expanded.

iF: Green design is not just about plants, it’s about sustainability. How can you make your garden more eco-friendly?

Sustainable plant selection and wise use of land are the basis for the ecological use of a garden. Soil permeability, diversity, insect-friendliness play a major role. Garden tools and equipment should be durable and produced to conserve resources in the spirit of the circular economy. The considered choice of volume strong materials, like ground coverings, fences, winter gardens, garden houses has a large impact on the ecological balance. Today, the energy demand in the garden can be covered in an environmentally friendly way.

Refined Garden Decor To Make The Most Of These Glorious Summer Days
The garden, as an oasis of relaxation, is the antithesis to the digitalization and acceleration of our lives.
Designer and iF juror Irmy Wilms-Haverkamp

Among this year’s product design winners, the trend towards greener design is undeniable. And yet, when it comes to the garden category, green design has a deeper meaning: contrary to popular belief, garden tools and outdoor accessories are not sustainable per se. It takes creativity and imagination on the part of designers to create items that combine numerous requirements of good design: aesthetics, functionality and sustainability. Even more, durability is an additional feature for garden decor. This is the time for truly forward-thinking creations - and this year’s iF award winners show the direction in which things are heading.

Take the “LOU” furniture collection, for example. An art-inspired design with sofa, armchair and pouf that immediately catches the eye. The outdoor chair series “Kada” is made of recycled materials and the furniture “NUTA” has upholstered seats, but only in faux leather. But what about the necessary garden equipment such as irrigation or heating? What appears to be an art collection piece due to its black monolithic shape is the gold awarded “Vitocal”, an environmentally friendly heat pump that combines contemporary aesthetics with functionality. The “Metal Garden Reel VTYGG100” is a modern interpretation of a garden hose made of recyclable aluminum and natural cork. Combine this with clever multi-purpose designs like the “Solar Breaker Pergola” for some extra green energy and you have not only the garden of your dreams but the future.

Swipe through the renewed iF design app for more inspiration

iF design app - relaunch 10 May 2021

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Explore more iF DESIGN AWARD Winner Stories reflecting the latest design trends 


(published in July 2021)