The way we use our outdoor spaces has progressed significantly over the last decade or so. Instead of simply investing in an outdoor table or seating, Kiwis are looking more and more towards solutions that incorporate entire spaces, essentially creating the indoors outside.
As outdoor design expert Joanna Rogers of Auckland-based retailer Jardin says, the concept of reinventing the indoors outside means exterior spaces are becoming more multi-functional than ever before, with careful thought being put into design elements.
“Now, outdoor living areas have become an almost essential part of the home,” Rogers says. “Often, people have different spaces around their properties that are suitable for different things and different times of day. More people are really considering what they are looking to use outdoor spaces for and how they can make the most use of them.”
Integrating the right furniture into outdoor spaces that are designed as multi-functional living areas is an important factor in the overall design. And, as Rogers explains, New Zealand has its own unique trends. “The natural look is very popular at the moment, along with neutral tones and combinations of timber, white, grey and neutral palettes.”
But for Rogers, her focus is decidedly away from current trends. In fact, she purposefully steers clear of them. She believes outdoor furniture should be chosen for its beauty, function and longevity. “A piece of furniture should be something that adds to your life. It should be something that you will still enjoy years down the track, which is why I never recommend purchasing furniture simply because it’s on-trend at the moment. If that’s the case, it’s likely that in a few years it won’t be something that continues to bring enjoyment to its owner.”
Jardin is the New Zealand supplier for well-known French metal furniture design and manufacturing company, Fermob. One of Fermob’s core values is joie de vivre – exuberant enjoyment of life. “Fermob neither follow nor attempt to define trends. They simply aspire to create joyful products that encourage and enhance the exuberant enjoyment of life outdoors.”
And that’s exactly what Rogers believes in too, focusing in her work with Jardin on what makes a person happy, what styles and colours they enjoy, and what will complement their lives in outdoor areas. “Using unique combinations of colours to design furniture that adds something to a customer’s life is infinitely more valuable that choosing pieces based on a current trend.”
Fermob, while offering an innovative and contemporary range, is a company that traces back more than 125 years in the manufacturing of furniture. “This experience of manufacturing combined with the work they do with both young and seasoned designers means they can offer the best of both worlds with each range – more than a century of manufacturing experience with astute design work.”
Metal furniture has been somewhat inhibited over the years by its lack of colour, or the conventional white or bottle-green shades. Fermob aims to bring metal furniture back into fashion with its eclectic colour palettes. From acid-bright to bold, crisp colours, every Fermob piece is offered in a range of 24 colours, which are updated yearly. “Because of the extensive range of colour and design options available, people are able to create something that is unique and personalised and that reflects their personality and the character of the space and home well,” Rogers says.
Fermob’s residential pieces are focused on providing a design with soul; an aesthetic outlook on life echoing the brand’s underlying concept of joie de vivre, while also carefully crafting user-friendly, comfortable outdoor furniture that stands the test of time.
The quintessential French brand is now easily accessible in New Zealand through Jardin allowing Kiwis to create their own individualised pieces working with the New Zealand-based retailer. Jardin works with customers, both residential and retail and corporate clients, to work out firstly what makes them happy – what colours and styles are pleasing to their eye, and from there pieces of furniture are designed that aim to complement their lives, style and outdoor spaces. Trade pricing and commercial solutions are also offered.
Specialising in outdoor furniture for residential settings as well as for restaurants, bars, public spaces and corporate environments, Jardin has recently opened an Auckland showroom to display some of the many possibilities of the Fermob range.
Rogers’ thoughts about only choosing pieces that bring joy and add something to a person’s life represent not only a valuable insight into furniture and landscape design but are, perhaps, ideas that could be suitably applied to many aspects of design, and life in general.
If your outdoor spaces are in need of some joy, get in touch with Jardin. Visit them on ArchiPro here or visit their Auckland showroom at 3 Vega Place, Rosedale.