Living The Essentials:

The Best Outdoor Furniture That’s Practical and Pretty

Words by Sacha Strebe.
Photo by Nicole Franzen.

The Best Outdoor Furniture That’s Practical and Pretty

Nothing is more soul-quenching or enriches the spirit quite like Mother Nature. She renders us speechless as we bask in her perfectly imperfect beauty forcing us to surrender and fall in harmony with her century-old rhythm and flow. In the elements, we are pared down to the essentials, tapping into the ancient state of our being. We are wholly at home in her surroundings which is why, after a year cooped up inside, all of us are craving the wind in our hair, the smell of rain on our skin, and the splendor of sun kisses on a balmy summer afternoon.

In fact, crafting space that strengthens our connection to the outside world has become an act of self-care. Many of us (Athena included) are learning how to garden in a bid to restore our kinship with nature and bring the outdoors in. If you have access to a balcony, patio, or backyard then it’s time to design an area where you can enjoy a breezy barbecue, casual cocktail, or swoony soiree. It’s all about finding the best outdoor furniture. So, we did the work for you and rounded up some of our favorites online. Happy decorating!  

Wembley Outdoor Sofa

Simple is often the best when it comes to outdoor sofas. Choose a classic style that will outlast design trends like it does the weather.

Bizerte Outdoor 3-piece Sofa

Who said outdoor furniture couldn’t be chic? This low-profile 3-piece sofa is made for lounging around.

Rossi 3-piece Sectional Sofa With Metal Frame

This stunning sofa has so much lounge appeal with its low profile and soft cushions. We love the nautical rope detail and vintage metal legs.

Numa Outdoor Sofa

Keep it neutral with a charcoal gray sofa that will withstand all any spills, grease, and grime you throw at it. 

Kinney Teak Lounge Chair with Cushion

This stunning teak lounge chair takes outdoor furniture to a chic new level. 

Austen Outdoor Chair Faux Rattan

You know we have a thing for rattan and this modern lounger fuses the best of both worlds.

Rattan Rocking Chair

We can’t believe it’s not vintage. This rocking chair was made for simple afternoons sipping on your favorite beverage and admiring all that Mother Nature has to offer.

Neighbor Haven Outdoor Chair

You’ll never want to get up from this deep-seated chair. With its slight recline, it’s just beckoning you to kick back and enjoy the great outdoors.

Chapala Outdoor Teak Ottoman with Cushion

Kick your feet up, literally with this vintage-inspired teak ottoman. 

Cadenza Indoor / Outdoor Accent Chair

Bring the indoors out or vice versa—the beauty of this chair is you decide. 

Migraneuse For Deny 1989 Check Outdoor Folding Chair

Bring a hint of the French coast home with this fun folding chair.

Kinta Outdoor Chaise

Nothing beats an outdoor chaise for long afternoons in the sun or shade, reading your favorite book.

Rosen Outdoor Chaise Natural Eucalyptus

There’s a chaise for every style and activity—we can envision a soothing afternoon sipping an Aperol spritz on this one.

Cesta Outdoor Pillow

Dial up the comfort level with luxurious pillows on your chaise, lounge chair, or sofa.

Violetta Outdoor Dining Table

Crafted from solid teak, the angular tapered legs bring a modern sensibility to your outdoor area. We could just as easily see this indoors too, though.

Pavilion Travertine Coffee Table Model 6511

You really can’t go wrong with travertine. It will stand the test of time and look good in every room—outdoor and in.

Lola Round Black Concrete Dining Table

We love the sculptural shape and sleek finish of this round concrete dining table. A statement indoors and out.

Sonali Cement Indoor/Outdoor Dining Table

If you’re looking for a sculptural statement, then invest in this dining table that doubles as a work of art. 

Vintage Italian Travertine Planter or Table Base

Decorate with raw, organic materials in your outdoor space to complement Mother Nature’s beauty. 

Low Profile Round Fire Pit

If you have the space, a fire pit is always a crowd-pleaser. Who doesn’t love to finish the night with s’mores?

Angled Obelisk Chiminea

Constructed from a single piece of weathering steel, this chiminea brings a modern statement to your outdoor area while it keeps you and your guests warm on chilly nights.

Mikos Black Side Table

This blocky, monolithic statement table brings a hint of the Brutalist architectural movement to your outdoor setting with its durable, double-black finish.

Clarabelle Indoor / Outdoor Stool

This organic teak stool is both beautiful and durable with its natural knots and graining. The curved seat and tapered legs are a nod to the vintage milking stools of the past.

Walden Indoor / Outdoor Side Table

Juxtapose modern slick designs against natural, organic materials to create that perfectly imperfect look that mimics Mother Nature.

Azura Jar

Think of your outdoor space just as you would your living room. Bring in decorative objects that tap into your personal style to bring depth and soul to the area.

Golden Cement Pot

If you don’t have grass, add greenery with planters of trees, shrubs, succulents, and cactus to your patio or balcony to mimic the look and feel of nature. 

Textured Concrete Pot

Mix up your planters to bring the same depth and dimension with texture and materiality.

Mireya Vase

If plants aren’t an option, then decorate with vases and fill them with fresh clippings and branches

Keelah Natural Rattan Hurricane

Lighting is key both indoors and out. Add the warm flicker of candlelight using chic hurricanes like this rattan style to continue the conversation into the night. 

Terracotta Grey Incense Burner

Enhance the mood with the soothing scent of incense.

Oliver James Shore Linen Collection

Have fun in the pool with a floating chair but make it chic.

2-in-1 Bean Bag Toss

No outdoor gathering is complete without games. This 2-in-1 bean bag toss is an oldie but a goodie.

Blackcard Playing Cards

No need for sunglasses to hide your poker face. These matte black-on-black playing cards won’t show your secrets until you’re ready to lay them all out on the table.

Tumbling Tower Game

You’ll be laughing late into the night with this classic tumbling tower game. 

Ooni Koda 16 Pizza Oven

Make your own pizza dough and get everyone involved in concocting their own toppings before throwing them in the outdoor pizza oven. 

Emile Henry Pizza Stone Gift Set

Every novice pizza maker needs a pizza stone to make the most authentic, crispiest crust.

Portable Picnic Table

Load this table up with cheese, fruit, vegetables, condiments, and so much more to allow guests to help themselves as they need.

Driftwood Candle

Carved from mango wood, this decorative accent looks as good as it smells with a tobacco bark scent.

Brigton Rattan Lanterns

Position lanterns around the perimeter to create a warm mood but to also guide people as the night descends. 

Ora Black Wire Lanterns

This black wire lantern is a striking additon to any outdoor space.

Haugen Braided Indoor / Outdoor Rug

A rug brings much-needed cohesion and touchable texture to any space but especially outside where the elements can tend to be harsher. This braided rug will withstand the elements and the spillages from gatherings.

Astrid Indoor / Outdoor Rug

This chunky woven style looks like it should be indoors but thanks to 100% recycled polyester fabric, it’s safe for an outdoor space too.

Tavares Indoor/Outdoor Checkered Rug

We’ve never seen a checkered design we don’t love. Athena designed both her Brooklyn entry and outdoor patio with the checkerboard look and now you can do the same with this textured rug. 

Mila Scallop Ceramic Indoor/Outdoor Stool

This ceramic stool is a decorative addition with its scalloped base.

Ridge Side Table-Stool

Fuse differing shapes together to create visual interest. 

Mara Outdoor Coffee Table

Terracotta isn’t just for planters. The earthy hue is a natural fit outdoors and this coffee table is an unexpected statement.

Garden Kit

Get your green thumb on and start a small vegetable or herb garden, then use what you grow to inspire the menu for your next gathering. 

Hadron Watering Can

Even watering cans can be chic.

Gardening Shears

You know we love a branch at ES HQ and these look pretty when they’re not in use, too.

Terracotta Matte Textured Medium Disy Vase

Bring texture to your outdoor table design with this terracotta vase. 

Allison Rattan Handled Vase

This is a stunner for the middle of the table with fresh greenery and a branch or two.

Alysha Vase

Just add water and a few fresh flowers!

Anthropologie Tropical Rattan Candle

Everyone looks good by candlelight. Add these to your tablescape and light them up at sundown to inspire deeper conversation.

Lulu & Georgia Rae Beehive Lantern

The warm glow from this lantern will light up your night.

Willow Decorative Vase

A combination of our favorite vintage vessel with rattan—what more could you want?

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