Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard always knows how to take a space and make it magical—just ask his celebrity clients, who include the likes of Kylie Jenner, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, and Cher. So, it only makes sense that his latest line for Frontgate—a small edit of stylish and comfortable outdoor furniture—proves that outdoor basics can have personality, too.
The line includes the Marisol chair, a cozy handwoven wicker accent chair; and a Moroccan-inspired seating collection (including a sofa, loveseat, chair, and ottoman) called Nina, in beautifully-weathered, kiln-dried teak. Both are available in a variety of outdoor fabrics, whether you prefer a simple, solid color or fun, bold patterns. And the best part? They're designed to work just as well inside as they do outside.
"When I first started working with Frontgate and looking through their collections, I felt that the indoor and the outdoor was very much separated, and I wanted to come up with items that could sort of bridge that gap, to create a really good flow between the indoor and outdoor, where you could just as easily use the pieces inside as well as outside," Bullard tells House Beautiful.
Bullard describes the pieces in the collection as much more comfortable and more interior-oriented than what you typically find for outdoor furniture. "Everything is deeper than normal, softer than normal, and I believe that the outdoors should be decorated the same as the indoors, in the fact that you mix things up," he says. "Things that don't really match, but when you put them together, they create that eclectic match, which adds so much more interest and vibe to the space."
As for his favorite piece in the collection, Bullard says his pick is the Marisol chair. "It's a chair that you can curl up in, you can literally get up on the legs, curl into it, read a book," he says. "And for me, modern luxury is comfort, and all of this furniture has been scaled to a way that it's really comfortable. That was number one most important for me with this collection."
The Marisol chair is sold separately, and you can purchase the Nina seating collection as individual pieces or as a set in two configurations—either the sofa with the loveseat and chair, or the loveseat and two chairs. Shop the full collection online at Frontgate.
If an entirely new outdoor furniture collection isn't in the cards for you this summer, don't worry; Bullard has some tips to refresh your patio. Here's how you can add a little bit of magic to your backyard this summer:
Step 1: Infuse some color
"Add some color, even if it's just with pillows or reupholstering the outdoor furniture that you've got," Bullard suggests. "Look at the color that's in the the room that leads out to the garden directly, and maybe you pull the colors from that so you can blend the indoor and the outdoor. Or, maybe you do another completely different color—something that's fun and that you love, that will draw the eye outside and just make everything feel fresh."
Step 2: Mix old and new
"If you can't afford to buy a whole new patio set, maybe buy two fun wicker chairs, for instance, and drop those in with your old furniture," Bullard says, adding that you shouldn't worry about them not matching your existing set-up. "The old-fashioned way of buying every piece of outdoor furniture the same is exactly that—it's an old-fashioned way of looking at it. There is nothing wrong with mixing it up, in fact, it makes it fresh and interesting."
Step 3: Make it cozy
"Comfort is everything, and so much outdoor furniture of the past was not comfortable," Bullard says. "You want somewhere to go on a Sunday and read the newspaper. You want to curl up in the evening with a glass of wine. Think about making it as comfortable as your living room."
Step 4: Add the unexpected
"If you've got walls outside, maybe it's a great spot to have a mirror," Bullard suggests. "Having a mirror on a wall in an outdoor space is really fun because it helps refract the light, it helps expand the space, and it helps create even more of an indoor-outdoor environment. Don't be scared to be adventurous in your outdoor space, and really do think of it as an extension of your living room."
The outdoor mirror tip is an especially interesting one Bullard loves to use in the spaces he designs. "I use mirrors outside all the time, especially when the wall is slightly shielded," he explains. "It's a really nice way to add more vibe to the space. And at night, if you have a mirror and you've got a console table with candles or lanterns that you place by the mirror, it increases the magical light factor."
Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.
You Might Also Like