Design Junction x greening up the urban jungle

So, the end of another fabulous and very busy London Design Festival.  Whichever venue we visited the buzz and creativity just blew us away!  Our own little creative spot was down on the South Bank behind the OXO Tower, where Design Junction  had taken over some space.  Doing their utmost to green up our urban jungle was the amazing Urban Roof Gardens, a dynamic London company that aims to blur the boundaries between people and plants and create a little bit of roof art along the way.  Urban Roof Gardens borrowed some of our outdoor furniture to complete their installation and we were pleased as punch to be involved in our own small way.

Urban Roof Garden, South Bank, London Design Festival
Urban Roof Garden, South Bank, London Design Festival

Employing their architectural and design techniques, the company use urban space to create fuzzy lines between the built and natural environment.  And, a new one on us, we also heard the word ‘biophilia’ for the first time (ok – so we had to look it up!) which suggests that ‘humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life’; in this case plants.  We all know trees and plants are great for the environment –  they produce oxygen and remove carbon dioxide and contaminants from the air – and even the introduction of a spider plant into the office can raise a smile.  But Urban Roof Gardens take this idea to a whole other level – literally.

Their simple philosophy is that by ‘greening the urban jungle’ they are helping to create a better world for both the urban dweller and their urban environment (that’ll be most of us then!).

Tribu Tosca garden Chairs
Tribu Tosca Garden Chairs

They are passionate about it and have created the world’s leading green wall system.  And it really is beautiful to see. We’re normally quite an energetic lot (well some of us) but you instantly feel quite chilled surrounded by greenery. Urban Roof Garden’s innovative LiveProduct range includes the LiveWall, LiveRoof and LivePicture.

Urban Roof Garden Live Picture
Urban Roof Garden Live Picture

We were really taken with the LivePicture.  This one had been installed above the outdoor kitchen area and, well, was good enough to eat, filled with a mixture of plants and herbs. What a great idea, mixing eating with art!  The Live range is modular so if you find that one night you eat your way through all of the basil, it’s easy enough to slot in a replacement module.  The other thing we really liked is that you don’t need to worry about watering.  Having had our own ‘green wall’ in the Kings Road show room a couple of years ago that sadly didn’t survive too well (we either killed it with kindness or forgot to water it enough – we’ll never know!) Urban Garden’s clever automatic watering system takes the stress out of remembering to get the watering can out.

Urban Roof gardens LiveWall
Urban Roof Gardens LiveWall, Tribu Nodi chairs in the foreground and Tosca chairs at the back

It’s a very urban spot tucked behind the OXO Tower, which is basically a space between a modern building with small, independent shops and workshops overlooking the Thames, and an old warehouse.  The introduction of ‘green walls’ or a ‘living wall of plants’ transformed the area. The walls create a stunning backdrop that can either mask a view, frame it, or simply create a great backdrop. The walls have pre-planted cassettes which, as the URG team showed us, take seconds to change – so you can even reflect the seasons if you’re a green fashionista. They’ll also cool buildings in the summer heat and keep in the warmth during the winter.

Manutti Zendo Modular Outdoor Sofa
Manutti Zendo Modular Outdoor Sofa & Tribu Tosca Chairs

The weather was definitely a bit mixed over the weekend (vertical rain through to 25 degrees sunshine anyone?!) but our furniture did us proud and withstood the elements, as we knew it would.  The Manutti Zendo sofa proved very popular – you can see the side of it in the image above.  It normally lives on our first floor terrace where we have the corner version.  The beauty of the design is that being modular you can configure it as you want.  URG used just a centre piece here and it fitted perfectly. The quick-dry cushions Manutti use, along with robust outdoor fabrics, earned themselves gold stars over the weekend. We think the Zendo probably dried out quicker than the team did!

Manutti are world specialists in outdoor furniture and materials.  They offer a wide range of fabrics including Batyline®, which is a UV-resistant, mass-coloured PVC fibre. It doesn’t fade in light or sunshine and it’s water-repellent, both swimming pool and sea water. It can also withstand extreme temperatures: -30°C (-22°F) to +70°C (158°F), and is super easy to clean and maintain.  Environmentally it’s great too – no toxins, and 100% recyclable. Batyline is available in Mocca, Pearl White, White, Granite Grey, Bronze, Black, Flax and Linen colours.

Lotus is another Manutti fabric and is a perfect balance between ecology (100% recyclable), innovation (a new polyolefin thread) and performance (twice as resistant as an acrylic thread). Lotus is used for fabrics with mixed colours: White Blue and White Sand

Then there’s their All Weather Fabrics which have been specifically developed for outdoor use. The fabric performs exactly the same as Batyline and Lotus. Inside there is a Quick Dry Foam which has a special structure that ensures that the water runs through three times faster, so it also dries three times faster than high resilience foam. Manutti use two different types of All Weather Fabrics: all weather basic (100% polypropylene) and Sunbrella® (100% acrylic).

They also have a range of Nautic Fabrics and Nautic Leather.  Nautic Leather is imitation leather based on PVC, specifically developed for outdoor use (such as the ‘leather’ you see on boats). Nautic Fabric is 100% olefin fabric and totally watertight. So as you can see – a huge choice!

Urban Roof Gardens also chose a couple of our beautiful Tosca armchchairs to complete the look.  Tosca is designed by Monica Armani for Tribu.  They are amazingly comfortable and have a real wow factor. The design features soft, oversized braiding wrapped around a powder-coated stainless steel frame.  The braiding is then filled with a new foam mouse which is then wrapped in a seamless sheath of knitted textilene and polyolefine for extra weather resistance.

Tribu Nodi Garden Armchairs
Tribu Nodi Garden Armchairs

And didn’t our Nodi chairs look good! They’re designed by the highly regarded Canadian creatives, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg for Tribu.

Light and extremely comfortable, the Nodi has a seat and back hand-woven in stain repellent, frost, UV and mould resistant CanaxÆ rope which is stretched across a powder-coated stainless steel frame. The slim profile of the arm is angled slightly inwards as if it’s welcoming you to sit down. Made from PVC and hemp, the woven CanaxÆ crosses in vertical and horizontal lines, providing a great shape and structure. It’s very strong and durable and the pretty rope work is also gently forgiving when you lean against it.

Urban Roof Gardens
Urban Roof Gardens

If you missed the Festival there’s still time to check out our garden furniture.  Pop along to our Kings Road showroom or browse the garden section of the Go Modern site. And if you fancy creating your own ‘green dream’ in the centre of the city go and talk to the great team at Urban Roof Gardens and share some of their green passion.

Outdoor garden furniture for summer 2018

Easter has been and gone… is summer on its way?  We hope so. It’s definitely the time to think about outdoor furniture and making the most of the warmer, lighter days. Our contemporary garden furniture is hand-chosen by us and made in Europe.  We work with the very best names in the business; family run companies who have been making garden furniture for a long time.  Their designs are created by named and award-winning designers, with an expert knowledge about construction and materials that can’t be beaten.

Manuti and Tribù are based in Belgium, Point and Calma in Spain, Smania hails from Italy and specialist parasol makers Sywawa are also from Belgium.  Between them we are confident they offer the very best designs on the market today.

How To Choose? Outdoor furniture obviously needs to be incredibly robust, using the highest quality materials; cheap designs may seem a bargain but simply wont last and will look sad and worn before the season is out. Along with choosing a style that will complement your indoor look, there is also a decision on what kind of material to choose.

Teak is ideal for outdoor use, hard-wearing and natural.  It’s a tropical hard-wood, sourced from managed plantations, and contains lots of natural oils making it durable enough to remain outdoors all year round. It will also weather beautifully with age.

Manutti Chairs & Torsa Dining table
Manutti Chairs & Torsa Dining table

The beautiful new Solid chairs by Lionel Doyen for Manutti are hand-carved in natural or brushed nero teak. Manutti’s Torsa table has a sleek ceramic table top and a smooth, curved teak base with adjustable feet.

Woven material is a very big trend this year with most specialists including it in their summer 2018 collections.

Point Weave outdoor collection
Point Weave outdoor collection

The Weave garden range by Vicent MartÌnez for Point, specialists in fibre woven-material.  Their contemporary outdoor designs are amongst some of the finest in the world. This beautiful new range is woven with 8mm polyester rope, and is sunlight and weather resistant as well as being completely colour fast.

Below is the new CTR  range from Tribù designed by Piergiorgio Cazzaniga. The weave  used here wraps around the seat back and is made from plaited Tricord (a polyolefin material) which is weather and mould proof and can be chosen in linen or wenge colours.

Tribu CTR Collection
Tribu CTR Collection

Rattan was traditionally made from woven palm, but is now created from synthetic material that has exactly the same look but is much, much more durable. Synthetic rattan will withstand the harshest of weather and it’s definitely moved away from the ‘echos of the 70s’ feel it’s long been associated with, now being used across some fabulous contemporary designs.

Ceramic is a wonderful material for outdoor tables. The Tosca dining table from Tribù is designed by the talented Monica Armani and its ceramic tabletop is completely scratch-proof, stain-proof, UV, water and weather-proof.

Tribu Tosca dining table
Tribu Tosca dining table

The ceramic is laminated on glass which is then water jetted into an oval shape and CNC-milled (‘computer aided milling’). The subtle cloudy pattern created is perfect for gardens and can be chosen in a linen or piombo colour as seen above.

Metal garden furniture and outdoor accessories are usually made from incredibly strong but lightweight aluminium which is then powder-coated for extra weather-proofing. Treated in this way it’s guaranteed to never rust, fade or rot.  It’s also scratch resistant and requires very little maintenance.

Smania Ios Garden Planters
Smania Ios Garden Planters

The magnificent Ios  garden planters above are part of an exclusive garden furniture collection from Italian manufacturer Smania. Their impressive heights (three sizes: 50cm, 76cm and 120cm high) will create a beautifully elegant statement piece that will probably outlast your plants!

To see all of our new garden furniture collections click here.  Happy summer dreaming!

Pretty and practical: Our latest design-led garden furniture

We’re still deep in garden furniture mode at Go Modern.  As the weather begins to improve (ahem) and the days certainly are longer it’s all about getting back outside, keeping the borders watered and that first cut of the lawn.

We’ve more new outdoor designs to show you here and some of the prettiest furniture we’ve seen in a while, starting with one of our newest partners Saba Italia.  But it’s not just about the aesthetics, striking as they are, as with all our outdoor designs they have to meet our strict criteria for robust materials and advanced technology.

Saba Italia are a young Venetian brand where fashion meets furniture meets – exceedingly good design.  They have produced two new outdoor chairs that are beautifully decorative and quite different from the norm.

Saba Italia Grace
Saba Italia Grace

Grace is designed by Paolo Grasselli and is an irresistibly dainty design.  It’s created by fusing different sizes of metal rings together so that empty circles clasp cushioned spheres, creating a frame of coloured and transparent ‘bubbles’. The frame and rings are made from lacquered iron, which can be finished in either white or grey, and Grace can also be used inside as well as out.

Saba Italia New York
Saba Italia New York

The beautifully vibrant colours of the New York garden armchairs, designed by Sergio Bicego for Saba Italia, are produced in water-proof quick-drying non-absorbent technical fabric (with an excellent performance in the Martindale test of up to 90,000 cycles – for those of you who like the full tech stuff!) which guarantees abrasion resistance as well as hygienic ‘breathability’. And there are 13 different  outdoor fabrics to choose from, or you can supply your own. Incredibly comfortable (trust us – we sat for a long time at the recent Milan show on one of these!) the white-painted tubular metal frame is specifically treated for outdoor use.

Missoni Home are lauded the world over for their beautiful fabrics and they’re now producing striking outdoor furniture too.  As you’d expect from this award-winning fashion and accessories company their designs are eye-wateringly good and, of course, instantly recognisable.

Missoni Home Jalamar
Missoni Home Jalamar

The Jalamar sunlounger will attract more than a few admiring glances around the pool. The covers are removable with a huge choice of Missoni fabrics to choose from. And for sun lovers, the Jalamar has a fully adjustable frame (due to its clever internal mechanism) allowing you to capture those rays from any angle.

Tribu Nomad velvet outdoor pouf
Tribu Nomad velvet outdoor pouf

There are an incredible number of stunning outdoor fabrics to choose from this summer. During last year’s London Design Festival, we were joined by Melanie Bernard from the outdoor fabric company Sunbrella for a Q & A session about the latest trends in furniture and fabrics.  Sunbrella began by producing fabrics for yacht sails – so they know a thing or two about all-weather material!  They’re now international specialist in fabrics for garden furniture and work with all the leading companies in this area.

For the most luxurious, sumptuous outdoor fabric, how about velvet (yes, you read that correctly – velvet!). Belgian specialists Tribù have used velvet for their Nomad garden poufs and they really caught our eye when we saw them at the last Milan show.  One word: Stunning!  And they come in seven delicious colours including marine blue, oyster, acqua and the moss colour seen above.

So practical, pretty design-led garden furniture.  Who needs sunshine when you can create your own!  Check out all of our latest garden designs here.

From Hollywood glamour to industrial chic – brand new garden furniture!

Well, aren’t you just loving the sunshine today.  Blue skies, a hint of bird song… wow… steady, we’re feeling almost spring like!

So what better time than now to introduce our brand new 2017 outdoor garden furniture collections from specialists Manutti, TribùPoint and Missoni Home!

Manutti is the the award-winning, luxury go to brand for superyachts, Hollywood villas and chic townhouses, and headlining its new line-up is  San by French designer Lionel Doyen.  Lionel previewed his wonderful new design with us during the London Design Festival last September.

Manutti San
Manutti San

San is inspired by Japanese art and design and pretty much masters the art of Zen.  Made from sustainable Iroko wood, this low, sleek piece is the epitome of minimalism.  It’s modular which means there are numerous configurations – from a simple bench to sunlounger to two-seater sofa with the addition of backrests, cushions and small but beautiful tables in Carrara White or Portoro Black marble.

Manutti San
Manutti San

Cascade is Manutti’s other brand new design for summer. And in true Manutti style it’s a design that would look just as good indoors as it does out.  With weather-proof fabric, clever fast-drying foam cushions, and a strong, rust proof aluminium powder-coated frame, you can also choose it in a light or dark weave, and add a range of outdoor scatter cushions to complete the ‘inside out’ look!

Manutti Cascade
Manutti Cascade

We were lucky enough to pop over to Belgium last month to celebrate Tribù’s 50th anniversary!  And we’re still recovering.  What a day/night – with a tour of its wonderful, newly opened and extended showroom alongside the magnificent party celebrations.  This family run company were early pioneers of the idea that patios and gardens can be an extension of the house. Another room – just outside.

Tribù has produced four fantastic new designs and additions to ranges for this year, including the magnificent Pavilion Day Bed by the highly talented designer Monica Armani (who we were delighted to meet at the anniversary celebrations).

Tribu Pavilion Day Bed
Tribu Pavilion Day Bed

Tribù’s beautiful Tosca Collection, also by Monica Armani, has been extended to include the colour Wenge, which is a rich, warm shade of brown. Tosca is made using extra-large textured braiding, something that’s all the rage at the moment, from interiors to fashion – think over large knitting needles! It’s an amazing weather-proof material and incredibly soft to to the touch.

Tribu Tosca
Tribu Tosca

Tribu’s  Mood Collection also has some new additions, with a Day Bed and Club Chair and, if you’re looking for the ultimate, sleek Beach Chair, take a look at the new addition to the Branch Collection with beautifully flowing, fluid lines and elegant tapered legs (we’ll just have to remember not to stand too close to it at the pool!).

Tribu Branch Beach Chairs
Tribu Branch Beach Chairs

Point has been producing stunning hand-made outdoor furniture in Spain since 1920. It is another close-knit, family run company and its newest collections have blown us away. Fabulous contemporary designs including Weave which is a modern take on a traditional weave design.

Point Weave
Point Weave

Working alongside award-winning designers, Point’s other new designs include the strikingly contemporary Fennec and Tub Collections.  The Fennec Collection exudes Hollywood poolside glamour (La La Land we felt your pain!) and it also uses 100% recyclable material (that’s Fennec – not La La Land!).

Point Fennec
Point Fennec

While Tub has a stylish, industrial feel with a lacquered, aluminium frame displaying gloriously straight lines, cleverly interwoven with subtle curves.

Point Tub
Point Tub

Last summer you probably remember that we were jumping up and down to announce our partnership with Missoni Home Furniture and we’re now even more excited to show you this incredible brand’s new outdoor furniture collection.  Featuring lots of colourful zigzags, florals and stripes, the trade mark look from this iconic design house, and its outdoor collection doesn’t disappoint.

The Missoni Home Virgola Garden Chair is a striking piece of modern design, a real garden showstopper, and it’s available in a huge range of Missoni’s stunning outdoor fabrics.

Missoni Home Furniture Virgola
Missoni Home Furniture Virgola

For a nod to 1960s style the Cordula Garden Chair with a woven rope design will tick all the right boxes…

Missoni Home Furniture Cordula
Missoni Home Furniture Cordula

while the versatile Nap Collection is a simple, customisable modular design which includes a chaise longue, sofa and a large pouf.  The covers are removable and you can choose from a large range of Missoni’s fabulous weatherproof fabrics.

Missoni Home Furniture Nap
Missoni Home Furniture Nap

So, enjoy the sunshine while we have it and explore our new garden collections for a bit of 2017 summer dreaming.

Outdoor furniture spring/summer 2016 from Tribù

Nearly March and the weather IS slowly improving – there’s the odd chink of blue sky and the temperature’s heading in the right direction… not quite fast enough for those of us in the office who had been contemplating fingerless gloves… but in the meantime we’ve been drooling over some pretty cool new outdoor furniture designs from Tribù.

Tribù is an award-winning Belgian brand, although we’re hazarding a guess that their latest designs weren’t actually shot in Belgium but slightly further south – azure blue pools and verdant olive trees are not, as far as we know, a natural Poirot backdrop.

Belgium has pretty much the same weather as we do, so Tribù knows what it’s doing when it comes to designing outdoor furniture that’s completely weatherproof.  Their uber contemporary design will withstand anything the outer edges of the Northern hemisphere decides to throw at it – and given our average British summer who knows what that might be.

Tribu outdoor garden furniture
Tribu outdoor garden furniture

If you’re keen to get in on the ‘bring the indoors out’ trend (and who isn’t…)  and create that coveted extra garden room/extension to the house, then this is the answer.

Tribù’s fabrics are all extremely hard wearing and waterproof, and resistant to all those pesky outdoor weather hazards: mildew, rot, UV fading etc. Frames are also built with clever, hidden ‘water channels’ (a clever Poirot touch, n’est-ce pas?) and coated with special extra resilient finishes.

Tribu Natal Alu corner garden sofa
Tribu Natal Alu corner garden sofa

The other winning feature as far as we’re concerned is that all of Tribù’s designs look as though they could happily sit in the most stylish of sitting rooms.  Sleek, contemporary shapes, soft-to-the-touch fabric and clever finishing touches like the Ile side tables and Nomad poufs you can see in the picture above.

Tribu Vis à Vis garden dining table
Tribu Vis à Vis garden dining table

Planning a little alfresco dining?  Tribù’s Vis à Vis dining table, above, is designed by the renowned Piergiorgio Cazzaniga and we guarantee it will induce serious table envy amongst friends.

Rather than one large table top it’s cleverly made using individual square-shaped slats (perfect for water drainage) which can then be locked together to form 99cm x 99cm sections to create whatever size table you need – even as large as a whopping seven metres long.  We’ll be looking out for our invitation to that party!  It’s also made from beautiful East Java sustainable teak, so it ticks all our environmentally-friendly boxes, and it’s hand-picked to ensure the best quality.

Tribu Contour garden club chairs
Tribu Contour garden club chairs

There’s just one thing missing from the picture of the Contour garden club chairs – it’s crying out for that glass of crisp, cold white wine at the end of a lovely summer’s day. Or is that just us?

Luxuriously comfortable armchairs with lots of space to sit back and relax.  The woven backrests are incredibly supportive and made from plaited Tricord, a totally weatherproof material, which means that, as with all of Tribù’s furniture, you don’t constantly have to have one eye on the weather forecast.  They’re happy to sit on the terrace doing their own thing all year round.  Bit like most of us really.  And there’s some beautiful soothing colours to choose from like linen and wenge and you can also include the optional back cushions.

Tribu Neutra garden armchair
Tribu Neutra garden armchair

This is probably our favourite shot… no idea where it was taken (if you’re keen to know, let us know and we’ll have a word for you).  What’s not to like?  Shimmering blue skies, sparkling blue sea, a little heat haze – oh, and the striking Neutra chairs. Looks like something from a Warhol picture doesn’t it.

Tribù describes Neutra as having ‘elegance and simplicity’ and we love the triangular profile designer Vincent Van Duysen has created. They’re die-cast using an extremely high-pressure technique which results in a seamless, weldless frame that gives the illusion of an extra thin line totally belying how comfortable they really are.

We want to say “roll on summer” but of course we don’t have to!

Check out all of Go Modern’s outdoor garden furniture designs here.