For more than 100 years we’ve been helping New Zealand pick the best furniture for their homes, inside and out! This year we have handpicked pieces from the world’s finest brands and the best New Zealand has to offer to bring you our 2021/2022 Outdoor Living Collection.
We recently caught up with Jayne Cross-Hunter who heads up our furniture buying team to learn all about what’s new this year, emerging trends to keep any eye out for and all her style advice for summer.
What’s new this year?
We are very excited about this year’s collection! There are so many beautiful brand new styles; in fact over half of the collection is making its debut this year. We are especially thrilled to be introducing some elegant new woven sofas such as the Vincent Sheppard Wicked Outdoor Sofa. These pieces offer an entirely new take on woven furniture with their technical complexity and contemporary style.
There are lots of new tables with stylish yet hard-wearing ceramic tops. These look equally as beautiful indoors as they do out. Due to the popularity of concrete we have also expanded this range with plenty of new pieces. Walnut coloured teak from Harbour features in the collection as well, offering an alternative look to contemporary black teak and natural teak with its buttery colour.
Comfort is getting better and better with leading outdoor furniture designers investing in new and innovative materials to bring you a similar level of comfort as you will find indoors. Quick dry foam has been engineered to be softer and the use of a dacron adds another dimension to sofas while providing a feeling of plushness.
What outdoor design trends have you seen emerging?
This year is very much about borrowing ideas from our interiors, blurring the line between indoors and out once again. From the Harbour MLB Outdoor Coffee Table with its travertine top pulling the idea of natural stone from our kitchens, to the rattan look weave seen on the Harbour MLB Outdoor Dining Chair, both these items are inspired by the craftsmanship/artisan trend that has been very strong for indoors.
The use of rope is a prominent trend that has very much gained momentum over the last couple of years. Rope adds tactility and interest to a space. It can be braided, woven and knotted together in a myriad of ways giving furniture designers creative freedom to explore form and texture. Whether you prefer a sleek and modern look like the Vincent Sheppard Frida Outdoor Lounge Chair or soft and inviting like the Jati & Kebon Cloud Outdoor Armchair, the use of rope adds a unique element to outdoor furniture.
This ties into the use of texture which has long been an enduring trend for outdoors. Wicker will always be popular but we are seeing a real move towards modernised and innovative weaving techniques that look just at home next to contemporary architecture as they do traditional.
What is the secret to keeping your outdoor furniture in the best condition?
The old adage, ‘buy once, buy well’ couldn’t be more true for outdoor furniture. Outdoor furniture is subject to some pretty harsh conditions so it’s important to do your research to save your pieces ending up in the landfill.
To cope with the climate of New Zealand, outdoor furniture needs to be constructed with high performance materials designed with this in mind. It is worth investing a little extra to see your pieces last for years and years rather than deteriorating after only one or two seasons. Always ask about what it is made from and check warranty periods. At McKenzie & Willis we choose to only offer pieces we can stand behind and made with the best materials for outdoors such as top quality teak, powder-coated aluminium and marine grade fabrics. This is why we can confidently offer a 5 year warranty on all outdoor furniture under the McW Promise.
The other important thing is to follow the care guidelines and to check that the level of maintenance suits your lifestyle. While outdoor furniture in itself should always be designed to be easy care, some pieces may require more maintenance than others. Our consultants are well versed in caring for outdoor furniture and will offer expert advice to keep your pieces looking great for years to come.
What styling advice do you have for those wanting to give their outdoor space a new look this year?
Borrow ideas from your interior! In the past outdoor spaces have generally lacked that sense of inviting softness we’ve perfected for our interiors so look to use pieces that bridge the gap between indoor and outdoor. It’s a far softer collection this year with lots of curves, textures and a heavy focus on comfort so there are plenty of options.
Add colour and texture with accessories. This could be an outdoor rug, cushions, lighting or decorative pieces. Terracottas and creams are strong for indoors and outdoors as accent colours and look particularly good added as cushions. As with indoor, potted plants pots play a big part in styling and can really finish the scheme.
Round coffee tables are also proving hugely popular and work to soften a look, especially when finished in a contemporary texture like travertine. They add an unexpected element to linear architecture and provide contrast to sleek, contemporary outdoor pieces.
From a practical perspective, think about the maximum amount of people you will regularly entertain and design your space around that. If you’re not sure, bench seats are great for accommodating extra guests, folding or stacking chairs are easily stored and a spare bean bag will never go amiss.
Create your own piece of paradise this summer with our New Season Outdoor Living Collection. If you need a little inspiration you can view our catalogue online here or shop now online or in store!