With designers taking adventurous approaches to colour and pattern, it’s easy to create a lively ambience while the use of lighter,
contemporary materials lets you whizz seats outside or indoors depending on the weather.
New launches at Milan’s furniture fair in April presented an intoxicating choice.
Saba Italia’s Grace chair’s bubbly personality is characterised by clusters of metal rings and cushioned spheres. It’s available in a wide choice of colours including a dozen garden-friendly fabrics.
Just as characterful is Saba Italia’s Baby Geo, a wholly rounded seat with an internal metal-rod structure that supports a comfortably curved, padded backrest.
Dot – a neat, rounded chair on a swivel base designed by Raphael Navot for Roche Bobois’ Nativ collection – is upholstered in stretchy “Lasti” fabric and available in yellow, blue or dark green plus grey.
Milan’s showstopper was the limited-edition Dolls design by London studio, Raw Edges, for Louis Vuitton’s ongoing Objets Nomades collection. This eye-catcher’s backrest can be hand painted, turning it into a collector’s item.
Equally alluring is Moroso’s flamboyantly flowery Antibodi armchair. Its “petals” are made from double-sided materials — felt/baize or baize/leather — to create structural upholstery fixed to a stainless-steel frame.
The Italian brand’s fascination with materials is also revealed in the Banjooli collection, with rust-proof, tubular-steel frames handwoven with colourful polyethylene cord.
Fritz Hansen’s Drop chair at Chaplins is newly refreshed in sunny yellow, calming blue, blush pink and mid-grey as well as classic white and black.
Easy to pop outside when the sun shines is Diabla’s cheeky, bright pink Lipstick chair. Shaped like its namesake, it’s made from 100 per cent recyclable polyethylene.
Anyone looking for a vibrant interpretation of the classic bistro chair should check out Miky by EMU, with a painted, galvanised steel frame available in 18 shades from zingy yellow to sky blue
The Weekend armchair, designed by Studio Brichet Ziegler for Petite Friture, also has a strong, graphic presence created by the vertical/horizontal interplay of slatted, lacquered-aluminium seats and backrests.