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Monday, March 26, 2012

Innovative Outdoor Furnishings By: Katie Funt

As the weather warms up PerLora takes design to the outdoors. We carry many products to help you make the most of your exterior spaces and have compiled ten great pieces to add style and comfort to your patio, yard, and pool areas. We are definitely thinking spring!
First let's take a look at some innovative materials being used for outdoor furnishings.  polycarbonate, polymethyl  methacrylate, and polyethylene are three plastics which are rapidly gaining in popularity and influence in the design
community. Here's a run down of the
three and their main properties and
differences.  These plastics are similar
but there are some differences in
appearance, cost, and physical makeup.

For those who aren't sure what polycarbonate is, it belongs to the group of thermoplastic polymers and can easily be molded, worked, and thermoformed. It is temperature and impact resistant, has unique optical properties which are highly transparent to visible light, and is stronger than polymethyl methacrylate. It has low scratch resistance so a hard finish coating is generally applied to help protect the surface. It has flame and heat resistant properties as well, making it an all around great product for furniture design.

Polymethyl methacrylate or (PMMA) is another thermoplastic. It is usually a transparent plastic used in similar applications to glass and known by names such as Plexiglass, Lucite, and acrylic glass. However, unlike glass, it will not shatter, is a lighter density, and is more easily scratched. It can be translucent, transparent, and solid in a plethora of colors. It is weatherproof and durable and can be molded in similar fashions to polycarbonate. Methacrylate is somewhat cheaper although slightly less durable than polycarbonate.

Polyethylene is the most widely used of all plastics. It is generally found in packaging like plastic bags, bubble wrap, Saran wrap, and even buckets. It is classified in several categories depending on its density and branching. Many polyethylene grades have excellent chemical resistance. Its application is almost endless and incredibly varied. It is strong while somewhat flexible, fade resistant, mildew and mold resistant, and even element resistant. It weathers much better than wood outdoors and insects and termites cannot cause damage. HDPE, or high density polyethylene, is the most common type of polyethylene used in furnishings.

Now that you have a base knowledge of these versatile plastics, let's get to the fun part!

As outdoor seating and table trends change, outdoor furniture is becoming more contemporary and stylish. Bright bold colors, sculptural design elements, and new materials are making a splash in the outdoor furniture world. PerLora offers options far removed from the standard wicker and wrought iron patio furniture, to pieces which accentuate and flatter your space, elevating it to a whole new level. Form and function marry for stunning and thoughtful design sure to create that outdoor atmosphere you'll love to relax and entertain in.

1) The flower chair is made of sturdy polycarbonate. It has a stylish transparent nature in either crystal clear or black and comes with a seat cushion. It was designed by Pierre Paulin in 2009. The organic curvature of the seat provides back and arm support while the fluted design allows the light to be dispersed in different directions like a fine diamond.
2)/3) The same company which created the flower chair has some other amazing outdoor pieces. They collaborate with world renowned designers to help make revolutionary products. An example of such is this great chair designed by Konstantin Grcic. This avant garde chair comes in 4 colors, red, white, black, or anthracite gray with a concrete contemporary base that has a self-returning mechanism. Considered a part of the modern industrial style, this piece works both in interiors and exteriors and fits in perfectly with the urban landscape. It is a functional work of art that is strong and safe due to its die-cast aluminum painted seat and meets flame retardant standards.  The chair comes with a matching bistro table from the same designer. Designed in 2006, it has a painted aluminum frame, concrete base finished in transparent clear and a HPL laminate top.   

4) Seating functions at its optimum level when it's paired with its best mate, the table! The Happy hour table is aptly named and is great for outdoor use. It was produced in 2008 and is made of polypropylene. The frame is sure to withstand the test of the elements with its cataphoretically-treated steel tube and Werzalit top. Several finishes are available. 

5) This whimsical armchair was designed by Alessandro Mendini in 2011. This piece was designed using rotational-molded polyethylene, has comfortable seating, and tons of classical ornamentation with a contemporary twist. Comes in a variety of colors including a burnt orange, red, blue, green, white, black and the multicolored as shown. This chair is fit for kings and queens!  

 6) Designed in 2011 by Ron Arad, this outdoor chair comes in a rainbow of colors constructed using rotational-molded polyethylene. Its sculptural and playful design makes it a conversation piece that adds whimsy to your outdoor decor and pulls its inspiration from stuffed Italian pasta. Its continuous loop ribbon design, with separate interior and exterior textures, make this chair one of a kind.    

7) Another great manufacturer producing outdoor goods comes from Italy. This bucket armchair provides comfortable seating with a seat back cutout allowing for easy lifting and repositioning. It is constructed two ways, solid opaque matte finishes or with a translucent polyethylene frame and a two way lighting system. A fluorescent bulb with a cord or RGB LED lamp with rechargeable battery and remote control are the two options. Colors can be changed from red to green to blue. 
Creates a soft glow to help illuminate your outdoor 

8) Kartell has designed a curvy new chaise lounge called LCP. It's constructed of a single form methacrylate mold which retains its strength and flexibility as well as purity of form. The radically innovative structure of the chaise makes it a form flattering while interesting piece. Don't let its evanescent appearance fool you, this is one tough piece! Comes in crystal clear, baby blue, yellow, and pink. 

9) This ghostly chair was designed in Italy by Orlandini & Radice. The armchair mimics haunting draped upholstery with a soft glowing interior light and appears to almost be floating. It has several light setting choices with energy saving bulbs and rechargeable batteries. Its construction is of polyethylene and will stand the test of the elements.

10) Rounding out our list is this stackable chair which works both in and outdoors.  It comes in a variety of sensational colors to add some sparkle in durable polycarbonate.  It's recyclable and manufactured with an ecological production process so you can feel good about your environmental impact.

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