Garden Trend Watch: Rough Refinement

Last Thursday I scouted the Architectural Digest Home Design Show for outdoor furniture and accessories.  I wasn’t just looking for pieces, I was shopping the market for trends and innovations as well.  I found all three–great pieces, emerging trends and technical innovations that will ultimately result in new pieces and trends.  I will post what I found in all three categories over the next week or two, but today I’ll start with a trend forecast.

The most obvious of the emerging trends is something I’m going to call Rough Refinement.  It is the juxtaposition of rough hewn elements with sophisticated design and often other more industrial materials.  These pieces would be at home in a naturalistic garden as well as one that is cool and contemporary.

Douglas Thayer makes benches and other furniture from reclaimed materials and concrete.  The two shown here use ipe reclaimed from Coney Island’s boardwalk.

Reclaimed Ipe and Concrete

Board by Design had some beautiful rocking chairs, but I liked these Japanese inspired lanterns fabricated from blocks of elm and powder coated steel the best.

Japanese Lantern

In a similar vein, architect Eugene Stoltzfus’ Hercules IV table would be at home on a patio or in a secret woodland garden.

Hercules IV table

Last in this trend is the continuation of recycled fragments and industrial parts that are turned into furniture.  Although this has been popular for several years, Arms and Barnes twisted the Rough Refinement idea adding the natural after the industrial with tables made specifically for growing moss that incorporated found pieces and new concrete.

Moss tables

The NY Times alluded to this as a fashion trend this week which I read after I wrote this piece.  Next up will be some furniture and object picks…



Related posts:

5 thoughts on “Garden Trend Watch: Rough Refinement

  1. I really like the reclaimed tables.
    The moss tables are cute, but would never work here in NC without lots of extra watering. Can’t wait until clients start asking for them!

    Wonder if some kind of self watering system could be incorporated…–s

  2. I was wondering how good this show was- glad to read your assessments.

    As I look around our home and studio, I would have to say Rough Refinement is a large part of our design!

    It’s the play of opposites–we all have a bit of that.–s

  3. Neat ideas, Susan. I saw some of this kind of thinking at Canada Blooms last week — and I heartily approve.

    I think it’s a pretty cool idea. A kind of playing against type for the garden.–s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *