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For those who subscribe to a certain Yankee sensibility, a little patina goes a long way. While weathered teak is wonderful, faded canvas charming and verdigris venerable, unless a house has been in the family for a long time, injecting a different brand of je ne sais quoi might make for smarter—or at least more attainable—design decisions.
For those of us who haven’t inherited a Shingle-style house in Newport, there’s a host of materials for outdoor furnishings and finishes that will stand up to the harshest New England weather without losing their edge. Whether you’re outfitting a deck, building a patio, putting in a pool or installing a fire pit, these materials fill the bill.
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Striped, Speckled and Spectacular Durat is known for its solid-surface material made from recycled postindustrial plastic; think plastic with a punch and a conscience. The Finnish company also produces a design collection that includes the Raita bench. Resistant to humidity and moisture, it makes a great choice for garden, patio or pool seating. 63"L × 15¾"W × 18"H, $1,500; 47"L × 15¾"W × 18"H, $1,350. BY SPECIAL ORDER FROM SURFACESOURCE, (617) 799-1800, (617) 513-6339, WWW.DURAT.COM
Finding Nemo There’s no missing Driade’s Nemo chair. The strong, sculptural seat is made of polyethylene monobloc and comes in seven colors, with a matte or glossy finish and a stationary or swivel base. $1,796–$5,500. THE MORSON COLLECTION, BOSTON, (617) 482-2335, WWW.THEMORSONCOLLECTION.COM
Staying Afloat These wireless LED lamps from Smart & Green can bob elegantly on a pool’s surface or nestle in the grass. The aptly named Flatball diffuses a variety of lighting—white, candle effect or changing colors—and adjusts by remote control to suit your mood. $208. NEENA’S LIGHTING, BOSTON, SOUTH BOSTON, BROOKLINE AND WELLESLEY, MASS., (888) 995-2677, WWW.NEENASLIGHTING.COM
Pin It Not to your computer’s desktop or on your bulletin board, but into the ground. The Pin Table, the brainchild of Norwegian designer Andreas Engesvik, can be planted anywhere you need a surface to hold an iced tea or a cold beer. It’s available in five high-gloss colors (yellow, pink, white, black and green). 15.5"D. $140. ROOM 68, JAMAICA PLAIN, MASS., (617) 942-7425, WWW.ROOM68ONLINE.COM
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Extreme Makeover Re-cover a chair by the pool, fashion an awning over the deck or change the seat cushions on the patio furniture with the Jardin collection, JANUS et Cie’s brightly colored, candy-striped fabrics in maxi or mini patterns. $157/YD. JANUS ET CIE, BOSTON DESIGN CENTER, (617) 737-5001, WWW.JANUSETCIE.COM
Do Not Disturb Swing on the hammock, dine al fresco or lie in the grass and stare at the stars while a lovely aroma wafts through the air and insects are kept at bay. Amazon Lights incense sticks from Brazil are extra long (the green sticks measure 22") and made from bamboo and Brazilian andiroba oils. They burn for two and a half hours and are available in a package of twelve. $25. WA, PROVINCETOWN, MASS., (508) 487-6355, WWW.WAHARMONY.COM
Endless Appeal There are so many reasons to love Fireclay Tile. For starters, the company’s crushed-glass tiles are handmade from 100 percent recycled material. Perfect for exteriors, they can be used on walls and floors and around the pool, barbeque or fire pit. Choose from forty colors with a matte or gloss finish (shown, Spearmint, Key Lime, Dandelion and Poppy in matte finish) and a host of shapes. BRICK HOUSE TILE COMPANY, KEENE, N.H., (603) 357-2884, WWW.BRICKHOUSETILES.COM
Heavy Metal Given their metallic look, it’s hard to believe these substantial tiles are porcelain. From the Spanish company Porcelanosa, the dense tiles are fired at high temperatures, making them resistant to heavy traffic and inclement weather. 17" × 26". CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM LEFT, FERROKER, $11.29/SQ. FT., METALKER, $12.36/SQ. FT., IRONKER COBRE, $12.36/SQ. FT. TILE SHOWCASE, BOSTON DESIGN CENTER, (617) 426-6515, NATICK, MASS., (508) 655-8000, AND WATERTOWN, MASS., (617) 926-1100, WWW.TILESHOWCASE.COM
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Shape Shifter This Arabesque tile may look delicate, but it’s tough enough to withstand a winter freeze and an early spring thaw. It comes in more than 100 colors and 100 sheeted patterns, as well as a multitude of loose shapes. $80.75/SQ. FT. DISCOVER TILE, BOSTON DESIGN CENTER, (617) 330-7900, WWW.DISCOVERTILE.COM
Classic Contemporary It’s not an oxymoron in the hands of architect Robert A.M. Stern. With his collection of cast stone planters—this one is the Olympian—Stern helps homeowners define outdoor rooms in architectural ways. 30"H × 30"W. $1,680. NEW ENGLAND GARDEN ORNAMENTS, SUDBURY, MASS., (978) 579-9500, WWW.NEGARDEN.COM
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New England Home showcases the unique architecture and superior design and building that define the luxury home in New England. From cutting edge lofts to historic dwellings, New England Home is your guide to the very best of New England style. Each issue includes beautifully produced images of our area’s most amazing homes, along with profiles of artists and artisans and all the latest resources and design trends.