Whew, renovating our house has been a journey over the past three years but we’re almost at the finish line in terms of renovations. Well, as ‘finished’ as a house can ever be — to me they are always evolving! It’s exciting to finally be able to enjoy the house my heartmate and I have worked so hard on. One of the areas that didn’t get much love until a year or so ago (aside from putting in the pool) was the backyard. In the past twelve months, we made it a focus of our efforts: from planting a new privacy hedge of arborvitae trees to revelling and turfing the majority of the backyard ourselves, it’s been a labour of love for sure! With the yard landscaped and the new wraparound deck completed, it was time for my favorite part: furnishing and decorating it all! Today’s post is the first in a series revealing the completed backyard areas that I had a blast furnishing as part of a collaboration with Design Within Reach and their Finn dining collection. Today, I’m sharing the new outdoor dining area. OK, let’s dive into all the good stuff!
I remember being delighted to discover Design Within Reach when I first moved to America because I was finding it hard to source a lot of the work by Scandinavian designers that were more readily accessible when I lived in the UK. Throughout the design of the existing beach house, I weaved Scandinavian design into an over-arching coastal palette. However, with our new home addition – the “Scandi barn” – I wanted to explore my love for the Scandinavian design more explicitly. Now that construction is able to begin again I can’t wait to be able to finish those new interior spaces — expect interior updates very soon!
When it came to furnishing the outdoor spaces I knew I wanted to continue the Scandinavian theme. No surprise then that I instantly fell for the Finn Collection by Norm Architects. Danish designers Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen and Kasper Rønn named their company Norm to express their dedication to “working with Danish norms and standards refined over hundreds of years, rather than rejecting them in the endless search for new.” I’ve admired their work and their focus on detail and tactility for many years, and have collected several of the pieces they designed for menu in my home over the years. They also designed a really beautiful kitchen for Reform that I’ve saved to my inspiration folder multiple times. So I’m so excited to now enjoy their quietly stylish and functional designs in our new outdoor dining area with the Finn dining table and Finn dining chair.
I love how the teak in the Finn collection brings warmth to the grey cedar deck and shingles. There’s a beautiful tactility to it that softens the form. I also love how only what’s needed is there: the slim profile on the seat cushions not only looks modern and clean but it’s so comfortable, too. It would have been tempting to make them seem super plush for the sake of it but there was no need to do so as it wouldn’t have actually added physical comfort to the design. I really admire that — and it’s a commonality I see across much of their work. Plus, the white seat cushions pair well with the white powder-coated aluminum Sommer console, which offers much-needed storage now we can utilize the outdoor area of the house. Come dusk the PC Portable lamp brings a cozy glow to the whole area, too. I feel so grateful to be able to enjoy this new area of our home and I’m excited about the memories that will be made with friends and loved ones around this very table.
Photography and styling by Will Taylor