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Outdoor Design Roundup: Materials, Trends + 20 of Our Favorite Furniture Pieces

Miami is always ranked as one of the most popular destinations in Florida and it's not just the great weather and beaches that attracts tourists, it's also the endless list of stunning hotels you will find here along the coastline.

Living here means we are very lucky to be able to visit these spots easily and find inspiration for our own design projects, especially our outdoor kitchens and patio renovations. Some of our favorite locations to admire the decor while soaking in the glorious sunshine are boutique hotels including Soho Beach House, The Standard and Esme Beach hotel.

A boho outdoor space at Soho House
Photo c/o Soho Home

Even though these spots are on our doorstep, we'd argue that there's nothing better than 'al fresco' dining in your own backyard - one of life's simple pleasures. Especially if you can create a space that makes you feel like a guest in a beautiful coastal hotel. Investing in outdoor furniture that is designed to withstand intense heat and rain is how you can recreate a hotel experience for years in your own home, without having to travel!

How do you know which outdoor furniture is built to last? The material of your furniture picks will have the biggest impact on how many summers you will be able to enjoy using  them for. Hardwood options have many benefits that whilst costing a pretty penny, still make a good investment. For example, teak furniture is resistant to rot and pests and ages beautifully. Originally appearing in a warm honey tone, this color will change over time with sun exposure and take on a gray/silver patina. This weathering effect is only cosmetic and will not damage the integrity of the wood but if you prefer the warmer tone you will be able to maintain this look with regular oiling and the aging can be prevented by protecting your furniture from UV exposure. 

 Another popular choice for wooden furniture is Acacia, which although not as hardy as teak, is a more affordable option and still carries the benefits of being water-resistant and also resistant to rot, which in a hot climate like we have in Miami, with our long humid summers, is an important factor to consider. 

A seating area on a tropical patio designed by Miami Interior Designer The Habitat Collective
Design by The Habitat Collective, Photography by Christine Michelle Photography

If functionality is at the top your checklist and you would prefer an option that requires little maintenance, we would recommend looking for an outdoor dining set made of weatherproof powder coated aluminum or steel which is very easy to clean, plus the lightweight material makes it very easy to move around if you are hosting a bbq and trying to squeeze in as many people as possible around a dining table!

We used this metal set as a low-maintenance pick for the balcony of our client's vacation condo (Project Biscayne Bae) - they simply toss a furniture cover over top when they're ready to head back home!

One of the biggest home trends we’ve seen in Miami over the last few years is outdoor kitchens! We are so inspired when we see these outdoor spaces renovated with a new purpose, incorporating grills, smokers, sinks and even refrigeration for the full al-fresco cooking experience. Adding a built-in bar to the cooking area provides more space than you would usually find in an outdoor kitchen, and concentrates everything your guests might need in one spot - allowing for a much more relaxed hosting style, and plenty of time spent poolside.

When it comes to designing outdoor spaces, the key to creating a fluid transition between them and your indoor spaces is to mirror your interior style. For this client's pergola design we chose to stick to neutral colors, clean modern lines, and incorporate textured accessories that would compliment their home.

A White poolside pergola in a tropical outdoor oasis designed by Miami Interior Designer The Habitat Collective
Design by The Habitat Collective, Photography by Trevo Studios



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