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Exterior Designs for Outdoor Lifestyle at ICFF Show, NYC Open to Public

JM Lifestyles Composite Concrete Table 

The annual ICFF Show is in full force in New York City. It opens to the public today; you can peruse and shop miles of interior and exterior design from global makers you don’t get the chance to see in one place.

There are booths filled with exotic lighting, rugs, desks, fireplaces, benches, wall coverings in metal and paper – and the materials cover every material you can think of; some you didn’t know existed.

This is truly a bazaar for the professional and the consumer design enthusiast.

Trends I saw for Exterior Design include:

  • Lifestyle, glamorous resort products for indoor luxury transported to outside/exterior design
  • Masterful, creative use of concrete composite – and use of recycled content
  • Ergonomic design that works with nature and climate change weather conditions
  • Newer resins and 3-D designs 

I scouted the the exterior designs primarily to get inspired ideas for you – and for my client garden designs.

I didn’t leave disappointed.

My interior design friend, Toni Sabatino met me – always a most pleasant adventure – and when she asked me what my agenda was, she immediately seized the carpe diem moment and took me to Extremis. There, I saw an incredible, smart-looking, lightweight, hand-powered outdoor shade umbrella – the Kismos Parasol design by Dirk Wynants.

Check out this video demo
This is an “original, patented innovation that opens and closes horizontally like a fan… Or a bird’s wings.”
The shade is available in round or square; the span is approximately six and a half feet.
It comes in three colors: white, black, and taupe.
Another plus for this creation is that it is anchored by floor fastening, or a concrete base – meaning no need to construct a topside anchoring that the big shade sails require.
And — it’s hand-operated! No engine, remote, or crank! Elegant and effective.

There is also a complimentary Kosmos table design that designer Wynants explains was inspired by yachts – where space is limited. The round table and coordinated seating is sleek and functional.
The Belgian-based firm also offers several collections of outdoor tables, chaises and seating – created with ingenious construction for modern lifestyle

Seduced by stone as I often am, I was pulled toward SoMa by Concreteworks with their polished stone shaped like pods. Scattered around the booth, the organic forms are seats!

The Golden State-based company claims nature is their muse (I could see that) specifically by the elegant curves of small stones found in Northern California, “using 3D-scanning technology to recreate the sensuous shapes.” And a variety of colors. I can see these placed throughout a designed pleasure garden – and in an outdoor dining area for a natural, clean look in harmony with nature.

And they can be heated!

They are made of Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) – which means they are not rather lightweight because they are not solid. In turn, shipping is not out of this world prohibitive. It was explained to me that typically they can ship two in a crate for a couple of hundred dollars.

A show-stunner is the table I saw at the JM Lifestyles booth. It was the best of show. And not just because I am designing a table almost just like the one featured there. (Well, maybe it was.)

Rather than solid concrete, the team at JM Lifestyles have engineered a composite made from 50% recycled content, and concrete and (a secret sauce).

The products are lightweight (approximately 10 pounds per square foot), looks like wood, stain-proof, warmer to the touch — important element that is overlooked when using traditional concrete.

The legs are stainless steel.

You can plant in the center or as I intend – to use with water and ice – to float wine bottles down the table – or to float flowers.

They also showed a doable recirculating water feature on their video presentation that also showcased their ability to create a waterfall edge. Truly.

The Garden-state based firm makes products for indoors and out – and provides a Four-Step easy-to-follow selection process:

  1. Choose your application – counter, bar, table, wall, sink, etc
  2. Choose your texture – smooth, etruscan, etc.
  3. Choose your color -from a light ivory to dark graphite with mushroom and eucalyptus in between – different stains. 
  4. Choose your detail – This is the edging – available in six different looks. You can also design your own custom look

You can add lights, fiber optics, cutting boards.

The wood form concrete and real concreate design fabrication at JM Lifestyles is a discovered resource — a real gem – for truly excellent exterior garden design. I can think of many projects where their crafted reinforced concrete will work gloriously.

Loved their tub… I could see making a Japanese Soaking Tub from this material.

OmniDecor is a vendor who creates luminous etched and painted glass designs. I especially like the DecorFlou®.

The company claims, “Glass for exteriors is highly versatile and offers multiple technological and creative solutions for buildings or typical façade elements, such as balustrades, balconies, canopies and windows.

Acid etched glass for exteriors combines light transmission properties with privacy protection. DecorFlou® Classic and BiFlou ensure a high opacity level in favour of privacy, are easy to clean and require almost no maintenance. The DecorFlou® Design decorations or small DecorFlou® Window motifs break the continuity of the etched surface, creating interesting alternations of glossy and matt surfaces.

For customers looking for scenographic effects, SolidLight® is the most innovative, unusual solution, which exploits the potential of the light to illuminate the glass with LEDs giving brilliant luminous effects.” Great design option for those balconies and doors that won’t block the views and vistas and also add a custom design element.

And the outdoor casual greenhouse.

I also was very captivated by the GlammⓇ fireplaces for tabletop, patio, fire pits, bbq, and more to create an outdoor living area that adds warmth, depth and style.

The design concepts the company offers are terrific; plus you can create your own bespoke designs – or work with your garden designer.

The exterior furniture designs at Polart is a glossy, riot of rainbow colors in a kind of mid-century riff on traditional designs.

PolarArt Exterior Designs 

The eye-catching brilliance of the eclectic, artful statement furniture can grouped as a composition, or if you’re a bit timid, add a piece or two. Maybe more Dr. Seuss than you’ve ever dreamed of – but they are real. If you love color mixed with a bit of whimsy – this is for you.

All the pieces are water-proof, the resin coating enhances outdoor performance, the polymer frames are built with steel construction, plus other engineered details. These are chaises, chairs, loveseats, tables and ottomans that you’ll want to sink into, show off and enjoy.

A few more vendors and designers that caught my eye that you should check out:



I love this — can’t you just picture yourself reading and canoodling in this glamorous swing?!

Wagner Archela

These are some of the wowsy designs from Sergio Jmatos. They just scream unique garden and summer lifestyle…

Sergio Jmatos chair design 

And because you know I adore plexiglass/acrylic or lucite pieces, I was delighted to discover, Plexi Craft:


These columns would work at a beachfront home terrace or patio. Elegant and clean design…

Snakes on planes? No, snakes – and alligators on tables! And LED lamp and cocktail table from The Prince of Monteagudo, John Landrum Bryant.

David Trubridge                                         Molo 

Emu designs offers some very good-looking chair styles. For outdoor and indoor. Their terrace chair and chaise looks are very chic.

Luxury Exterior Style

Stunning surface designs from Midas Metall – the metal skin.


According to the show, “The 30th annual ICFF NYC, North America’s platform for global design, will map the newest frontier of what’s best and what’s next at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, May 20-23, 2018.

For the four-day duration of the Fair, the Javits Center will be abuzz with more than 36,000 interior designers, architects, retailers, representatives, distributors, facility managers, developers, manufacturers, store designers, and visual merchandisers.

On Wednesday, May 23th, the ICFF opens its doors to the general public as well.

ICFF annually lures those in determined pursuit of design’s timely truths and latest trends to an encyclopedic exhibition of up-to-the-moment offerings, as well as a series of fascinating, fun, edifying programs and a packed schedule of exhibits and features.”

Enjoy the glamour…


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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
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 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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