Summer is starting to come to a close and I’m making the most of every single moment spent in my London garden. Since we completed the new extension we’ve paved the outside space and added a new border of textured wild planting to complement the already very verdant backdrop. Now we have a better connection between the inside and outside, I find that we’re using the space much more than we did before, even just for a quiet cup of coffee in the morning or a restorative break in the middle of the working day.
We’re in a row of back to back Victorian terraced house, but luckily we’re hardly overlooked at all. When you walk through the glass doors to the sight of a giant palm tree and trailing greenery, you could almost forget that you’re near the centre of London, but for the sound of passing trains. With the subtle rustle of the leaves and the sound of the birds, it’s my very own green urban oasis. For me, it’s such a calming sight to see that wall of greenery and surround myself with plants. There’s something about it that just soothes my nervous system and makes me feel at peace.
The garden has certainly become an extension of the living space. In fact, before, with a tricky layout and a bathroom blocking the route out to the garden, it was easy to forget that the garden was there at all. Now I can slide the doors across, step outside and enjoy the garden every day. Even more so when I had the chance to borrow and style Carl Hansen & Son’s beautiful wooden outdoor furniture, which seemed made for the space.
All images Cate St Hill
It can be tricky to find good quality outdoor furniture. Especially with the changeable British weather, you want something that will stand the test of time and last for years to come.
Let me introduce you then to Carl Hansen & Son’s AH Outdoor series, designed by Danish architect and designer Alfred Homann in 2022. The collection comprises dining tables, dining chairs, deck chairs, benches, sofas, side tables and loungers – all with a simple, timeless aesthetic. With their slatted surfaces and solid square frames, there’s something instantly recognisable about Homann’s designs. They feel familiar yet clean and modern at the same time. I think that comes down to the considered craftsmanship and curved wooden details that help elevate these pieces from any other wooden outdoor furniture you might have seen before.
Born in 1948, Alfred Homann founded his own studio in Copenhagen in 1978, having trained to be an architect at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. With a strong eye for detail, Homann valued simplicity, clarity and logic in his work. Whether it was the design of a museum or a private a home, a piece of furniture or a lighting design, he made sure everything was executed to a high level of precision. He actually died in 2022, aged 74, the year the AH Outdoor series was launched.
Function was also a key consideration for Homann. The AH Outdoor Series is sturdy and crafted from FSC-certified teak – a hard, strong wood that can withstand fluctuating weather thanks to its high level of natural oil. The teak is left untreated and will slowly take on a greyer tone as it patinates and ages over time.
I think the wood adds so much warmth and character to the garden, softening the grey landscaping and clean black lines of the glazing. The wood also ‘pops’ against the black fencing and connects with the wooden furniture we have inside, blurring the boundaries between the two spaces.
The AH tables and chairs are also conveniently designed to be stackable so that you can easily store them out of the way when not in use. There is also the option to add fluted cushion covers and back rests in a weatherproof textile to gain a little extra comfort. They simply hook over the chair’s wooden frame. Indeed, the covers transform the deck chair and make it into a seat you could quite happily spend a few hours reading a book in. The back rest is at the perfect angle for leaning back but not reclining too much.
My favourite detail of the AH Outdoor Series is the rounded joints where the slats meet the frame, which is especially noticeable along the edges of the table. There’s also a beautiful sculptural detail where the armrest of the deckchair curves from the join with the backrest to a generous surface to rest your arm or cup. It feels very tactile. You’ll also notice brushed stainless steel connectors that add another level of quality and craft.
Carl Hansen & Son’s wooden outdoor furniture really gives the garden space a considered, grown-up feel. These are pieces to keep and cherish as your garden grows and flourishes.
Carl Hansen & Son currently have an outdoor sale, with up to 35% off selected furniture from their Outdoor Collection – find out more here. The sale only applies to selected items (unfortunately none of these pieces are in the sale, but there are plenty of other similar designs) and ends on the 30th September 2023.
Featured products in this blog post:
AH902 Outdoor dining table, square
AH502 Outdoor dining chair with armrest
AH501 Outdoor dining chair
AH603 Outdoor deck chair