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Paola Navone’s Rafael outdoor collection is inspired by organic shapes and exotic destinations

Outdoor furniture

Uneven slats and giant staples feature in the Rafael outdoor furniture collection, created by Italian designer Paola Navone for Italian brand Ethimo.

The range includes lounge chairs, daybeds, sun loungers and coffee tables, most based on irregularly shaped frames, with the slats arranged as backrests.

Inspirational Interior Design Ideas for Living Room Design, Bedroom Design, Kitchen Design and the entire home.

Outdoor furniture 1
Outdoor furniture 1

The pieces, designed for Ethimo, are crafted from distressed natural teak, with marble and lava stone tabletops.

Navone cites the natural world and exotic destinations as the inspiration for the Rafael collection, describing its “de-structured” shapes as “almost tribal”.

Outdoor furniture 2
Outdoor furniture 2

“Rafael is sturdy, comfortable and friendly,” she said. “The slats that form the backrest are all different and held together by big metal staples. This woody, organic shell forms a soft nest of cushions. We have dedicated Rafael to a very special home.”

The lounge armchair has a pentagonal seat and a backrest that partially wraps around to one side. It comes in either a lefthand or righthand configuration, so that two chairs can potentially be arranged side by side into a longer lounge.

There is also a daybed that is over two metres long and repeats the same left- or righthand backrest option, and a rectangular sunbed with a slatted base.

A hexagonal shape enters the collection in the large coffee table design, while a hybrid unit combining the lounge armchair design with an attached small side table is also available.

Outdoor furniture 3
Outdoor furniture 3

Aquatic colours are prominent in the collection and seen on both the furniture and the textiles, which Navone also designed.

The wood frames come in a warm “brushed teak” or ashy “pickled teak”, while the tabletops are either the emerald-coloured enamelled lava stone Smeraldo or white statuary marble. The textured textiles range from hues of chartreuse and seafoam to grey and white.

Outdoor furniture 4
Outdoor furniture 4

Navone is one of Italy’s most celebrated designers. She graduated in 1973 with a degree in architecture from the Polytechnic University of Turin and worked alongside Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass Jr and Andrea Branzi in the avant-garde Studio Alchimia.

Her more recent projects have included the “imperfect, almost artisanal” interiors for several French McDonald’s outlets, which feature clashing prints and pops of colour.



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