Designer Profile - Joe Ruggiero Talks Outdoor Design Trends
February 22, 2011
Erica Cottrill in Design, Designer Profile, Fabric, Joe Ruggiero

Woodard Harwick Outdoor Dining Set by Joe Ruggiero at Home Infatuation BlogWoodard Harwick Outdoor Dining Set by Joe Ruggiero

We recently sat down with outdoor furniture and fabric design guru Joe Ruggiero to discuss his outlook on outdoor design.  One of his key themes is that the outdoor space is getting more sophisticated, with luxurious looks and unlimited opportunities for homeowners who seek creativity, fashion and quality.

Woodard Domino Wicker Dining Set by Joe Ruggiero at Home Infatuation BlogWoodard Domino Wicker Dining Set by Joe RuggieroWhat are the key design trends you are seeing for the outdoors?
The blurred line between work and play is reflected in outdoor design. New technologies have raised the bar when it comes to fabrics. People are staying outside longer in an outdoor space which is now just as comfy as their living room. From incredibly soft fabrics used in pillows, throws and rugs to fade-resistant, privacy-driven outdoor drapes, today’s outdoor room requires one-of-a-kind items that make people feel at home outdoors.
 
How has fabric technology impacted outdoor design?
It is a "new world" for outdoor fabrics. With the introduction of Sunbrella® velvets, chenilles, boucle and damasks we see a more luxurious and colorful new direction for outdoor decorating. The newest generation of weather-resistant outdoor fabrics have substance and sophistication matched by interiors, are soft to the touch and fashionably stylish. And they are called “performance fabrics” for a reason. Color is now inherent in the fiber so it doesn’t fade. They shout sophistication and elegance and perform well outdoors.

Can you talk more about color?

Color in outdoor furnishings is increasingly bolder and vibrant. We are attracted to fun whimsical hues and aren’t afraid to integrate strong shades into our outdoor spaces.   A classic color scheme with neutral, earthy color palette punctuated with bright accent colors is a popular look.  And it’s easy to transform an outdoor space with punches of color. Pillows can be slipcovered easily when faded and worn, adding a fresh look to the space.

Based on your new collections, is there a connection between fashion and outdoor design?
We take our inspiration and cues from fashion which translates into products that are fresh, luxurious, and incredibly stylish. Our collections are inspired by the runways of Paris, Milan, London and New York. Specifically we observed that pink was becoming popular, green is a color that interiors have embraced for the past season or two, and blue in all forms is always a favorite.


A wonderful seclection of pillow styles and decorative cording and fabrics to bring a "quick change" to outdoor furniture and added comfort.Do you approach the design of outdoor fabrics differently
than designing indoor fabrics?

We are living outdoors more than ever. Consumers love the outdoor room concept, especially as outdoor and indoor designs are becoming interchangeable. They are more knowledgeable about what’s out there. Whether used in a living room or on a patio, low maintenance fade-resistant outdoor fabrics are marketed for indoors as well.

Woodard Belgravia Table Lamp
by Joe Ruggiero
Can you talk about your relationship with Sunbrella and how it has evolved?
I was designing for the outdoors for about 10 years when I was approached by Sunbrella. I was impressed by their many years of pioneering sophisticated fabric technology. Our collaboration resulted in collections including Terra Furniture followed by Woodard.  My initial ideas came from the outdoors and it was a natural transition to interiors based on my experience in the field for three decades.

 

When it comes to design, what inspires you?
My fabric designs for Sunbrella are inspired by the wonderfully diverse landscapes and cultures I've visited all over the world. Back at home we entertain a great deal, and have always used Sunbrella products.

What about your latest collections?

My lines from Woodard offer unconventional casual designs. The Domino all-weather wicker collection has a modular flexibility which can be configured to accommodate any type of space. It has cubes, shelves, screens and seating including armless and arm chairs, ottomans and side tables. There’s lots of fabric options coordinated with three types of wicker.

The Harwick collection is influenced by classic Chippendale furniture and will transport people to a modern English Garden. It’s constructed from cast aluminum and offers a sleek metallic look and an unconventional lattice-weaved construction. Sunbrella created the fabrics in navy, black, red, beige, spa, cornsilk and parrot.

What furnishings trends are you seeing?
Outdoor structures are important as a way to view the outdoors in and help define your living space.  Everything from pavilions for dining and entertaining to outdoor showers and dual purpose “potting sheds” offer a sense of privacy while adding beauty and style to your landscape.


Joe Ruggiero,
fabric and furniture designer.
Read more about Contributor Joe Ruggiero.

     

Article originally appeared on Dream Design Live Luxury Outdoor Living (http://www.homeinfatuationblog.com/).
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