Friday, May 18, 2012

The Modern Vintage Patio

The joy of gathering with friends and family on the patio or deck to enjoy appetizers, cocktails, or a meal when the weather is nice has never changed. There is something about enjoying friends and family outdoors that makes the experience even nicer.

If you love modern vintage furniture, why not carry that style into your outdoor furniture as well? It seems these outdoor pieces are harder to come by, mostly because these pieces were subject to the elements for so many years. Unless they were in a covered area, most of them have rust and cushions which are completely worn out. It's rare to find anything which doesn't need a lot of TLC to restore them. 

On occasion we come across some great outdoor pieces which are in surprisingly great condition. Currently we have some of these pieces featured on our home page with special pricing. 
Vintage Sun Ray Outdoor Lounge with Original Painted Tropical Design
When we discovered this piece I imagined this wonderful lounge being enjoyed while sipping Iced Tea or a favorite iced cocktail. Add a great novel to read, and this piece is a little slice of heaven! 

In an age without air conditioning outdoor entertaining and enjoyment was a way to make the best of hot summers. Enjoying the outdoors poolside or on the patio under the shade of umbrellas made way for fun and colorful designs of all kinds of outdoor furniture and accessories. Modern furniture design was not lost on the outdoors either.
Vintage Salterini Chairs with Bullet Planter
Vintage Russell Woodard Scultura Settee
Designs by Russell Woodard and Salterini were highly desirable through the 1950's and '60's and are still collected today because of their sleek modern lines. They emulated  top designs of indoor furniture and accessories of the mid-century modern era. 

Perhaps the most fun element of color and design was portrayed in the patio umbrellas of this era. In contrast to the single colored fabric market umbrellas of today, these umbrellas were made of bold and bright designs in durable vinyls and even fiberglass and metals. They were bright pops of color throughout multiple neighborhood swim clubs, country clubs, and motel poolsides. 
Heavy Duty Modern Design

Perhaps the most fun aspect of these umbrella emerged in the 1960's with the groovy pop culture of everything bright, powerful, and flower power was everywhere. The bright floral undersides of these big vinyl umbrellas were the rage, and no color combination seemed off limits. 
I did say ANY Color Combination?
This was found in it's original box and packing Never Used! Bring IT Home Today!
This is also available!
These crazy florals speak for themselves. Coming across some of these in new mint condition was a fun find. They can be a bright fun piece of nostalgia that will be a show stopper at your next outdoor gathering. 

Even planters had a great modern look in this era. The bullet planters made of fiberglass had great lines and complimented the modern furniture of the times. Interestingly enough, they are still made today in an array of bright colors, but there is nothing like having a vintage original!
The Classic Modern Bullet Planter is a must for your vintage modern patio!

We had never seen bullet planters like the two above with the Danish Modern design bases in walnut with brass colored aluminum rings. The few we had were immediately scooped up by a collector who had to have them all. I can not say that I blame him, but I actually miss them. This is the trouble of course of being a dealer. You obviously can not keep everything, and you get to see and recycle so many great vintage modern finds. The time always comes to part with them, and it isn't always easy.

So in parting my friends, if you have not already dusted off your patio furniture and set up your outside oasis of cool vintage finds, it's time. Time to also look for something to add to your collection!

Here are a few fun vintage poolside and patio pictures to inspire you!

Vintage Patio Books Are Always Great Inspiration!


  1. Great post! Love all the old ads and pics. Those bullet planters are stunning. I can see why you didn't really want to see them go. I have the same problem in my shop. Just gotta let go and look for something else to love for awhile...

    1. Thank you! Yes, I have to often restrain myself.

  2. Great post! I'm a big fan of vintage patio furniture. We sell Salterini as fast as we can get it in our store. We don't have any right now, but we do have some beautiful Richard Schultz pieces from the 1966 collection being restored, and we have a Russell Woodard spun fiberglass table too. My next project is a Russell Woodard set on my own patio that needs to be sandblasted and powdercoated. I can't seem to get around to loading it up and having that done, so I may just give it a shot of PlastiDip for this season and call it a day. :)

    1. Thank You! Yes, the Salterini pieces are wonderful. We have not come across any yet this season. I'm glad you mentioned the restoration that needs to be done on these pieces. It's very difficult to find them in mint condition unless they were never used outdoors. The restoration process adds to the cost of these great pieces and you either have to know what you're doing or pay someone who does, which is not cheap. Hopefully you will get yours done soon so you can enjoy them!

  3. Love the lounge chair & the amazing danish modern bullet planters! Enjoyed all the great photos too.

    1. Thank You! Yes, those bullet planters were super cool. Kinda wish I had kept one for myself because they were so unusual.

  4. I have a complete richard woodard patio set from my childhood. The settee would be a perfect match! Interested in selling it?

  5. Sorry I meant russell. Are you interested in selling the settee?

    1. Actually this is a photo of one I saw when I worked on this post, but I never purchased. We did recently have a beautiful Salterini Set though which sold at our sidewalk sale last weekend. It flew out of here! If I come across a settee i will let you know.