DESIGN CONCEPTS

Design Concepts was formed in 2015 as a result of what seemed to be a large disconnect in the outdoor furniture market between the major chain stores selling what we saw as throwaway items – those that are designed for the moment but don’t last – and the expensive, high-end design stores of Parnell for example.

Our aim from the outset was to curate collections of beautiful outdoor furniture for all New Zealanders – providing high quality furniture that rivals that of design stores, but without the pricetag.

It is our belief that quality doesn’t have to be synonymous with huge cost. While quality does cost more, it doesn’t need to be out of reach.

With that in mind, we set out to create Design Concepts and provide a new take on quality outdoor furniture for New Zealanders.

Ethical Sourcing

By providing quality furniture, we are also offering more sustainable choices. Our furniture is built to last and won’t end up in landfill after a few years of use. Most of our products can be recycled or repurposed when they reach the end of their natural life.

Our collections are curated with careful thought, and we ensure our manufacturers operate ethically, including paying staff well. Because we work closely with our manufacturers we can also guarantee that all teak is sustainably harvested.

Material Choice

All our furniture is made with quick dry foam and Sunbrella fabric as standard, which is guaranteed for a minimum of five years, and suited to New Zealand’s harsh climatic conditions. This means your furniture won’t degrade or fade over time and cushions are designed to be left outside year round.

Design

Simple, contemporary and elegant, our collections are designed in-house or by our suppliers’ design teams, and manufactured by skilled craftsmen to ensure they are of the highest quality.

Our collections cover furniture as well as umbrellas and shade solutions, accessories, infrared heaters and beautiful outdoor fires and fire pits that burn biofuel so they can be used indoors too.

BUYING FURNITURE

Buying outdoor furniture, especially in New Zealand where the climate is harsh and the sun severe, can be difficult if you don’t know about the materiality of what you are buying. There are a few key things to look out for when designing your outdoor space, and these all relate to quality and finish of the materials.

While it’s easy to be swayed by a low price tag, purchasing cheap furniture that is manufactured and designed overseas in less than satisfactory conditions isn’t generally going to be fit for purpose. While it may look great for a few months, chances are, those lovely cushions will have faded in just one season, and the framing will have degraded to the point where it ends up in landfill swiftly after purchase.

At Design Concepts we don’t believe this is a sustainable way of operating, but we also understand the difficulty of purchasing expensive high-end furniture. Our offering is specifically designed to bridge this gap, providing premium furniture built and designed to last in New Zealand conditions, without the price tag.

But we aren’t just about talking the talk. Run by a Kiwi family, we are proud of our brand and collections, and we want you to understand what makes our pieces superior. We’re walking the walk, supplying and designing the best furniture and accessories for your outdoor spaces. Our collections represent quality pieces that will last, made with premium materials, while maintaining design and stylistic superiority. We’re here to help you set your home apart.

Materiality

The first step to creating a stunning alfresco area is logistics: what will fit, in what configuration. Once you’re clear on these boundaries, it’s time to decide what style of furniture and settings you prefer. From here, we break decisions down into the

Three F’s: Frame, Fabric and Foam; each of which is critical to ensuring you are buying pieces that are fit for purpose.

Frame

Outdoor furniture framing should be able to withstand all the elements. To ensure all our pieces make the mark we looked to the marine industry for inspiration. To that end, our furniture is crafted with the highest quality materials that are guaranteed to last in the outdoors year-round and for years into the future.

Aluminium is one of the best materials for outdoor use due to its durability. It will not rust and will stand the test of time. Think aluminium window joinery. We also use marine-grade stainless steel in some of our framing. This is important as some cheaper stainless grades will rust over time. The best way to tell if you are buying quality stainless furniture is to hold a magnet to it. It should not stick. If it does, steer clear as this indicates a low grade material.

Wood is another steadfast component of our collections. Not all grades and species of timber are suited to outdoor furniture though, so it’s important to make the right choice if you’re looking for furniture that will look stunning but also stand the test of time. Hardwood is always the preference for quality outdoor furniture because it is much more stable than softwoods like pine. It is unlikely to warp or cup over time. Outdoor furniture is commonly made with hardwoods including Kwila, Jarrah and Rosewood, but Teak is far superior to these as it does not bleed, and is one of our mainstays. Teak has minimal movement and thrives in harsh climatic conditions, easily tackling year upon year of continued exposure to the elements.

Fabric

If you are choosing an outdoor setting that has a fabric component, ensuring you choose the right material is critical. There are countless inexpensive options, and it’s often hard to tell the difference between a cheap copy of a quality fabric and the real deal. Generally, it’s only once the fabric has been purchased and spent a month or two outside that it becomes obvious whether it is quality or not.

That’s where knowing the best brands is important. In New Zealand those brands are Sunbrella and Sunproof, brands we use for all our collections to ensure every piece meets the highest standards.

Both of these fabrics are guaranteed for a minimum of five years in New Zealand against any fading, but generally will last in top condition for much longer.

Foam

Foam is important. If you’re not buying furniture that uses reticulated quick dry foam, you’ll want to be used to sodden pants! We’ve all done it; sat down and quickly realised there’s moisture seeping thick and fast through the cushion beneath us.

Like everything, it’s often easy to be swayed by the low price tag of regular foam, but it is not fit for purpose outdoors. In comparison, quick dry foam, which is used in all our pieces, provides the same level of comfort but will not hold water. This also means after a heavy downpour, the cushions can be dry enough to sit on after as little as 15 minutes. Not days.

Quick dry foam has revolutionised outdoor furniture, not only because it doesn’t hold water, but also because there is no need to move cushions and fabric inside – quick dry foam is designed to be outside year round.

There is more to outdoor furniture than meets the eye, and we are experts in the field. Chat to us today and we will help you set your home apart, ensuring it looks amazing for many years to come.