Outdoor furniture and accessories add punch to the patio

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That Added Twinkle
Turning on the outdoor Christmas lights past the first week of January may be considered a home-décor faux pas, but there’s just something so magical about mini twinklers during a warm summer’s night. Add a gentle glow to a dusk-timed patio party with industrial string lights (around $50 at West Elm [2947 Granville Street]) that look festive but not tacky. Each 11-inch cord includes 10 mini steel lamps painted with either a red, white, or blue finish. Cords are connectable, and the five-watt light bulbs are replaceable. The best part is there’s no assembly is required—simply string the lights, flick on the barbecue, and you’re ready for a summer party.

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> Michelle Da Silva

Shady Business
Sit beneath the cover of lush green leaves while dining al fresco this summer with the Shadylace outdoor umbrella by Dutch design house Droog ($364 at Inform Interiors [50 Water Street]). The whimsical parasol was designed in 2004 by New York–born, Netherlands-raised Chris Kabel, whose innovative, arty creations have appeared in museums from Rotterdam to Seoul. The Shadylace lets in slivers of sunshine through clear sections of the canopy, while the majority of the parasol is painted to look like foliage. The aluminum stand is topped with a sweet golden bird.

> Michelle Da Silva

Colour Surge
Banish neutral wicker for one of the wild new outdoor pieces in screaming summery citrus hues. Moe’s Home Collection (1728 Glen Drive and 125–1305 Welch Street in North Vancouver) has an eye-popping array of cool chairs. Check out the Baci stacking rope and aluminum arm chairs in vibrant lime green, electric blue, or orange ($149), or the high-backed Baci chair in the same lime ($189). Lime appears again in a matching ottoman ($89), or opt for a bright orange serving tray ($49). For something a little more cushy but still with a splash of colour, look to the Brisbane Club Chair (from $888) and matching ottoman (from $428)—boxy little numbers in weather-friendly resin-aluminum wicker with Sunproof lime cushions.

> Janet Smith

Double Duty
Limited outdoor space often means having to choose between a table and chairs. A pouf, however provides the best of both worlds, with its short stature, rotund shape, and often upholstered seat. So it’s no surprise that designers at Crate & Barrel, which opened its first B.C. outpost earlier this year at Oakridge Centre (650 West 41st Avenue), have created an outdoor-friendly version of this versatile piece of furniture. The crocheted apple outdoor pouf (around $200) is handmade in Indonesia and made from all-weather polypropylene. The lime-green cover is removable for easy cleaning, and the pouf is filled with polystyrene beads.

> Michelle Da Silva

From mojitos to iced tea, patio drinks will look stylin’ in dispensers from mason-jar to cocktail-shaker styles (at Pottery Barn).

Ice-Cold Cool
Cucumber water, old-fashioned ice tea, pisco punch, or mint juleps: whatever you’re serving out of a big, glass drink dispenser on your patio table, it’ll look stylin’. We love the multiple shapes and sizes of dispensers at Pottery Barn (2903 Granville Street), where choices range from Mason-jar looks (about $63 to $84) to big rounded vessels meant to echo the shape of a cocktail shaker (about $75 to $100). All have retro metal spigots and caps. The store even carries a variety of stands to hold the dispensers, from turquoise, white, blue or red porcelain Rhodes versions (about $31) to more rustic galvanized metal (about $31). Bring out the vintage glassware and craft up some old-school labels and you’re ready for an afternoon of drinking on the deck.

> Janet Smith

Net One Of These
Call it seafaring chic: 18 Karat’s (3039 Granville Street) new Net bowls have the distinct, squiggly weave of a fishing net, but look close and you’ll see these hip, sculptural little vessels are made from plated metal. That makes them perfect for serving dinner rolls outside or showing off fruit through the zig-zaggy mesh. They come in a range of sizes ($12 to $80), in hues of all-the-rage jade, crisp white, or industrial silver. Simple and artful, rustic and contemporary, all at the same time.

> Janet Smith

Teardrop Terrariums
Terrariums might be Mother Nature’s answer for those of us lacking green thumbs—or those who are condo dwellers. The plant containers require minimal maintenance and help to bring a little taste of outdoor living inside. The glass-bubble hanging terrariums by Roost ($94.99 at Homewerx Modern Life.Style [1053 Davie Street]) are not only perfect for adding greenery to your abode but are also beautiful to look at. Each terrarium is free-blown from recycled glass into a gentle teardrop shape and comes in two sizes. Carefully hang one or two where they can catch the light—but not in direct sunlight.

> Michelle Da Silva

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