I am not surprised that many are adding items for their outdoor spaces on their wishlist for the holiday season as the variety of  stylish accessories has exploded. Here are a few design ideas on my first theme: Give a smile!

1. Textile SMILE panels
Anne Luneau has developed a large range of UV- and rain-resistant textile “pictures” you can have both outdoors and in. This “Smile” version works brilliantly for example around the outdoor breakfast table or as a greeting message.

2. Fun umbrellas stands
Umbrellas have taken a while to fight back at new competition coming from the more trendy shade sails, but boy! they are doing so with talent. They are a great and quick way to lift the spirit of any outdoor space.

As you shop for designs, remember they really should, in many instances, be called something else than parasol or umbrella, as their function is no longer just to protect form the sun. You can have many fitted with heaters, MP3 players, iPod holders, stools and vases to hold champagne of fresh drinks.

Sywawa has a large range of fun and ultra-trendy umbrellas and umbrella stands. Fresh from the latest Maison et Objet Fair in September 2009 is this humorous new design United We Stand:


I also like the witty version called Heavy:


3. Playful seating
New materials have allowed designers to explore more imaginative designs. They also have made many pieces light and colorful making them easy to move from room to room, from indoors to out. Many of you probably know the timeless Puppy by Eero Aarnio through Magis.


Magis has a new design: The Dodo by Oiva Toikka. It’s a rocking chair available in a large range of colors. The design resurrects the mythical, cheerful Dodo bird from Mauritius.

4. Tongue-in-cheek lighting
Outdoor lighting has far moved far beyond being about function. More and more designs are statements about your style or your lifestyle. I love this cheeky twist on the traditional wall-mounted moose head — the Moo Wall Lamp by Trond Svendgard & Ove Rogne:


Thankfully, no animals have been harmed in the making of this light fitting! This moose head replica can actually be used both indoors and outdoors — thanks to its polyresin construction.