Jari Visuri is co-founder of the Swedish outdoor furniture brand Skargaarden, which is known worldwide for creating well-designed and durable furniture that withstand the harsh Scandinavian climate. Jari himself loves the outdoors and is passionate about helping people create the optimal outdoor environment based on their individual needs and conditions. Here he shares some advice on how to create a personalized and inviting outdoor environment that you long to return to year after year.
”We started Skargaarden with the ambition to create an international brand of design furniture for outdoor environments. Over time, we have developed the brand to offer a complete ‘Scandinavian Outdoor Design’ concept. It is not just about designing furniture, but about designing a whole outdoor environment,” says Jari Visuri.
This is a natural development for Skargaarden, as a harmonious outdoor environment always involves more than just furniture – textiles, carpets, and lighting are some examples of important complements.
”In the years ahead, we will launch new products in all these segments, and we will also present a completely new range of accessories in 2024/2025.”
But what are the first crucial steps to create harmony and coherence in our outdoor environments? According to Jari, it’s all about finding the balance.
”It is not enough to just add nice furniture and plants. An inviting outdoor environment needs the same care as your indoor interiors. It requires textiles and lighting, as well as framing the space with rugs, a pergola, room dividers, and interior details. It is often more difficult to decorate outdoors as there is not as much inspiration available as for indoor environments. At the same time, it can be easier when you’re not limited by the spatiality of restrictive walls and ceilings.”
Today, sustainability is something every furniture manufacturer must relate to. Many like to emphasize environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and the use of recycled materials.
”Additionally, sustainability is about the durability of the products. The products must have a long lifespan and last over time, both in terms of materials and design. This is sustainability in its truest sense. We obviously apply all the hygiene factors that must be in place, such as climate-smart transportation, travel, certified materials, and more. All these small choices make a big difference. The main objective of our manufacturing process is quality craftsmanship and long-term sustainability of materials.”
The choice of materials is particularly important when designing an outdoor environment – the products must be able to withstand being left outside for a long time. A well-thought-out design made with durable materials
will last for many years, or even generations, even in the harshest of weather conditions.
”There are no shortcuts other than using only teak, aluminum, stainless steel, stone composite, granite, and textiles that are made for extreme weather conditions. These are durable materials that do not require much maintenance. Furniture made from short-lived wood and metal materials is always more expensive in the long run.”
Jari believes and hopes that the short-lived products will eventually disappear from the market.
”They are not good from any perspective. In addition, I think more and more people will create their own outdoor environments. For example, building self-designed benches, tables, sunshades, and pergolas will become a stronger trend.”
In terms of pitfalls, Jari says that planning is a must to create the outdoor environment you want.
”The most important thing is to plan the entire space so that you don’t just plan parts of what is required and then realize that you should have done more to create an inviting environment that will be used frequently.˝
To create an inviting and comfortable atmosphere, Jari points to outdoor textiles as an important element.
”Use plenty of cushions, throws, rugs and parasols. A large sun sail is a good framing piece for most outdoor environments. They create a wonderful sense of space and provide shade. Only sun or shade limits the use of the patio. Both are needed equally. If an outdoor environment lacks protection from sun and wind, they tend to be less used.”
Jari explains that he has adapted the design concept for the outdoor space in his own home based on climate
and weather conditions.
”We have chosen to build patios in several locations and directions in the garden to follow the sun, shade and wind. Windbreaks, sun sails and parasols are underestimated elements in outdoor environments, they provide
both spaciousness and protection from the hottest hours of sunshine and the cold summer winds.”
For anyone who wants to take their outdoor decorating to the next level and create a memorable outdoor environment – but who may not have much knowledge or experience – Jari has some basic advice.
”A good tip, if you have the opportunity, is to use an experienced garden designer. They can really create magic. You can also find a lot of inspiration in interior design magazines and from sources like Pinterest.”
Skargaarden is a Swedish brand with roots in Gävle. Traditionally Scandinavian in design, Skargaarden also draws inspiration from a wide range of sources such as the American shaker style and Bauhaus. The brand works according to the motto “less is more”, making ideas tangible. One should be able to immediately grasp the concept of a piece, it should not be an intellectual process.
Skargaarden’s design exudes a sense of simplicity, characterized by genuine craftsmanship, both in terms of production and choice of materials. Skargaarden collaborates with several of Scandinavia’s leading designers, such as Alexander Lervik and Emma Olbers. Over the years, Skargaarden has won several accolades and nominations. In 2014, the three chairs Resö, Oxnö, and Grinda were nominated for the prestigious German Design Awards and the Anholt collection won the same award in 2020. Skargaarden’s Arholma Chair won the Archiproducts Design Awards 2018.