Teak stainless large rope lantern (homenature.com), left; wood-and-rope lantern, tall (westelm.com). Picture: Homenature, West Elm

Summer is around the corner, well, almost, which means it's time to move the party outdoors and consider hosting backyard braais, potlucks and picnics.

Thankfully, you don't have to sacrifice comfort or function for well-designed outdoor furniture, says landscape designer Mario Nievera.

"Contemporary design works well in the outdoors. It encompasses the simple geometric shapes that contrast beautifully to the organic shapes of nature," the Palm Beach designer said. 

"I think you can bring warmth, texture and beauty to even a small courtyard, garden or balcony."