Update your outdoor space

From furniture to fire pits, AuthenTeak is a go-source for elevated outdoor living.

The company: AuthenTeak started in 2004. For the first year, it was a weekend-only business. By its third year, the growing company went full time and moved to its current location at 1094 Huff Road in West Midtown.

The owners: Eric Brenner and Damon Fogel are University of Georgia grads who have been friends since their first week in college.

The showroom: With its casual, laid-back feel, the 15,000-square-foot showroom is a combination warehouse-boutique, featuring nearly 100 outdoor vignettes complete with furniture, rugs, umbrellas, fire pits, planters and accessories. There is also a large assortment of BBQ grills and smokers, plus two professional-grade outdoor kitchen displays.

The main goods: Furniture from Kingsley-Bate; Gloster; Barlow Tyrie; and Lee Industries. Grills and smokers from Lynx, Weber and Primo for grills and smokers. Also Sunbrella fabrics and Treasure Garden umbrellas.

Design services: In-home visits and outdoor space planning.

Popular gift items: For the grill enthusiast or ceramic smoker fan, a ceramic pizza stone ($34.99 and up) and a cast-iron wok for your grill ($49.99 and up). Also the LooftLighter, a high-tech fire starter ($79.95), a holiday and year-round favorite.

Other favorites: Teak spa benches ($129 to $219).

People would be surprised to learn: Despite its name, the store carries more than teak outdoor furniture. It offers furniture collections made of all-weather wicker, aluminum and recycled materials. The showroom carries outdoor TVs and a range of free-standing and wall-mounted patio heaters.

Changes in outdoor furniture/design: The concept of the "outdoor living room" has shaped our business as consumers once satisfied with a basic BBQ grill or a simple table for dining outdoors want to create an entire living outdoor space. For us, that has meant offering more comfy, deep-seating collections that resemble indoor furnishings but are adapted for outside. It also has meant more professional outdoor cooking spaces with custom cabinetry and built-in appliances.

Trends:

- Midcentury and Scandinavian influences, which have been making a comeback for interiors, can be seen in outdoor collections.

- Mixed-material designs, including powder-coated aluminum frames with weather-resistant sling fabrics and teak accents.

- Modular sectionals that allow you to customize your seating area.

Favorites

- Blogs & websites: Steve McKenzie's (www.stevemckenzies.com)

- Magazines: Architectural Digest and Departures

- Instagram: bjorkstudio, designcollectiveatl and madesignishuman

- Atlanta area home/design stores (other than our own): Switch Modern, Ligne Roset and Verde Home.

Design pet peeves: Matchy-matchy and too much grey.

Current design obsession: Anything white.

New (or re-emerging) designs we like: Retro modern

… and designs we are glad to see go: Traditional cast aluminum with high-back sling seats and heavy swivel bases.

Most unusual requests: Tables that are good to dance on and furniture that won't get dirty if left outdoors.

Biggest design mistake we have made: Painting the entire showroom without seeing a smaller section painted first. We've since repainted!

… and mistake homeowners make: Not buying big enough pieces for their space. Customers don't come back and say they wished they had bought a smaller table or sofa, but frequently the opposite is true. Luckily, many of our collections are timeless.

Latest project: A major showroom makeover in 2015.

What's new: Launched a new collection of private label outdoor furniture and began offering international shipping on the website.

Find AuthenTeak at:

Website: www.authenteak.com

Facebook: Authenteak

Instagram: authenteak

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