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The Great Outdoors

Hello, sunshine! When the clouds break, city dwellers devote themselves to dining alfresco on the deck, taking in fresh air from the terrace and recounting the terrible winter weather on the rooftop. The design of these beloved exterior spaces is often overlooked, so we’ve decided to give props to those people, places and products that makes us dig outdoor living—no matter the duration.

Materials master. Mold magician. Faux-finish expert. Call outdoor furniture designer Zachary A. Bitner what you will, but he’s indisputably talented. After earning a degree in furniture from Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia, he cut his teeth at a fiberglass manufacturer and decided he “just wanted to put something new out there.” So he began molding fiberglass furnishings with a concrete finish made to give the illusion of girth—but are actually much lighter. He has since amassed a cult following around the country (most of his clients are in warmer weather locales) who are drawn to his pieces’ durability and sleek design. “I think every furniture designer wants their pieces to be viewed as some kind of sculpture, and when I see these in backyards and on rooftops, they take on that presence,” Bitner says. And the object illusionist has more tricks up his sleeve come fall; keep an eye out for his incredible outdoor furniture collaboration on the rooftop of the Mag Mile’s Virgin Hotel! Van Dyke chair, $1,000, and King Me stool, $475