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Steve Cordony on seasonal outdoor dining

06 Dec 2021 |  Inspiration


As a stylist, Steve Cordony is particularly skilled at celebrating the beauty of nature. It’s the subtle design touches of natural elements that bring life to his styling.

In recent years, Steve and his partner Michael purchased Rosedale, an 1877 Georgian style house in Orange, part of the NSW Central Tablelands. Once a sheep station, the pair have meticulously renovated the property, soon to include farm stay and farm store elements for the public to enjoy the magnificent home.

It’s since renovating Rosedale that Steve has taken on a renewed sense of purpose around sustainability in design and materials.

“Going back to my very early work there was always some element of nature, flora and fauna,” he explains. “Getting the farm has heightened everything to a new level. I realised being out there how important it is to focus on creating a sustainable world.” 

It’s in a corner of Rosedale, bound by ornamental pear trees, that Steve styled a warm and inviting outdoor dining tablescape. Using pieces from the KING Collection and drawing on the lush greenery for inspiration, Steve has created a space that encapsulates the Australian love of outdoor entertaining.


The formal garden space at Rosedale is the perfect setting for this relaxed and informal dining space. 


Taking your guests on a journey

Steve wanted his space to be organic and earthy. But more than that, he suggests that you design your space to tell a story.

“It goes back to the space and the concept of what you’re trying to create,” he says. “I love the trees on either side and wanted the earthy and organic feel. That’s why I chose the terracotta pots and the mismatching perennials, lavender and rosemary. The scattering of lemons is to introduce the idea that the table was shot in the country.”

In contrast to the formal garden space, Steve has styled an informal and loose table, ideal for a long lunch or a relaxed Sunday breakfast. It’s thanks to the versatility of the Quay Ceramic Dining Table that can seamlessly transition from space to space.

“Positioning your table obviously depends on the space you’ve got,” he says. “But I also like the idea of creating a mobile space. I had the table in the garden but it could also work in other spaces, such as the backyard or the verandah.”


Steve embraces seasonality to enhance the sustainability of his styling. 


Seasonality in styling

Seasonality matters to Steve for two reasons. First, the seasons can help to drive the concept. You can draw on the light and work with the weather to build the atmosphere around your setting.

But also, as far as sustainability goes, seasonality allows you to use what you’ve got in the garden for styling.

“I used seasonal flowers in the pots scattered around the table and fresh lemons from the citrus trees. Whether you’ve got a garden or even just a beautiful rooftop, trying to incorporate some seasonal elements is really important.”

Steve also has another styling trick that enhances the sustainability of your entertaining. Rather than using fresh cut flowers, he suggests using plants.

“Even if you’re doing a really special setting, you can get some beautiful plants and plant them in terracotta pots. Then you can keep them on your balcony or inside the house and it extends the life of your tablescape beyond its initial purpose.”


The complementary Quay Ceramic Dining Table in KingCote® Salt and Pumice and Luna Outdoor Dining Chair in Salt with seat pad in Oceania Outdoor Rock Art, contrast beautifully against the seasonal touches on the table. 


Complement and contrast

White on white is the base of Steve’s styled space. It’s a simple concept because it works. And that’s because the white contrasts so beautifully against the greenery of the outdoors.

“The white Luna Outdoor Dining Chair was a great option along with the natural, organic graphic of the Oceania Outdoor Utopia seat covers,” he explains. “From there you can start to build and layer. I then had the terracotta and a bit of yellow with the lemons and the ranunculus in those potted plants.” 

Despite the formality of the space, Steve says the contemporary lines of the furniture create the perfect complement and contrast for a classic look. 


The robust Quay Ceramic Dining Table is functional and practical for the outdoors without compromising style and quality. 


Functionality for the outdoors

The Australian climate is built for outdoor entertaining. Over the last five years, Steve has seen the transformation of outdoor spaces to now getting as much consideration in design as interior spaces.

“It’s no longer about putting an outdoor table, a sunbed and maybe an umbrella in the outdoor space. People are now giving as much thought to the texture, layering, materiality and design as an indoor space.

“There’s an amazing range of outdoor fabrics on the market now. There’s outdoor velvets, boucles and linens - it’s incredible in terms of what designers are doing now.”

Steve says that the quality of the Quay Ceramic Dining Table is just the practicality and functionality that is needed outdoors. 

“I had no qualms in putting terracotta pots directly on the table surface. It actually felt quite nice and textural. When you’re styling, you have to remember that people are going to touch and feel the table while they’re sitting at it. The Quay Dining Table has a really, really nice texture that works so well in an outdoor space.”


Follow @stevecordony


Quick questions with Steve Cordony

Chandeliers or downlights? Chandeliers.

Marble or Timer? Marble.

Ducks or chooks? Chooks.

The perfect playlist or the best selling novel? Perfect playlist.

Spring or summer? Spring.



Shop the story


Quay Ceramic Dining Table


Luna Outdoor Dining Chair