our story

Designed Outdoors is a DIY site for modern outdoor furniture.  It’s creator, an experienced interior designer, designs each piece of furniture, develops the steps to build, and writes the instructions.  

About the designer behind Designed Outdoors:

Hello.  My name is Char Hawkins and I am an interior designer… not a woodworker.  I have more than 15 years experience designing commercial interiors.  I love creating spaces that inspire but at the same time make you want to just move right in and make yourself at home.

How Designed Outdoors began:

Shopping for outdoor furniture for my own home was frustrating.  As a designer, I have seen my fair share of amazing patio furniture at trade shows and beautifully photographed in commercial catalogs. But finding stunning, affordable, and durable patio furniture for my own home seemed impossible.  If the style suited me, the price was outrageous. If the price was right, it wasn’t my style or very durable.

So one day I decided to just design my own patio furniture. I sat down and thought about styles that inspire me: Scandinavian design, Craftsman, modern.  And then I got to work. For each piece designed, I built a virtual model, and then real prototypes with the help of my father.

Building the prototypes with my dad inspired me.  If I can do this, anyone can.  I wanted to create step-by-step instructions that are simple, understandable, full of imagery and simple language (not woodworking-speak).  I’m not saying the instructions are easy or the furniture will come together practically all by itself.  But you don’t need to be an experienced woodworker or even have any experience, really.  Just willingness and determination.

Thanks for visiting Designed Outdoors.  Stop back soon – new collections will be added as inspiration, and interesting requests, arise.

A photo of the Designed Outdoors creator and her father

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