No matter where you live, cool nights can cut short your outdoor fun. Even the best fire pit in the world can still leave you wanting for blankets, scarves and shawls for your shoulders and backside. Just imagine how much more use you could get out of your outdoor space if your furniture was heated!
Enter Galanter & Jones, the San Franciso-based brother and sister design team that has come up with a unique — and comfortable — solution: Heated outdoor furniture fashioned from cast stone.
The line is designed and hand-crafted in California. Aptly named for Helios, the “sun god,” this line (in which Aaron Jones is sitting above) has a rounded yet modern design reminiscent of a classic Eames Chair. The Evia collection has a more angular, yet still ergonomic design, modeled after a leather sling chair. All the pieces have a well-placed drain hole to siphon off any water and keep your seat dry. Plug it in, flip the switch and you’ll be warming your guests using no more energy than that blender you’ve enlisted to make the drinks.
When we first saw these Evia models in the Galanter & Jones booth at ICFF2015, we loved the concept of heated outdoor furniture, but doubted the comfort: “Cast Stone” doesn’t exactly conjure up a cozy feeling…Until you sit down in one of these pieces. The ergonomically designed bench is not only comfortable, it’s warming in such a pleasant way, you don’t ever want to get up!
Whether you just want chairs for two or couches for a crowd, you can have them in any one of 20 fully integrated –not painted — custom colors to flatter your outdoor living area. This orange version would look awesome in anyone’s garden.
The legs and base are a powder coated steel that is available in different finishes to complement your seat color. The angled bars running between the legs add a complex touch of elegance that would be missing from a more plain support.
These design-forward pieces are so intriguing, we wanted to know more about how the team came up with and executed the concept, so we spoke with Miranda Jones:
Where did your idea for these heated pieces come from?
My brother (and business partner) came up with the idea for heated outdoor seating while he was working on a design build project in a chilly San Francisco backyard. He spent about 10 months working on a prototype, working with cast stone and steel at TechShop.
Why cast stone?
It’s a material that my brother has always been interested in due to it’s versatility and durability. Plus, it is very pleasing to the touch and conducts heat beautifully!
How does the cast stone age out in the elements?
It does great. It is incredibly strong and durable, which is pretty unusual for outdoor furniture. It doesn’t mind rain or snow (or freeze or thaw!). Over time, the piece will develop a patina but it will not fade as we use metal oxide pigment and the color is throughout the piece.
The seating is deceptively comfortable — how do you convince customers that it is comfortable? It’s not like you can schlep around hundreds of pounds of stone…
So true! That’s why it is important for us to get it in front of people. Once they sit in it, they have a real emotional response to it due to the warmth and comfort. We do a lot of studio visits to the a + d community and invite as many people as possible to visit us in our SF showroom.
When marketing this to residential customers, what selling points do you emphasize?
Our pieces are an elegant solution to traditional outdoor heating alternatives such as heatlamps or hot tubs. They are less expensive to run and require much less maintenance than either of those options too. Fire pits are wonderful but they are mostly for ambiance. Our pieces truly change the way you can spend time outdoors. Plus, they are built to last so you won’t be needing to replace your outdoor furniture every few years. Most importantly though, they are comfortable!
How did you decide to go into business together?
We have always wanted to work together but this came together very organically; the timing was right and our skill sets matched up!
Do you have plans to partner with any high-end retailers?
Yes! We are talking to a few right now. I’ll keep you posted.
Do you foresee other products emerging from your heated stone concept?
Absolutely. We have plans to extend our current lines as well as develop more designs that will round out the ultimate outdoor experience!
The Montana-raised Jones siblings have always loved spending time outdoors. They launched Galanter & Jones in 2013 after moving to San Francisco and finding they wanted to spend even more time outside…and be warm.
If you live in the mountains and want a warm spot to enjoy the winter wonderland or just want to squeak a few extra weeks from your outdoor relaxation season, heated furniture can help you do it.
You certainly won’t mind being in the hot seat!