Sunniva is a Gaelic name that means “gift from the sun”. We were inspired by the sunbeam-like radiating back support and the thought of our clients enjoying sunny afternoons with friends on their deck or patio.
The Sunniva collection has challenged Brian’s design abilities probably more than any other seating. This outdoor chair is comfortable and elegant, and will maintain its strength even after the impact of sun and rain.
Sunniva Features and Benefits
The Sunniva line features a number of technical and design elements that make each piece state of the art wooden outdoor furniture.
The Wood All great furniture begins with premium materials. More than any other wood, we recommend durable, beautiful Honduran mahogany for our clients’ outdoor spaces. The mahogany we use comes from our friends in Honduras, a trio of sawyers’ cooperatives who sustainably manage an area of rainforest near the small community of Copen. Our purchase of wood is critical to the success of this project, which Brian has been involved with since its inception in 1993.
Comfort Curves To create the remarkable lumbar support and other elegant curves of this line, we employ an age-old process of lamination. The epoxy we use is truly compatible with the oils in mahogany and soaks deep into the fibers. The result is the flowing curve you see in the rocker runners, swing bows, and seat and back slats. Lamination creates a final product that is even stronger than the wood prior to bending.
In the back slats, the laminations are only sawn partly up the boards through the bent section. The remaining several inches at the top are left solid, protecting the lamination lines from the effects of sun exposure.
Aircraft Aluminum Support The aircraft aluminum bands on the rocker and arm chairs allow for the elegant curve to better support your back while keeping the profile as slim as possible. The lower band is mortised through the rear leg, but also welded to a plate which runs through the arm to be bolted to the front leg. This allows all four legs to support the stress of leaning against the back. The aluminum bands do not absorb moisture, enabling the slats to dry out more quickly after a rain.
Joinery Wherever possible, our joinery is double tenoned and fully housed. This makes our furniture very challenging to build, drawing on techniques that require years to master. The benefit is a very clean look that will never expose openings around the joints, making our joinery effectively weatherproof and perfectly sealed for longer life.
These hidden quality features not only support the furniture’s resistance to weather, but also support you comfortably and with elegance. Our designs are quite possibly the most comfortable wooden chairs ever made. No padding is necessary, but it can be added for color if desired. Without padding, the wood breathes better and dries more quickly after a rain.
Recycled Rubber Feet All our outdoor furniture sits on recycled rubber padding. The rubber keeps the wood off the ground and seals it from ground moisture. That includes the rocker runners, which are protected with a rubber strip that cushions their rocking action. The 3/8”-thick replaceable strip protects your deck from wear or the chair from abrasion of stone, brick, or concrete decks and patios. With this level of protection, you can rock in comfort for decades.
We are proud to offer you the Sunniva as the finest in highly durable yet luxurious outdoor comfort. As a combination of engineering and artistry with the client’s comfort needs at the forefront, it is a sound investment.
While all the woods we use to build our Sunniva line are beautiful and have proven themselves for centuries as durable outdoor woods, the way they weather differs from species to species and from region to region. Below are some aesthetic and technical details to keep in mind as you select the best wood for your needs.
White Oak: Oak is a heavy, strong, widely used hardwood. It is typically a light tan or dark blond and can include a great deal of character in its texture and grain. It ages to a mottled gray.
Walnut: Ranging from light to dark, chocolate brown, walnut may also include beautiful red and blonde highlights. It is strong and durable without being excessively heavy. Over time in sunlight, it ages through amber and into a mottled gray.
Mahogany: Warm, straight-grained and reddish-brown, mahogany has long been prized for its beauty, durability and color. Ours is sustainably harvested by a trio of sawyers’ cooperatives in Honduras, and some of the same timber has gone on to become high-end guitars. It ages evenly to a uniform, silvery gray. Because it handles heat extremely well, we recommend mahogany for homes where the summer is especially hot and dry. Wasps and hornets are also less attracted to it than to white oak or mahogany, which is worth considering if your area has large populations of these nest-building insects.
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