With stylish, versatile furniture and the right accessories to hand, summer entertaining can be a breeze.
Set the Scene
Making the most of your outdoor space, whether you have a generous sized garden or a compact terrace, involves a little forward planning and a creative eye. Think of it as an additional room, planning spatially, decoratively and in terms of layers and textures. This way, you are more likely to maximise its potential, using it long into the evening and even when the weather is temperamental.
Images: Out and Out; Aria
Setting aside a dining area with adequate shade creates a natural focal point. Try Neptune’s Arundel Rectangular Dining Table for a smart rustic look (£1,485; neptune.com) or for contemporary lines combined with a fun colour pop, go for Out and Out’s Vintage 8-seat Coloured Dining Set (£999; outandout.com). Creating an informal spot for lounging is essential too. Aria’s Relax Bamboo Deckchair in black or white (£136; ariashop.co.uk) is a chic option, while its Bistro Tables (from £135) and Bistro Metal Chairs (£65) are affordable and great for small spaces. John Lewis’ retro-style Salsa 2-Seater Garden Sofa (£120; johnlewis.com) feeds into the current trend for pastels and works well paired with its Sonoran Showerproof Outdoor Cushions (£12 each) for added depth.
Images: Chesneys; Morsø
Introducing a heat and cooking source allows for extended time outdoors. Chesneys’ new Heat range features eco-friendly outdoor wood burning stoves, while its barbecue heaters use clean burn technology for both heating and cooking (from £1,249; chesneys.co.uk). Try Morsø’s outdoor gas grills too, such as the Kamino (from £999; morso.co.uk).”
All in the Detail
Choosing tableware for al fresco dining is a great opportunity to invest in more colourful, playful pieces that take their cue from nature. Make it simple with shatterproof tableware – melamine accessories are a stylish but practical alternative to china crockery and can be layered up for an elegant table setting.
Images: Amara; John Lewis
We love Donna Wilson’s Block and Line Tray in Blush (£32) and Mario Luca’s range of Palla Acrylic Pitchers (£50 each) both Amara (amara.com). For beautiful colour cohesion, try setting these on Aria’s mellow blush Mind Tablecloth (£99; ariashop.co.uk), paired with Host’s Stripe Linen Napkins (£6 each; hosthome.co.uk). John Lewis’ Royal Doulton Pacific Melamine Tumblers (£14 for four) will add an on-trend graphic twist.
Images: Rowen & Wren; Curious Egg
For elegant glassware, try Curious Egg’s Rose Crystal-Cur Glass Mugs, ideal for serving chilled summer drinks (£4 each; curiousegg.com). Meanwhile, Rowen & Wren’s Lyle Water Glass Set, complete with wood carrier, makes light work of transporting glasses to the garden (£62; rowenandwren.co.uk).
Images: John Lewis; Ross and Brown
Finally, don’t forget to light your space adequately – Ross & Brown’s Large Bamboo Lanterns will inject a romantic feel into summer nights, (£30 each; rossandbrownhome.co.uk), while John Lewis’ Astro Homefield Outdoor Pendant Ceiling Light, in Black (£160) adds a practical but elegant note.
Article written by Emma J Page