5 fabulous outdoor entertaining area ideas perfect for summer
The sun's out and we can all do with some extra celebrating right now. Whether your outdoor entertaining area is a grassy yard, some pavers out the back, or a tiny apartment balcony, you'll want to make the best of it when family and friends come around.
Need some fun outdoor entertaining ideas? We love the idea of having a go-to party stash with extra seating, glassware, decorations and other useful things on hand. So you're always ready to let the good times roll, even if it's last-minute.
This is easy entertaining - just add guests, nibbles and a drink or two. Cheers to that!
1. SET UP SOME SEATING
Whether your outdoor entertaining area is a tiny balcony or a sprawling backyard, family and friends will need somewhere to sit. Think about the size of your regular guestlist, whether your furniture will be undercover, and if you have space - indoors or out - to store items like foldaway chairs and cushions.
Already got outdoor furniture? Liven up older pieces with some fresh chair pads and outdoor cushions. Or think about relaxed seating with sturdy bean bags and floor cushions. They're easy to move and store, and can do double duty for indoor hang-out spaces or teen bedrooms between parties.
Seating like this does have an age limit, though! If nanna and gramps are on your regular guestlist, look at something more senior-friendly, like a classic director's chair that can be folded away after use.
2. KEEP THINGS COOL
Summer days are wonderful for outdoor entertaining, but nobody wants to bake in the sun. Take note of the shadiest spots in your yard, and make sure they're accessible for guests who want to stay cool. Need more shade? Think about investing in a large umbrella or two. Beach umbrellas can be staked straight into the ground, or go for a cantilever umbrella on a stand.
You'll need to keep the drinks cool, too. If the trek to the fridge is just too far, think about having a cooler or party tub on hand, plus lots of ice. You don't want to disappear every time someone needs a fresh drink!
Stock up on handy items such as sunhats, sunscreen, fans and mosquito coils to keep guests comfortable. If you're hosting regular outdoor get-togethers, you could stash these items in a dedicated storage tub so they're always on hand.
3. EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY
When planning the food for your outdoor entertaining area, is it going to be nibbles and chardonnays on the deck, sausages on the barbeque, or elaborate dinner parties? Only you know your entertaining style - plus the number of guests you're likely to invite, how much time and energy you have for prepping and cooking (and cleaning up afterwards), and what kind of look suits your outdoor space best. Tropical? Modern? Boho? A little bit of everything?
Help get your outdoor table party-ready with stylish table runners and placemats. (If you're feeling crafty, you can even make your own.) Planning on finger food? Make sure you've got some sturdy serving platters and trays to share the goodies around on, plus serviettes or napkins to deal with spills and sticky bits.
Check you've got enough glassware on hand for your guestlist, and consider the type of tipples you'll be serving. Wine glasses and tumblers are always useful. Then add in whatever works for you. Love sharing your homebrew? Go for dedicated beer glasses. Mixing up some punch? Add a jug. Entertaining loads of little ones? Having some paper cups on hand might avoid breakages and tears.
4. LOOKS LIKE A PARTY
If you're a regular outdoor entertainer, think about investing in some festive decor to re-use over time. Paper lanterns look fantastic strung up from trees or pergolas, and once you're done they can be folded away for next time. Ditto with fabric accessories, like this easy-to-sew decorative bunting project. Solar string lights bring instant party vibes, too. Though they might be too pretty to pack away!
Not all of us are blessed with sunny outdoor spaces (or green thumbs), so if your entertaining area is looking a little bare, why not add in some faux plants? Mix with real greenery for a lush jungle look, or go faux all the way for low-maintenance foliage.
5. GET READY FOR FUN
Organising your outdoor entertaining area should be as relaxed as possible, but a little bit of planning can help the good times roll just that bit easier.
Got space and eager players? Make sure there's a bat and ball in easy reach for a spot of backyard cricket. Want to listen to some party tunes? Organise outdoor speakers ahead of time.
If your regular guest list includes lots of little ones, why not set aside some party favours to hand out during their visits? Younger children will love playing with bubble wands outside in the sunshine, or soft balls that won't do too much damage if they go astray. Water pistols are great fun at any age, and have the added benefit of cooling guests down on the hottest of days.
Our easy outdoor entertaining ideas will ensure you'll have fun this summer! You can shop our outdoor dining range online.