The new garden party essentials for summer entertaining
June 15, 2022
Outdoor living has become a mega trend. It’s not longer enough to trot out the garden furniture when the sun shines, we want outdoor rugs, outdoor mirrors, cushions, throws, lanterns, tablescapes – the whole works! So if you’re hosting a summer soiree, the basic garden party essentials of paper plates and cups no longer cut the mustard, now it’s all about turning your garden into an outdoor living room with comfy seating, a drinks bar and enviable outdoor tablescaping. Here are the six new garden party essentials…
1. An outdoor rug
To create an outdoor living room or dining space, follow the same rules as you would do indoors, but make it brighter and more robust. Add a waterproof outdoor rug to inject colour and create zones, add soft furnishings, table runners, plenty of plants and dress your outdoor dining table for the occasion.
2. A good garden umbrella
Most of us love the sun, but you don’t want your guests wilting should a heatwave hit. Garden umbrellas are not only practical, they’re also a great opportunity to add a pop of colour. Add complementary or contrasting pops of colour through cushions and throws. If you’re serious about your garden party, why not paint your walls or fence in candy colours? You could even create a holiday wall. Add some large cacti or palms in chic planters for a dash of Mediterranean glam.
3. A garden bar
Garden bars, which boomed in popularity during the Covid-19 lockdowns, have become a garden party must-have. It’s hard to beat a tiki bar for summer vibes, but there are plenty of ways to build a simple garden bar from palettes, or transform a shed into a pub. Read the Good Homes guide to garden bars here.
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4. Co-ordinated accessories
Indoors or out, similar rules apply when it comes to colour co-ordination. Pick two or three key hues. For blue and greens, contrast with coral or fuchsia. This will create a striking scheme that is perfectly fitting for al fresco dining. Finish off the look by adding accessories in botanical or Aztec prints.
5. An outdoor kitchen
If you’re really serious about garden parties, then consider creating an outdoor kitchen. The humble BBQ no longer cuts it! These days it’s all about serious grilling power, maybe even a pizza oven, and a workspace for prep. Maybe even an outdoor fridge? Take a look at these great al fresco kitchen ideas.
6. Don’t forget the lights!
String up some fairy lights for that twinkly glow in the evening. Layers of lighting will serve you best, so create an atmospheric Moroccan-style outdoor space with lanterns, candles and tea lights, but do be aware of fire hazards. LED candles flicker just as well as the real thing.