Monthly Archives: January 2016

Outdoor entertaining 101

Outdoor entertaining 101 – This time of the year is all about enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends. Whether you’re hosting a small get together or a large party, we gurantee you’ll be entertaining like a pro after reading these simple outdoor tips and ideas.

Outdoor party planning

  • Send out invitations if you plan on inviting 10 or more people. Invitations should include relevant information such as the date, time, theme (if one), address. Invitation should also ask that guests RSVP with any dietary requirements/preferences or any food allergies.
  • Assign each guest with a dish/job to lessen the stress on yourself. If there’s a theme a nice idea is to organise the food based around this – ie Australia Day party: sausage rolls, party pies, mini lamb burgers, pavlova, lamingtons etc.
  • More is more when food’s involved. Make 50% more food than what you think guests will eat to ensure you have plenty. If there’s any food left over divide between guests to take home or freeze for another day.
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  • Consider anything that might prevent entertaining outside and make sure you have a back up plan in-case plans do need to change.
  • Organise plates/glasses/cutlery etc to ensure there are enough for each guest.
  • Ice is important to keep the drinks nice and cool – you can pick this up from the local service station the morning/afternoon of the party.
  • Assess how much furniture you have. You may need to drag chairs from inside to cater, alternatively check out our full range here.
  • The bugs are out at this time of year so ensure you have repellent on hand to scare off any un-invited guests.
  • Slip, slop, slap is important during summer so if entertaining in the sun ensure there’s enough sunscreen to go ’round.
  • Music – A playlist on an iPod should do the trick. Set it up on a speaker dock and let the tunes run into the night.
  • If there are kids coming over it’s always nice to have a separate area in the backyard for them to play and entertain. A blow up pool, bubbles and a slip ‘n slide should keep them amused throughout the day/night.
  • Lighting – Lighting is critical, especially at night when you have no natural light to play with. Using atmospheric subtle lights is the best way to go. Decorative lanterns work exceptionally well adding character, colour and warmth to any outdoor area.
    Or why not consider scattering some beautifully scented candles to create a warm, atmospheric ambiance. Candles are available in a range of colours, shapes, sizes and scents and are sure to create a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing look within any space.

Setting the table

  • Reuse and recycle – Decorating an outdoor table doesn’t need to cost a fortune! Freshly cut flowers from your garden look great in a vase or even pop down to your local op shop and grab a funky table cloth or some mis-match place mats to create a rustic, vintage look and feel. Decorations made with broken, old or useless items that clutter your shed or outdoor area can be recycled and turned into creative table pieces that not only look good, but add a personal touch to any outdoor dinner party.
  • Rustic inspired – Depending on the theme of the day/night rustic may or may not work. If it works keep reading, if not jump down to the next point! When it comes to rustic inspired outdoor table decor the key is in the detail. Lace matched with burlap, mis-match vases filled with large blooms, wooden logs and shabby chic pieces can all be used to create this re-purposed, vintage look. The use of chairs in different shapes and styles can also help to complete the rustic look.
Image via Pinterest
  • Bold and bright – Add a splash of colour to your table for a fun, vibrant look and feel. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different palettes, textures, patterns and styles and let your personality shine! Vivid blues, pinks, yellows and greens will give your table a bold, bright look. As will a vase filled with brightly coloured flowers partnered with matching placements and napkins to complete the look. Colourful outdoor furniture will also create a sense of paradise and brighten up any outdoor area.
Image via Pinterest
  • Neutral – A neutral palette may be more your style. Create a statement by opting for natural shades such as whites and creams. Natural coloured linen and crockery matched with cream flowers, touches of lace and timber furniture all help to create a setting that accentuates your outdoor area and its natural surrounds.

Decorating your space

  • Candles, lanterns and string lights not only look pretty they also all provide beautiful lighting and a warm ambiance.
  • Find inspiration from your very own backyard – fill a bowl with stones or rocks for a decorative centre piece or fill a vase with freshly cut flowers straight from the garden. Both are simple, cost effective solutions which will look great and won’t break the budget.
Image via Pinterest
  • If there’s a theme –  ask your guests to dress accordingly and decorate your area to match. A theme is sure to make for a good night and plenty of memories.
  • Photobooths are always a fun option and will have your guests interacting and laughing all night long. They also provide beautiful photographic memories to share and look back on for years to come.