How do I create an elegant yet casual and inviting feel when entertaining outside?
Our summers are very short, so it’s important to make the most of the season and host as often as you’d like. With some thoughtful planning, your outdoor space can be spectacular and perfect for dining alfresco.
Outdoor lighting can be romantic, but it can also be very laid-back. Adding strings of lights around the space creates a soft warm glow. I set these lights on timers, so as the sun sets the soft lights start to twinkle. Try statement-making hanging pendants if you want to add extra ambiance to the space.
Be sure you select patio furniture that’s designed to last in the elements — furniture that not only does well in the rain, but keeps its colour and doesn’t fade under the harsh rays. For a unique look, opt for a set made up of mismatched pieces — different chairs and a table to tie them all together. It’s always lovely when you can mix pieces and create a space that matches your personality. Throw in outdoor dishes, serving platters, tumblers and linens and you’re set.
It’s important to have dining seats as well as additional seating throughout the space. Stools allow you to welcome more guests, plus you can use them to add bold pops of colour without committing to one shade.
STORAGE AND FUNCTION
When considering a serving area, find pieces that have several uses. For example, a tall cabinet or credenza adds design interest while allowing you to store items, use as a bar area or as a buffet for casual dining.
ACCESSORIES AND ACCENTS
Just like indoors, accent pieces complete the space. Hanging plants, toss pillows, throws and outdoor rugs are additions that will make your backyard shine. As the sun sets, why not spark up a fire and enjoy the crackling wood, yummy S’mores and a glass of wine with friends.
COCKTAILS AND DESSERTS
Lets not forget to offer our guests something pretty from a creative and fun summer drink menu. Choose some syrups that not only taste great as cocktails, but can be added as toppers for ice cream — perfect for all age groups.
1. Fresh cut flowers
2. Hanging umbrella light, abbottcollection.com.
3. Outdoor dining table, tonicliving.ca.
4. Natural wood set of 10 table placecard holders, amazon.ca.
5. Vintage collection disposable 20-piece dinnerware set, amazon.ca.
6. Outdoor string lights, lowes.ca.
7. Outdoor dining chairs, pier1.ca.
8. Jordan’s skinny syrup cocktail mixes, amazon.ca.
9. Paramount 30-in. round firepit, lowes.ca.
10. Outdoor stools, pier1.ca.
11. Storage credenza, crateandbarrel.com.
STYLIST AND WORDS TRACIE ZORZI