26th February 2020
8 things you need for a fabulous outdoor entertaining area to make you the envy of your friends
Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to get your outdoors in order, ready to start entertaining right through to summer and beyond.
Creating an outdoor entertaining area that your family and friends love to spend time in is the key to enjoying the best of the great outdoors and will take the load off your interior spaces when entertaining.
We’ve made a list of all the elements to include in your outdoor entertaining area to set the scene and ensure you’re ready to welcome a bunch of people at any time – whether it’s a Grand Final footy gathering, an impromptu spring lunch or a kids’ birthday party with all the trimmings.
No matter how much space your have outside, if you’re starting from scratch or simply giving your outdoor entertaining area a spring clean, here’s what you’ll need to make the most of your available space:
1. A comfortable dining area
Nothing encourages your friends to linger longer over lunch or dinner more than comfortable dining setting. Ensure you have enough chairs for a group and a large dining table to hold plenty of platters, salads, drinks and BBQ meat trays
2. Generous seating to chat and relax in
A comfortable outdoor dining area may do the trick here, but if space allows, set up a lounge area too. Guests can retire to this space after a meal, or dine here whilst the kids sit up at the table. Either way, low seating and side tables to hold drinks and nibbles are essential. Decorate the area as you would an indoor room – add cushions for comfort, throws for warmth and candles for ambience
3. Wet weather cover
Rather than have wet weather spoil the event, prepare ahead with wet weather cover from rain and wind. This can be as simple as an outdoor umbrella or a tarpaulin strung up from the eaves or between trees. If you’re planning to spend lots of time in your outdoor entertaining area however, consider investing in PVC blinds or custom awnings to protect your furniture and family.
4. The best BBQ you can afford
Nothing says outdoor entertaining like food cooked on a BBQ and this is where it pays to invest in a cooking setup that will see you through the entertaining season for years to come. It’s worthwhile to do a little research before you shop for a BBQ that meets your needs in terms of both size and fuel – LPG, gas, charcoal or electric.
5. A designated cooking or food prep area
When space allows, having a food prep zone outside allows you to join your guests while you prepare and cook the meal. A free-standing table or built-in benchtops provide a flat surface that lets you set out everything and have things within reach when you need them.
6. Ample shade
Look to borrow from your garden landscape for shade where possible and supplement with freestanding or fixed umbrellas to provide incidental shade throughout your outdoor entertaining area. Remember to include poolside lounging and somewhere for the kids to play and relax.
7. Speakers to play music
Music really sets the scene for a get-together – whether it’s a kids’ party or an evening gathering of friends. There are now many portable smart speakers on the market that don’t need to be situated by a powerpoint and can use bluetooth technology to connect to your mobile phone or PC and play or stream continuous music.
8. Task and mood lighting
The right lighting is paramount to creating a beautiful and practical outdoor entertaining area. Task lighting directed over food preparation and traffic areas is essential, whilst moody lanterns, outdoor candles and/or festoon lighting to generate a warm glow in lounge and dining areas establishes a welcoming atmosphere.