Outdoor Entertaining Areas

6 outdoor style tips to upgrade your summer entertaining

Set the scene for a space that friends will want to return to time and again.
outdoor coffee tableBrigid Arnott

Dreamy thoughts of summer entertaining is in the outdoors with days and nights around a bountiful dining table, the twinkling of lights overhead in trees and the sounds of laughter and friendship ringing long into the night. Home Beautiful Editor-in-chief Wendy Moore gives us her 6 secrets to getting it right outdoors.

1. Set the scene

Creating a theme for your outdoor space helps you define your look and your colour palette. Here, the rustic Australian setting inspired the blush-tones of Australian natives, bringing them in as a table setting as well as motifs for the decorator items (below). A lower table can carry a higher centrepiece and draws attention to the setting without interrupting conversation.

Tip: look for flowers that match the tones of your accessories for a calming effect.

Outdoor style tips to upgrade your summer entertaining
(Credit: Cooks Coop)

2. Create the welcome

An outdoor dining area should inspire long, lazy meals. setting a table under the dappled light of a tree is instantly inviting – and comfortable for hours. A tree also allows lighting to be woven into the branches – meaning these meals can go long into the night.

Tip: keep the centerpiece on a dining table nice and low so it doesn’t interrupt conversation.

Outdoor style tips to upgrade your summer entertaining
(Credit: Cath Muscat)

3. Make it last

Long lunches on a beautiful deck are all about comfort. Upholstered chairs invite guests to stay for hours, and a simple wrap keeps the evening chill out.

Covered areas make your outdoor space a room for year-round enjoyment – especially when you introduce heating into the zone.

Tip: a decorative screen provides privacy without shutting out the natural light entirely.

Outdoor style tips to upgrade your summer entertaining
(Credit: Cath Muscat)

4. Bring the indoors out

For a true outdoor area, treat your furniture and decoration choices as you would for the interiors. Covered spaces allow for lots of comfy cushions, statement lights.

Tip: a touch of luxury such as an upholstered armchair make for instant comfort.

All the comforts of the interior can be transferred to a luxury outdoor room. curtains add a softness as well as a practical shade option, and rugs delineate the lounge area perfectly. A mix of materials creates interest, but choose a theme to bring them all together.

Outdoor style tips to upgrade your summer entertaining
(Credit: Chris Warnes)

“Not only will a fan circulate air – it’s a great way to keep the summer bugs at bay.”

Wendy Moore, HB Editor-in-chief

5. Balance your look

Create atmosphere with furniture choices that set a theme. However, decorative furniture calls for simple accessories to avoid an overly busy result. Create balance with your furniture choices.

Tip: a curved coffee table softens a modern entire setting.

“A consistent texture creates a sense of calm.”

Outdoor style tips to upgrade your summer entertaining
(Credit: Martina Gemmola)

6. Keep it simple

Keep your table simple: a cohesive colour scheme matched with a minimal centrepiece keeps the focus on the food and family. Permanent table decorations are a great low-maintenance option for an outdoor table.


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