Summer is all about cocktail parties in the garden and lazy family barbeques. You’ve got warm sun on your skin, good food and chilled wine, but do you have all the accessories to compliment this perfect mix of ingredients? Here we offer advice on how best to decorate your summer space, including our personal pick of furnishings and trimmings.
Dare we say the most important element of any summer soirée, nothing says la bella vita like a chilled Chardonnay. Add some whimsy to your wine as the sun goes down with this trendy illuminating wine cooler that doubles as an outdoor table lamp.
Let’s not forget that your guests need somewhere to put their glasses while they dip into the canapes, which is where our side tables come in. We have an extensive selection ranging from classic with a twist to nothing short of high art.
The Optik side table by Skyline Design is a minimalist, basket-style affair with a carbon matt frame and ceramic monochrome grey tabletop. It is salt and chlorine resistant, an excellent choice if you have a pool.
If you prefer a more classic look, the Ethimo outdoor round coffee table might be for you. This ceramic stone-topped aluminium table is part of Ethimo’s Esedra collection, which takes its name from the Ancient Romans “exedra,” a semi-circular space where social gatherings were held.
Often beauty lies in symmetry, a concept done to perfection in Gloster’s Gem Pumice Side Table. As eye-catching as it is practical, the Gem Pumice consists of 18 panels of carefully cut ceramic sheets that are both heat and weatherproof. Subtle veining mimics the appearance of natural Italian marble for a classy finish.
Whether you’re hosting a fancy silver service dinner or a relaxed barbeque, your choice of table setup needs to be spot on. Consider your outdoor functions – how many guests do you normally invite; do you prefer finger food or a 3-course extravaganza? Depending on your summer style, choose from classic table and chair sets or more relaxed soft seating with a coffee table for snack platters. Here are a few of our faves.
Unless you’re an extravagant entertainer, an 8 to 10-seater table will likely be big enough. Skyline Design’s Pacific 8 Seat Dining Table is one of our most popular choices that works in most spaces. The silver walnut-coloured weave is sturdy enough for the temperamental British summer, but we recommend purchasing the additional rain cover if your table won’t be in a permanently covered space.
Sometimes time-honoured fashion is the way to go and fashion doesn’t get more classic than a beautifully crafted wooden table. The Typhoon 300 Outdoor by Atmosphera is made from solid Indonesian teak with an oil finish and details in brushed steel that emphasises the warmth of the wood. The centrepiece demands attention without distracting from the beauty of your surroundings.
Outdoor Living is our affordable range, showcasing chic designs that don’t compromise on quality but are a little easier on the budget. The Artus Vip Table is a classy stainless steel structure that comes in a choice of smoky greys. Pair it with the comfortable, fabric-covered Artus Vip chairs for a modern, minimalist look.
If soft seating with low tables and canapes is more your style, we have you spoiled for choice. Skyline’s Horizon Outdoor Sofa adds contemporary elegance to your rooftop terrace or courtyard. Pair it with the Horizon Arm Chair and Coffee Table for a sleek, sophisticated living scheme. Ethimo’s Swing Outdoor Sofa is cleverly designed to allow for multiple arrangements, accentuating the most spacious of areas. The modular sofa is made of aluminium and teak and comes with optional scatter cushions covered in a totally waterproof material.
For soft seating that is playful and original, the Kumo Concept 3 Outdoor Sofa by Manutti creates a seating island that can be arranged to perfectly suit your space. You can adjust the movable armrests and back supports to create a cocoon of your choice, from a comfortable sofa to a stylish lounger or a luxurious lounge chair with a relaxing footrest.
You’ve wined, you’ve dined and now it’s time to kick back and relax with a digestif or your coffee of choice. Reclining after a meal might be our favourite time as we have a plethora of gorgeous chairs, beanbags and hammocks to choose from. No matter how large or small your space, we’re confident we can find you the perfect recliner to complete your outdoor pad.
A swing chair is a great choice if you’ve got a sturdy covered patio to attach it to. It also saves space if your floor area is limited. The Space 2 Seater Swing by Outdoor Living is made from aluminium anthracite in elegant grey complemented by two two-tone colour textile cushions; both stylish and affordable.
If you prefer reclining on a sun lounger to squeeze out maximum rays, take a look at the Kobo Lounger by Manutti. This feat of technical engineering consists of hand-woven rope wrapped around a welded aluminium frame, giving the lounger a robust structure as well as a classically beautiful finish.
Also from Manutti is the Air Concept 5 Aluminium Lounger, a supremely comfortable design that can be used as a daybed or as extra seating by reclining the back cushion to 30 degrees. The cushions are made for the outdoors and dry quickly after getting wet, while the frame is a robust stainless steel base with a top plate made from powder-coated aluminium or Iroko hardwood.
Hanging chairs are infinitely instagrammable and another excellent way to save space if you need to. Skyline Design is the market leader here with a range of options to choose from. The Journey Outdoor Chair is a classic basket design in a white-washed colour with a distinctly ethnic flavour. The frame is powder-coated aluminium and the weatherproof cushions are 10cm thick. The Heri Hanging Outdoor Chair has the same aluminium frame as the Journey Chair while the basket is made from braided synthetic wood. It is slimmer and more streamlined than the Journey, but the same promise of durability and comfort applies.
If this has inspired you but you don’t feel like you’ve seen the perfect piece for your outdoor entertainment area, you can browse our full selection of outdoor furniture here or chat with one of our team for expert advice.