There’s nothing quite like this time of year, the days are long, the sun is shining (and here to stay we hope). We are enjoying spending a lot of time in the garden and eating alfresco is an easy and laid-back way to spend time with family and friends, plus all the mess stays outdoors!
Here are some helpful tips for creating a summer table to take you from day to night no matter what your outdoor space.
Keep it simple
Use wood, rattan, jute or anything textured to give that feeling of blending with nature. Try a wooden log centre piece and fill a vase with flowers from the garden and create beautiful blooming centre pieces.
Simple colour schemes and touches work well, whilst adding a touch of elegance to your theme. Charming and quaint; pinks and pastel shades always look gorgeous in spring and summer, they add a soft, light, breezy feel to any table.
Use what you have in your home and garden to set the scene, it doesn’t have to be complicated. For instance you could use fruit to introduce colour, vibrancy and interest. Take inspiration from the Italians, keep the table clean with a fresh white and neutral tablecloth, white tableware and napkins and finish with pots of fragrant, fresh herbs. Add place cards for that extra special touch.
Outdoor dining isn’t meant to be formal. Have fun with it. Sometimes an eclectic look can be much more inviting and comfortable. Mix reusable outdoor tableware with your best cutlery set. Dishes and glasses made from melamine or bamboo are more durable and ideal for those accidental spills. Why not create a buffet table and allow guests to serve themselves, it works perfectly with the informality of outdoor dining and frees up table space. You can even use wood chopping boards to serve up your food for that rustic touch.
Bring the living room outside
Blur the lines between indoors and outdoors and create a cosy space to retreat to as the sun goes down. Sit back, relax with that glass of wine and snuggle up with cushions and throws for those chilly evenings. Opt for monochrome for that modern look or choose botanical prints to make you feel even more at one with nature.
As night falls
Create cosiness and ambience with some outdoor solar lighting. Outdoor string lighting isn’t too harsh and provides that subtle and magical moonlit twinkle. Hang them along your fence or pop solar powered fairy lights or tea lights into glass mason jars for a cute and elegant glow after dark and place them along the patio. Group together lanterns and candles for visual impact. Use an outdoor hanging Bluetooth speaker to play your favourite summer sounds to wind down too.
For more alfresco dining and summer entertaining inspiration take a look at our other helpful guides full of top tips, ideas, inspiration and recipes:
How To: Arrange Flowers & Summer Blooms
How To: Make Homemade Ice Cream