Create a cosy outdoor entertaining space
How to enjoy your space after sundown.
Chill in the air? Don't care
Let's face it, the Great British weather doesn't always lend itself to entertaining al fresco. But with some forward thinking you can create a space that you can still enjoy on those darker nights and cooler evenings. We'll show you how…
1. Set the scene with the right patio furniture
Into socialising or foody feasts?
Deciding how you'll use your outdoor space will help you find the perfect patio set. Sofa styles are perfect for lounging, and creating a snug space for nibbles and drinks.
But if BBQs and buffets are more your summer style, opt for a table and chairs set. Or short on space? These petite picks are made for you.
Choose multifunctional furniture
Not sure how much use you'll get out of a patio set this year? Our contemporary Trenton collection is designed for indoor and outdoor use - simply move these padded perches to where you need them.
Casual cushion seating
Great to have on hand if you run out of chairs, these padded pouffes and outdoor-proof rugs create a really relaxed, picnic-esque vibe. These look great indoors too as lounge-about bean bags.
Top patio picks
2. Let there be light (and heat)
Set the mood with ambient lighting
Enhance those dusky evenings with a mix of outdoor lighting. String lights over the patio area adds a warm glow, or try wrapping them around tree trunks to make a feature of your foliage.
If you want to light the way for guests, lanterns look lovely at night - or try lights that 'plant' into the ground either side of the path.
Make your lighting smart
Really show off to guests with outdoor lighting you can control from your phone. Just connect to the Philips Hue app and control how bright, and even what colour your mood lighting is set to.
Keep it cosy (and marshmallows toasty)
Patio heaters are great for pumping out warmth, but if you're after more of a talking point choose a firepit or chimenea. Some are even set up to let you toast marshmallows - s'mores anyone?
Top outdoor lighting & heating
3. Bring on the summer food and drink
Get the drinks on ice
Before the guests arrive, chill your drinks with lashings of ice - this bucket looks the part, or why not use a wheelbarrow for a quirky take on the look. Drink dispensers, cocktail shakers and outdoor glassware complete your outdoor bar. Explore our outdoor barware range.
For more inspiration on how to create your own trendy bar at home or in your garden, take a look at our home bar ideas.
Turn on the grill to draw a crowd
Let's be honest, for most of us good grub takes centre stage at a party. Summertime usually = BBQs, with guests queuing up for that succulent flavour. Not got space for a big burner? Opt for a space-saving table top style.
Get top marks for presentation
Instantly elevate any dish you serve by presenting on beautiful tableware. Most of our range is made from oops-proof melamine (but you wouldn't know it).
4. Add a final flourish
Make it cosy with cushions and throws
Adding squishy cushions to your outdoor furniture instantly makes it more welcoming. Have a few blankets on standby too in case it gets a bit nippy.
Give your garden a bit of personality
You wouldn't leave your lounge bare would you? Wall hangings, quirky lighting, potted plants - a few of these dotted around your outdoor space will add interest.
Squeeze in some secret storage
Keep your outdoor party essentials sheltered when not in use. If a big shed would cramp your space (and your style) opt for smaller units, or furniture with secret storage.