Summertime at last! Lazy days by the sea or pool and long relaxing summer evenings to enjoy. But if you’ve got your mind set on being a host over the summer months, ‘stress-free’ might not be the first expression that pops into your head.
Entertaining outdoors sounds amazing, but as the organiser you have a lot of pre-planning to consider. Beating the heat. The persistence of summer bugs. New garden furniture to buy. How to get people who might not have met before to mingle easily. How to decorate and delight the crowd. It all adds up. Besides, making sure everything works out perfectly for your guests is one thing, but you should also make sure it’s enjoyable for you too.
Our professional team at Hometrends have experience in helping clients choose the right outdoor furniture and garden décor to make summer entertainment a breeze.
Here are our top 5 ideas of how to entertain in style and comfort this summer.
- Think comfort first.
Summer in Malta is great. It’s also quite uncomfortable, especially with the seemingly tireless heatwaves we’ve been experiencing lately. If the last thing you want your guests to feel is hot, consider investing in some durable and attractive outdoor side-pole umbrellas. Easy to move around and more comfortable to sit under without having your view obstructed with a pole. Pop the umbrella up early on to make sure all your furniture is out of the sun well in advance of the evening and stays cool to the touch.
Speaking of comfort, your dining and seating arrangements are equally important. If you’re set on having a sit-down meal, a strong extendable outdoor table would be ideal. That way you can downsize it for more intimate occasions and open it up when all your family or friends are over, giving them ample space to unwind. Top up your available table space with a hanging outdoor table that can fit neatly over a balcony.
Investing in durable outdoor chairs is a must. However, after spending a day on sandy rocks, or sweltering on a sunbed, your guest might prefer something with a little softness. Our stunning plaza outdoor set of garden furniture has a lovely light wood finish with cushions for sunburnt bodies.
If you’re thinking of a simpler affair such as drinks and light nibbles, then we’d definitely suggest something like a 3 to 5 seater outdoor sofa with matching armchairs. Opt for a matching garden coffee table in the centre to finish off the polished look. A couple of lounge bean bag chairs and outdoor pouffes dotted around for children to sit on (or the guest who hit the wine a little hard) and your seating should be good to go.
Finally don’t forget to purchase some citronella candles to surround the area. Mosquitos are a real concern for many people so making sure the area is protected before they arrive will make it more comfortable for everyone to enjoy their evening.
- Cook for the weather.
BBQs are synonymous with Maltese summers. They are also a great way for you to be able to stay with your guests as you grill up some tasty meat, fish or vegetarian dishes – without spending the evening back in the kitchen. If you’re planning a one-off event or mostly just evening gatherings with close family, our smaller 3 or 4 burner grill BBQ options might be more suitable. If, however you’re intending to have regular social events in your back yard, garden or roof terrace, then we’d recommend investing in a larger 6 scale burner BBQ which gives you ample room and levels on which to cook your culinary masterpieces.
Stock up on some fundamental BBQ accessories to make sure you have every requirement covered. You’ll never be more grateful to be wearing a protective BBQ apron than when hot marinated meat juices fly off the grill and hit your brand-new shirt or dress. Or making sure you don’t end up with dry steaks with a meat thermometer.
Choose some light salad dishes to go with your BBQ feast. A handy trick for keeping your food cold and fresh, is to purchase large stylish serving bowls and fill them with ice. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on top and then place your salad bowl directly on top. Helps you save some space in the fridge when your guests arrive with more food and booze in tow.
- Decorate your outdoor furniture with beautiful accessories.
Depending on the design theme you’ve chosen for your garden or outdoor area, you’ll want to include a few accessories that really give the space the finishing touch it deserves.
On the grander scale, nothing oozes style and finesse like a water feature. A fountain Buddha, or a 5-tier rock fountain are both stunning to look at and to listen to. Is there anything more relaxing than the delicate sound of running water? If you’d like something more Romanesque, the vase fountain is a statement feature worth considering.
When choosing your tableware like glasses, plates, cutlery and napkins, don’t be afraid of mixing and matching colours and patterns. Summer is a season for vibrancy and pops of colour really bring a happy theme to the space.
Flowers and plants are another way to bring nature into your outdoor furniture, even if it’s in a courtyard or on your roof area. You don’t need to go down the road of real plants. A few planters dotted around should be enough. If you do want to add flowers, a clear glass bowl with some flower heads (like peonies and gardenias) floating in water inside are a special touch for the dining table.
- Light it up.
Don’t leave your guests in the dark! We’re not talking about full on bright lights. Ambient lighting is the perfect way to set the mood and help guests enjoy a summer evening. Place several portable mini lanterns on the floor and tables to give the area a relaxed, subdued feel. You could consider string lights to hang over the top of your dining table for a little extra lighting when people are eating.
Solar lighting options are a great way to save on electricity bills. We have a great selection of hanging or table solar lamps. We also have similar options for the floor with deck solar lighting. Small enough to add dots of light, but practical at the same time. If you’d like a more back garden zen look, colourful hanging lanterns add a perfect Indian Summer feel. Add some colour torches for an original theme. These outdoor lamps burn in colour and don’t give off any smoke or smell. The mineral wick will burn for a solid 4 hours.
If you’d like a pop of greenery, then the Light-Up is a really unique option to consider. Hanging from the wall, this green ball of shrubbery has hidden lighting inside. Next level fairy lights.
Our Lucy Play outdoor music lamp is available in a variety of colours, and as far as parties go, the fact that it can connect to your phone via Bluetooth to play music means it answers two problems at the same time.
Carefully placed and selected lighting can influence the mood of your event, so people can enjoy a little respite from the brightness of the sun and from the florescent lighting in work environments.
- Go bold with some statement items!
Finally, if you’re out to impress, think about one or two pieces that will be sure to have everyone talking.
If you have the available space, nothing says style and luxury like the option for guests to enjoy a welcome drink or post dinner liqueur in a gorgeous spa tub. We have a variety of 4 and 6-person spa tubs available and we’ll guide you to which one would be most suitable to your budget and available space.
Love the taste of traditional pizza ovens? Then this Sol-y-Yo stone pizza oven is the answer. It’s amazingly easy to use and warms up ready to cook your Pizza within just 15 minutes of being started. Surprise your friends and start serving some healthy gourmet pizzas at your next BBQ party.
Whether it’s having family or friends over for an impromptu patio party, we hope these tips help you choose garden and outdoor furniture that will help to make your life easier, so you can sit back and enjoy summer the Hometrends way – in style.
Check out our summer catalogue for some more inspiration.