The ultimate outdoor entertainment guide

Are you a consummate entertainer? Entertaining outdoors comes with its share of difficulties, but with enough prep-work you can really wow your guests this spring and summer

Story by: Loukas Tsitsiridakis

With summer well on its way, you’ll likely want to entertain your guests outdoors.

Outdoor entertaining comes with its share of challenges, though. We’ve created this guide to help your soirée run as smoothly as possible.


Are your grass and pool summer ready? 

Start there.

The Porta-Chef 320 by Broil King BBQs barbecue, barbecue grill, cuisine, grilling, home appliance, kitchen appliance, outdoor grill, black, gray
The Porta-Chef 320 by Broil King BBQs can be moved out of the way once you're finished cooking

Get as much of the food preparation done the night before as you can. This will ensure you can dedicate your time to your guests rather than running around the kitchen frantically. 

Left your barbecue cleaning to the last minute? There are a lot of household items that can be used to scrub your grill. A slightly surprising combination we've found to be  effective is beer and onion.

Outdoor room featuring a louvre by Louvretec backyard, chair, daylighting, deck, house, interior design, outdoor furniture, outdoor structure, patio, real estate, roof, table, window, white
Outdoor room featuring a louvre by Louvretec

Having some form of shelter is essential. Whether it’s swelteringly sunny or a sneaky shower – keep your guests happy by protecting them from the ever-changing weather.

Retractable Louvre systems can adapt to any weather instantly, which makes them a great choice for the frequent outdoor entertainer. Both Johnson & Couzins and Louvretec have various options.

Otherwise, an outdoor umbrella, sail or zip screens will also suffice.

Don't have enough outdoor furniture? Just bring some couch, furniture, photograph, room, textile, gray
Don't have enough outdoor furniture? Just bring some out from inside

Outdoor entertaining is generally a lot more relaxed than traditional entertaining. 

If you don’t have enough outdoor furniture and decor, bring out some appropriate pieces from inside and intersperse them with what’s already there. This will improve indoor-outdoor flow and makes the space feel more eclectic.

You can scatter around some pillows and throws or rugs from inside to ensure your guests can really get comfortable.

This quaint table setup can be ruined backyard, bench, chair, furniture, outdoor furniture, outdoor structure, patio, plant, table, tree, black
This quaint table setup can be ruined with one quick gust of wind – but we're not going to let that happen

While summer breezes are refreshing, they can also be very disruptive. Weigh down anything that can get carried away by the wind – your tablecloth, napkins and any disposable plates and cutlery for example.

  • No tablecloth weights? You can DIY them or just skip the tablecloth altogether
  • Repurpose old mason jars to store biodegradable plastic cutlery
  • Paper plates and napkins can be help down with a clean rock or shell – this adds a decorative touch as well

Even with shade, providing sunblock is a nice touch – the last thing you’d want is to give your guests is a nasty sunburn. If you want to be extra thoughtful, you can make a station with different sunblock options.

Along with providing sunblock, there are some other things you should have nearby

  • Bug spray will prevent pesky mozzies attacking guests if your entertaining spans into the night
  • Hand sanitiser means guests won’t have to wash their hands before eating, reducing foot traffic through your home
  • Towels – they'll be necessary if you have a pool, or if your guests want to lay out in the sun
  • A few spare pairs of hats and sunnies could come in handy in case your guests forget their own
An outdoor room with appropriate lighting means architecture, backyard, daylighting, estate, facade, home, house, interior design, property, real estate, residential area, roof, window
An outdoor room with appropriate lighting means you can entertain all night

If you’re entertaining at night, lighting is another consideration. See our comprehensive guide to find out which outdoor lighting options suit you best. 

We'd also recommend bringing out candles to add some ambiance at night. Citronella candles are known to repel mosquitos – meaning they look great and are functional too.

About an hour or two before your guests start arriving, place any drinks in a chilly bin with plenty of ice. A nice cool drink will help make your guests' experience that much more enjoyable.

Are your guests staying the night? Be sure your guest room is ready to go.

Oct 16, 2018
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