People dining in the backyard in summer

Top 5 Summer Essentials and Home Entertaining Tips

Summertime in Australia is the most wonderful time of the year to host friends and family at your home.

Because of the usually very warm weather, you can take full advantage of your outdoor areas when hosting laid-back Christmas gatherings and New Year catch ups.

So, now is the time to start thinking about your backyard space. Whether you're wanting to build a tranquil haven in your big backyard or design an ideal entertainment area on your apartment balcony, we've got the products and tips to help you make it happen.

Keep reading for a breakdown of the top 5 summer items and accessories you'll need for entertaining visitors and more...

Summer Essentials 1: An Outdoor Cooking Area

The Aussie BBQ is more than simply a meal; it's a cultural institution! It goes without saying then, that barbecues are a popular pastime in summer, and many consider it the most vital backyard item for a host.

People redesigning or building new homes now ensure the inclusion of an outdoor area to entertain visitors while cooking. A cooking or food prep area will bring the indoors outside and create a convivial environment for people to eat, drink, mingle and be merry.

Not everyone has the room or the budget to install a second kitchen of sorts. However, outdoor kitchens come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, so you should be able to find one that works for you. You can also add in a few sturdy and sustainably made outdoor side tables and coffee tables for a place to put your plated up bits and bobs before serving.

Summer Essentials 2: An Outdoor Dining Area

Dining alfresco creates the perfect, celebratory atmosphere we all want for our special occasions, and there’s nothing quite like enjoying a meal while soaking in the summer sun. Alternatively, being covered up in throws and blankets with a bottle of wine and a plate of nibbles under the stars on a cool evening is equally wonderful.

Taking food from the dining room to the patio doesn't mean you should reduce your aesthetic values. Just like in the heart of the home, the dining room table is where family and friends congregate to break bread and share stories.

Decorate and choose your outdoor dining table set and furnishings with the same care and attention you would give to any space within your home. Select a table to fit your space and dress it up however you wish to make to as inviting and practical as possible.

Make sure there is space to accomodate as many people as you might have around at one time, that you can move seats in and out and that everyone can socialise and walk around the area with ease. 

Outdoor dining table and chairs set

Photo by Ben Guy for NICreative Architectural B.D.

Summer Essentials 3: A Chill Area

When you're feeling overwhelmed, have you heard the adage "get back to your natural roots"? There are many immediate positive effects on health to sitting outside and enjoying nature.

So, why not design and designate yourself a comfortable 'chill out' zone? Single seater sofas and hanging egg chairs are great options to add comfort and style for a big chill-out or group get-together, and you can simply soften them up if needed with some cosy cushions

Also, if you've got a few well placed, sturdy trees around, string up an outdoor hammock for the ultimate holiday at home experience. 

Summer Essentials 4: Lighting

If you are planning on throwing a gathering in the evenings, you'll definitely need a beautifully illuminated backyard to keep the party going after the sun goes down. Some examples are:

  • Paths with LED light strips will ensure a stylish and safe gathering, especially if you have guests or youngsters over in the summer
  • String lights (aka fairy lights) will add a bit of glitz and glamour to every occasion when draped over trees or banisters
  • Tiki torches will create a natural, beachy vibe and can be put around your property's perimeter (with citronella oil varieties giving the added bonus of keeping mosquitoes away)
  • Decorative lanterns will help to create an ambience that will match any occasion

The right lighting can complement and/or enhance any design style scheme. It can suit a home with a casual decor when in everyday use, or can be arranged more obviously and deliberately if hosting a formal function.

There are so many possibilities available for creating a inviting environment with lighting. Whether you're using your outdoor space for a party, lounging with friends, or just enjoying yourself on your own, lighting it properly will pay off in the long run.

Summer Essentials 5: Plants

We can probably all agree that a garden or yard isn't truly a garden unless it has some sort of plant life. Plants not only beautify a space, but they also filter the air we breathe and help us relax.

An intriguing and exciting garden is a wonderful addition to any backyard. One of the best things about gardens is that they may be as simple or as complex as their owners like.

If you have a big garden, you can design a private oasis full of isolated walkways, cosy nooks and exotic flora. However, if you're really pressed for garden space and the time to attend to it, you can always install a few screens for seclusion.

Think about which plants might flourish in your garden too. If you're short on room, use miniature planters to display on a tabletop or mount on a wall, or you can group several plants together in one large container for maximum impact.

Before you go out buying plants, think about how much effort you want to spend caring for them – as you'll want to spend most of your time enjoying them instead. 

Be Our Guest!

It can be daunting to host guests at home, but making a space feel warm and inviting for friends and family doesn't have to be as hard as it sounds. You can make it much easier and more enjoyable in advance with just a few summer essentials.

Do you have plans to introduce a reinvigorated summer style in to your outdoor entertainment area these holidays? You'll need to pick up a few items to make it work first. Don't hesitate to browse the rest of our website or contact us with any enquires.