With COVID-19 cases falling and vaccination rates rising, hosting and dining at home is back on the agenda right on time for summer. It’s finally time for backyard barbecues, pool parties and nights under the stars with friends and family.
“As we are again entertaining friends and family in our homes, the casual dinner party will be making a comeback this summer,” says Lynn Schrage, manager of Kohler Design Services.
One of the best ways to prepare your home for a summer soiree is with a few new products designed for entertainment. Whether you are looking to save money or save, the following items are sure to add value to your outdoor decoration.
Your summer get-togethers are sure to be on everyone’s lips, which means you better have enough seating at gatherings.
Barb Fuller, vice president of marketing at the furniture company Items, says the company has seen an increase in people looking to bring more natural, organic materials like teak and rattan into their homes.
For a splurge, consider those Horatio chair ($ 2,860, Arteriors) that adds texture and personality to any room that needs a statement piece. Another option, this rattan bench ($ 1,560, Arteriors), is a durable piece that offers plenty of seating.
“It’s easy to choose furniture that goes with the overall aesthetic of the design, but don’t forget to have fun with different finishes, materials, and colors,” says Fuller.
Cuff day bed
If 2020 has opened your eyes to the joys of outdoor living, upgrade your outdoor furniture game with a chaise longue or lounge chair set.
Each of the 12 pieces in the cuff collection from the luxury outdoor furniture brand Danao, are worth the investment, but we especially love the daybed (danaoliving.com).
“We are finding more and more homeowners who are not only looking for beautifully designed but also comfortable furniture,” says Ann Vering, designer for the Cuff collection. “The intricate weaving rope elements add visual interest … while the thick pillows provide support and comfort for hours of relaxing outdoors with friends and family.”
(House at the end of the river)
No outdoor entertainment would be complete without a gazebo or pergola to provide shade from the sun.
“Putting a gazebo in your yard or patio is a great way to create an outdoor living or dining room,” said Mark Feldman, chief home officer and general manager, Riverbend Home. Some of these structures don’t even require the cost of construction.
Consider a pergola ($ 759, riverbendhome.com) for a sophisticated look or a gazebo ($ 824, riverbendhome.com) that includes a mesh that allows airflow but keeps the bugs out.
Open air entertainment center
There’s nothing like gathering around the TV with friends to watch the big game, but what if you can enjoy that luxury in the fresh air of your yard? A weatherproof television could be just the right gadget for you.
“This trend has been around for some time and continues to grow. Fortunately, many of us have WiFi that allows us to stream movies and TV shows or sporting events from the comfort of our outdoor spaces, ”says Feldman.
Consider this 55-inch outdoor smart TV ($ 3,499, samsung.com) or this w thisconsumed LG Outdoor TV ($ 1,949, riverbendhome.com).
Are you looking for a pavilion with less sticker pile and that does not require professional help with setting up? This 8 foot by 8 foot gazebo ($ 332, homedepot.com) should do the job. It also comes with a mosquito net for the evenings when citronella candles just won’t cut it.
Illuminate the summer
Create a mood in your garden with lighting.
“Fairy lights are a great way to breathe life into a room that normally loses its light in the evening,” says Feldman. “There are a handful of affordable options depending on what type of light you like.”
Consider these bistro-style fairy lights ($ 20, riverbendhome.com) that feature energy-efficient lightbulbs. These are designed for permanent installation and year-round outdoor use.
Alternatively, you can purchase these waterproof globe lights ($ 15.99, Amazon), which come in 25-foot, 50-foot, or 100-foot lengths.
Not ready to commit to a home bar? You can still have a mobile cart that you can go anywhere the party is going on.
“Avoid dozens of trips in and out of your home by using a bar cart,” says Feldman. These trolleys make entertainment easy by giving you enough counter space to roll out all of the servingware you need.
Consider this version with racks for wine bottles and glasses ($ 200, riverbendhome.com) or hostess the most with this industrial-style storage cart ($ 99, potterybarn.com).
Lift up the plate
“Paper plates gone! Enhance your food presentation with chic tableware, ”says Feldman.
Let your guests eat in style with colorful melamine plastic dishes.
The 12-part Mediterranean theme Lucca collection ($ 80, riverbend.com) is durable, fire and heat resistant, and virtually unbreakable.
We also have a penchant for these summery salad plates decorated with oranges ($ 3 per plate, target.com.)