Since the 1860s the British Monarch has been hosting garden parties at Buckingham Palace. Known as ‘breakfasts’, these events were held in the afternoon, and boasted the finest in tea, cakes, and perfect manicured gardens. Guests would don their finest for the twice yearly occasion while strolling the garden, schmoozing the company, and savouring the palace’s exquisite board of fare. Becoming a regular tradition, these events soon became exceptionally popular and were increased to a thrice yearly occasion, inviting individuals from all walks of life in recognition of public service to the empire. Given the garden party’s rather royal history, it is no wonder that these days outdoor entertaining is seen as an experience and a privilege.
When it comes to at-home entertaining, there are few places more exciting to host your shindig or soiree than a stylish and sophisticated outdoor space. The beauty with outdoor entertaining is its versatility. You can cater to many different events, and transform your space with the use of furniture, décor, and other stylish accoutrements. The options are virtually endless with a well-maintained garden; sit down dinners, cocktail parties, formal gatherings, and casual get-togethers are all easier to achieve than you may think.
Whether you are designing a compact space for a select few individuals, a casual relaxation space, or a full-blown garden party destination, take a look at our examples below for some handy hints and outdoor decorating inspiration.
First things first you will want to consider your seating. The number of seats you add to the space will undoubtedly reflect two things; the size of your space, and the volume of people you intend to entertain. The size of your garden or outdoor space will determine how many seats you will need, and this in turn will give a good indication of the number of people you will be able to invite to your event.
Generally, seating comes purchased as a patio or outdoor setting along with a matching table. This is a good way to buy furniture, as it is usually less expensive than buying pieces individually. There are drawbacks however, you may decide that you want extra seats, and they might not be available separately. When hosting individuals for a casual get-together, it may not be necessary that everyone sits at the table.
If you purchase a patio set, consider adding additionally chairs that can be stored away in a basement or attic, and brought out when you have company; stackable chairs are ideal for this purpose. Moreover, given the volume of rain and inclement weather in Singapore, you will want to ensure you choose a good weather resistant material that will stand being outdoors for long periods of time; aluminium is a great option for this as it is rust-free and exceptionally lightweight.
Garden parties need tables as they provide a place for cakes, snacks, and other edibles. When you are creating a stylish and functional garden or outdoor space, you will almost always require a table or some sort. Tables allow individuals to congregate, gather, and are also a necessity if you are planning a sit down dinner.
Purchasing a table for an outdoor space is very much like purchasing chairs. You want functionality, practicality, and versatility. Additionally, weather-resistance is a must, and having something lightweight will help if you choose to move your items around and change its position.
Extendable tables are a great invention as they allow for many different dining scenarios and can help if you host get-togethers of varying sizes. One further table addition you may want to consider is a whole in the centre for a parasol or umbrella. Umbrellas can be purchased with waterproof fabric, stop excessive sunlight, and help tie the dining setting together.
A barbecue is a fabulous addition to any outdoor space, and can completely transform your garden from mediocre to magnificent. There are numerous styles and designs on the market, and the barbecue you choose will be directly related to the style and size of your garden. If you are lucky enough to have access to a large open space you might consider a wood burner that can produce a range of authentic pizzas, perfect for large groups of people. If you only have a balcony, you might choose something similar to the example above, which makes the most of the compact space, but can be perfect for putting together some last minute snacks for your guests.
A barbecue if undeniably a gathering point for guests, whether it is the smell of food roasting away on its burners, or simply the warm glow of the charcoals, barbecues tend to effortlessly lure individuals. Because of this, you will want to ensure you have appropriate seating near your barbecue. This will allow guests to chat to the chef, while still socialising with the other occupants. As an added benefit this will help with easy preparation and convenience when cooking and serving food.
An essential element of a garden is the plant life that is contained within it. It seems obvious, but including plenty of vegetation and foliage in your garden is the best way to ensure it feels like a stylishly lush space.
There are many different ways you may choose to include greenery, such as with planters, pots, a green wall, or collections of lush blooms and flowers. To enhance your garden entertaining space, be sure to place the plants around the seating and edge of your space, which will evoke a feeling of elegance and natural ambience.
Now that we have chatted about the main items you will want to include within your garden, it is important to discuss décor. The décor and design of your garden will be highly subjective, and open to many different styles based on taste and preference. Anything from rocks, stones, statues, water features, and art can be added to a garden space, imparting elegance, playfulness, or any desired attribute.
You may want to emulate a style you have seen in a magazine or here on homify, or you may have something completely different in mind. If you are a confident home decorator, your garden’s design will be limited only by your imagination, but if you need a little help, chatting to a professional is the best way to obtain exactly what you want.
Last but certainly not least, we have the outdoor bar. For some this will be one of the most important additions they will include in their garden, for others it may be simply a handy and helpful accessory. Having a bar close by will help with the preparation and serving of drinks, and is excellent if you hire professional help during your event.
Bars come in many shapes and sizes, with one popular style being the trolley bar. Trolleys are excellent as they can be brought inside, stored away, and repurposed when not in use. You may want to utilise your bar as a dining room console when not in use, and bring it outside when needed. On the other hand, you might want to consider a built-in exterior bar setup with a seats surrounding it. This allows your guests to gather and watch their drink being prepared, and also acts as additionally seating and a socialising space.
We hope this inspired you to revamp or create your new entertainment-ready garden space. If you would like to see some more inspirational ideas and tips, check out our other Ideabook: How to create for yourself an inspiring urban garden