Summer calls for outdoor entertaining with a delectable menu, cold drinks and wonderful times spent with family and friends.  Here are our top tips to ensure your summer entertaining lasts well into those beautiful balmy nights as you create memories to cherish forever.

1.Provide shade for your guests

Consider how you will provide shade to your guests, particularly as the direction of the sun will change throughout the day.  There’s nothing worse than being out in the harsh sun for hours without any relief from the heat and UV.  There are many shade options for your outdoor space, but of course our top recommendation is an opening roof system.  The Eclipse Opening Roof allows you to take full advantage of the weather conditions by rotating the louvres at an angle that suits you.  The louvres can be positioned in such a way that allows ventilation and air flow as well as shade from the sun’s harmful rays.  Ziptrak exterior blinds are also a great option for shading your outdoor space and protecting your guests from UV, sun, wind and rain.  Ziptrak is the original and trusted guided blind system that glides smoothly and stops at any height.

2. Provide comfortable seating

Great outdoor furniture adds to the functionality and comfort of your outdoor area.  This is also where you can add some great style to your space.  Firstly, decide on the style of furniture you prefer – whether it be lounge or dining.  If you have the space, go for both.  That way, you have the functionality of dining at the table, then relaxing in comfort on the lounges with your guests.  Inject some colour with cushions and soft furnishings to give it a personal touch that makes your outdoor space comfortable and inviting for your guests.

3. Create ambience with good lighting

Lighting can often be overlooked when designing your outdoor area.  With an Eclipse Opening Roof, we can integrate dimmable LED downlights into the beams to create an ambient and warm atmosphere with a modern finish.  Hanging complementary string lights also adds to the warmth of your space, with soft and elegant indirect light.  Avoid harsh and intense cool lighting and go for warm white lighting options.  Good lighting will create a space that you’ll want to use all year round.

4. Meal prep before your guests arrive

The last thing you want to do when your guests start arriving, is be busy in the kitchen.  Plan a menu that you can make ahead and then simply assemble just before serving.  It’s a great idea to keep it simple and light.  And of course, opt for cooking on the barbecue rather than the indoor oven on those hot summer days.  Prep as much as possible before your guests arrive and choose recipes that are fresh, seasonal and easy!

5. Set up a drinks station

It’s quite the modern trend to allow your guests the option to serve their own drinks.  This is essential particularly on a scorching hot day when the drinks are constantly flowing.  Your guests have the freedom to choose their own drinks and refill whenever they want.  Be creative and invest in some ice buckets, which are handy especially if you don’t have extra fridge space.  Glass drink dispensers are very on trend and can be quite the party pleaser when filled with a delicious and refreshing fruity punch.  Although, it may be a good idea to use plastic glasses around the pool area.

6. Set up a separate kids table

Sometimes keeping kids entertained at a lunch or dinner party can be quite the challenge.  A good host makes their guests feel comfortable and that includes the kids too!  You can set up a separate kids table with personalised placemats that make them feel welcome and part of the party.  Include some simple games such as playing cards, colouring sheets/pencils to ensure they are busy and enjoying themselves.  This doesn’t need to be an expensive addition to your party.  Be creative with whatever materials you have at home and if you have kids of your own, get them involved.  If your party is going late into the evening, ensure you have popcorn and a good kids movie on hand when the kids start to wind down.

7. Create a summer essentials basket

Summer entertaining can often mean contending with the elements.  Consider the comfort of your guests and create a summer essentials basket of mosquito spray, hand wipes, sunscreen and even light blankets if the nights turns cool.  If you have a pool, you might also consider having some towels available to your guests so they don’t have to transport wet towels once it’s time to leave.  You can also consider lighting citronella candles or incense sticks to light when the sun starts to set.  Not only do these add to the ambience of your outdoor space, they help in keeping nasty bugs at bay.

Whether it’s a lunch or dinner party, pool party or evening soiree, entertaining doesn’t need to be stressful.  Talk to one of our Design Consultants to see how you can transform your outdoor space into a summer entertaining sanctuary with an Eclipse Opening Roof.

Call us today to arrange your FREE design consultation and quote.