Outdoor entertaining is a given in Australia. We have long hot summers, balmy evenings and we love eating under the stars. No Aussie home is complete without a considered outdoor area, even if it consists of a DIY brick BBQ and some rolled out fake lawn (didn't want to set the standards too high... I like to be inclusive!)
So... you've just realised that, in a trifle induced coma, you invited friends over for a New Years BBQ [replace with preferred celebration type] and your patio looks more like a place where wicker goes to die and less like the vibrant and inviting oasis you once imagined.
No fear! With a little elbow grease and smart shopping, you'll be able to create an inviting outdoor space in a jiffy!
1) Clear out! Move everything in your patio space out of the way and garden vac the lot!
2) Clean any windows and high pressure clean the floor to clear up last weekend's red wine stains (pfft! as if you spilled wine there!)
3) Roll up your sleeves and dust or scrub down your existing furniture frames and covers. Oiling or staining can really reinvent aged wooden furniture and spray paint is also a good option for sprucing up occasional pieces that you like but can't afford to replace.
4) Don't forget outdoor lighting. Consider fairy lights, strung paper lanterns on wire or simple candle light in groups of floor lanterns, preferably with mozzie zapping qualities, for twinkle and a festive atmosphere.
Now for the fun part....
Take a moment to make a plan. Think about what you hope to do in the space and consider the amount of floor space, access and number of chairs you're likely to need.
5) Decide on your colour theme and go for it! Firstly, define the entertaining space with a polyproplene outdoor rug. There are heaps around at the moment and many come with gorgeous geometric prints.
The key to mixing patterns is to match colours across accessories. Here the main colour is the yellow rug which is picked up a few times in the accessories. The blues and red of the ottomans is echoed in the cushions as well. Balance pattern and colour with texture, introduced here with rope ottomans, basketry and the modern wooden furniture.
Don't underestimate the colour and texture that foliage can bring to the setting. Potted plants and small trees are fantastic because they can easily be moved or removed to allow for more space or to enclose the patio for a more intimate setting. Baskets, concrete pots and painted bags all add visual interest and hide ugly plastic pots.
Comfort is one of the things that will make your guests want to stay (colour choice is another, but that's a whole other post!). Select soft scatter cushions to balance firm seating. Go bold and select from the collection of vibrant Moteef outdoor cushions that are designed to complement each other and are well featured for outdoor use. Use ottomans as extra seating or foot stools and make it easy for your guests to reach drinks and food with low tables and mobile beverage tubs.
Play around with the placement of things until they feel right. Put items at varying heights to create interest and perspective.
This approach can be used to spruce up any space in a short time and it really can be done economically with some planning. Now, hop to it... they'll be here at 5pm!!
>> What are your favourite outdoor party must-haves?
Go bold. Be real. Stay curious.