Outside Entertaining

Give your garden a sense of purpose and flow with luxury furniture pieces that blur the boundaries of inside and out.

The summer garden can reach its full potential with the addition of furniture pieces and fixtures positively designed for lazy lunches, blissful day snoozing and fun-filled sunset soirées. But for that we need to zone. With considered placement, we can turn previously unused corners of our garden into outdoor lounge areas, dining rooms, or even spa-like sanctuaries, maximising on every square foot available, and making our outside space multifunctional.

Caesarstone’s 540 Monumental Caesarstone’s 540 Monumental is the perfect choice for durable yet beautiful outdoor worktops (caesarstone.co.uk)

Al fresco entertaining is set to be as popular as ever this summer with the addition of beautifully designed dining tables and chairs that give their indoor counterparts a run for their money. Awarding our patio space a structural focal point, as well as a practical solution for larger dinner parties in the warmer months, an expansive outdoor table is always an inviting prospect. Dining tables crafted from an oiled hardwood such as teak work well outside and will forgive the odd, unexpected shower. Choose dining chairs or benches with showerproof cushioning, and make sure you invest in a decent mould-proof cover if you don’t have enough storage space to bring your furniture indoors.

Contemporary teak outdoor dining setContemporary teak outdoor dining set, £26,790 (juliettes interiors.co.uk)

You can elevate your patio space – in more ways than one – with the addition of a high-seating bar table that brings a sophisticated feel to evenings spent outdoors. These playful pieces are designed to give you that going out experience in the back garden and can be found at the likes of The Conran Shop, Atkin and Thyme, and Maze Living. Choose matching bar stools or high-seating benches with adequate footrests so that you and your guests can comfortably settle in for the evening. And forget the melamine plates and plastic wine glasses, there’s no reason not to bring your finest tableware outdoors, especially when it comes to celebratory dinners.

For a less formal patio set-up, go low with outdoor settees, armchairs, or even a sprawling L-shaped sofa that wraps around a coffee table to bring you the perfect entertaining- focused hub. Ideal for a causal al fresco lunch, or an impromptu evening catch-up with friends over a bottle of wine, this is a versatile addition that essentially brings the living room outdoors. Brands like Juliettes Interiors and Andrew Martin offer beautifully designed pieces that play with the notion of indoor/outdoor space, all the while being conscious of any wear and tear from the elements. You’ll find innovative, high-tech fabrics and carefully considered wood, rattan or metal finishes on these outdoor pieces designed for luxury lounging.

Luxury teak garden sofa and chair set, from £3,822 (juliettesinteriors.co.uk)

Luxury teak garden sofa and chair set, from £3,822 (juliettesinteriors.co.uk)

The outdoor kitchen is ever popular with homeowners who live for entertaining in the garden come summertime. A far cry from the humble barbecue or DIY pizza oven, these large-scale installations include everything al fresco chefs could possibly need at their disposal – including the kitchen sink. This, of course, ensures you stay in the heart of the action while you’re cooking up a summer party feast for your guests. For a truly bespoke outdoor kitchen project, a skilled landscape designer or architect can bring your ideas to life, but if you’re after something a little more off the peg, interiors brands such as Barker and Stonehouse offer modular kitchen cabinetry, complete with ceramic worktops made specifically for outdoor use.

Mayfair rattan modular sofa set R, £4,499 (bridgman.co.uk)

Mayfair rattan modular sofa set R, £4,499 (bridgman.co.uk)

While most garden furniture focuses on food and entertaining, we mustn’t forget that vital element, which is simply relaxation. You can create an outdoor oasis with luxurious loungers, day beds, and hanging egg chairs, whether you set up on the patio – or poolside if you’re lucky enough to have one. Brands like Bridgman and Neptune offer luxury long-seaters that promise instant calm, while high-end hanging chairs, designed for curling up and swinging gently in the summer breeze can be found at Cox & Cox and The Cotswold Company – or if you’re a stickler for a design classic, Skandium for the original mid-century egg chair by Sika Design. Slap on the Factor 50 and soak up the sun.

Dining tables and chairs: The Conran Shop (conranshop. co.uk); Atkin and Thyme (atkinandthyme.co.uk); Maze Living (mazeliving.co.uk). Outdoor lounge sets: Juliettes Interiors (juliettesinteriors.co.uk); Andrew Martin (andrewmartin.co.uk). Outdoor kitchens: Barker and Stonehouse (barkerandstonehouse.co.uk). Sun loungers: Bridgman (bridgman.co.uk); Neptune (neptune.com). Egg chairs: Cox & Cox (coxandcox.co.uk); The Cotswold Company (cotswoldco.com); Skandium (skandium.com).