Create an entertaining space outdoors
We’re finally seeing signs of Spring, and with the Easter holidays about to begin our thoughts are turning to entertaining and the outdoors.
There’s nothing lovelier than to combine the two by hosting friends and family for long lunches and relaxed drinks in our gardens, making the most of the fresh air and gradually lighter evenings. Even the smallest courtyard garden or pokey patio can provide a tranquil oasis from which to enjoy a little sun, not to mention the benefits of being surrounded by greenery and birdsong.
With the right furniture and accessories, it’s possible to recreate the comforts of an interior dining room on your patio, to give the the benefit of both the outdoors and indoors whilst entertaining. We’ve put together a collection to inspire your own garden dining room, and to help you create the perfect entertaining space outdoors.
Invest in outstanding furniture
When it comes to outdoor furniture, teak is unparalleled for its natural durability, versatility and beauty. Thanks to its high natural oil content and tight grain, teak is able to withstand all weather conditions, including exposure to heavy rain and strong sunlight. It is also highly resistant to rotting and acid damage, and its oil is even known to repel insects and moisture.
Teak outdoor furniture requires little maintenance even if left uncovered, and will weather naturally to transform from its golden brown tones to a beautiful silvery grey. Should you prefer to retain its warm brown tones though, it can be covered or brought inside, or given a light sand and polish to bring back its natural glow.
The teak we use in our furniture is sourced from traditional houses in Indonesia that are being demolished to make way for more modern homes, making it a wonderfully sustainable material too.
This luxuriously long outdoor dining table boasts a thick extended top over two cross based pedestals, and is available in two alternative depths, making it perfect for a lavish dinner party. Choose from a natural or lightened reclaimed teak wood finish, which deserves to be left uncovered by a table cloth and simply filled with dishes of food and plenty of drinks.
If your space doesn’t stretch to a longer table, this circular dining table works beautifully for more intimate gatherings. The round top sits over the same, sturdy crossing 'R' base as the longer table, that not only adds a nice decorative element but allows everyone plenty of leg room.
Whilst this bench, with its natural weathered finish will look great all year round as an outdoor garden seat, it will also marry perfectly with a long table. In fact, a bench on each long side of the long teak dining table will allow for sociable dining, with room for two or three guests to share. The bench frame is crafted from solid sustainable teak, with beautifully turned legs and a woven rattan seat, which ‘gives’ for serious comfort.
These stools are perfect to add flexible seating around your table, as well as occasional seating outdoors or in. Each one has a unique quality, with little differences to the legs and cross bars. All of the stools feature a smooth and chunky round seat though, which is both comfortable and tactile.
245.00Add some colour and a different texture with a feature seat like this ceramic stool, which should be brought indoors in the winter but doubles beautifully as a plant stand. The teal glaze is striking and will offset against the teak furniture to enhance the appearance of both.
Bring warmth and soften
We can’t always rely on the weather to favour our outdoor entertaining, so it’s important to provide some creature comforts for your guests.
A fire bowl is a great way to provide warmth and light in your outdoor space, and creates a sense of occasion and theatre too.This rustic fire bowl is perfect for alongside a dining space since it’s raised by its iron stand, and the grill can be used to cook on. Indeed, our kadai would traditionally have been used as a cooking bowl.
Soft furnishings are perhaps the most effective way to create the feeling of an indoor dining room in an outdoor space, and a rug really helps to denote an entertaining area. Our neutral Grayson rug in soft taupe is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use due to its durability, and is hand woven in India. It’s available in various sizes but the largest is 2m wide by 2.9m long, making is the perfect size to accompany our long teak table. One could even layer rugs to really soften a space, and add oversized cushions for relaxed seating.
You can also add texture and cosy up your seating with throws like our tactile Kosumu Peak throw in a sumptuous cotton weave. Layering up throws and cushions will give the illusions of an indoor space whilst providing warmth as the evening draws in.
Create height and add natural touches
To really give the illusion of a room brought outdoors, don’t neglect the vertical space around you. By adding features to walls and fences or hanging planters at varying heights you’ll create a dynamic and interesting space that your guests will feel enveloped by.
The Abari wall hung planter is a creative wall feature which allows you to plant an elevated, miniature garden, at the perfect height to catch the eye and to give the impression of a complete room.The base and individual pots alike have a rustic, aged zinc finish, which is perfectly offset by foliage.
Add the illusion of a ceiling by hanging planters at varying heights from wall brackets or even an arbor.Trailing foliage will add a sumptuous finish to your dining space alongside the dark tones and characterful patina of our Endo hanging planters, which feature a leather hanging cord.
We love the Endo reclaimed iron planter stands. These matching reclaimed iron planter stands are also perfect to play with different heights and add touches of green to your space. They comprise of a distressed iron bowl sat on an aged iron stand, so they’ll be visible whilst seated at the dining table too.
Finish with lighting
Perfecting the lighting is as important to a social occasion as the food and drink. Lighting sets the scene and provides atmosphere and ambience, so once the sun begins to set be sure to have the candles ready.
You’ll want to ensure just enough light on your table to ensure everyone can enjoy their meal, whilst creating a warm and subtle glow.There’s nothing more flattering than candlelight, and this Keeto candle set makes a perfect centrepiece, combining three curved glass cups set within an iron frame. For a decadent effect on a long table, line up three sets end to end.
These elegant Jio Nkuku lanterns echo the Keeto centrepiece, with bulb shaped glass bowls mounted on an iron base that can be pushed into the ground for stability. Use these to light up a pathway or add to planters around your dining area to create enchanting vignettes of light.
The beautiful Kaso hurricane lanterns are made in India, and finished in a timeless, antique brass.They’re decorative in their own right and would work beautifully between collections of over-sized plant pots.Their classic arch design has space enough for large church pillar candles, so that you can build areas of flickering ambient light where you need it.
Starting with a foundation of well considered and high quality furniture, your outdoor room will take shape naturally, and provide a comfortable space to entertain from. By building up various textures of teak, ceramic, iron and cotton, you’ll create a dynamic and welcoming atmosphere for your guests, who’ll want to stay amongst the flickering candlelight long after dark.