In the past 18 months, we have all spent a lot of time at home. Whether bundled up inside on the sofa, or scheduling zoom meetings in our makeshift home office, our inside spaces have been the centre of our lives.
With limits on visitors at home, we have welcomed our colleagues and loved ones into our lives through the cameras on our computers. But – with national restrictions set to ease, and the weather warming up, a welcome change is about to be upon us.
Entertaining, and entertaining outside is a pastime beloved by Australians. Spring and Summer in Australia is synonymous with a sizzling barbecue, kids running around (and leaving sandy footprints), the rustle of the ice in the Esky, splashing in the pool, the pop of the ball as it bounces of a cricket bat and classic rock tunes in the air.
To be together, eating, drinking, laughing and catching up in the sun is a part of the Australian experience, and one which we are all wholeheartedly looking forward to this year.
We want to help you prepare for these warm weather gatherings – and make sure your outdoor living and dining spaces are ready for everything to come. Here are some ideas to help you get organised!
A space to eat.
First and foremost – entertaining outside means having a great outdoor dining setting where everyone can come together and share food. Your setup will be determined by how big your gatherings usually are, and help inform the outdoor furniture needed.
For large groups, a long and wide rectangular table is a great option. You will want to have room for a plate on each side, with platters and drinks running through the centre. Do you have a big group of family and friends, who come around often? It may be worth considering an outdoor extension table, easy assembly of a party table in seconds.
The Addis teak extension table is fantastic for hosting large groups. It features a ‘butterfly’ extension, where the panel used to extend the setting sits just underneath the table top. Simply pull away the ends of the table to reveal the extension panel, which glides smoothly into place and locks in.
Pair your entertaining table with a range of outdoor chairs and benches. Benches are great for kids, as many can cosy up and allow you to maximise seating at the table. When considering outdoor chairs – remember to accommodate for all ages and abilities. Elderly folk tend to like a chair with a high back, and lumbar support (having a lumbar cushion on hand is always a good idea!). Chairs with arms are best placed at the end of a table, whilst chairs down the side of a table are best with no arms – to maximise space.
For smaller groups, a round table is the perfect way to foster intimacy. Facing each other in a circle is a great way to connect, while all the food remains at the centre, and within easy reach.
The Tao outdoor table, designed by Monica Armani for Tribu, is a great option for a group between 4 and 8 people. The Tao is a pedestal table, which means the design features one central leg. This allows you to fit chairs all along the edges, without anyone having to straddle a table leg. This allows for flexibility in seating arrangements. A 160cm size can fit up to 8 diners, and the 180cm up to 10, depending of course on how wide your chair is!
A space to chat.
Full of food, your guests will be in need of a space to stretch out, lounge and continue the conversation. Having outdoor furniture that is highly flexible will allow engagement, comfort and a range of uses. Don’t forget – the focal point in a lounge settings for entertaining should be each other! Here are some key outdoor furniture pieces to consider.
A modular sofa
A modular sofa comes in units, or ‘modules.’ With generous proportions, you can stretch out for a snooze. When entertaining, you can also pull the modular units apart and position them to face each other, coffee and side tables dotted between them.
Our pick: Senja Sofa by Tribu.
Outdoor ottomans are perfect for putting your feet up, for ultimate relaxation. They also make great extra seating for guests that are easy to pull around, or a coffee table for a tray of snacks.
Our pick: Nomad outdoor ottoman by Tribu, firm enough for feet, a seat or to be used as a table.
Dot lounge chairs around the sofa and ottomans. Having comfortable, single chairs with good support will be great for people of all ages and abilities.
Our Pick: Elio Lounge chairs by Tribu. Lightweight and stylish.
Perfect for kids, outdoor bean bags can be easily picked up and carried around to where they are needed. Even better if they’d like to escape and make a kids area of their own! Built to withstand the elements, these outdoor bean bags can be left outside – so no need to fret if the are left in the rain.
Our pick: A classic XL beanbag by Coast. Made in New Zealand, and available in a range of beautiful colours.
Outdoor rugs can help to ‘zone’ a lounging area. Using outdoor rugs underfoot helps to delineate a lounging area from a dining one, ground it – and add a touch of luxury. It is an element that really brings a setting together, and is all too often forgotten.
Our pick: Loft rug by Tribu. A low profile means you’re not going to trip over it, and the PVC material make them incredibly hardy outdoor rugs.
A space to retreat.
Whether amongst the wildness of a kids birthday party, or after the guests have gone home – it’s nice to have a quiet spot to retreat.
For larger spaces, an outdoor daybed is a great way to do this. What’s better than a comfortable bed that you can enjoy outdoors? Make sure to pack with outdoor scatter cushions in a range of sized in your favourite colours.
Our pick: Mood Daybed by Tribu
For smaller spaces, a lounge chair will be your go-to for relaxation. Think about one with a high back, plenty of cushioning – and a side table for a drink.
Sitting in the sun for too long puts our skin at risk! When outside, utilise outdoor umbrellas to make sure your loved ones are protected from the sun. Durable and flexible umbrellas can allow you to extend your time in the elements, and be able to enjoy outdoor living at its finest.
There are two main styles to choose from, centre pole, side-pole umbrellas (sometimes referred to as ‘cantilever umbrellas’).
When choosing an outdoor umbrella, think about the space available in your home, where the sun falls throughout the day, and how much space you want to cover. Here the Antego umbrella by Jardinico allows the perfect shade, whilst not obstructing the view.
An amazing way to transition a party into the evening as the sun sets – outdoor lighting. Allow soft light from the lanterns to set the scene, and light the way as your party goes into the night.
Our pick: Monsieur Tricot lanterns by Tribu. They are beautiful, sculptural pieces to add to your garden, that throw elegant shadows and calming light.
When preparing your home for guests, and for a busy Spring/Summer season in the backyard – it all may need a little care! Hosing down cushions, wiping down tables, treating your teak outdoor furniture, checking for spiders…it’s always great to have it sorted before the big day.
If your Cosh furniture needs a little sprucing up, check out our Maintenance & Warranty page, and our Spring Cleaning blog post. Here you will find answers to all frequently asked questions. Don’t see what you need? Get in touch with our team here.
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