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how to create an outdoor entertaining area.

An outdoor entertaining area decorated with a garden sofa, outdoor cushions and an abstract outdoor rug.

become the host with the most this outdoor living season.

Once summer rolls around and the sun starts shining, there’s nothing like inviting your loved ones over for an outdoor occasion. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master who loves bringing the barbecue out or a tea party enthusiast who appreciates an intimate setting - we all have ideas of the perfect garden gathering, and each one relies on a curated outdoor entertaining area.

But how do you go about setting the scene for garden hosting? Creating a space that provides the functionality you need while complementing your unique style can be tricky, but there’s nothing that some thoughtful planning and inspired design ideas can’t fix. From sprawling alfresco banquets to cosy coffee corners - here’s how to create the perfect atmosphere for every kind of outdoor party.

how to prepare for garden entertaining.

Like all great things, the ideal outdoor party requires careful planning and some simple prep-work in order to turn out successfully. Nothing beats the feeling of exceeding your guests’ expectations and having your gathering met with rave reviews - so it’s important to focus your efforts on setting the perfect scene.

1. start a spring clean.

Maybe your outdoor entertaining area has gone from fab to drab since the last hosting season, or maybe you’re looking to make your debut in the world of entertaining outdoors. Whatever your experience and however your outdoor space is looking now - the first step is always to declutter and clean.

Don the rubber gloves, trim back the greenery and start piling up any clutter or unwanted items. Make sure to separate out any recyclables, and consider donating items that have the potential to be reused or upcycled. Refresh your garden surfaces and furniture with cleaning products that are safe to use on the most common outdoor materials - stone, wood, plastics - and follow our simple guide to cleaning your outdoor cushions.

2. organise the area.

Once your outdoor area is spick, span and sparkling, it’s time for everyone’s favourite part - coming up with the layout for your dream outdoor living space. If you’ve got your heart set on a divine dining area, start measuring out where it might fit within your space. If you’d prefer a quiet outdoor oasis, start looking for cosy decor and lighting fixtures that will help to create some ambience.

Size isn’t everything when it comes to garden entertaining, and there are plenty of small garden patio ideas that will dazzle your guests even if you are short on space. Zoning your space into several unique areas allows you to make the most of every available inch, while ensuring that every type of garden guest has a space they feel comfortable in.

3. set the scene.

Last but certainly not least, you’ll need to choose furniture and outdoor accessories that transform your space into the perfect spot for garden entertaining. Make sure that any large fixtures line up with the measurements you’ve taken from your garden, and avoid overloading your space to the extent that it feels cramped or impractical.

Look for multifunctional outdoor furniture like ottomans with internal storage, as these allow you to express your personal style while saving valuable floor space. A selection of plush outdoor cushions and throws is essential for any garden gathering, while the addition of a statement outdoor rug will bring a sense of cohesion to your space.

6 ideas for the perfect outdoor entertaining area.

So, you’ve given your outdoor space a freshen up and thought about your dream hosting layout - but what to do next? Finding the perfect outdoor entertaining theme can be tricky, especially if you’re trying it out for the first time.

That’s why we’ve put together six of our finest outdoor hosting ideas, and accompanied each with a bespoke collection of stunning garden decor. Whether you’re looking to lounge about, dine in style or experiment with a boho picnic aesthetic - our comprehensive list is sure to have something to set your hosting heart alight.

1. dine in style.
An outdoor entertaining area with a garden dinner party style, featuring outdoor table linen with a lemon design. An outdoor entertaining area with a garden dinner party style, decorated with pink and orange outdoor table linen.
Lemon Indoor/Outdoor Placemats | Oranges Indoor/Outdoor Table Runner

Say goodbye to paper plates, tired tabletops and sacrificing comfort at mealtimes - our outdoor dining range is bringing luxury back to open-air eating. Characterised by bright summer hues, tantalising textures and an abundance of fresh fruit prints - this collection is all about elevating alfresco dining with decor that looks good enough to eat.

Swap out plain table surfaces for lush layers of outdoor table linen. Unroll a vibrant outdoor table runner for your serving dishes and centrepieces, and complement with a matching set of outdoor placemats to really get guests talking.

2. relax in an outdoor living room.
An outdoor entertaining area in a living room style, featuring a garden sofa, outdoor cushions, throws and an outdoor rug. An outdoor entertaining area in a living room style, featuring a garden sofa decorated with cocktail outdoor cushions.
Cockatoo Indoor/Outdoor Rug in Orange | Cosmo O'Clock Outdoor Cushion in Pink

Who said that the heart of the home was specifically reserved for indoors? Outdoor entertaining is all about getting creative and providing guests with an unforgettable experience, so why not lounge the night away in your very own outdoor living room?

Perfect for quiet morning coffees, fun family game nights and leisurely lunches that stretch into cosy evening cocktails - this collection revolves around bringing indoor comforts to your outdoor space. Think cosy sofas dressed with patterned outdoor cushions, and a toasty pile of throws to wrap up in once the sun sets.

3. plot your summer escape.
An outdoor entertaining area in a summer escape style, featuring a sun lounger, tropical outdoor cushions and an outdoor rug. An outdoor entertaining area in a summer holiday style, featuring bright outdoor cushions and a tropical outdoor rug.
Kadie Woven Outdoor Cushion in Orange | Marula 100% Recycled Outdoor Rug in Orange/Pink

What beats the breezy, sun-soaked vibe of a summertime getaway? Enjoying that blissful holiday atmosphere from the comfort of your outdoor entertaining area. The summer escape collection is a reclamation of everything we love about sunny retreats, from the vibrant hues of the Mediterranean to the pampering comfort of poolside lounging.

One of the biggest benefits of this look is that you don’t need acres of space to pull it off - some simple sun loungers layered with bright outdoor cushions and a statement outdoor rug is all you’ll need. Our garden cushions and rugs are resistant to stains, splashes and the sun’s UV rays, too - so the ups and downs of a British summer won’t pose a problem.

4. go boho with a picnic area.
An outdoor entertaining area in a garden picnic style, featuring floral outdoor cushions and a weather-resistant outdoor rug. An outdoor entertaining area in a garden picnic style, featuring a muslin throw blanket and dip-dye style cushions.
Daisies Reversible Outdoor Cushion in Pink | @gingerhearts

Few things symbolise the start of summer like laying down a blanket for the first time and indulging in some delicious treats. This summer, we’re celebrating everyone’s favourite sunny-day-staple with a curated collection of garden picnic decor. Expect  budding blooms, relaxed retro forms and a pretty palette of delicate pastel hues.

The laid-back boho feel of this collection is an ideal fit for casual outdoor gatherings, with weatherproof outdoor rugs providing the perfect picnic blanket for any number of guests. Factor in a toasty throw and some floral outdoor cushions, then complete your garden picnic fantasy with a string of whimsical fairy lights.

5. embrace country charm with a garden tea party.
A tea party style outdoor entertaining area, featuring a small bistro set and floral outdoor cushions. An outdoor entertaining area styled for a garden picnic, featuring a small bistro set decorated with striped outdoor table linen.
Canina Floral Outdoor Cushion in Green | Strawberry Stripes Outdoor Table Runner in Candy Cane

Whether you’re craving a blissful Sunday brunch or a spiffing spot of afternoon tea - bring a regal touch to your outdoor entertaining this summer with the garden tea party collection. Picture fresh pastries piled high on an outdoor coffee table, and the perfect balance of soft and bright hues for a collage of countryside charm.

A simple bistro set is all you’ll need for seating, with the addition of an outdoor table runner providing the perfect pastoral place setting. Pop a minimally-styled outdoor rug under your table to tie the look together, finishing with a rustic teapot and quaint china cups for that vintage tea party feel.

6. cosy up in a coffee corner.
A coffee morning scene prepared in an outdoor entertaining area, featuring neutral floral outdoor cushions and a throw blanket. An outdoor entertaining area styled for quiet coffee mornings, featuring floral outdoor cushions, table linen and a matching outdoor rug.
Palma Botanical Outdoor Cushion in Green | Minton Tiles Outdoor Cushion in Blue

Imagine waking to the gentle chirp of birdsong, sunlight peeking through your window and the aroma of fresh coffee filling the air - nothing nourishes the soul like a slow summer morning, and the coffee corner collection is all about bringing a sense of bliss to your outdoor entertaining area this summer.

A small sofa will work best to create comfort for this look, but compact garden chairs padded with some soft outdoor cushions will do the trick just as well. Use a wooden coffee table to keep things feeling grounded and organic, layered with softly-hued outdoor table linen for a subtle finishing touch.

start styling your outdoor entertaining area today.

The main thing to remember is that garden entertaining can be as simple or sophisticated as you want it to be, and you shouldn’t feel limited by the size of your outdoor living space. Whether you’re ready to get your garden dinner party in full swing or prefer the sound of a casual coffee morning - we hope you’re feeling inspired to create the perfect outdoor entertaining area.    

Explore the full outdoor living range to find stunning accessories for your garden hosting project, and don’t forget to check out our huge selection of outdoor guides and design tips.

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