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HOW TO ELEVATE YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE WITH RACHEL MORGANS
It’s official, barbecue weather has begun and with it your external dining room awaits. Discover a feast of outdoor entertainment tips from Living Buying Director, Rachel Morgans, sure to get you in the mood for hosting once again. From Scandi-chic designs to handy heaters and grillers, you are sure to find the perfect addition to your outdoor space right here…
I’m excited by textural contrasts like homespun style ceramics mixed with glass.Rachel Morgans, Living Buying Director.
AL FRESCO DINING PICKS
Recreating your favourite al fresco restaurant experiences at home is easier than you may think, whether it’s a romantic mid-week meal for two or a Saturday night garden get-together. Consider a minimalist curation of light-flooded tinted glass and a mix of angular and curving tableware for a dynamic impact on your outdoor tabletop.
RACHEL’S TABLE TOP CURATION TIPS
· Opt for unusual lighting – I use decanters as candle holders as they have great architectural shapes and I love the patterns in the cut glass.
· Keep your centrepiece low and simple – I always used to make really elaborate floral arrangements but then when everyone sat down you couldn’t see each other.
· Layer your plate settings – Mix patterns for more drama or keep plain for more of a Scandi vibe. Table mats give a great base and definition to a setting and napkins give texture.
· Be creative with your cutlery – arrange artfully on the napkin or tie on name tags to double up as place settings. I often use picked leaves from the garden and write on them or old fashioned clothes pegs attached to the napkin with a sprig of rosemary.
· Get crafty – Use craft paper as a tablecloth so the kids (and grown-up kids) can draw on it. Added bonus is that it makes clean-up all the easier.
DESIGN FOCUSED ADDITIONS
Take a dip with seafoam inspired accessories, a peaceful palette to please all and easily contrasted with pops of tropical hues for an eye-catching update for a summer gathering. Mod cons are a must for proper outdoor entertaining so choose a wireless speaker that adds not detracts from your aesthetic such as the Citation One Speaker from Harman Kardon.
I’m loving the shift towards natural materials and colours that blend with the outdoors, gorgeous greens from olive to seafoam or blues with azure to navy.Rachel Morgans, Living Buying Director.
RACHEL’S HELPFUL HINTS FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING DINING
· Make the most of the added area – Extra space at the table gives the opportunity to have a more interesting table setting.
· Lighten things up – Set up a firepit for people to gather around so there’s a central location but your guests can stay at a distance.
· DIY fun with masks – choose a theme to create laughter in these difficult times.
· Keep cosy at a distance – lay out throws and comfortable seating that are already set for guests at a social distance.
· Requests for the DJ – ask guests for their favourite tunes beforehand to include on your playlist to minimise screen contact. My go-to musicians to liven things up are David Bowie, LCD Soundsystem, and the Tom Tom Club.
· Set up sanitisers – have these dotted around the house and garden and make sure your bathroom is stocked with paper towels that can be thrown away after each use.
OUTDOOR LIVING MUST-HAVES
Summer barbecues are what family memories are made of, so it’s time to get your outdoor space in order. Nordic design sits alongside fluted Art Deco minimalism in this effortless and welcoming look. Stick to neutral tones of white and sand to create a calm environment with notes of natural materials from cork to glass.
RACHEL’S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE
· Make a mini festival – set up a sheet and projector and watch Glastonbury re-runs.
· Dine outdoors – I love mezze, with its array of amazing flavours that are great for guests. Easy to prepare in advance, giving you more time to have fun.
· When the sun goes down – let lanterns and scented candles light the way.
· Pre-planned play – have a few game ideas up your sleeve to keep everyone entertained.
· Be all weather ready – in case the forecast lets you down think about an outdoor heater and shelter from rain and sun.
OUTDOOR LIVING ESSENTIALS
Planning a barbecue or al fresco dinner party? Then look no further than our edit for these and more great outdoor living ideas.
ALL YOU NEED FOR OUTDOOR LIVING
SOHO HOME Barwell Cut Crystal Decanter Large
HARMAN KARDON Citation One Speaker
SONOS One SL Speaker
LES-OTTOMANS HOME DESIGN Silk Velvet Cushion
FOXFORD Bone Herringbone Throw Large
HEATSTRIP Portable LPG Heater
DIPTYQUE Baies indoor/outdoor scented candle 1500g
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