Styling

6 simple ways to style your outdoor area

Entertaining outdoors is somewhat of an art form in Australia. Once summer hits, we tend to spend most of our time at the beach, on a balcony or hanging out in our own backyard.As soon as the weather warms up there’s plenty of excuses for balmy late nights and lazy afternoon BBQs.

Why not spruce up your outdoor area and organise a little alfresco get together? Here are a few ideas we’ve come up with for stylish, comfortable and unique outdoor summer entertaining.

Fake a picnic

You don’t have to go to a park to have a picnic. You can do it in your own backyard! Grab a few picnic blankets, some cushions, fill a large bucket with ice to keep your drinks cold, pop up a few umbrellas in your very outdoor area and you’ve got a gorgeous, comfortable and private picnic spot. The best bit is that you’ve got a fridge and toilet just metres away. Luxury picnicking at its finest. This is a great idea for families as well because you can send the kids inside to watch DVDs while the adults relax in the picnic area.

Two women relaxing on lawn

Make an outdoor cinema

If you’re struggling for outdoor entertaining ideas when it’s your turn to host a Saturday night get together, why not create an outdoor cinema? Simply move your television, speakers and couch (pretty much everything in your living room!) to your outdoor area and have a movie marathon under the stars. This idea works for balconies, rooftops and courtyards too. Just remember to be courteous of your neighbours and keep the volume at a decent level. You don’t even need to cook – just order pizza and serve microwave popcorn.

Camp in your own backyard

As gorgeous as Australian summers can be, the soaring temperatures and UV rays can be brutal. If you’re hosting a larger party, perhaps you should consider hiring or buying an open air tent. It’s a stylish and practical way to keep cool and out of the sun when you’re entertaining. You don’t even need furniture. Just lay a few blankets on the grass with some cushions and have a relaxing boho, gypsy-style soiree!

Get fancy

Formal outdoor dining areaThere’s no need to go basic on your outdoor decor if you’re entertaining in your own backyard. Move your dining table and chairs outside and have an outdoor dinner party. Dress the table with cloth napkins, flowers, beautiful serving plates, candles and gorgeous platters of fresh food. Don’t let wedding tables have all the fun – take the time to set up a decadent outdoor area for your next gathering and your guests will never forget it.

Host a 1930s sports afternoon

Have all your guests wear sports whites and host an afternoon of quaint games. Set up a croquet pitch, an area for cricket and a spot for lawn bowls. Have tables set up for tea, Pimms, cake and scones and keep score on a blackboard. This is another great idea for family entertaining as there’s plenty of activities to keep the kids amused.

Pick a simple theme

You don’t need to spend a fortune to make your outdoor area look gorgeous for a casual summer get together. You could pick a colour scheme like pink and white or simply choose a broader decor theme like boho, nautical or beachside glam. Have a think about where you live, what your backyard area has to offer and how you can work around that to make your outdoor area comfortable and stylish for your guests.

Are you hosting anything special for Australia Day? What’s your decorating plan? Share your pics with us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using #AusLivesHere

Main photo: Kate Hunter

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