Al fresco season feels upon us, or almost, which means it may too be time to update your outdoor entertaining areas. Whether that’s a patio, deck or poolside space – here’s Metropol’s pick for items to consider.
Outdoor seating is essential if you plan to while away the days and evenings in your outdoor sanctuary. From elegant outdoor lounge sets, to dining arrangements or comfy and casual bean bags – furnish your exterior entertaining with weatherproof, long lasting materials.
In the shade
A sun umbrella can transform your space from a sauna to a shady haven, while adding a stylish silhouette – and of course protection from UV rays. Choose long lasting fabrics and strong frames and bases which can withstand those nor’westers.
An outdoor table is an obvious place to congregate to enjoy meals, beverages and each other’s company. Choose a modern square shape or more traditional round in timber, concrete, glass or resin. Pair with casual bench seats or more formal individual chairs.
What are our spaces, if not for having fun? Spice up your exterior area with some outdoor games like giant connect four, Jenga, pétanque or Scandinavian favourite, Kubb. Start a scoreboard and let the games – and competition – begin.
So, you’ve bought a beautiful new coffee table. Now, how to adorn this focal point to suit your home? Metropol compiles some tips to help.
ALL ABOUT BALANCE
Too many knickknacks look cluttered, but too many large items looks heavy. The solution? Balance the small with the large.
THE HIGH AND THE LOW
Likewise, mix up your height scale. Variation gets attention, whereas equal levels can go unnoticed.
SWAP WITH THE SEASONS
Mix up key components to suit what’s happening outside. Spring? Consider some fresh blooms. Winter? Time to light a comforting candle.
Consider aligning objects in an even grid, or adversely, choose an asymmetrical grouping of three to balance your coffee table books, candlesticks, or ornaments.
When it comes to the big day, or any big ‘do’ in that case, do you plan a grazing table or a sit down meal? We check out the pros and cons of each.
Grazing tables are undoubtedly eye-catching edible works-of-art. Here are a few tips to consider to prevent a potential disaster.
- The first question is, can you really cater to an entire all-day wedding with just a grazing table? The answer is yes, but you must do so with a lot of planning and preparation, if not with the help of a professional team. You’ll want to consider how much food you will need based on the number of guests invited.
- How is the table going to look after a hundred or so people have started picking at it? It’s not only important to ensure the table will be replenished as the day goes on, but also that the food continues to be styled so that it still looks appetising. If your catering team is just going to set up the platter, someone needs to be made responsible for maintaining it.
- Dietary preferences and requirements: are you catering to vegans, vegetarians, coeliacs, or even pregnant women? If so, how will the foods be separated to reduce the risk of cross-contamination, and how will you inform your guests of gluten-free, dairy-free or nut-free options?
- It’s likely your guests won’t be the only ones gathering to graze; how will you prevent flies, ants and other creepy-crawlies from snacking on the feast?
- Offering plates, cutlery and napkins, as well as suitable seating nearby, is a must for grazing tables to ensure they’re not over-crowded and you don’t leave your guests with sticky fingers.
Thinking of going down the traditional route of a plated three-course dinner? Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Begin by choosing your preferred options for each course. Your caterer will then be able to give you a cost per person for your menu, so you can easily see how much of your wedding budget you’ll need to set aside according to your guest numbers. Because portion sizes have been allocated for each guest, this option also means minimal wastage!
- In today’s world of increasing dietary restrictions, you’ll need to offer options. It’s recommended that you find out your guests’ food requirements early on, so you can organize a menu that caters to them, too.
- A traditional three-course sit-down meal requires a team of caterers, meaning it’s typically the more expensive choice. However, you can save a lot on the quantity of food required (compared to a buffet-style), so you may be able to afford much better quality.
- Allow time. Each guest will have to be individually served, and the clean-up and turnaround for each course might have implications on the time you have allocated for speeches and dancing.
Christmas is almost here, so if it’s a flawless dinner table you’re after, look no further.
- First things first – where will you have your festive feast? If it’s outside, make sure the table is on a level surface.
2. Depending on your taste, minimalism is always a good idea, so the table isn’t overcrowded. Decorations can be hung from the ceiling above the table to save space.
3. Co-ordination is key. Pick a colour scheme – three colours is ideal. Silver, white and green; red, white and gold…
4. A linen tablecloth in a single soft colour, such as khaki or dark grey, makes for a practical canvas for decorations. Offset this with crisp white linen napkins folded underneath polished cutlery for a clean, elegant look.
5. Natural materials give a rustic touch, and they’re sustainable too. Try strewing the table with branches and pinecones – metallic spray paint can jazz these up. Consider utilising items you already have, or buy decorations that won’t date or can be reused.
6. Little fairy lights or candles give ambience – even in the middle of the day. A popular idea is to stuff strings of thin fairy lights into jars and dot them down the middle of the table.
7. Make sure your flowers align with your colour scheme nicely. Pohutukawas give any table a festive Kiwi touch, while foliage intertwined down the middle of the table offers a pretty, rustic feel.
8. If you’re going to put flowers in vases, make sure the height is just right. You need to be able to see and talk to the person sitting opposite you.
9. Make sure cutlery, glasses and other utensils are the same for a flawless finish.
10. We recommend keeping food off the table and serving from the breakfast bar/bench instead, in order to keep the table from getting too messy.