This time of year, there are plenty of reasons to throw open your back doors and gather friends for an outdoor bbq.
But given the logistics involved in planning even an informal affair, it may seem as though there are just as many excuses not to entertain — especially since long summer days don’t necessarily equal extra hours to get ready.
These tried-and-true strategies from Woman of Style and Substance and Ikea can help make your get-togethers run smoothly, from setup to cleanup. After all, guests shouldn’t be the only ones who get to relax and enjoy the festivities.
1. Spruce up your outdoor areas.
We have an expensive wood seven piece dining setting that had seen a lot of sun and weather, even though it is located under an alfresco area. A quick sand and a paint over with some furniture oil and it is as good as new.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on achieving a gorgeous outdoor entertaining area. Ikea have an affordable range of outdoor furniture to suit your needs. We love the APPLARO table and six chair setting (Below, RRP $499). We have seen similar outdoor settings retail for around the $1000 mark.
We also love the ÄPPLARÖ Bench with wall panel (below, RRP $144). Features great storage in the bench for cushions or gardening tools. At the moment, we have the Ikea PS Greenhouse resting on the bench and will put it up on the wall at a later date. I am looking forward to hanging colourful tin pots with herbs and potted colour up on the wall panel.
2. Clean your bbq.
This goes without saying, all the dirt and dust that has accumulated over the winter months, do not make for a hygienic or healthy cooking surface. Use bbq wipes to clean off the excess dirt and grime and then wash with washing detergent and hot water. If you have a pressure washer, you can also give it a good clean over with that.
Sweep around the entertaining area. Leaves, dirt and cobwebs aren’t very nice for your guests to look at.
3. Plan out your food.
Offer a variety of meats for the bbq, and maybe something different for guests with vegetarian tastes or those with dietary issues.
A couple of salads, some bread rolls and voila! an easy bbq meal is prepared.
4. Table presentation.
It doesn’t take a much effort or cost you a fortune to create a stylish setting to make the table visually appealing to your guests.
For a gorgeous centerpiece, go for flowers, leaves or even fruits like lemons picked from the garden. If you go to a florist you can save money by buying what’s in season locally, go for good quality faux flowers or simply add a floral tablecloth that can be used again.
Candles create ambiance and also have a second use by deterring flies if you go use citronella or essential oil candles.
Below we show you how you can achieve to very different looks with products from Ikea:
Here we have used a base colour of red to make the area pop with white accents provided by the plates and candles for a casual and fun look.
Candles, placemats, glasses, straws, napkins, seat cushions and drink bottle are from Ikea. Dinner plates are from the Gordon Ramsey for Royal Doulton dinner set. Cutlery set is by Laguiole.
For a pretty, vintage style we used blue and white colours for an elegant but stylish and calming table setting. We added some colour with faux flowers in a vintage look jug as a centrepiece, as well as a feature candle and potted plant in a lace top planter (all from Ikea). Bread bowl and placements were also from Ikea. English setting vintage dinner set is stylists own. Maxwell & Williams glasses and cutlery.
Do you enjoy outdoor entertaining? What do you think of our ideas?
#SP This was a sponsored post for Ikea as per our Disclosure Policy.