Summer is finally here! And with it come long evenings, balmy nights and fabulous garden parties.
Hosting a garden party needn’t be a headache, with a little creativity and the right furniture for the job you’ll be throwing a party to make Jay Gatsby proud. It’s time to draw up the guest list, choose your booze and get planning!
Which furniture do I choose?
We all know how changeable the great British weather can be, so if you’re planning a party with traditional, woven wicker furniture, you may need to factor in some kind of shelter for the inevitable rain shower (downpour).
There are a huge range of marquees and gazebos to choose from, many with sides that close if you need to escape from the elements. From pop up bubble tents and gazebos to beautifully boho bell tents and exquisite marquees, there is something for every budget and every style.
To ensure your garden party goes with a swing, you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of comfy seating, areas to relax in and tables for food and drink.
Traditional wicker furniture
If you’re going for a bohemian, laid-back summer vibe, it’s really hard to beat the beauty and elegance of traditional wicker furniture. Combined with cushions, flowers and quirky crockery, it’s the epitome of a great garden party setting. Made from plants such as reed, willow and rattan, the resourceful, ancient Egyptians were creating wicker furniture around 3000 years BC.
Wicker furniture landed in Europe and America in the 1880s where it remained popular until the 1930s. With a resurgence in popularity in the swinging 60s and 70s, wicker furniture is once again bang on trend, with original pieces selling for thousands.
If you’re lucky enough to own a sought after high-back wicker chair, this could be the focal point of your table setting. Combining mismatched wicker chairs creates a casual but super stylish look. Try adding cushions, sheepskin rugs and throws for extra style and warmth when the sun goes down.
Charity shops and second-hand furniture stores often have wicker furniture for sale, it’s also worth scouring the local ads for thrifty bargains. If you have items of wicker furniture in your house, you can bring the inside out. From hampers and baskets to wicker screens and tables, add these to your party furnishing plan.
Synthetic wicker furniture
Made from weatherproof recycled plastic and incredibly durable, synthetic wicker can look almost as good as the real thing. The big advantage of synthetic wicker is that it can be left outside all year round. Whether you’re baking in a heatwave or dodging the hailstorms, it’s a great choice for British garden parties.
There is an astounding choice of synthetic wicker garden furniture out there, from large outdoor dining sets to cosy and stylish hanging chairs. You can also hire furniture for large parties, perfect if you don’t want to splurge on occasionally needed items.
This luxury 5 seater set from Primrose is a real statement piece and perfect for parties. The footstools double up as extra seating and store away under the table so it’s a great space-saving option.
5 ideas to give your garden party some extra sparkle
Now you’ve got your furniture planned out, here are some ideas to help you host the perfect garden party:
1. DIY Garden bar
No garden party is complete without your very own bar! Yes, you can purchase ready-made versions but we think it’s much more fun to build your own.
Have a look at our quirky garden bar ideas for some inspiration.
Just adding a string of fairy or festoon lights instantly adds a touch of magic to any outdoor setting. Try weaving lights around trees, stringing them around the perimeter of your garden and edging your gazebo for instant impact.
You can also buy citronella tea lights which can be placed in jam jars and dotted around for an inexpensive and impressive display.
3. Unusual crockery
From cheap and cheerful melamine to chintzy china sets, add some out-of-the-ordinary crockery to your setting for an extra special party. Thrift shops are a great place to pick up old crockery, who needs a matching set anyway?
4. Homemade decorations
In the summer months, you can create beautiful table decorations by picking garden flowers and foliage and arranging them in glasses, jam jars or old teapots.
Use weaved baskets to hold cutlery and condiments. Wicker picnic hampers make everything look good and you can use them for food, bottles of wine or just stack them up and admire them!
5. Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise
When it comes to accessorising for a party, you really can’t go too far!
From cushions and throws to candles, plants and hanging decorations, add your personality and fun to the setting and make it a garden party to remember!