With a chill in the air, frosty nights and the threat of rain, hail or snow, it may seem challenging to host an outdoor party in winter. However, with the right furniture and a little shelter, you can make it a comfortable and cosy garden party to remember!
Here’s our guide to choosing the furniture that no winter garden party should be without.
Provide a sheltered zone
Unless you have a fit for purpose outbuilding, you’ll most definitely need to factor shelter into your outdoor party plans. Luckily there is a mind-boggling range of options available. From gazebos and marquees to pergolas and bubble domes, you can make sure your winter garden party is covered.
This large, marquee party tent is large enough to seat up to 24 people and with all important walls, will provide excellent shelter for your guests. If you have a pergola, you can use a rectangular shade sail or plastic pergola roof panels to provide an inexpensive roof and shelter from the elements.
These garden igloos are available to hire from Rent Event and will add instant winter glamour to your party. Looking like ice-domes, they’re completely weatherproof and look incredible adorned with festive fairy lights.
Weatherproof tables and chairs
If you have a marquee or garden igloo, you’ll be able to use any kind of outdoor furniture without worrying about the consequences of winter downpours. If your party zone is a little more exposed, then you’ll need to make sure your garden furniture can withstand whatever our unpredictable winter can throw at it!
If you have a hardwood garden table, it’ll be fine outside over the winter. Plastic and synthetic rattan tables are great choices too and all tables can look good covered with a cloth and accessorised with sprigs of holly in jars and twinkly candles.
For a burst of colour and comfort, the Jambi garden chair from Habitat ticks all the outdoor garden party boxes. Made from weatherproof plastic and wicker, it can be left outside all year round. Accessorise with a faux fur throw and cosy cushions for the ultimate chair that everyone will want to sit in.
For an inexpensive option that’s functional whatever the weather, you can’t go wrong with plastic tables and chairs. Spray them with paint or cover them with tablecloths and cushions for a quick makeover and easily stack and store when not needed.
Recycled plastic furniture is more expensive, but will last a lifetime and comes in an array of rainbow colours. This recycled dining set with four jewel-coloured chairs will brighten up your party area and look great for years to come.
Garden sofas for chillaxing
Synthetic rattan furniture is a practical choice as it can be left outside all year. Seat cushions are often showerproof and aluminium frames won’t rust.
Made from PE (polyethylene), synthetic rattan is incredibly hard-wearing and UV and weather resistant. It will benefit from being covered in the colder months, with the exception of a winter garden party or two!
We love this sociable, 6 seater, round garden set from Lakeland. Providing lots of comfortable seating and a great layout, it’s a winning option for a garden party.
If your outdoor furniture has lots of cushions, it might be worth purchasing an all-weather storage box so you can quickly pack them away after use. Available in wood, plastic and synthetic rattan, you can find a style to suit your space.
Pretty much a garden staple, the ubiquitous egg chairs are stylish, cosy and the perfect place to curl up with friends on a winter’s evening. This three-seater version from Bramblecrest can be easily moved around and left outside all year, you’ll just need to store the cushions and cover the frame when not in use during the winter months. Add a cosy blanket or two to create the most popular party spot!
Turn up the heat
If you’re hosting a winter party, you’ll definitely need to factor in heating. Luckily, there are a wide range of options from tabletop heaters that look like lamps, warming fire pits and rustic chimineas. You can even buy tables with inset fire pits and electric garden heaters with built-in lights – party perfect!
You might also like: 29 Garden Fire Pit Ideas to Turn Up the Heat!
Be sure not to light a fire pit under a gazebo or covered area and keep curious children and pets safely away. Electric heaters are safe to use undercover so it’s worth combining different types of heating depending on the space you have.
Create an outdoor bar
No garden party, summer or winter, is complete without a garden bar!
You can buy covered bar areas or convert a shed and build your own. This quirky garden bar ideas article is packed with clever suggestions for creating outdoor taverns to grace your winter wonderland.
Add the finishing touches
Add the wow factor to your winter garden party setting with imaginative decorations and accessories.
Adding outdoor rugs is a really easy and inexpensive way to zone areas and add visual interest. We love how Karen @upstyleyourhome has hung pendants and lights from her pergola, creating a welcoming space that will light up the night.
Potted plants, vases of glittery twigs and jars of evergreen foliage will transform plain tables instantly and inexpensively. For a magical glow, add twinkly lights everywhere! Can you have too many fairy lights? We don’t think so!
Hang lights along fences, wind them around tree trunks and branches, pop tea lights in jars and place along pathways, and add to table decorations, it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to beautify your outdoor party area.