Summer rolls round each year, sure as day. Dark nights recede, the sun stretches its rays a little further each afternoon, and the air is filled with the steady droning of lawn mowers. Yet, despite it being a yearly occurrence, summer has the tendency to feel brand new every time it comes around. As though awakening from a winter slumber, we fumble around in our sleepy minds for prompts and hints of what to do now that the weather is mild, and the days are long.
It inevitably all comes flooding back sooner or later, and we find ourselves facing an abundance of fabulous ideas. There’ll be barbeques, family gatherings, garden parties, paddling pool days and hey, why not invite some old friends and their kids to stay for August bank holiday?
The possibilities feel as endless as the days but, as with all great ideas, there are important logistics to consider. Read on to find out how to prepare your home for the summer frivolities this year.
First things first, if you’re hosting guests overnight, you’ll need to make sure there’s enough room for everyone to lay their sun-drenched heads, come the end of the day. If you’re short on spare bedrooms, now may be the time to purchase a sofa bed, which can be viewed as a staple investment for the future. Gone are the days of the flimsy futon. No longer are we faced with those painfully cheap looking, thin-mattressed structures, most of which screamed ‘student abode’. Today there are tons of luxurious classic and sleek modern styles on the market that transform the humble futon into an all-singing-and-dancing interior design feature.
Glorious garden parties
Much like the humble futon, garden furniture has undergone something of a revival in recent years. From glamorous lounge sets to hammocks, and from hanging chairs to day beds, the items you choose for your outdoor space have the potential to completely make over your barbeques and garden parties.
If your idea of the perfect summer involves long, lazy afternoons with the family it’s a good idea to invest in a good-sized lounge set. It’ll offer plenty of room for everyone to get comfy and relax for hours of summer fun, bringing a casual atmosphere to garden gatherings. A fire pit will stretch those afternoons out into glorious summer evenings, and don’t forget to invest in a range of stylish accessories – a tasteful array of blankets, cushions and lighting will add that finishing touch to your outdoor space.
For cocktail parties and sophisticated soirees, there’s nothing better than a few carefully selected statement pieces of furniture to set your garden up for an evening of fun. We love this beautiful hanging chair, which is sure to turn your guests’ heads.
Dining made easy
You’ve got eight people coming over for a summer dinner party and a six-seater table that feels cramped at the best of times. You’ve tried the old plywood board and table cloth trick, only to fatally scratch your table and fall out with your other half in the process. The answer to the ultimate dinner party dilemma? The extendable dining table of course. A simple but ingenious concept, extendable dining tables are one of those unassuming inventions that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.
They come in a huge variety of designs and, what’s more, eradicate the stress that comes with hosting large numbers. They’re easy to extend and put back, and are infinitely more sleek and stylish than their original, clunky counterparts.
There are a range of sizes to choose from, so if you’re working with a room that errs on the cosy side of things, opt for a small extending dining table to maximise your space. There’s a variety of ‘extending’ features to choose from too. You can go for a table that extends from underneath or, to make things really simple, opt for a flip top dining table that doubles in size in a matter of seconds. For those with open plan kitchens, we think a round extending table is a fantastic option as they can double up as both a breakfast table and dining table.
Quick summer party hacks
Finally, if you’re planning an action-packed summer filled with family and friends (and pets, partners and kids of friends), you may benefit from a few handy cheats:
- Up your ice game: You’ll need ice. Lots of ice. G&Ts, jugs of homemade lemonade, last-minute margaritas, slushies, cokes, diet cokes, rum and cokes – the drinks orders will come thick and fast and so will the need for those magical little cubes of frozen water. Don’t just rely on ice trays, stock a couple of freezer drawers with bags of ice to keep the crowds happy.
- Provide colouring books: For flagging parents that just want to kick back and enjoy the sunshine, a box of crayons and a few colouring books will feel like a true god-send. Keep the kids happy, and the mums and dads even happier.
- Prepare a playlist: Music enhances the atmosphere of any gathering, but there’s nothing worse than rifling through your collection of fifteen-year-old CDs in a vain attempt to find something, anything, remotely current as your guests stand around in awkward silence. Make a playlist in advance of your gathering and make sure your music matches the mood.
However you plan on enjoying the warmer months, with a little preparation and careful planning you – and your home – will be ready for whatever the summer hosting season throws at you. Is the sun coming out? Bring it on!