Five ways to spruce up your alfresco space this summer.
Posted on 04 November 2021
Gosh I love this time of year.
It’s the time when everything seems to be waking up. In Canberra we’ve usually endured through a much longer winter than we would like; it’s almost summer and we’re still having 2-degree nights. But the days can be absolutely glorious. The spring blossoms have been and gone, all the trees have their leaves again, and it’s now that we start thinking about eating outside again. Thanks to lock down restrictions easing; we might also be thinking about having friends over for a BBQ.So what happens next… You slide back the curtains, pull up the blind, and fling open the door to your back patio / balcony / deck / courtyard / garden or wherever your outdoor table lives and eeeeekk! The reality of the season hits! It’s not as pretty out here as you remember from last year, is it? Here’s five ways you can quickly get your alfresco area ready for summer entertaining that won’t break the bank.
1. Just give everything a good hose down… You might know I live in Canberra. And we get (I think) more than our fair share of pollen in the air. Depending on your suburb, during spring, everything can be covered in white fluff from the Kapok trees, or yellow powder from the wattle trees. In my backyard, we have an enormous Italian Alder, but during spring its blossoms spread a huge amount of yellow powder on every surface (seriously, by October, everything out the back is yellow and not in a good way!). You might have a thick layer of dust, or perhaps your offender is fallout from the traffic. Whatever your space looks like, its going to benefit from a dam good scrub. So remove anything that’s fragile or portable, and then get to it with the hose. Do you have cushions? Remove those covers and stick them in the washing machine. Get yourself some BBQ cleaner and give that a scrub too. Everything looks better when its clean, so leave no surface untouched.
2. Take a moment to assess… Before you put everything back into your space. It’s a good idea to assess what you have and make some hard decisions. Ask yourself, is this something I really need in my life anymore? Is it old and daggy? Do I still love it? Has it passed it’s use by date? Does it still work? Can I make it better? Make a pile of things that just don’t ‘float your boat’ anymore.
3. Refurb where you can… Before I started The Outdoor Table, I worked for a rubbish removal and recycling company. It opened my eyes to just how much people throw away, and it’s astounding. Waste is a growing issue, but we can all do our bit to help reduce it. So, your next job is to see if you can breathe new life into something. I have some lovely lanterns that I purchased from the recycling shop several years ago, and they too were covered in yellow powder and the paint was all flaking (they looked really bad). Thanks to Mr Outdoor Table, a can of black spray paint, and a couple of new candles, my lanterns look amazing again. Did you know we sell beautiful candles? They smell yummy, and are made in Australia? Click here to check them out.
4. Decorate… Now that everything is clean, and you’ve gotten rid of all the broken things, repaired, and fluffed up where you can… the fun stuff starts. It’s time to decorate. Plants can really have a huge impact and take your outdoor space to a whole other level. Think about pots you may have around and move them into your space. Play around with positions, make sure you can see them, and they are going to add value to your space. If not, pop on down to your local nursery and get yourself a couple of punnets of potted colour. Remember - It’s important that you have a colour scheme you’re working towards, so make sure you’ve decided on your colours before you go.
Tip: Tablecloths are the fastest way to change your look and bring colour to your space. Perhaps your table is old and weathered; with a tablecloth, nobody ever knows what’s underneath. Maybe all you’ll need this year is a new cloth and you’re good to go. Shop our tablecloths here.
5. Bring in great serving ware. There’s something magical about dining outdoors, it’s my favourite thing to do. But it’s no good if you’re on edge and worried about your tableware breaking. Look around your kitchen and see what you can repurpose. Can your cutting board do double duty as a platter, are there bowls or baskets at the back of the cupboard you can bring out to use? Or maybe it’s time you invested in a few pieces that are more robust and will go the distance when outdoor entertaining. Check out our dining basics section on the website for pieces to inspire you this season.
So there you have it. Five quick steps to sprucing up your alfresco area this summer. Whether your space is big or small, up high on a balcony, or down on the grass… You need to remember one thing… Good food is all the sweeter when shared with good friends. I hope your summer is filled with good friends, and good food.