Design and landscape experts weigh in on what you need to host a seriously fun summer soiree

Design and landscape experts weigh in on what you need to host a seriously fun summer soiree

Beverage Trough

“A big bucket with some ice to hold wine and beer – and juice boxes or water, so the kids can grab their own,” says Kari Renaud, certified landscape designer at lilydesign. “That way, everyone can help themselves.”

“Stay Chill” White Metal Beverage Bucket from Chapters Indigo, $38

Real Dishware

Real Dishware

“I like real dishes and linens – none of this plastic or disposable stuff!” says local designer Sarah Gallop. “Serving with nice tableware really enhances the overall experience and makes it a dinner party, as opposed to a paper plate BBQ.”

Veracruz Melamine Salad Plates from Williams-Sonoma, $80 for set of four

A Side Table

A Side Table

“I always like to have a side table because even if you have a main dining table, it's a great spot to keep any extra essentials on hand,” says landscaper Kari Renaud.

Wire Side Table from CB2, $170

Tabletop Accessories

Tabletop Accessories

“My must-haves are chic tabletop elements,” says Janette Ewen, interior stylist and celebrity speaker at this fall's Vancouver Home + Design Show. Think beyond dishware to placemats, napkins, and napkin rings, which can add a finishing touch to outdoor settings.

Coco Placemat, $38 and Hex Napkin Ring by Jonathan Adler, $18 (available at Mint Interiors)

Outdoor Umbrella

Outdoor Umbrella

“Not everyone enjoys direct sunlight so umbrellas are a must,” adds interior stylist Janette Ewen. “Make sure to get a stylish one in a fun colour.”

Wooden Umbrella in Tuscan from Best Buy, $150

Rolling Bar Cart

Rolling Bar Cart

Another way to avoid clunky, plastic coolers? “A rolling outdoor bar cart,” says Mango Design Co.’s Tanya McLean. “And, of course, you’ve got to have an awesome BBQ.”

Jardine Bar Cart from West Elm, $383

Patio Heater

Patio Heater

“I once thought patio heaters were a waste of energy, but who doesn't want to extend their hours outside during the summer?” says Tanya McLean. And with such a wide array of designs and colours available, you'll be sure to find one that fits right in with your decor.

Gas Powder Coated Patio Heater in Aqua Blue from Houzz, $227