Outdoor Entertaining Trends 2014

Impress your guests this patio season with these fab outdoor entertaining accessories

What’s hot in outdoor decor this summer? Take the indoors out

The coarse, utilitarian doormat of patios past has evolved into a space-defining design element that adds warmth, colour and pattern. “You almost have to discreetly bend down to touch it and say: ‘What is this made of? Why is this outside?’” says Vancouver interior designer Christine Friend. The latest breeds of outdoor rugs look exactly like indoor rugs, only synthetic materials like olefin and polyester make them fade-, stain- and mildew-resistant – ideal for Vancouver showers or sloppy guests.

Mediterranean rug from Pier 1, $379.95

Grills Gone Wild

According to local landscape designer Mark Bolton of Houston Landscapes, Vancouverites are hungry for an outdoor room that comes with a kitchen. “And I don’t mean just having the barbecue – they’ve got a sink out there, a stove… even outdoor baking.” Pizza ovens are becoming an oft-requested feature, like this electric blue Kettle Pizza Deluxe that sits on top of your existing barbecue, transforming the charcoal grill into a wood-burning pizza oven, presto.

Kettle Pizza Deluxe from Crate & Barrel, $220

Night Lights

In an effort to maximize the outdoor entertaining season, more and more locals are using lighting to stave off closing time. There are plenty of options to extend exterior living hours, but when it comes to al fresco fiestas, ambient lighting is key. “Usually when you’re entertaining – unless you’re playing cards or something – you don’t want that big, bright light,” says designer Christine Friend.
To get that flattering outdoor-party glow, opt for lanterns, hurricanes and solar lighting options to step in for more powerful functional lighting. Friend also suggests attaching LED strips underneath your furniture. This will allow light to shine softly from below and to twinkle through patio pieces in materials like wicker.

Left to right: Port Royal shuttered Galvi lantern, $99; Malta lanterns, $34-$249; Cliff wood and metal lanterns, $69-$159; Galvanized metal lantern, $50; Hyannis lanterns, $25-$69; Scroll lanterns, $69-$99; Cabrillo Moroccan punched lanterns, $99-$149

Fun Factor

Designers and gardeners alike are urging us to have a sense of humour this season, to play with colour fearlessly and enjoy our spaces to the max. “In our climate, we get such short seasons outdoors,” says designer Sarah Gallop of Sarah Gallop Design Inc. in Delta. “Why not have a little fun?” And outside on the deck is the perfect place to start. “There is such little commitment that it is a great space to experiment with – it can always be changed for next season,” says Gallop.
Fun-loving hosts and guests will enjoy these illustrated dog plates by Brooklyn artist Claudia Pearson. Inspired by family, friends and great food, well-dressed, pipe-smoking pooches are sure to bring a smile to any outdoor feast.

Claudia Pearson Dog Plates, $16-$34 (plates sold individually)