Urban garden with painted exterior furniture

5 Ideas To Brighten Up Al Fresco Entertaining This Summer

Summer is almost here and with it come garden parties, barbeques, picnics and more, here are five simple ways to add colour and style to al fresco entertaining.

1. Floral Ice Cubes

Add the finishing touch to summer drinks with petals, fresh fruit, pastel coloured straws or sugared rims. Floating flowers encased in ice are really easy and always a crowd pleaser.

Flowery Ice cubes
Flowery Ice Cubes. Image from mimithorisson.com

2. Colourful Crockery

You can be stylish, and avoid breakages, by using melamine plates.  Add strong colour and pattern to brighten up even the most overcast English barbeque with these vibrant painterly plates from Anthropologie.

Flitting Flora Melamine Plates from Anthropologie

Flitting Flora Melamine Plates from Anthropologie

3. Don’t Forget the Flowers!

Nothing says summer like fresh blooms, especially when it’s pretty peony season.  Bright flowers like these cerise peonies will add a splash of colour to any table.

Cerise peonies in glass bottle vases

Peonies in glass bottles. Image courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

4. Create an Urban Garden

Potted plants, colourful fabrics and painted accessories can all help turn even the smallest of spaces into a low key place to entertain.

Urban garden with painted exterior furniture

Urban garden with painted exterior furniture

5.  Shibori Napkins

Splashes of inky blue like these Shibori napkins have a sophisticated summer feel, and you could even make them yourself in any colour by tie-dying plain napkins.

Summery Blue and White Shibori Napkins

Summery Blue and White Shibori Napkins. Image from Salt & Still.


Rebecca Maclean


Rebecca’s interest in interior design began as a teenager when she had the ‘bright’ idea of painting her bedroom a striking tangerine shade. Today that passion for colour permeates her working life, and at home she enjoys trying new ideas while decorating her first home. Rebecca loves to travel, seeing the world and discovering new landscapes, sights and flavours.

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist