The fun outdoor season is just around the corner! Time to put on your sunscreen, fire up the barbecue and put together a summery bop-heavy playlist to play on your bluetooth speaker. What is it you say Your only outside space is a 3 by 3 foot piece of grass or a rusty fire escape that should only be used technically in an emergency? We can work with that. We’ve put together our editors’ favorite outdoor entertainment essentials – from space-saving patio furniture to home decorations that can be used outdoors or indoors – that will keep any garden, driveway, or even the most humble park lawn in place, all summer long to be.
We love enamelware, but sometimes that classic speckled finish can look a little Maine-cabin-in-the-woods-circa 1932, a great vibe to be sure but maybe not for every soiree. Handcrafted in Turkey, these bowls feature bubbly, modern color combinations such as coral and flamingo pink that brighten any tabletop. Grab the matching dinner plates and mugs for a complete outdoor dining set.
No space for a large outdoor dining table? Made of ash, steel and linoleum, this three-legged café table folds flat for easy storage and comes with a leather strap so you can hang it out of sight when not in use.
Departo folding coffee table
Which outdoor bash is not enhanced by a fire function? Senior commerce editor MacKenzie Chung Fegan gave her mom a solo stove last year after she got tired of excuses that it was “too cold” to entertain friends in the backyard and therefore had to hang inside during a pandemic. The Bonfire – the medium-sized fireplace of the solo cooker – is very easy to use, generates a lot of heat and is almost completely smoke-free. While the bonfire isn’t great for grilling, it’s perfect for roasting weenies or toasting marshmallows for s’mores.
Because you can always use extra seating, especially in cheerful cobalt. These lightweight metal chairs fold flat and are rust-resistant so you don’t have to worry about summer thunderstorms passing by. There’s also a matching 20-inch folding bistro table if you want to go on blue.
Folding chairs with metal slats
Those triple-spoiled candles smell so good that editor-in-chief Dawn Davis would still use them even if she wasn’t keeping mosquitos out. That they contain citronella, a natural detergent made from lemongrass, is the icing on the cake. Dawn has a penchant for the scents of sea salt and eucalyptus, which can keep your outdoor area bug-free for up to 80 hours.
Skeem Design Citronella Candle
Fairy lights can transform even the dreary outdoors into something nicer, but if your garden really needs help, reach for a colorful set. These 21 LED lamps are available in a spectrum of warm colors from cantaloup to tomato red. (Note that the appropriate lamp holder strand for these light bulbs is available separately.)
Nothing ruins a pool party like a minefield of broken glass, so stick with drinkware that won’t break. This set of six colorful glasses is made of super durable Tritan plastic, is also dishwasher safe, BPA-free and does not tarnish or discolour.
DuraClear Tritan Double old-fashioned glasses
When ex-social media manager Emily Schultz is expecting a crowd, she rolls out this bar cart / cooler that will keep 110 bottles of beer and cans of the White Claw flavor of her choice (it’s Black Razz) cold for up to 36 hours. She loves that it has a built-in bottle opener and cap catcher. That means she won’t sweep up stray bottle caps after the party.
Rollable refrigerator truck from Permasteel
This is a pineapple-shaped stool. 15 inches tall and made of molded resin, it is suitable for outdoors but would look pretty fabulous as a side table in the living room too. Use it as an extra seat when a friend brings a surprise to your dinner party, or to hold a serving tray of sliced pineapple. Meta! The perfect conversation starter – and after a year with the same three people, we need all the help we can get.
Art director Christa Guerra bought these handcrafted aluminum cups in Mexico as a “present for her boyfriend” but somehow they found a permanent home in her picnic bag. They’re their wine glasses for on the go, but they’re also cute enough to use as part of a real table setting at home. Christa recommends grabbing a few of different colors so guests at your next outdoor party can remember whose cup is whose.
Mexican Utility Aluminum Cup Utility
The hours of daylight in summer are longer, but they’re not infinite – so make sure your fun outdoor lighting schedule is in place before dark. This rechargeable lamp provides up to 20 hours of soft light and can be dimmed or brightened depending on your mood. Put it on a picnic table or hang it on a branch by its brightly colored handle. Also cute for camping!
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