8 outdoor party essentials
Great music player
Music instantly sets the mood of any party so make sure you have a great outdoor music player. Tivoli Audio has an amazing line of indoor and outdoor sound systems and are compatible with the latest technology. The iSongBook Portable iPod Music System is perfect for outside as it comes with a flip-down iPod dock, which fits all iPod dock-connectors, a detachable speaker for better surround sound, and a remote for easy song changing. Tivoli Audio, contact store for pricing.
Hosting a party can become hectic and stressful, so make your life easier by having a serving table that you can present food and drinks. It allows guests to take what they want and makes it easier to spot if more food needs to be brought out. The Regatta Console table is so beautiful and functional. The tabletop separates in the middle, revealing a galvanized steel container - perfect to keep food or drinks chilled on top of ice. There's also extra storage on the shelf underneath for dishes, glasses, napkins, or more food! Crate & Barrel, $999.
Providing seating is important at any party, indoors or outdoors, so having an outdoor lounging area is essential. Patio furniture has come a long way from uncomfortable iron and plastic chairs. They are larger and much more comfortable with plush seating and back cushions. The Chesapeake Low Platform sectional so stylish and durable. The base is finished with a protective stain to withstand the outdoor climate and the cushions are covered with a water-repellent canvas. Looks and feels fabulous? Party on! Pottery Barn, $129-$3,040.
Offer a little protection from the searing sun or, heaven forbid, a little summer rain with a good, study umbrella. Even if you don't have a patio table or deck, the Tuuci Cantilevel Umbrella also has a stainless steel stand (sold separately) that allows it to stand on its own. This umbrella is highly functional as the stand and base sit off-center and doesn't get in the way of any guests seeking shelter. Also, the pole has an arm that extends out allowing you to move and angle the canopy to best suit your needs. Restoration Hardware, $5395.
Whether the party is an all-day event or starts after sundown, have some pretty lights ready to switch on when it gets dark. Paper lanterns are a beautiful and fun outdoor lighting option. They're lightweight, making it easier to put up and take down, and have a soft, relaxing glow. The Solvinden solar powered lanterns are energy efficient, using solar panels to power the built-in LED lights and come in colourful options for your festivities. Ikea, $16.99.
Don't let your guests dehydrate in the sun - serve up some cool refreshments in beautiful glasses! The Marcelle Outdoor Drinkware collection is made of durable melamine and comes in beautifully bright yellow, red, blue, and green colours, as well as clear glass. Horchow, $35-$54.
Letting the drinks go cold is definitely a party foul, so be sure to get a good cooler to keep everyone cool and quenched. The Wine Barrel Chiller is made out of a reclaimed oak wine barrel with an insulated liner to keep everything cold. It also has a spigot for easy draining after the party's over, and who doesn't like an easy clean up? Viva Terra, $398.
Candlelit pest control
As fresh and fun as it is to be outside, we can't forget those pesky bugs that want to partake in the fun. Keep them out with a barrier of citronella candles. These multi-coloured citronella tea lights come in green, aqua, orange, and red in packs of 12 so you can spread them out around the party to protect your guests. Crate & Barrel, $6.95 per pack.