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The Queen may think she has the edge on garden parties, but she probably hasn’t been to one of yours. With our winning ideas, we can help you put together an outdoor soiree that’ll have your friends making a beeline for your green space all summer long.
You don’t need a large garden to host a successful party. The most important thing is to create a welcoming ambience that’ll make your guests feel comfortable.
Top image: Debenhams Andreas Carver Dining Chairs
Work out where you want your guests to sit and stick to it – this will dictate where you’ll put your table (if serving food) and where your guests will dance or gather for a chat. Seating can be made more comfortable with cosy seat cushions and you can add throws for a colour contrast and a little extra warmth if it gets chilly. Large waterproof floor cushions and beanbags are perfect for younger members of the family or for simply relaxing on a hot day.
Keep your drinks cool by filling a large container with chilled water and crushed ice. It saves you and your guests from having to go into your kitchen every time they need a top-up. A selection of cocktails especially Pims and non-alcoholic drinks go down a treat in the summer.
Left image: The White Company Lantern | Right image: Cox and Cox Bulb lights
For an ‘enchanted garden’ feel, hang bulb lights or sophisticated glass bottles or jars with tea lights inside, these look great on exposed walls or features like gazebos or rose arches. Draping a rope of solar lights or battery powered fairy lights around trees or hedges is a quick and easy solution that can be added or removed at any time. Battery powered hurricane lamps on top of walls or solar powered lights along pathways are a great idea because there’s no need to plug them into a power source, whilst tea lights floating on your pond will give your garden a magical effect.
If food is the focal point, a trestle table and bench seats will help gather everyone round. Citronella or lemongrass candles don’t just look romantic, when they’re twinkling in the twilight, they’re ideal for keeping flies and mosquitoes at bay. Equally, slicing lemons in half and pricking the pulp with whole cloves make decorative table top features while repelling insects away from food.
Do you have a theme for your party? If so, food should reflect this. From afternoon tea with sandwiches, cake and scones to light bites with fresh salads and nibbles. Consider the time of day. If it’s warm outside it’s a good idea to avoid fish or poultry that might end up sitting in the sun. Remember your vegetarian guests and those who may have food intolerances. It’s much easier to cater for all tastes these days.
Unless you’re serving barbecue food or have a pizza oven, it’s a good idea to prep everything before your guests arrive and keep plates of food in the fridge or somewhere cool until it’s ready to eat.
So, once you’ve got your guests, your food, your fizz and some ambient summer tunes, the rest is easy. Discover more inspiration on our Pinterest page, from outdoor seating, garden decor and more.
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Design visits are an opportunity for our designers to listen to your ideas, likes and dislikes
and advise on the best way to unlock your home's potential. Whether your space is large, small
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From the initial meeting with the senior designer to discuss our needs, to the surveyor and then the installer, we were extremely delighted with the end result. The installation process went without any problems. All the staff were very professional and we would recommend Neville Johnson without hesitation.
Rosalind Tunnicliffe, Solihull
A real easy process, I would really recommend Neville Johnson to anyone. From the first phone call through to a very skilled fitter (who had to go above and beyond with our old house not having one straight line in it) it was all so easy. We couldn’t be happier that we chose to use Neville Johnson.
Richard Smith, Surrey
From our initial enquiry to the completion of our staircase, we have found all the members of the team at Neville Johnson to be very helpful, courteous and professional in all our dealings. The staircase has transformed our living space. We have been very impressed with this company from start to finish and would not hesitate to recommend them.
Pauline Treston, Northumberland
I cannot recommend this company enough. From first contact we received very high quality service. We were informed as to everything that was going on, which was backed up by the necessary paperwork, plans and phone calls. The fitter was competent and the work he did we can’t fault.
Mrs K Holroyd, Wrexham
From the moment the brochure was delivered, I was optimistic that we were buying quality. I wasn’t disappointed. All contact made was courteous, polite and clear, with phone calls confirmed by email. In short, we’re really thrilled with our library and it was effortless from start to finish.
Alison Cole, Swinton
Our new staircase looks fantastic. We’ve had lots of compliments and it has transformed our hallway. The whole experience was great from beginning to end, from discussing our requirements to the finished article.
Mr & Mrs Begbie, Hampshire
The room is transformed and has been hugely admired by family and friends. I was pleasantly surprised by the attentive and courteous client care – everything went according to plan and nothing seemed too much trouble. They were in regular contact before and after the installation. I would highly recommend Neville Johnson to anyone wanting to transform a room.
Cherry Murdoch, London
From contacting the company to the point where the cupboards were fitted I was impressed by the whole process. The initial salesperson that visited was knowledgeable and helpful. I would certainly use Neville Johnson again and highly recommend this company.
Mrs S. D, Lincolnshire
From the initial contact with the company to the completion and installation everything was utterly professional; we have no hesitation in recommending the company to anybody. We are so pleased, that Neville Johnson is returning to install a new staircase!
Mr and Mrs Thorpe, Radcliffe
From the outset of our contract with Neville Johnson, we were supported with design choices, given expert advice and all deadlines were met. Everyone was courteous, knowledgeable and friendly. The craftsmanship is superb; our staircase is now an outstanding feature of our open plan lounge.
Judith Scorer, Stockport