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How to create the perfect outdoor bar

3 min read

How to create the perfect outdoor bar
With the weather getting better as spring approaches, now is a great time to create your perfect outdoor bar for a fun summer  
When the sun is out, that means it's time to soak up the glorious weather and gather together with loved ones, and so, what better than doing this over a spot of al fresco dining and drinking?
Calling to all of those who love to entertain from the comfort of their own home and garden, you may want to consider ramping up the fun factor with an outdoor bar. For smaller gardens, yards or patio areas, the folding bar which can be attached to a wall, makes it possible even for the most confined of spaces; just add a bistro table and a couple of chairs underneath. Alternatively, try a standalone gazebo or tiki bar, with higher bar stools at the front.
"Ramp up the fun factor with an outdoor bar"
For larger gardens, go all out with pub shed log cabins and garden bars, and these are available in a range of shapes and sizes to work with your garden. Complete the space with substantial, comfortable furniture (as opposed to classic folding-up chairs), atmospheric festoon lighting, and even a TV for sports enthusiasts—Wimbledon and Pimms, anyone?
Lena Gierasinska, head of product and displays at Barker and Stonehouse, tells us how to create the perfect outdoor bar in time for the summer entertaining season.

Choose a multi-purpose outdoor bar/kitchen

An outdoor bar will make the perfect addition to your garden, to create a holiday feeling all summer long. Start with an outdoor cabinet or console unit, such as our Grenada range, which offers multiple unit sizes that can be combined into your dream outdoor kitchen and bar combination. Each unit comes complete with worktops to prepare your favourite cocktails on, with multiple drawers and cupboards to tuck away drinks, utensils and glasses in too.
Barker and Stonehouse Grenada Outdoor Kitchen, from £469
To ensure your bar is always ready to go, choose designs that are weatherproof and safe to store outside. That way, you can keep your drinks cabinet stored away for the whole summer and need not worry about popping back indoors while you’re entertaining.
Pots of herbs are a lovely addition to an outdoor bar. Not only are they the perfect garnish for numerous cocktails and therefore a handy addition to your countertop, but the additional greenery helps to weave your garden and outdoor entertaining space together nicely.

Ambience is key

Surround your bar with an outdoor sofa set and table to encourage relaxed outdoor entertaining, perfect for al fresco dining, as well as socialising on as the night continues.
To make it that little bit more special, drape outdoor lights along the wall or fence, and have blankets readily available across the back of the seats so that guests can easily wrap up. These cosy additions will help turn your garden into an extension of your living room, making it easier to stay out long into the evening.
If space allows, a fire pit centrally located, with seating surrounding it, is always a great addition. Not only will it impress guests, but a fire pit also creates a magical ambience while keeping everyone cosy and warm for an extra hour or two during those chilly summer evenings.

Keep it cool

It’s a good idea to keep the outdoor bar sheltered from direct sunlight, especially during the peak of summer. This will not only help to prolong the lifetime of the furniture, keeping it looking good as new, but it also helps keep guests shaded while they enjoy their favourite ice-cold tipple.
A pergola is the perfect solution for this and is a good way to stylishly zone the garden space into separate entertaining areas.

Stylish seating

Seating is a key consideration for creating the perfect outdoor bar. A great option is an L-shaped sofa that wraps around a table or a fire pit to create a casual, sociable setting perfect for entertaining long into the evening. If you’re a little tighter on space, a colourful bistro set is a fun addition and serves as a space to enjoy your morning coffee.
Rattan is a great option too—not only is it practical but it’s also stylish and will bring the holiday vibes in abundance. Alternatively, if you don’t want to splash out on new seating, add a pop of colour (and some welcome comfort!) with seat pads. They’re an affordable way to bring some new life to your existing furniture and bring some personality and colour to your outside space.
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