Summer is here, and we are so ready to get stuck in. Think delicious food and drink, great company, and exciting entertainment. But, to host a summer soiree to remember, it’s not just you that needs to dress up – your abode also needs to be prepped and ready to party…
From the trendiest drinks cabinets and dining tables, to the comfiest, space-saving sofa beds, the UK’s leading online design-led furniture brand, Swoon, has revealed the top five furniture pieces you need to become the host with the most this summer! Plus, to help you style them like a pro, Sam Baldry, Head of Design at Swoon, is here to help create the ultimate entertaining space with his expert styling tips.
So, what are you waiting for?…
Get the party started
First things first. Your guests will need a drink upon arrival – an aperitif to whet their appetite, some water to quench their thirst, or a good old-fashioned cocktail to loosen them up and show off your mixologist skills! Whatever their chosen tipple, make sure you top the bar-tender charts with a trend-setting drinks cabinet.
Channel your inner Singaporean Sling with the Raphia drinks cabinet. Made from a rich acacia timber and finished with rattan detailing, this classic piece oozes the timeless charm of the 1970’s, but has been given a modern twist with delicate brass detailing. Inside, wine glass racks are fastened to the top, leaving plenty of room for your spirit collection and martini or high-ball glasses. Ideal for a classy evening of cocktails.
Sam Baldry, Head of Design at Swoon, says, “While they can be a congregation point and statement piece, drinks cabinets are also very useful! You can store everything you need to treat your guests in one place – no need to leave them while you go to the kitchen or search around for syrups!
”A great hosting idea is to make a menu of just two or three cocktails that your guests can choose from, and perfect them before they arrive. Have elegant cocktail napkins ready on a floating shelf nearby, along with any olives or fruit you need to add”.
Food for thought
With the drinks finished, it’s time to move on to food! An elegant dining table is a must-have for any dinner party, and it is even better if it adapts to your needs! The Claudine is an extendable dining table that allows you to grow your party from 6 to 8 with the addition of a hidden centre panel. With fluted detailing and a refined silhouette, the Claudine is a sure-fire way to add a little luxury into your entertaining space.
Speaking of the dining experience, Baldry comments, “Dinner parties are often intimate gatherings, so having the correct amount of space around each guest is paramount: too much room between each chair and they feel they have to speak loudly, too little room and they feel squashed. An extendable table is an elegant but practical solution that surmounts this problem perfectly.
”Once you have chosen a beautiful dining table, covering it up with a tablecloth will disguise its attractive design. Instead of a full covering, I recommend choosing elegant slate or leather placemats so that the table can shine from beneath them. Pairing these with a simple bouquet, or candelabra centrepiece will provide elegant decoration, without detracting from the beauty of your table.”
Now that you’re full of food, it’s time for your guests to return to the lounge where a comfortable, relaxing sofa awaits! The sofa is often a social centrepoint in any home, as it is a relaxing, comfortable place for organic conversation to thrive.
The Althaea corner sofa screams “Sit on Me!” (The only problem being your guests might never want to leave!) With its gorgeous, bouncy, deep-filled cushions and broad arms that your guests will want to wrap themselves in, the Althea is the ultimate social sofa. Available in an array of fabric choices and colours, you can either match it to your current interior – or be bold and daring and choose a contrasting shade.
“Party or no party, the living room is one of the most used rooms in any home – it’s a place where we all tend to congregate to chat and watch TV. It’s also a place we associate with comfort, warmth and good times – a haven within the home – so a beautiful, large corner sofa is an investment worth making.
Time for a night cap
Sofas generally go hand in hand with a coffee table, where your guests can place their drinks and after dinner treats. The Eros table has a brass framework and contrasting black tapered legs, which can be seen through the glass top. Its oval shape works well with any sofa shape, and the glass top doesn’t dominate a room, enhancing the feeling of space and light.
“Coffee tables are one of my favourite furniture items, as there are so many options for styling – although minimal “clutter” is a good rule of thumb for any get together! For a party, the table needs to be clutter free to make room for drinks, but a chic table lamp is always a crowd pleaser, as is a delicate flower arrangement. Don’t forget a pile of coasters – mirrored or beaded options look great in dimly lit rooms in the evening when they glimmer as they catch the light.”
For any guests that have travelled a distance, or have enjoyed your drinks cabinet a little too freely, a sofa bed is a very good investment. Handcrafted in the UK, the Luna three-seater sofa bed is genuinely comfortable whether it’s used as a bed, or a sofa. With luscious plump cushions and padded, crescent-shaped arms, it is a beautiful piece to lay back and relax on.
Sam Baldry comments, “Sofa beds are a great idea if space is at a premium, or if you entertain a lot. The best sofa beds are the ones where you have to ask, “is it or isn’t it?” – so that is what I look for when choosing one.
“To style your sofa bed, I love to incorporate varying textures and tones through pillows, blankets, and throws to add an interesting depth to your display – which can then also be used once the sofa becomes a boudoir. I tend to stay within one colour range, for example mixing a forest green sofa with lime green pillows and a turquoise throw for a chic yet contemporary aesthetic”.
So, there you have it. Five must-have furniture pieces to ensure that you can become the host with the most at this summer’s soirees! From bar cabinets to sofa beds, you have your guests catered for, for each step of the evening. All that’s left to do is invite the guests, and order the bubbly! Happy entertaining.