16 Must-Have Accessories for Entertaining on Your Porch this Summer
We've all become more outdoorsy in the past year. For some of us, though, "outdoorsy" means sipping a refreshing cocktail on a patio—at home. "I think the pandemic encouraged people to also fix up their outdoor spaces. Even if it's just a little apartment terrace," says Stacy Borocz, co-founder of EtúHome. The owner of the brand which specializes in high-end kitchen and dining accessories is no stranger to outdoor entertaining, and is glad people are finally catching on. "It's exciting. It just feels healthier doesn't it?" Borocz says.
When it comes to outdoor entertaining, it's important to have the right accessories for your space since that typically determines what kind of food you'll serve. For example, if you're sitting in a lounge-like setting (think couches and club chairs), serving off of a charcuterie board is ideal. Meanwhile, an outdoor dining set allows you to be more formal. "You get to do a lot with floral arrangements or something fun and fresh from your garden," says Borocz.
Whatever your outdoor entertaining situation looks like, don't feel like you can't add a little glam. "I think entertaining outdoors can be beautiful and romantic. Why not use crystal glasses? Why not use beautiful champagne glasses? I personally use a lot of found silver," she says. Even linens and cloth napkins add a nice touch.
The one accessory Borocz swears that every al fresco entertainer should have? A serving tray to stylishly carry those drinks, food, and glassware. "That's my number one go-to, is something that is a tray so it has a lip so things don't fall off when you carry them outside," says Borocz.
Here are 16 accessories to up your outdoor entertaining game.
Cotton Woven Tablecloth
BUY IT: $15; target.com
Complete with tassels and blue and white stripes, this tablecloth screams summertime. It also washes up nicely so it can take your spills.
EtúHome Mini Charcuterie Board
BUY IT: $49; etuhome.com
If you're only hosting a couple of friends, or, heck, just want to make yourself a snack, this mini charcuterie board is the answer. There are a variety of colors to choose from, and it happens to be sustainably-made from reclaimed pinewood and finished with a plant-based wax.
Galvanized Metal Stand-up Cooler
BUY IT: $200; potterybarn.com
Keep those bevvies crisp in a stylish cooler. Slightly rustic with a a three-legged stand, this metal cooler is an ideal spot to stash the beverage of choice for your patio hang.
Marin Blue Oval Platter
BUY IT: $40; crateandbarrel.com
Add a pop of coastal flair to your outdoor dining table with this ceramic platter. It's microwave safe and oven safe up to 300 degrees, and it can go in the dishwasher.
BUY IT: $70; tributegoods.com
Ditch the wasteful paper napkins and level up with these cocktail napkins made by Houston's Tribute Goods. Graced with a cheerful bloom on Italian linen, your guests' fingers will thank you.
Keko Melamine Dinnerware
BUY IT: from $8; crateandbarrel.com
If you don't want to use ceramic dishes on the porch or patio, or you want dishes that can go on a picnic with you, consider these melamine dishes. They're lightweight and durable, and who can resist the cheery flamingo print?
Williams-Sonoma Wine Chiller
BUY IT: $80; williams-sonoma.com
It's only getting hotter, so you're going to want a vessel that keeps your wine (or sparkling water) bottles cool. Williams-Sonoma teamed up with Marlo Thomas to create this durable stainless steel wine chiller wrapped in oak.
BUY IT: $125; food52.com
One downside of outdoor entertaining are the crawling critters that try to get your snacks. Problem solved with this cloche which keeps them away. Also, it's made of polycarbonate, not glass, so it won't break.
BUY IT: $72; honeycomb-studio.com
If you want a ceramic serving platter with handmade charm then Atlanta-based Honeycomb Studio has the one for you. The ripple design is an elegant backdrop for your favorite treats.
Vivocci Unbreakable Plastic Champagne Flutes
BUY IT: $25; amazon.com
We think you should feel free to use your crystal on the patio, but if you're imbibing by the pool or on the boat (or just don't feel comfortable using glass outdoors), then these plastic champagne flutes are a must. Bottoms up!
BUY IT: $29; ballarddesigns.com
Sangria by the pool? Sweet tea on the porch? Keep it in this stylish, shatterproof acrylic pitcher by Atlanta-based Ballard design.
Reclaimed Wood Serving Tray
BUY IT: from $70; westelm.com
A serving tray is vital to outdoor entertaining. This one by West Elm looks sleek and is made from reclaimed wood (bonus points for sustainability).
BUY IT: $180; mainlybaskets.com
Made of handwoven palm leaves, these placemats by Mainly Baskets in Marietta, GA add an earthy element to the outdoor dining table.
BUY IT: $39; amandalindroth.com
Candles are a guaranteed way to add pizzazz to any tabletop situation. These votives by Amanda Lindroth are wrapped in raffia and perfect for your outdoor entertaining situation.
Picnic Backpack Set
BUY IT: $90; amazon.com
Picnics were all the rage last summer and probably will be this summer, too. Pack one for yourself and take this backpack set with you. It's easy to carry and filled with all the necessities like plastic wine glasses, napkins, corkscrews, plates, and silverware.
BUY IT: $26; amazon.com
You know how it goes, your friends come over for an al fresco happy hour in the early evening and, before you know it, the sun is down and you can't really see each other's faces. These snazzy lanterns can help with that. They're solar powered and when fueled all the way can stay lit for up to 10 hours.