11 Must-Haves to Get You Ready for Summer Entertaining

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Summer outdoor entertaining essentials

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Warmer days are right around the corner, meaning there plenty of opportunities for outdoor entertaining. While there are certain essentials that make gatherings come together with ease, such as comfortable seating and a spacious dining table, decor favorites like melamine flatware, colorful cocktail glasses, and lightweight lanterns, are great buys that will take your outdoor entertaining to the next level.

Putting together the perfect entertaining set-up shouldn't be complicated or too pricey. So, head out to your garden, patio, backyard, or terrace and figure out what you need to make outdoor hosting a reality, and check out our 11 recommendations for summer entertaining essentials.

Meet the Expert

World Market Mesa Green Ribbed Acrylic Double Old Fashioned Glass

Green acrylic old fashioned glass

World Market

"When prepping for summer entertaining, my go-to must haves are good seating and lots of drinkware," says designer Samantha Struck of StruckSured Interiors. "Making sure that you have enough glasses for all that lemonade you are slinging is key."

These colorful acrylic glasses from World Market are retro with a ribbed, green tint. Plus, they are shatter-proof, safe for the dishwasher, and stackable—ideal for sipping a drink outside.

Room Essentials 20ct Incandescent Outdoor String Lights

Room Essentials 20ct Incandescent Outdoor String Lights


String lights are a summer essential and are a cost-effective way to add atmosphere to any outdoor space. These clear lights from Target work both inside or out and are a staple for enjoying your yard year-round.

World Market Round Natural And Black Woven Fiber Placemat

Woven natural and black placemat

World Market

When it comes to placemats for any summer dining event, ones made from natural fibers elevate any glassware or flatware choices. These seagrass ones from World Market were crafted in Vietnam and feature a sun ray design. Make sure to spot clean them when the party is over.

Crate & Barrel Faux Bois Melamine Platter

Faux wood melamine platter

Crate & Barrel

This melamine serving platter from Crate & Barrel looks so luxe. The realistic wood-grain patterning makes this dishwasher-safe, BPA-free piece a great complement to any dinner party. Plus, Crate & Barrel makes a handful of other faux bois-style pieces, including a bowl, salad plate, and dinner plate so you can complete your collection.

Crate & Barrel Brigton Rattan Lantern 10"

Rattan lantern

Crate & Barrel

"Portable lamps give a pretty glow and create a serene atmosphere," says designer Alexis Lee Wilks, lead designer at Margaret Donaldson Interiors.

A handwoven iron and rattan lantern is an obvious pick for setting the tone for summer hosting. This one from Crate & Barrel is modern, sleek, and easily wipes clean. Place a few by the pool or around the table to illuminate your meal.

Pottery Barn Twist Outdoor Pitcher

Outdoor pitcher

Pottery Barn

The ideal lemonade, sweet tea, or sangria holder, this Pottery Barn pitcher is a must for hot summer days. This fluted, clear piece was inspired by casual bistros, and it's hefty enough for outside use.

Bodum Kvartett Outdoor Wine Glasses - Set of 4

Set of 4 outdoor wine glasses

MoMA Design Store

“As people get ready to entertain friends and family at home this spring and summer, it’s no surprise that people are purchasing melamine dinnerware and colorful glassware. Pastel-colored cocktail and wine glasses are on trend right now," says Emilia de Poret, fashion director at Klarna.

Bring some pastel to your table this summer with these outdoor wine classes from Bodum, which come in blue, green, pink, and yellow. Made in Portugal, these plastic wine glasses are safe for the freezer and dishwasher.

H&M Home Striped Linen-Blend Tablecloth

Striped linen tablecloth

H&M Home

Nothing says summer like a crisp striped linen tablecloth. This woven cotton and linen one from H&M is perfect to drape on your table for any sunny-day festivities. Liven it up with colorful cups, plates, and a few bursts of fresh flowers.

KingCamp 3-Layered Outdoor Waterproof Picnic Blanket

KingCamp 3-Layered Outdoor Waterproof Picnic Blanket


This lightweight travel blanket works for camping, picnicking, and more. It's made up of three-layers: the first, a wear-resistant polyster; the middle, a spray-bonded cotton; and bottom, an aluminum film. This composition keeps it waterproof, so you can use it by the pool, on the lawn, and more. You can't go wrong!

FineDine Double-Wall Stainless Steel Insulated Ice Bucket With Lid and Ice Tong

Silver ice bucket with tongs


This ice bucket has an insulated wall to keep drinks chilled all day long. Stainless steel means it won't rust or tarnish, while its sleek design is functional for any outdoor space. Rustle up a bottle of rosé, ingredients for a mimosa, or any other sunny drink for your guests.

Threshold 16.3oz Ceramic Jar Lavender Citronella Candle

Threshold 16.3oz Ceramic Jar Lavender Citronella Candle


This candle looks stylish, has a calming scent of lavender, and will be your new favorite entertaining essential to keep mosquitos at bay. The palm oil and paraffin wax blend candle will burn for 25 hours and creates a peaceful aroma whether you are relaxing in your yard, hosting friends, or stargazing.

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