Monday Oct 02, 2023

Amazon’s best outdoor entertaining picks, according to an interior designer

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Plates, a side table, a chair, a tray

All the essentials for a great summer. (Photo: Amazon)

The sun is shining and the air is heating up, evoking thoughts of that glorious season we await all year — summer. That means picnics, barbecues, cocktails on the deck and the general revelry that accompanies warm weather.

As an interior designer and founder of Burrow & Nest Design Studio, I encourage my clients to consult me not just about furnishings, but about serveware, table dressings and anything else that accompanies entertaining. After all, what good is that new beautiful patio table if you’re just going to throw some paper plates on it and call it a day? It’s a missed opportunity to shine, I tell you!

If you’re not sure how to level up your outdoor space — because it’s another living area in your home and thus needs attention — then I have some tips for you. Not only that, but you can gather these goodies in a matter of days, all from Amazon, with convenient Prime delivery. Amazon will give you free shipping on most if not all of these items. But if you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get so much more — from access to new movies to two-day shipping on many items. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here.

So take a gander at the items below that are sure to make your outdoor dining, lounging and gallivanting a cut above the rest — no proverbial hole in your wallet necessary.

Set the Stage

An outdoor rug so cute you’ll want multiples: save $60

Graphic outdoor rug.

Black goes with everything. (Photo: Amazon)

When setting up your outdoor oasis, start at the ground. An outdoor rug adds instant coziness and really creates that coveted living or dining room vibe. I love this Ourika Moroccan Geometric Textured Weave Indoor/Outdoor rug in black, because it’s neutral enough that you can stay subdued or add pops of color with furniture and accessories. Plus, the dark color hides dirt until you can hose it off.

This is an 8×10 — it’s not a good look to have a rug that feels too small for the space. Your furniture should sit on the rug, not outside the perimeter. And right now you can save over $60 on this beauty!

One of thousands of happy reviewers says, “Exactly what I was looking for. Dries quickly, stays in place and isn’t slippery when wet. Laid flat right away and no issues with rolled edges. Very happy with my purchase and have gotten a lot of compliments.”

$119 $181 at Amazon

A shapely lounge chair: save $50

Shapely chair by a pool.

Rest for the weary. (Photo: Amazon)

Make sure there’s plenty of seating — and be prepared for your guests to fight over sitting in this charming Teardrop Wicker Lounge Chair, now over $50 off. Its unique shape and comfy cushions will draw them in — you’ll have to kick them out when the party’s over. Since it’s so sculptural, it’s a great way to fill the distant corner of the yard or patio that goes otherwise unnoticed. Add a drink table and a tall palm and you have an instant staycation.

Says a thrilled reviewer, “I am in love with this beautiful chair! It came so fast and was so extremely easy to put together. The cushions provided are plump and comfortable and a great shade of eggshell white. I know this is technically an outdoor chair but I loved it so much I kept it in my living room! I get so many compliments from friends when they come over and everyone loves to sit in it including my cat!”

$285 $336 at Amazon

The side table everyone should own — nearly 60% off


Small wood side table

The go anywhere table. (Photo: Amazon)

Now that you have that extra outdoor seating, you need a side table. A place to put your essentials — your book, some sunscreen and that frozen pina colada. Creating small vignettes for lounging throughout your yard is the key to a welcoming atmosphere. Grab this Gino Outdoor Acacia Wood Side Table for only $45; it’s a whopping 56 percent off! And Prime members can get this all-purpose table delivered in a day.

Says a satisfied city dweller: “Got this for my balcony. it was easy to put together and is a sturdy little table, exactly what I wanted. This is its second summer outside; every spring I give it a good going over with mineral oil, which leaves it looking as good as new!”

$45 $102 at Amazon

Set the Table

Glasses that aren’t actually glass — on sale

four clear tumblers.

The answer is clear — invest in some unbreakable tumblers! (Photo: Amazon)

It’s time to ditch those plastic Solo cups and invest in something more permanent. Not only will it save you money in the long run, but it will make every beverage that much more pleasurable to drink when you’re enjoying the outdoors.

Sturdy and conveniently stackable, these Acrylic Water Tumbler Drinking Glasses look and feel like glass. BPA free, they’re safe for you and the dishwasher for easy cleanup. The 13-ounce size fits a can of soda over ice perfectly. Good for kids, outdoors or anywhere you’re concerned about breaking a glass — you may find you want to replace all of your glasses with these durable beauties. Impress your guests with this foursome and save 15% with code at checkout.

Says a happy camper: “Moved into an RV. Had to get rid of the glass dishes. These were the perfect replacement without compromising style. I was worried they would get that cloudy plastic look but so far so good; still clear as glass.”

$16 $19 at Amazon

When life gives you lemons, get a tray for only 10 bucks

White tray with lemons.

Serve it up pretty. (Photo: Amazon)

Presentation is everything, and so is convenience. Hence, the humble tray. It displays those finger sandwiches in the most appetizing way, and it’s easy to carry in and out of the house.

Can’t you just see those tumblers above full of lemonade, artfully garnished with mint and a lemonwheel on this pretty little platter? Another shatterproof, easy-to-clean piece of serveware, the Calypso Basics Melamine Sandwich Tray is a steal at $10.

This entertaining maven says: “Such a lovely tray, perfect for serving a light lunch.”

$10 at Amazon

An everyday plastic pitcher with a twist (did someone say removable lid?)

Clear pitcher with lemons.

Pretty as a pitcher. (Photo: Amazon)

Next up, this classic pitcher. Another non-toxic BPA-free must-have for outdoor entertaining. The Clear Plastic Pitcher with Removable Lid will allow you to keep all of your beverages on ice, while the handy lid keeps the ice from diving into your drink. The clear, lightweight acrylic allows your beverage to shine through, so keep it colorful and add fruit for a refreshing libation your guests can’t resist. Sangria anyone?

One of the hundreds of satisfied reviewers says: “This pitcher is better than I expected. At first I thought it was the wrong size because it appears so much smaller than our other 2-quart pitchers. Good news is that it’s not! It holds 2 full quarts and fits nicely in the refrigerator. Love it! Lid stays in place when you pour and it’s a lovely pitcher to serve from.”

$20 $23 at Amazon

Plating is imperative: Save nearly 60%

Two plates and a bowl.

Great set for a great price. (Photo: Amazon)

Where else can you get a 12-piece dinnerware set for such an amazing price? This stylized geometric navy pattern is only 25 bucks (originally $60). Made of melamine, the set is shatterproof, outdoor friendly and much more attractive than disposable plates. You’ll get 4 dinner plates (11 inches), 4 salad plates (8 inches) and 4 cereal bowls (6.5 inches). Pretty enough to use inside on the daily, especially if you have small children or clumsy adults in your family. Save nearly 60% while you can.

This reviewer raves: “We ordered this set to use for outdoor barbecues last summer. We love it! It holds up well, is lightweight and is dishwasher safe.”

$25 $60 at Amazon

Style on a platter: Save nearly 60%

Two platters.

Colorfully festive. (Photo: Amazon)

Platters are another outdoor entertaining essential — even burgers and dogs deserve to look pretty. Melamine is super easy to clean and makes this mock pottery the perfect shatterproof alternative to the real deal.

Right now you can save nearly 60% on the International Talavera Melamine Platter Set that you’ll use all summer long. The platters measure 14″ round and 18″ x 13. 5″ — so they’re large enough for a bunch of chicken thighs, roasted corn or a ton of appetizers. I love how colorful they are, highlighting the blues and greens of the season.

Says a fan: “I love these platters and use them all the time! I get tons of compliments on them, and I don’t have to worry about them breaking, which is a major bonus at my house.”

$29 $67 at Amazon

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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