How to Create a Scandinavian-Style Space for Outdoor Entertaining

Summer isn’t officially here yet, but it’s just around the corner (June 20th to be precise!). This means you have less than a month to prepare your garden area when you want to kick off the first day of summer in style for much-needed outdoor entertainment. After more than a year of social distancing, I made sure our back yard renovation was a priority so we could safely accommodate our small group of vaccinated friends + family for bland dinners and cocktails al fresco.

One of my first decisions was the garden furniture. I wanted something that was timeless and long-lasting as we are blessed with great weather practically 10 months a year here in Southern California. I also knew I wanted something that embodied Danish design, a style that I loved and defined as quietly refined, flawlessly built and specially defined by nature. I searched high and low at home and abroad and almost gave up on being satisfied with “just ok” furniture. During the search I kept coming back to Skagerak and in the end I knew it had to be Skagerak or nothing.

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

Skagerak is a Danish family business that has been making typically Scandinavian furniture since 1976. With their expertise and traditional craftsmanship, they create pieces that harmonize classic elements with modern aesthetics. When looking for a meal set, I kept coming back to three parts: the reform table, the reform bench and the Mira chairs.

The Reform Table and Bench was designed by the Malmö-based furniture designer Louise Hederström and has a powder-coated aluminum frame with clear, minimalist lines that give the set a visually graphic and modern look, especially in the anthracite black color. The table and tabletops are made of hard teak, which gives it a natural softness so that the set does not appear too stiff for sitting and eating. In accordance with Skagerak’s sustainability values, the teak is also FSC-certified, which means that it can be traced back to a sustainably managed forest.

The Mira chairs were designed separately by Mia Lagerman, but fit seamlessly into the scene. This lightweight, stackable chair uses a wire mesh that is nostalgically reminiscent of outdoor environments like parks and recreation areas and is perfect for any backyard patio.

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

When setting up the reform table, I just swapped a few simple elements to make it stand out from your usual table landscapes. The visually graphic baguette board from Fire Road immediately attracts your attention with its spatial grooves designed to catch crumbs. Black, geometric coasters from Puik Design reflect the anthracite color of the table and stand out against the natural teak wood. Placemats by Graf Lantz made of felt, a very well-known material in Nordic design, give the plates a soft softness to protect the wood. Finally, Puik Design’s glassware – the Rare Carafe + Radiant Glasses set (on sale for $ 89!), Lucent Bowls (set of 2), and the Boeien Salt + Pepper Set – create playful shadows when they catch the light.

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

Fresh flowers universally decorate a table, so that a modern vase is always close at hand. Speaking of freshness, there is no easier way to create a place setting than with a sprig of rosemary cut straight from the garden and placed on a knotted linen napkin.

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

My easiest recipes that are easy for hosting? A bread or crostini situation (I went with thin slices of radish on goat cheese and garnished with microgreens); a pasture board (which you can make for just $ 18); a simple pasta (made with orecchiette, crumbled Italian sausage, a ton of parmesan and whatever greens I’m growing in the garden); and a signature drink (mine is currently the Hugo Spritz with elderflower, lime and mint). PS: A Bauhaus-inspired playhouse keeps the little ones busy while you harvest in the garden.

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

Photo: Jennifer Chong Studio

>>> Do you need more ideas to create your own modern space suitable for the garden? Check out our fun summer collection in the Design Milk Shop! <

Photos by Jennifer Chong Studio.

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