There’s something about the great New Zealand summer that makes me want to gather my nearest and dearest and spend the long summer days in the backyard over good food and drink.

With warm afternoons turning into long evenings as the sun goes down late into the night, it’s the perfect opportunity to head outdoors.  Picnics, cocktail parties or casual al fresco dining, any excuse to enjoy the warmer weather.

You don’t need fancy outdoor furniture that costs an arm and a leg to create an atmosphere. I love nothing more than dragging your table outdoors, or piecing together small tables with oversized cushions to recreate these inspired settings for late summer scenes in your own backyard.

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This look is perfect for a smaller get together. Forget the old stuffy table cloth and keep it rustic and green. Dinner never looked so good as it did with the sun going down behind the trees.

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Who needs chairs? Mix it up with old rugs and pillows for leisurely comfort that takes you long into the night.

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I love a relaxed outdoor setting. Mix it up rather than matching with old glass jars, different colours and different styles dotted all along the table centrepiece. Find old treasures in your home to incorporate in the setting and pick flowers and foliage from the garden for vibe.

Prolong the summer anyway you can. For more celebration inspiration visit my Celebrate board on pinterest.