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2024: The Year of Outdoor Living

As we step into 2024, the concept of outdoor living is not just a fleeting trend, but a lifestyle choice that homeowners in Southwestern Ontario and Canada are adopting with open arms. This year, we're witnessing a transformative approach to outdoor living, with a strong emphasis on personalization and a deep connection to the natural environment.

The Evolution of Outdoor Kitchens


A standout trend for this year is the sophisticated outdoor kitchen. Far surpassing the traditional barbecue setup, modern outdoor kitchens are becoming fully equipped culinary havens, boasting features like state-of-the-art smokers, spacious countertops, and even specialized wine storage. These spaces are not just about cooking; they're about creating an inviting atmosphere that extends the home's living area into the beauty of the outdoors.


A Splash of Color and Comfort

Moving away from the subdued palettes of the past, 2024 is all about vibrant colors and engaging patterns in outdoor spaces. Homeowners are boldly experimenting with hues and designs that reflect their unique style, infusing their outdoor living areas with energy and personality. Alongside this colorful trend, there's a growing demand for comfortable, plush outdoor seating that combines the coziness of indoor furniture with the durability needed for outdoor use.


Sustainable Practices in Outdoor Design

Sustainability remains at the forefront of outdoor living trends. Eco-friendly practices are influencing choices in materials and manufacturing, with a surge in popularity for furniture made from recycled resources and sustainably sourced materials. The trend also extends to decor, with many opting for upcycled furnishings and decorations that contribute to a greener, more sustainable outdoor environment.

Decking and Outdoor Living Trends in 2024

In 2024, we're seeing a rise in modular furniture for decks and patios, offering flexibility and adaptability for any outdoor living space. Edible gardens are also becoming popular, with homeowners growing their own food, adding a functional and sustainable element to their outdoor spaces. Detailed finishes and textured designs are adding depth and character to patio furniture, while comfort-oriented designs are creating inviting environments for relaxation.

Planning Ahead: Winter and Outdoor Spaces

While outdoor living is often associated with warm weather, the winter months present the perfect opportunity for planning and designing your next outdoor project. Whether you're considering a custom deck, a charming gazebo, or an expansive outdoor kitchen, starting your design process now ensures that you'll be ready to enjoy your new space as soon as the season changes.


Your Outdoor Living Partner: Decks by Premier

At Decks by Premier, for almost a century, we've been dedicated to crafting custom decks and outdoor structures that not only elevate the aesthetics of your home but also enhance your outdoor living experience. As we embrace the outdoor living trends of 2024, we're excited to help you create a personalized outdoor sanctuary. Don't wait for the snow to melt—now is the ideal time to begin planning your outdoor living investment with Decks by Premier so that everything can be ready for when spring comes. Ask us to give you a no obligation quote and make 2024 the year your outdoor living dreams come to fruition.

Dan Boyer at 10:23 AM
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Summer party etiquettes 2023

people socializing in a party


We can’t wait to get back into the full swing of in-person gatherings, like we had before the pandemic took this summer activity from us. But it’s easy to forget party host and guest manners without enough practice.


Whether you’re hosting a summer party or attending it, you will want to avoid the following ‘oopsies.’ We suggest going through these summer party dos’ and don’ts as a refresher. By the end of it, you’ll be an expert at handling expected and unexpected situations at parties this summer.


Let’s begin with some party guest etiquette.


Bringing a plus one to a party.

This is one of those common party mistakes that can become an embarrassment for both the host and the guest. If you have an out-of-town friend staying at your place for a few days, they are not automatically invited to the party. Check with the host before you decide who you can add to the guest list.


RSVP etiquette for summer events.

Parties are not easy to plan for, especially with rising prices and limited supplies on the market. Letting your host know you’re attending is respectful, and it also tells them how many people to plan for.


This is especially true if they’re having the event catered or ordering special barbecue items.


Send off a quick note or respond to that invitation to indicate your intentions to attend. Also remember to add it to your calendar so you don’t forget to go!


giving a gift to the host


Bringing gifts for the hosts.

The host will always appreciate it if you bring something to the party as a thank you gesture. Gifting shows you’re being a considerate party guest. The present doesn’t have to break the bank, especially if you’re going to a lot of parties. Keep it simple — anything in the ballpark of $15–$20 will do. Add some gratitude with a thank-you note to be given after the party, and you will be the guest your host will remember for a long time.


Dress code for summer parties.

When it’s hot outside, we all want to dress as casually as possible. But your hosts may have other ideas. Make your life easier by checking the dress code, either on the evite or by asking your host. That tells you what they’re expecting and how they will react if you show up in something tasteless.


Party arrival times.

The correct arrival time is very important among the many unwritten rules of being a good party guest. Getting to the party early can annoy your hosts as they may still be in prep mode. On the other hand, being the last one to arrive is inappropriate social etiquette for a summer or any other type of party.


Aim to arrive on time or within the first 15 mins of the time written on your evite, especially if you’re going to a cocktail event. Another skill guests may have forgotten is making small talk at summer gatherings. Sharpen your talking chops and follow conversational etiquette at summer parties by mingling with guests and saying hello to everyone.


Lending a hand.

Once you’re done mingling, seek your host(s) again and offer to lend a hand. They may be in the last stages of prep and could use assistance. The task you take on doesn’t have to be hefty; it could be something small like taking the dishes from the kitchen to the dining table, setting up glasses, or bringing the food to the table.


Social media etiquette for summer events.

Cut the cord. Yes, we mean it. Silent your phone, put it away, or even leave it in your car if you must. We know it’s tough to resist the temptation of pulling out your phone and casually looking something up during a conversation. But your attention at the party should be dedicated to people — some of whom you may be meeting after a long time.


Practice active listening by asking follow-up questions, so you can catch up with old friends and even make new ones.


And if there are board games or lawn activities planned, be a good sport and participate.


Balancing consumption at summer parties.

Don’t forget food and drink etiquette at summer events and be mindful about how much you eat or drink, because you don't want to be sloppy or deplete your host of refreshments.


Just as guests need a reminder about how they should behave when invited to parties, hosts need a bit of a refresher on proper behaviour at summer gatherings, too.


Here are top ways of making sure you win the hearts of your guests and throw an amazing party while doing so.


RSVP card to a summer party


Use an electronic invitation system.

Yes, sending an invitation is a thing again. Get out of the endless circle of chat groups to find the best date that works for everyone.


Prepare a guest list and put together a nice invitation message and send it using an evite platform. It’s important to give people a heads up, especially if they must arrange for a babysitter.


The electronic invite is also a good way of communicating party details and directions, like a dress code, and sending reminders to guests. Request an RSVP and include the option to mention dietary restrictions or choices.


When the guests arrive, remember it’s one of the host’s duties to introduce guests at parties. Share names and something interesting about the attendees to get the conversation going.


Preparing an inclusive menu.

Once you’ve collected all the RSVPs, it’ll be easy for you to manage dietary restrictions at summer parties. Put together a list of vegetarian, gluten-free, and non-vegetarian options. Don’t forget your friends that choose to follow a faith-based diet.


Similarly, where you should arrange for plenty of alcoholic options, you should also have non-alcoholic choices. Now you can go shopping with your list and pick ingredients if you’re the chef or are placing an order with a caterer.


The list will also help prepare a backup plan in case your home-cooked food doesn’t turn out the way you expect it will.


Arrange for small party favours

While you’re out shopping, look for small party favours for guests. Since you’re already spending money on the food and arrangements, these gifts don’t have to make a huge dent in your budget. They can be small items that remind people of the wonderful time they had at your place.


Making sure everyone has a place at the table.

No table in the world is big enough to accommodate everyone, but you can ensure all guests have a chair to enjoy their meal sitting down. Borrow some seating options from a neighbour if you have to (maybe invite the neighbour to the party) but provide ample seats so everyone has a place to relax before, during, and after the meal.


outdoor table with decorations and food


Time the food appropriately.

If you’re cooking for the entire party, it is a good idea to cook in batches. If you make something in the morning, leave it in the warming drawer of the oven until it’s time to eat. It’s tricky to plan such that all the cooking ends simultaneously. And it’s a huge no-no to keep a guest waiting if you’re still cooking their meal, while everybody else has already dug into theirs.


If the caterer is delivering the food, factor in a 15-minute grace period. Meanwhile, give your guests plenty of nibbles to keep their hunger at bay till the food is delivered and served.


And always order some extra for those unexpected guests that someone is sure to bring. Any leftovers can be your lunch the next day.


Plan the party entertainment.

Nobody likes a dull party, so line up game options for your guests to indulge in as they await food or to play after the meal.


Dig out a couple choice board or card games from your collection to place on the table as suggestions. If you’re hosting the party in the backyard, provide lawn game options, such as cornhole, Spike ball, giant Connect 4, the guests can enjoy. This is also a good idea if you’re barbecuing and want to keep everyone from gathering around the grill as you cook. Company is good, but too many cooks can spoil the — you know what we mean.


Some other summer party tips

  • Be a gracious party host by welcoming unannounced guests to the party.

  • Politely ask guests to clean up their surroundings. The rest you can take care of on your own.

  • Nobody likes spills, but if something does happen, don’t let it spoil the mood or your friendship. Keep a small collection of cleaning items handy for just such situations.

  • Remember noise and music etiquette at outdoor parties. It’s never fun to have a party ending with a municipal by-law visit.


It may take a couple parties to get back into the swing of it, but these tips should give you a good start in throwing a memorable summer bash this year!

Dan Boyer at 9:00 AM
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