There's nothing better on a balmy Hawke's Bay summer's evening than sitting outdoors enjoying a barbecue with friends and family.
It wasn't that long ago that in most backyards you would fine a huge wooden barbecue table with built in seats
If you were lucky you had pavers under it, otherwise it sat proudly on the grass and was dragged around when it was lawn mowing time.
These days we are spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor furniture and accessories and turning your outdoor area into a modern and happy place is lots of fun.
Mitre 10 Napier retail manager Paul Roe says they have everything you need to create an outdoor living space to enjoy this summer.
"We have a variety of styles available to suit every taste and with mix and match options there's freedom to customise your look. With a range of quality materials, textures and colours and the ability to mix and match different chairs and dining tables, loungers and coffee tables, everything you need to create your perfect outdoor setting," Paul said.
"The Siena wicker range is really popular and I like the fact that they are always upgrading their products with things such as higher spec fabric, without bumping the price up.
"This also means it's more sustainable because your furniture lasts longer. The manufacturers of these products seem to me to be always asking themselves what they can do to offer a better product."
Paul says teak tables inject warmth into an outdoor setting.
"The natural wooden look is beautiful and you will notice that many outdoor tables these days don't have the hole in the middle for an umbrella. One of the reasons for this is that manufacturers don't want to cut a hole in the middle of their tables — it ruins the look.
"Also you are limited with settings on an umbrella that sits in the middle of your table.
People are moving more and more towards the Cantilever look which moves up and down and pivots 360 degrees to block out the sun no matter where it is. Basically, your umbrella isn't stuck in a hole and it's far more versatile.
"These are becoming more and more popular. In the past 10 years, we started with one style and now we have six or seven. They have developed over the years with better fabric and design."
He says, because of our climate, we do spend a lot of time outdoors and we want something nice to look at and something that's durable.
"Aluminium and wicker are up there. They are hard wearing, long lasting and relatively maintenance free with fast dry fabric. In saying that I would highly recommend you cover your furniture during winter and also perhaps have a cushion box for those wet summer days. If you look after your furniture it will last a lot longer."
Paul also recommends that you get in quick because "things are selling like hot cakes and once it's gone it's gone until next year".