Design, Occasions

Al Fresco Eating – Five Tips For A Spectacular Outdoor Dining Space

It’s officially summer everyone!  That means it’s prime grilling and backyard party season.  Everyone probably has fond memories of eating, drinking, and spending time with friends and family in someone’s backyard or on someone’s patio or deck.  While not everyone has access to such a space, those that do should strive to be the yard that everyone remembers. To help your home become the summer hangout of the year, we’re giving you some tips to help you create an awesome outdoor dining space.

Location, Location, Location

The most important part when setting up an outdoor dining space is the location.  It shouldn’t be too far away from where the food will be coming from (either the grill/outdoor kitchen, or regular kitchen).  If possible have the table and seating in the shade so guests aren’t roasting in the sun. If there isn’t any natural shade you can always use an umbrella or construct a pergola.  The toughest part of deciding on a location is finding the right balance between privacy and still having a nice view from the table. Luckily there are a lot of natural elements that can serve as privacy screens.

Comfort is Key

Your outdoor dining space should be approached as an extension of your interior, and you want guests to be just as comfortable outside as they are in.  Look for outdoor dining chairs that come with cushions, or buy cushions in weather-resistant fabric to add to chairs you already have.  Consider keeping a stash of throw blankets nearby in case any one gets chilly at night. A fire pit is also a great way to help with temperature control once the sun goes down (plus – s’mores!).

Don’t Forget Color

Decorating an outdoor space is the perfect opportunity to experiment with color.  Summer is bright and warm, so bold colors fit right in to the natural surroundings.  If you’re still wary of getting furniture in bright colors, there are still ways to add color to the space.  Pillows, rugs, umbrellas, and other accessories are easy to swap in and out to find which colors you like best.  You can also fill the space with natural color and plant lots of flowering plants.

Supply Ample Illumination

Lighting for outdoor dining spaces is often overlooked because it’s still light out when you first head outside.  But summer parties often go into the night even after the sun has set, so you’ll need to supply some form of artificial light as well.  Candles and lanterns are classic outdoor illumination. But if the dining area is under an overhang you can even just go with classic overhead lighting in the form of a pendant or chandelier.  For a more whimsical space, using string lights to provide illumination.

Keeps Pests Away

No one likes their dinner party being crashed by insect intruders.  Whether it’s flies trying steal your dinner or mosquitoes trying to make you dinner, pests can be a big enough problem to drive parties inside.  To help keep bugs away from food you can invest in some food tents. These will keep the food covered and safe until everything is ready to serve.  For mosquitoes there are a few options, including citronella candles and mosquito coils. If the insects in your area are too big of an issue you may want to consider screening in your outdoor dining area.

Once you have your outdoor dining space all set up all that’s left is to invite some friends over and serve them some super yummy food!  Okay, maybe you still want to set up some stunning tablescapes, and pick some rockin’ music too.  But once the outdoor dining space is set up all the hard work is taken care of.  So sit back and relax and enjoy the summer months outside!

4 thoughts on “Al Fresco Eating – Five Tips For A Spectacular Outdoor Dining Space

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