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10 Chic Outdoor Dining Ideas

When the sun’s shining , not like today, of course ... (it is snowy here in NJ) and the temperatures are soaring, a garden, terrace, or courtyard is the perfect place be.

By embracing al fresco dining, you can extend your home beyond the property’s four walls and make the most of the space you have available.

Of course, you’ll want to expand your interior design to the exterior of your property , as well!

To get started, check out our l10 top tips to enjoy stylish outdoor dining this upcoming spring / summer season

1. Mimic Indoor Flooring

Creating an outdoor dining space requires practical considerations, as well as design choices, and adding robust, durable flooring will create a level space that helps to avoid accidents and prevents your outdoor furniture from sinking into the grass! When you’re selecting flooring for an outdoor dining space, mimic or complement your indoor flooring to extend your interior design throughout the entire property.

2. Add Soft Furnishings

Don’t let the thought of bad weather prevent you from adding extra comfort to an outdoor dining space. Instead, choose soft furnishings and accessories that are designed for outdoor use. Outdoor rugs and cushions are a great way to enhance the design of an outdoor dining area and they will increase your comfort levels too.

3. Consider Outdoor Cooking

If you really want to embrace outdoor dining this summer, why not take things a step further and install an outdoor cooking station too?

This will give you the opportunity to impress your guests with your cooking skills and make it even easier to make the most of your outdoor space.

From pizza ovens and built-in BBQs to standalone workstations and integrated kitchens, there are endless options to consider.

With a range of styles available, you can complement your garden design with a traditional feel or opt for an uber-contemporary style to modernise the space.

4. Beat the Heat with a Canopy

Getting too much sun is always a concern

, but it’s important to protect yourself from the rays if you want to enjoy al fresco dining.

Whether you’re designing an outdoor dining area for your home or a vacation home , you can increase the functionality of the space by adding a canopy.

5. Fuse Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

In many homes, it’s possible to create a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors by removing an exterior wall of the property and replacing it with sliding or folding doors.

This creates a unique indoor-outdoor environment that can be enjoyed whatever the weather and it can also increase convenience for outdoor dining.

When you have a bar or entertainment space that leads directly into your garden, for example, it’s easy to entertain guests and host light refreshments indoors before moving outside for a more formal feast.

6. Add Table-Top Heating

When you’ve been enjoying the sun throughout the day, evening temperatures can feel a little chilly.

With table-top heating, however, you needn’t let this prevent you from enjoying al fresco dining well into autumn.

Self-contained table-top fire pits are a top trend this year and it’s easy to see why.

As well as keeping your guests warm, a table-top fire pit makes for a spectacular centrepiece on your tablescape and enhances your table design.

7. Update Outdoor Furniture

If you’re upgrading your outdoor dining area, it’s a good time to update your outdoor furniture , as well.

From classic wooden furniture with soft, sumptuous cushions to sleek, brushed metal and ornate wrought iron, you’ll want an outdoor dining set that complements your design and reflects the style of your home.

When you pair an outdoor dining table and chairs with outdoor armchairs, daybeds, and side tables, you can enjoy flexible and functional garden living at any time.

8. Illuminate the Space with Outdoor Lighting

As the days get longer, it might not seem necessary to add lighting to an al fresco dining space, but you’ll soon realize the impact it has.

In addition to increasing functionality as dusk draws in, outdoor lighting adds ambience and atmosphere to your dining area.

To create the ultimate outdoor dining space, use soft lighting to create a sense of warmth.

From table-top candles and string lights to hidden uplights, there are a variety of ways to enhance your design with the right lighting.

If you have a water feature nearby, for example, be sure to showcase it with underwater LED lighting.

This will ensure it remains a statement feature at all times of the day and night – even when you’re enjoying a late-night meal in your new outdoor dining space.

9. Use Screening for Discreet Dining

Garden screening is a fast and effective way to add ambience to an outdoor dining space and it can be an effective way to increase your privacy too.

If you’re green-fingered, you can rely on shrubs, hedges and climbing plants to create a natural screen that will separate your outdoor dining area from the rest of your garden.

However, if you don’t want to wait for plants to mature, consider using container plants, artificial green walls, or freestanding room dividers as garden screens.

10. Create Stunning Tablescapes

When you’re entertaining guests in your home, a tablescape can set the tone and really showcase your interior design – and the same applies when you’re hosting guests .

By choosing a spectacular table design, you can give a temporary outdoor dining area a sense of permanence and reflect your broader design choices in the finer details.

Use decorative table linens or runners to add colour to the space, for example, and add accessories, such as candleholders, vases, or barware, in varying heights to add visual interest.

Enjoy Al Fresco Dining All Year Round

With the right design and materials, an outdoor dining space can be functional at any time of year, which means you can enjoy al fresco dining throughout every season.

Combining stylish design choices with practical additions, like heating and overhead coverage, your new outdoor dining area can become a permanent and much-loved part of your home.

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