How to take Your Dining Room Outdoors

As the warm weather approaches,

it’s time to get out of hibernation and take your family outside.

One way to inspire some outdoor fun is to create a an open-air dining area.

Alfresco dining not only enhances the appearance of your backyard,

it combines the coziness of the indoors with the beauty of the outside world.

Creating the perfect outdoor dining area is easy once you break down the essentials.

Choose Your Location

The easiest place to construct an outdoor dining room is on a patio or deck. Dining near the house generally makes the entire experience more enjoyable.

However, if you do not have an existing foundation, you can still carve out the perfect area for dining. Look for private spaces or areas that you find peaceful, comfortable and relaxing.

The corner of your yard, the middle of a garden or underneath your favorite tree are all ideal spots.

Once you determine a location, consider how you will enclose the space. Use tall hedges, sunflowers, privacy fencing or portable screens to section off your dining room.

You can also build the dining area in a gazebo or underneath a pergola. Even a few arbors filled with lush greenery can provide protection from noise and curious neighbors.

Construct your dining room on even ground, and avoid areas that receive too much sunlight.

You can define your new space and give it structure in several ways:

1. Lay down concrete pavers as the foundation.
2. Pour gravel around a dirt or sand center to outline the space.
3. Create a small patio using bricks or natural stones.
4. Hang a canopy overhead to give the feeling of intimacy.
5. Build a sitting wall around the dining area.
6. Use drapery wherever possible to provide extra privacy.

Replicate Your Indoor Dining Room

You can easily make your outdoor dining room an extension of its indoor counterpart. Select a dining set that reflects your tastes as well as your needs.

If you have a big family or entertain a lot, choose from larger dining sets or picnic tables. For a more romantic setting, consider using several bistro table sets.

You can even design a casual kitchen island by using paving stones and a concrete, tile or granite countertop.

Decorate the area with the same creativity you would for your indoor rooms. Incorporate colors from inside your home, and provide the same comforts. Fill your table with small plants, bouquets or sprigs of your favorite herbs.

Place candles in the center of the table, or use string lights or torches to illuminate the area at nighttime. To truly mirror the indoors, hang a canopy over the table and attach a chandelier to it. 

Other indoor accessories to consider include an area rug, artwork, vases, sculptures, a movable serving table, seat cushions and a portable music source.

You should also purchase sun shades or table umbrellas for added protection. Consider whether you want a grill or outdoor stove for preparing food on.

No matter what items you select, make sure they are durable and can withstand all types of weather. 

Make the Experience Enjoyable

The best part about dining outdoors is that you can experience all the treasures nature has to offer. There are many ways you can utilize the sights, smells, sounds and even the textures of the outdoors.

To create a visual masterpiece around your dining area, hang colorful blossoms or strategically place potted flowers around the table. Use fragrant selections such as lilies, honeysuckle, roses or jasmine to tempt your sense of smell. 

Although your dining area should be protected from noise, you may still want to enjoy the pleasant sounds of nature. You can replicate some of these sounds by placing several pots of bamboo or ornamental grasses around the area.

The plants will whisper in the wind and create a nice border around the eating space. You can also place a small fountain close to your table, or build a bubble pond nearby. 

Keep Mishaps in Mind

Heat, sun, rain, insects and improper planning can quickly turn a dinner into a disaster. Plan ahead by protecting your table with a mesh tent or patio awning.

You can also place mesh covers over the food and use citronella candles to keep pests away. Prevent common mishaps by using napkin weights, airtight beverage dispensers and tablecloth clips. 

Designing a little dining nook in your backyard allows you to enjoy more outdoor fun. Dining with family, friends or neighbors instantly becomes a treat for everyone involved.

With a little imagination, you can create the perfect setting. For more tips on how to take your dining room to the great outdoors, contact Install It Direct. Join our email list or sign up today for a free estimate on your outdoor dining area needs.