4 Things to Get Right When Creating the Perfect Outdoor Dining Area
Outdoor dining spaces are the perfect way to grab some fresh air while enjoying a delectable meal. And during the festive season, having the perfect dining area means you can even take the party outdoors.
So how do you go about creating a warm, inviting, practical and useful space all in one area? Here are some tips and tricks.
There’s no point having a dining area so far away from the kitchen that you never use it. By the same token, there’s always a use for a dining space. So no matter whether you have a sprawling backyard or a small nook where a table will fit, find somewhere and create the perfect outdoor setting.
If you have a large backyard, it can be tricky to find the perfect spot. Consider how you want to divide the outdoor space. You may even find you move the table around a bit before settling on one location. Finding that elusive perfect spot means taking into account the rest of the outdoor landscape and how the dining area will complement it.
If it can’t be close to the kitchen, at least try to get it as close to a door as possible. This makes it easier to transport food, crockery and drinks. Alternatively, consider putting in an outdoor kitchen so you can cook outside – everything will be at your fingertips.
Another element to consider is the shelter. If an area is open to wind, rain or direct sun, sitting outside may not be so pleasant.
And finally, there’s privacy. Who wants to be right on top of their neighbours? Creating a bit of space between your common fence and your dining area means you won’t be disturbing your neighbours if you’re a bit rowdy and it also means they won’t be able to hear every word you say.
There is a key question here: do you want your dining space to be an extension of your indoor area or a completely separate design with its own style and theme? This ties in directly with the location – if the area is close to the house, ensuring it’s a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors may be the way to go. However, if the space is at the other end of the property, you may have a bit more flexibility in terms of the style and design.
If you’re keeping the theme the same inside and out, consider finding a similar table and chairs. If you can’t do this, perhaps use similar accent colours so it ties in nicely.
If you want to give it an exotic luxury feel, pop some palm trees around and create an oasis. And if you plan to make the dining area stand out, consider pavers and stacked stones, or install a water feature! Find a style that suits your outdoor space and your personality and really stick to it.
Another way to make your outdoor area really shine is to use natural materials such as stone or timber for the furnishings. This creates a seamless, elegant style. They’re also exceptionally weather resistant which is a must for outdoor areas.
Function and flexibility
When it comes to entertaining outside, it helps to have flexibility in the function of your furniture. This means, finding a table that can seat six or eight, but extend to 10 or 12. This means you can sit and enjoy the great outdoors if it’s just your immediate family or even when you’re having a whole dinner party.
If you only have a small space, consider finding a small table that can be tucked into a corner with some folding chairs that can be brought out when needed but tucked away when no longer required.
In terms of seating, find chairs that can double as a seating area. Benches with cushions on top work perfectly.
When we look at functionality, you have to consider whether the outdoor space can be used all year round. Perhaps the most important element is whether the area is under cover. If not, can we put a pergola in or a retractable awning? This means come rain, hail, wind or extreme sunshine, the area can be used. It’s also key to have some form of heating element. If you can’t put an outdoor heater or fireplace there, definitely provide guests with blankets on those colder evenings.
If you don’t want much maintenance and you’re sick of mowing the grass every weekend, then you can design a functional yard with pebbles, stone pavers, and some groundcover to soften the space. This is also a great way to conserve water and add value to your home. Call us today with any questions you have – we’re here to help you with your landscaping needs.
What good is being able to sit outside if you can’t even see each other across the table? While a star-studded sky sounds romantic and whimsical, if you can’t see your food, there’s a problem. Of course, there are numerous ways you can ensure there is enough light while still creating a mood. If you don’t want downlights or a pendant light, perhaps some wall-mounted lights nearby will work. If you want a lovely fairytale atmosphere, fairy lights will be your new best friend. And then, of course, there are lantern varieties. Whether electronic or candles, lanterns spotted around the table and garden area are a lovely way to create the right mood.