There’s something appealing about eating outside which is why patio season is a big hit during the warmer months. Outdoor restaurant reservations fill up quicker than indoor seating, and some patrons are willing to wait to snag a sweet seat outdoors. Sometimes with limited outdoor seating available, you’ll end up making a reservation outside of your regular eating hours, or not at all.
So instead of waiting in line or making reservations ahead of time, why not create your own outdoor dining space? Whether for an alfresco dining party or enjoying family mealtime together, continue reading for a few ideas to inspire the perfect space.
Space for Dining
First and foremost, you’ll need to have space to work with. If you already have an existing area, you have the perfect blank canvas. Determine how much space you have and how many diners you can comfortably seat. If the dining area is designed to be for entertaining, you’ll need space for a larger table. However, if it’s just for you and your family, create an intimate and cozier space.
If you have funds available, consider expanding the area to create more useable space for your dining area. This can be achieved by adding stylish concrete pavers, pouring a traditional concrete pad, or extending your wooden deck.
Although the sunshine is always welcome as vitamin D helps build and maintain healthy bones, too much of anything can sometimes be hazardous. During lunch hour, the sun is at its peak and can become too unbearable to finish your meal, cooking you in the process. There are many ways to add a covering to your outdoor dining space.
Add a freestanding structure to define your new dining area. The next step, install a lattice top and beams to create a pergola that allows the perfect amount of sunshine to poke through. Need more coverage? A retractable canopy is a perfect solution, retracting when the temperature cools down and extending when rain makes an appearance.
Setting up a shade sail is an easy task that uses a strong rope to attach to poles or the side of your house. Looking for a simple solution? Large, cantilevered umbrellas can cover up to 13 feet.
If the western sun blasts you in the late afternoon, curtains or retractable side screens are a great option. Simply close them when the sun becomes too much or open them up to allow a cool breeze.
Don’t let the temperature decide whether you are comfortable dining indoors or out. There are solutions to continue entertaining outdoors whether the heat rises or drops.
To keep the dining area cool, outdoor ceiling fans are designed to withstand the elements. Some options come with lighting that will extend your time outdoors. However, you’ll require a roof or structure to mount them on.
Patio misters are an effective way to keep cool. Nothing like a blanket of refreshing mist to cool you down after a filling meal.
On the other end, as summer comes to an end, nights become cooler, keeping you inside. To beat this, add a heating element to extend summer nights into late fall. Wall mounted heaters, hanging patio heaters, and mushroom heaters all provide radiant warmth.
Designing an outdoor dining area requires the right furniture. Combining comfort and style creates a welcoming and enjoyable environment. There are plenty of complete patio sets at your local department, hardware, and furniture stores. Purchasing a whole set removes the guesswork of what table and chairs work well together. However, for creative people, this is an opportunity to display your personality and vision.
When choosing an outdoor dining table, look for an easy-to-clean tabletop, leg room for chairs around the table and weather-resistant material. Find the right size that leaves enough room for people to back out of their chairs and walk around. Make sure to take measurements correctly, as large furniture can cramp a smaller space, and small furniture can look lost.
The furniture should also complement your outdoor style, including the landscaping and decorative pieces.
It’s ideal to situate the eating area near your kitchen, indoors or outside. The idea is to limit the number of steps from the kitchen to the dining table and leave the pathway clear of any potential tripping hazards. No one wants to drop their hard-earned meals on the floor and resort to takeout as an alternative!
Ultimately, the design is up to you. But with these few tips, your outdoor dining space will be fully reserved all summer. Ready to share your new and exciting space with your family and friends? Let us know how you designed your outdoor dining space.