Summer is in full swing, which means it’s the perfect time to elevate your outdoor dining experience. Create an inviting space for friends and family to relax on a summer afternoon or evening and enjoy the season. And, if you are considering selling your home in the near future, a stylish and charming outdoor dining area can help increase the overall appeal with potential buyers.
Design the ultimate outdoor dining experience by adding a pergola to your backyard. Not only do pergolas provide additional shade, privacy, and protection, they play a key role in creating atmosphere, style, and comfort. A pergola will help your guests feel the escapism of summer vacation while enjoying the intimacy of your home.
There are a variety of pergola designs to choose from to match the look and feel of your home whether attached or free-standing. Typically made of wood, pergolas often feature an open roof of beams or latticework that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Hanging plants, ivy, or curtains are all great decorative options. Add electricity to accommodate decorative lighting as desired.
Choosing outdoor dining furniture that’s right for your space is important. For larger spaces, consider how many people you envision hosting, and invest in a set of tables and chairs that reflect that vision. Most outdoor dining sets accommodate six to eight people, but Williams Sonoma Home offers table options for eight to ten people. Additionally, they offer extendable tables to help you shift from a cozier to a more expansive atmosphere as needed.
For smaller spaces, you may want to consider a table and benches instead of chairs. Benches offer great seating flexibility with “the more the merrier” in mind. Plus, benches can easily be stored under the table. This allows for more space and helps keep the cushions protected and clean. Also, as you’re looking at outdoor dining furniture, think about what vibe you prefer. If you prefer a relaxed, beachy vibe, then a wicker or wood set might be right for you. If you prefer a more formal, sophisticated vibe, then a slate, metal set could be the better choice.
Once you’ve chosen your furniture, dress it up with fun outdoor decor. When it comes to throw pillows, you can never have too many. This is especially true when decorating tougher outdoor furniture made to withstand the elements. Add color to your space and create softer, more comfortable seating with a variety of pillows. Mix and match pillow types and sizes to support backs and allow for greater relaxation. Have a few cozy and luxurious throws on hand for good measure in case guests get chilled as dinner winds down and evening cools.
Set the mood of your outdoor dining experience with the right lighting. Pottery Barn sells a variety of outdoor lighting to create the ambiance you want. String lights are both elegant and festive and come in a variety of styles, colors, and designs. Paper lanterns bring a celebratory feel to dinner and are great for birthday parties, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Or, you can add a touch of classic sophistication and warmth with candles. There are lovely flameless candles available that are both safe and inviting.
The final touch to every dining experience is the table setting. Your guests will be gathered around the table throughout the afternoon or evening. This Vogue article shares expert advice on creating the dream summer table. Make sure you consider all the elements including a beautiful centerpiece (possibly bright flower arrangements for summer), classy dishware, and colorful placemats and napkins. A festive tablecloth can always dress up and help customize the occasion as well.
If you’d like to do more to turn your home into a retreat, consider these remodel ideas. Whether you’re inside or outside, there’s always a way to create a private oasis.