7 tips for creating a charming outdoor dining area

For obvious reasons a well-designed garden adds remarkable value to your home. An outdoor entertaining area will maximise this return, being a highly sought-after feature in any home. Here are a few ways to craft the perfect ambience for alfresco dining with friends and family.

Tips for creating a charming outdoor dining area

1. A balcony bistro

Even if you’re short on space, you can create an intimate outdoor entertaining area. Position a table for two on your patio or balcony and you’ll be ready for any small soiree. Wrought iron furniture is a garden party staple, while foldaway tables and chairs can be set up or taken down as needed to accommodate guests. You can dress these up with charming embroidered linens, wine bottle drip candles and mismatched retro tableware to add bistro-like character to your setting.

2. Clever canopies

A successful outdoor dining area can easily be adapted for rain or shine. Use natural landscaping to create shade on hot days; place your dining set underneath a leafy canopy to shelter from the sun. A retractable awning is always a popular patio addition in areas prone to summer showers. Choose one in a colour or pattern that complements your patio furniture.

3. Zone for success

Ideally, you should think about creating an outdoor dining area that can be scaled up or down as needed. Your entertaining needs may shift throughout the social season, from an afternoon tea to a large family barbecue. Arrange your furnishings in such a way that you can set up different zones. There could be a mingling area with banquettes and a separate dining area with a more formal table set-up.

4. Delicate details

An inspiring outdoor entertaining area may need nothing more than good food and good company, but mood lighting certainly helps. Twinkly fairy lights, delicate paper lanterns, or garlands of coloured bulbs help create an intimate setting for evening entertaining. Flourishes like an ivy-covered trellis and strategically-placed mirrors add to the enchanting effect.

5. Inside out

There’s no reason to limit your dinner design choices to rattan and wicker. You can bring interior luxury to your outdoor dining area with high-backed chairs, monochrome fixtures, or elegant sofas for lounging.

6. Natural, rustic design

The alternative to bringing the indoors outside is to embrace the garden aesthetic with rustic décor. Think rough-hewed split log furnishings and a botanical-inspired colour palette. Use old bricks to create a fire pit and seating area, or add flowers trailing out of hanging clay pots.

7. A high-tech deck

Finally, set your guests up for a gourmet dining experience with built-in kitchen features. You can make your backyard more inviting and install a range cooker on the terrace, or keep it simple with a central fire pit.

We’ve previously discussed patio ideas including the benefits of adding tech to your deck with modern grills and sound systems. This not only enhances your entertaining capabilities, but also adds value to your home.

Outdoor entertaining is an art form all its own. Whether you’re simply in need of new ideas for dinner parties or have an outdoor space that’s underused, it’s worth taking the time to spruce up your patio with these simple tips.

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