Winter may be just around the corner but that does not mean you need to stop planning for your perfect outdoor dining space! A love for grilling is the reason many people step outside into their backyards, or on their decks, patios, or balconies. Grills and outdoor kitchens make nearby dining tables a necessity, at least during the warmer months of the year.
Whether your outdoor space is a city balcony or a sprawling ranch, dining outdoors is a much-anticipated ritual and pastime during the summer and warmer months of the year. Transforming your backyard or patio into a dining area involves very little effort—just common sense and planning.
Follow these design ideas and tips to enhance the experience for you and your guests:
- Carving out the right area for an outdoor dining table should be viewed as an opportunity to design a space around your lifestyle, rather than designing your lifestyle around the space. Dining outdoors and entertaining guests is one of the true joys of having a home and yard.
Things to Consider
– So, where do you put that patio table? If space is not too limited—like on a city balcony—you will need to consider several factors:
– Near the outdoor kitchen or grill makes sense, although you do not want to be downwind of a charcoal barbecue or smoker.
– If the kitchen is indoors, it is a good idea to locate the outdoor table not too far away, for easy access.
– If meal prep will take place inside, you want the table to be located close. Just maybe not butted up against the outside kitchen wall. During the summer, outdoor walls can get hot—like fry-an-egg-on-a-vertical-surface hot.
- Other factors will influence the placement of your patio table and chairs. Things to think about:
– Select a site near a door for easy in-and-out access. Think about quick trips to the kitchen and bathroom.
– A buffet table or bar is a handy way to allow guests to serve themselves, goes along with the informality of the outdoor dining experience, and frees up space on the dining table. Make sure there is enough room to accommodate both guests and the buffet table or bar without crowding. The rule: about 4 feet between the buffet table or bar and the outdoor dining table.
– You want your guests to have a good time. However, if someone gets louder when they get more relaxed, will the patio table be near your children’s bedrooms? Will the noise carry if you locate the dining table next to the fence dividing your property and your neighbors? Devise a layout that will make everyone happy.
- You can have the most expensive, gorgeous outdoor dining table in the land, but if it is sitting smack-dab in the middle of a concrete patio in the desert with the sun beating down, nobody is going to care. Provide shade and shelter, in the form of outdoor umbrellas, shade cloth or sails, or a gazebo. If you have a roof over your deck or patio, you can dine outside any time of day. Otherwise, you can shade the dining table with a patio umbrella or use a pergola with a tent-like roof. Another idea: dine when the sun goes down, and you will not have to worry about supplying shade.
- What is the view like from your yard? If you live on a hilltop, the world below will look dazzling at night while gazing at it from an outdoor dining table. How about any views within the yard itself? Do you have a lovely garden, pool, or nicely illuminated water feature? Locate a dining table so you can enjoy the amenities in your own landscape. Maybe your house has many windows, and, when softly lit at night, looks lovely from the backyard looking in.
– If you have a beautiful outdoor dining table with matching chairs, all you need to do is maintain and clean it. Do you plan to purchase an outdoor dining set anytime soon? Ask yourself these questions before buying:
– How many people will use it? Is the set for your family, extended family, and friends?
– What shape do you prefer—oval, round, rectangle or square? Does that shape and size fit into the space you have in mind? Oversized furniture can dwarf an already small space. Likewise, small furniture can look like it is floating or is lost in a larger space.
– Comfort: Will the dining chairs be the primary seating for your outdoor space? If so, you might want to consider dining chairs with cushions. The chairs can serve double duty as seating near the pool or fire pit.
– Style: If you are starting from scratch—good for you. What style is your house, apartment or condo? Georgian, Craftsman or modern? None of the above? Look at your inside furnishings and what you like about them, then carry the look outdoors. On the other hand, surprise everyone—including yourself—and go with something unpredictable and completely opposite of what is happening indoors to change the look. Time to go outside and let down your proverbial hair.
No matter what environment you are planning to create in your backyard, Signature Decks is here to help you get your dream space. To learn more about Signature Decks’ services and more tips to making your dream outdoor space, please call (419) 277-5464.