One of the most popular and enjoyable ways to socialise and spend time with our friends and family is to catch up over some food. If you’re an avid dinner party host or a real foodie, then a great way to level up your mealtimes is to sit in an outdoor space. We’ve put together some simple tips and design ideas to help you create an outdoor dining area in your garden that will make your next get together and garden party all that more memorable.
Plan and Prepare
Before you start making any purchases, you should take some time to think about how you want to use your dining space. Does it need to be suitable for young children? Will you be entertaining large groups of people at once? Do you want to use it throughout the year? You should also consider the rest of your garden design and how it will work with your new area. Once you have a clear idea of the main goals of the dining space, you can then get started!
Begin at the Bottom
The best place to start when it comes to creating the new dining space is with the flooring, which is more important than you may first think. It not only helps to give the area some style and theming but also supports your furniture and prevents it from getting damaged. If you have a decking area, then this could be the ideal spot, or if you don’t have anything suitable adding some stone paving is another good alternative.
Find Your Furniture
When it comes to picking the tables and chairs for your area there are many different options to choose depending on your budget, taste and preference. A wooden set is a classic choice and can be painted to add a splash of colour and personality. Metal is another good option as it is durable and easier to move around your garden. If you don’t want to splash out on a brand-new set of outdoor furniture, then you should be able to find a range of second-hand options online by looking at Gumtree and other similar sites.
Add Some Ambience
Once you’ve got the basics of the space sorted you can move on to adding some personality and style. One effective way of doing this is with lighting. Solar lights are available in a range of designs and can really add to the atmosphere as the sun sets. Popular options include outdoor string lights and festoon lights. Candles and lanterns are another good option too and can help to keep the unwanted flies and bugs at bay. If you like to entertain into the night, you could get a fire pit or outdoor heater to keep everyone warm. Or a covering structure like a shade sail can also protect you and your dining table from the weather while adding a design statement.
And don’t forget your soft furnishings as these also help to add textures, colour and warmth to your space. Outdoor rugs are a popular choice and you can also find waterproof cushions and seat pads too – these are especially great if you don’t have the most comfortable chairs. Lastly, you can dress your table with a table cloth and tableware to tie everything together. If you’re worried about any plates getting dropped or damaged, you find bamboo sets in a range of designs.
One of the great elements of an outdoor dining space is that you can truly embrace your surroundings to create a unique area and enjoy outdoor living. Utilise the plants in your garden to add to your space, potted plants can add to the colour scheme and help define the area from the rest of the space. A herb garden is also a useful tool for your cooking and much like plants such as sweet peas and lavender can produce wonderful scents and aromas.
Kit Out An Outdoor Kitchen
One optional but popular step you can also take is to create an outdoor kitchen in your garden. This will make hosting outdoors easier as you won’t be walking to and from your house all night. If you have the budget, you can use a professional company to design and install a fully working kitchen but there are also many easy ways to achieve something similar without breaking the bank. A BBQ can double up as a grill, old cupboards or units create worktop spaces and an old sink can be hooked up to a hose for a washing-up station. A real crowd pleaser is a pizza oven, these are great for guests young and old as everyone can create their pizzas.
By now you should hopefully be itching to make a start on your outdoor dining space. Remember to stick to your budget, choose items that are suitable for outdoor use and keep the space centred around you and your family.