The garden is one of the most used areas of the home as weather turns from wet and cold to warm and sunny. With warmer weather nearly on our doorstep, it’s that time of year again to ensure our exterior spaces are outdoor dining ready for family dinners, al fresco dinner parties and of course, barbecues. The garden can often be dismissed when discussing discerning interior design, however as a firm part of the home, it deserves just as much attention as any bedroom, bathroom or living room.
The first port of call in preparing your patio, balcony or any outdoor dining space as soon as you get the first hint of warmer weather is to have a clear out. Thoroughly clear & clean the tiling, stonework and decking to remove winter’s debris and trim back any plants in the area. Once complete, it’s time to update the style of the space by investing in key pieces which will have your outdoor dining settings prepped and ready for years to come. Here are our top five ways to ensure your outdoor space is ready to outdoor dining…
Refresh Your Outdoor Tableware Collection
If you already have an outdoor space which is perfectly prepared for enjoying the warmer months then one of the easiest ways to update the space can be to invest in new tableware. Outdoor dining settings lend themselves to a more relaxed way of life with rustic tableware designs particularly effective for creating an inviting look. Even when entertaining, formal tableware reserved for occasions can look overdone in an outdoors setting. Experimenting with textures and pattern along with colour, can add spring or summer style to a patio in an instant which is both relaxed yet effortlessly chic for evening soirees or afternoon barbecues.
Set the Mood with Outdoor Lighting
No space in the home is complete without complementary lighting for when the sun goes down and the garden is no different. Fixed lighting is a must for any patio area as it ensures you can stay outside long into the night. From industrial bulk head lights to contemporary downlighters or uplighters, there are many outdoor lighting options to suit your garden’s style and they should be spaced in regular intervals to ensure the whole seating area is illuminated. Once the main lighting is in place you can play around with additional light sources to create an inviting glow. Lanterns with large pillar candles inside, tealights holders or even string lights are all wonderful options which will add an intimate glow to the occasion.
Invest in High Quality Garden furniture
One of the biggest investments for your garden is your garden furniture. High quality garden furniture should last for years to make sure your garden always looks its best as soon as the sun comes out. The foundation of any outdoor dining space, garden furniture needs to be practical and long lasting and both your daily needs and entertaining needs should be taken into account when shopping for these pieces. For those that love to entertain al fresco a large table with benches or chairs is a must-have to fit the most people at any party. For those with balconies rather than gardens, two person bistro sets are ideal as they allow you to enjoy outdoor dining without taking up too much space.
Add the Finishing Touch with Garden Decor
Accessories can make or break any room in the home and it is exactly the same in the garden. As with any interior space, purely focusing on just the key elements such as furniture, lighting and other essentials can leave a space looking bare and lacking in personality. Ensure your unique style is exhibited as much outside as it is in but finishing the patio with a selection of accessories. Pots and planters are a fabulous way to bring more greenery to patios and help to create fluidity between the wood or stonework and the grass in a garden and they also allow you to surround your outdoor dining space with your favourite plants.
Outdoor cushions look stylish placed on benches or chairs around the table, whilst a throw serves the dual purpose of adding texture to the look and as an extra layer if the temperature dips. Weatherproof placemats and coasters are also essential for any outdoor dining setting as they will not only protect tables from heat and spillages but will also add an additional pop of pattern or colour.
Don’t Forget the Picnicware
Al fresco dining doesn’t always need to be a sit up occasion; sometimes the best place to have a picnic is your own garden. For those particularly hot days, abandon the table completely, layout a chic picnic blanket and enjoy delicious salads and sandwiches using your favourite picnicware. Picnic backpacks have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their easy transportation but if you are indulging in an at home picnic, you can’t beat a classic hamper filled with everything you need for a traditional picnic. If you aren’t looking to splurge on an entire picnic set, there are numerous fun yet functional melamine picnic tableware collections which include bowls, plates and glasses to mix and match so that you always have unbreakable tableware on hand when the need arises.