Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Easy Outdoor Dining Ideas for Every Space

Nestled in Nature

Dining outdoors is irresistible with a spot as cool as this. "Silver Sheen" hedges define the outdoor dining/work space, and wisteria vines cover the arbor. Though it doesn't look like it, the understated dining set came from a garage sale and the chic chandelier came from Ikea. 

Charleston Charm

A piazza is a must-have room in a Charleston home, and a deep-set space like this one allows indoor furnishings to appear outdoors. Seating arrangement is the focal point of this space as it allows everyone to gather comfortably. Potted plants and flowers help bridge the indoor areas with the outdoor ones. 

Outdoor Nook for 2

A filigreed gazebo turns this side yard into an enchanting setting for alfresco dining. The airy, 11-foot-tall, rusted-iron structure was found at a local nursery for less than $1,000. 

Porch Dining Spot

Accessible to the indoors through a pair of French doors, the side porch functions much like an interior room, complete with comfortable seating, durable outdoor rugs, and other outdoor-friendly furniture. Inspired by Charleston side porches, it provides a great place to socialize with neighbors or to take in the fresh air while reading a book. 

Setting the Mood 

 Neighborly Front Patio

A walkway in the front entry of this Tucson, Arizona home snakes from the curb to three curved, freestanding walls that enclose a patio. The planting areas inside all have serpentine contours as well, echoing the shape of the walls. 

Elegant Poolside Dining

Muted purples and gray blues of slate tiles add texture and warmth to the terrace and fireplace of this outdoor room overlooking a lap pool. 

Charming Outdoor Dining

A dining porch off the kitchen connects the main house to the guest cottage and courtyard. With a fireplace for chilly evenings and a ceiling fan to move humid air on hot days, the covered screened porch fits the bill for casual gatherings year-round. 

Sunny Brick Patio

This brick-paved courtyard is inspired by Charleston-style homes. Because an urban setting like this tends to "hem in" private yards, it's important that outdoor spaces are as private and individualized as possible. Ornamental planting beds and large potted plant arrangements soften this hardscaped area while lending it some needed color. 

Cool Veranda

A mismatched table and chairs suit this outdoor dining space’s worn yet elegant style, and no coastal porch would be complete without a woven hammock. 

Absolute Indulgence

Create the ultimate outdoor living area with a canopied daybed. It not only breaks up the traditional seating arrangement but also is perfect for naps. 

Iron Deck

On this blue flagstone terrace, a wrought iron table and chairs make the perfect setting for watching sunsets.

Mellow Yellow

Yellow cloth draping over the table adds light and contrast between two dark wicker chairs.

Lakeside Candlelight

Enjoy Southern-style candlelit dinners amid gently swaying trees and a serene lake. Large candelabras dress up the casual wooden deck furniture, and a park bench increases seating at the table. 

Outdoor Oasis

A bar-height table is a great place to gather around for drinks or dinner. Statement-making lanterns add an old-world feel to the brand new space. 

Party Patio

This spacious patio is a great spot for intimate suppers with its ceiling of wisteria and lattice walls. The table was custom built with a copper top and a base of twin stone pillars. 

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