The season of alfresco entertaining is upon us, so if you haven’t begun to spruce up your outdoor dining space, now is the time. Whether you have a petite city balcony or a sprawling poolside patio, there’s plenty you can do to infuse style and functionality into your outdoor area. Read on to take a look at some of the most envy-inducing outdoor dining areas we’ve seen—and pick up a few inspiring decorating ideas to steal while you’re at it.
Spray On a New Coat of Paint
Exposed to the elements, your outdoor furniture is bound to experience a little wear and tear. Revive your weathered chairs with a fresh coat of paint—bonus points for choosing a pretty shade, like pastel pink, that’s far from basic.
Infuse Color with Turkish Towels
A simple way to to infuse color into your outdoor space is to toss a Turkish towel over your dining chairs. They’ll perk up the scene throughout the day and keep you warm when a cool breeze hits.
Soften Things Up with Sheepskin
Aesthetically you can’t go wrong with a classic wood picnic bench—it’s the ultimate in versatility—but if you plan to linger at your alfresco meals, that hard surface may get the best of you. Soften things up with a sheepskin hide or two. They’ll add warmth, personality, and comfort.
Light Up with Hurricane Lanterns
A hurricane lantern is a must-have for every outdoor dining space. The glass candle cases are easy to move and will keep your tabletop lit no matter how windy it is. Pro tip: Introduce two or three in varying heights and stagger them to create visual interest.
Roll Out Your Bar Cart
Alfresco drinks are essential to every successful spring or summer party, so roll out your bar cart beside your dining table to keep them handy. Style the cart with a punchy ice bucket and some photogenic fruit—pineapples, anyone?—to amp up the warm-weather vibe.
Add Classic Flair with Cabana Stripes
If there’s one pattern that will never go out of style outdoors, it’s the cabana stripe. Eye-catching, vibrant, and timeless, it’s the epitome of effortless chic. Bring a bit of its classic flair to your exterior via upholstery, a patio umbrella, or an easy throw pillow.
Make an Evergreen Centerpiece with Succulents
A bouquet of flowers on your outdoor dining table is beautiful when you’re entertaining, but it’s also ephemeral. For a longer-lasting centerpiece that you can set and forget, place a trio of potted succulents on your outdoor dining table. The low-maintenance plants will add a pop of color and desert style to your table.
Create Height and Delineate with Plant Stands
Consider framing your dining table with a collection of plant stands or podiums. We love the architectural look these decorative accents add, and topped with a prospering green plant or a vibrant potted flower, they can also bring a bit of liveliness and tropical flair.
Make a Statement with Sculptural Objects
Sculptural objects are a wise choice for your outdoor dining space, as they add visual interest without maintenance, provided they can withstand the elements. Try a rusty weather vane for farmhouse flair or a copper urn with a verdigris patina for country cool.
One may be the loneliest number, but it can also have mega impact. This single-hued outdoor patio proves that all-white is all right. Pick your favorite shade and drench your outdoor dining area in it, from floor to proverbial ceiling. You’re bound to create a picture-perfect scene.
Keep It Simple
If all else fails, don’t fuss over your outdoor dining space. Keep it simple with a potted succulent arrangement, and bring out the fun when you’re serving a meal in the form of bowls of fruit, patterned linens, a chic champagne bucket, and delicious eats. Spending time outside is all about taking it easy, isn’t it?