23 fantastic ideas for outdoor eating areas

More and more people spend their time at home outside. That is why making the outdoor dining area comfortable and stylish is a popular topic. There are lots of different ideas on how to change the entire space to make it the best outdoor eating areas. Make the evenings together more fun.

In our article, we will suggest a few wonderful outdoor dining ideas, which you can use when renovating your outdoor space.

Table of Contents

1. The locations of the outdoor eating areas

You have to think about the people you like to spend your time with. Whether it is just the members of your family or your friends. The location and the amount of space needed will depend on that. For big companies, you will have to set up your outdoor dining area in a spacious place on your property.

The dining area should be located closer to the kitchen to make the process of serving the dining table and cleaning afterward, more convenient. At the same time, the dining table should be away from the barbecue grill.

Be considerate of others. If you like to gather with your friends often, the noise shouldn’t disturb your neighbors around. Bear in mind the distance to the neighbor’s house to minimize the level of noise.

2. Sheltered spaces for the outdoor eating areas

It is ideal to set up your outdoor dining area under the roof near your house. It will hide you from direct sunlight and afternoon heat. If the weather is bad, and it is raining, you will still be able to have a dinner party outside.

Being closer to the kitchen area will make it easier to bring food and clean everything afterward. When you still have to look out for meals cooking, you won’t have to walk far to just check on them.

3. Enjoy outdoor dining all year round

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There is a way to enjoy outdoor dining throughout the whole year. You just have to set it up in a way to get a closed area to keep you warm in cold months. You can purchase an outdoor gazebo with glass walls. That way you can enjoy the view of your garden without being frozen or wet.

The advantage of having a gazebo is that you can place it anywhere on your property and when not in use it can easily be folded and packed away. At the same time, when you are outdoor dining, you can be closer to nature and protected from bad weather.

4. Connecting the indoor and outdoor eating areas

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When you have enough space on your property, consider combing the two areas together. The indoor dining space can connect with the outdoor space. There can be a dining table and chairs in one part, and relaxing sitting spots in the other one, where friends and family members can just chill chatting with each other.

Any weather won’t be a problem as the outdoor dining space will be under the cover. At the same time, you will get easy access to the garden room, pool, and BBQ area.

5. Getting a fire pit for the outdoor dining table

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You never know how long will your guests stay for, as this is something impossible to predict. The talks can go on for hours, and in the evening it might get chilly. The perfect idea to keep your visitors warm is getting a portable fire pit. You can place it in the middle of the outdoor dining table, so everyone can get some heat.

Another option is a bigger heater that can be placed next to the outdoor dining area. Usually, it is gas heaters. They are quite powerful and will keep warm a big company, they aren’t eco-friendly and can be noisy.

6. Make sure you choose the perfect outdoor dining set

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The whole outdoor dining area outlook will depend on the outdoor furniture you are going to use. The first thing to consider is the type of material it will be made out of. It has to be waterproof as the weather can not be predicted, and the rain can start all of a sudden.

The color and the style have to match your outdoor dining ideas. It is best to choose neutral colors so it will always fit in no matter what happens.

Look into purchasing the teak outdoor dining set. Even though it will cost a bit more, it will last longer, making the outdoor dining experience pleasant.

7. Choosing the plants to decorate the outdoor eating areas

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Plants are just as important as good furniture. They will give the dining area a finished look. Consider getting potted plants around the dining set to allow the summer sun to shine through, creating an interesting shadow.

Look into getting flowers to attract butterflies. It is worth taking into account the blooming time of each sort to ensure there are some flowers every month to highlight the garden design.

Another exciting idea is to grow a few herbs that can be picked up fresh and added to drinks by your guests. The pots with herbs can be placed by the dining table.

8. Make sure the outdoor eating areas is spacious

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There is no point in setting the outdoor dining table up in a cramped area. You need some room to maneuver, and your guests will want to be comfortable moving around. One of the nice outdoor dining ideas is to isolate the dining area by creating some sort of border. You can use plants or decorative fences.

Building a small patio is also a fantastic idea. A specifically dedicated area where your guests will feel secure and free to move around or even dance at your party. Placing an outdoor rug on the patio will add texture to your al fresco dining design and will make the dining area look cozy and warm.

9. Creating sheltering above the outdoor space

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Think about creating a kind of roof above the outdoor dining table. You can use different types of material such as a pergola, waterproof fabric, or canopy. Choose what suit your idea best.

Adding a shelter above the outdoor dining set will solve a few problems. It will provide shade on a sunny day. It can also protect you during the rain. If your garden is located in an overlooked area, it will give you privacy as well.

Pergola is a perfect choice if you want to grow plants that need extra support. Then the plants themselves will play the role of the fence. Consider covering the backyard or the whole outdoor dining area, so nobody is left out of it and in case of bad weather everyone is hidden under the roof.

10. Building a wall for privacy. Outdoor eating areas

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Dining outdoors areas require some security and privacy. When people gather at the dining table, they don’t want to be seen by neighbors. That is where the idea of building a fake wall comes in place.

It doesn’t apply to a small outdoor dining set that you placed in your garden for having breakfast in the morning. The hug wall, another name for it, doesn’t have to hide the entire area. It can be wooden poles that you use for holding plants. Your outdoor dining experience will be more pleasant and the entire cohesive look of the area will be stylish and cozy.

11. Think about the lighting

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Another important thing to consider is the lights in the outdoor dining areas. Outdoor lighting plays a major part in the whole outside space. The fairy lights and different lightening systems will allow you to enjoy warm summer evenings for longer.

There are a lot of options on the market, so you will be able to choose what will suit your budget. You can even find outdoor kitchen lighting that works off solar batteries. It gets fully charged on sunny days and lasts the entire night.

Do not forget to bring bright lights to the dining set by placing a pendant light over the dining table. Pick a pendant light that is made out of the same color material to match the complete design.

The string lights are another idea of how you can brighten the outdoor dining room. Place string lights around your patio and backyard. You can also purchase the ones that can be controlled via your phone. Select different modes and colors of lights to suit the style of your party.

12. Mix the outdoor dining furniture

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The furniture for the outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to be the same style as your dining set. It all can be mixed as long as it is comfortable and serve its purpose to make your guests feel at home.

The dining chairs can be metal with seat cushions placed on top to enjoy long lunches in your garden. If the area is compact, you can use a couch as a sitting area to save space.

13. Using the porch as a dining room

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If you are lucky enough to have a porch in your house, you can use that area to create a nice dining space to enjoy breakfasts in the morning surrounded by nature. You just need to set up a dining set with comfy chairs. Keep your place settings plain.

A place covered with a green canopy is perfect for hiding from drizzling and the focal point of dining outside will still be performed.

14. Create a relaxing dining space in your backyard

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The space for eating outside doesn’t have to be equipped with dining chairs. A fantastic idea for creating something cozy and relaxing is just to set up an outdoor table and use cushions as chairs. Of course, this idea won’t suit some formal dinner event, but if it is going to be just your friends or family, what can be easier and more comfortable?

15. Setting up a romantic atmosphere

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For those who are seeking a nice idea for a romantic evening dining outside in your garden, take note. Creating an intimate atmosphere is possible just by using candles. They can replace the whole lighting system, allowing you to enjoy the evening with your loved one.

Dining with candles on the table is a romantic idea that can bring bright colors to anyone’s evening. Use it to surprise your spouse or for celebrating memorable occasions.

16. Bring up holiday mood with home parties

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Having dinner outside can be organized at any time of the year. Don’t be tied to the hot summer days only. Create a holiday mood by inviting people to come over to a small party in your backyard or garden. There are a lot of holidays throughout the year. Chuck your bar stools outside and celebrate Halloween.

With a dining table and chairs placed in your garden, you will be able to create a festive party that everyone will enjoy. BBQ parties are quite popular, and you can hold up your one using ideas in this article.

17. Decorate your dining table

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The way your table and chairs will look is important as well. Decorating the dining table is essential. Start with choosing a perfect tablecloth. If you are going to be eating outdoors in the mornings, the plain white tablecloth is ideal. For kids’ parties, choose something bright and durable.

Serve fruit and vegetable plates that you can place in the middle of the table. Everyone likes to nibble something while waiting for the main course.

Use beautiful cutlery on the table for an amazing dining experience.

18. Organize a dining area in the woods

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Get even closer to nature by setting up a dining space in the woods. If you have some trees growing in your garden, use this opportunity and go to enjoy the view. Don’t forget to set up a canopy over the dining area to protect yourself from poly tree branches and bad weather.

The space in the woods isn’t perfect for BBQ or setting up a fireplace. Stay away from the fire while near the trees.

19. Using a parasol for dining outdoor

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Setting up a dining space under the sun can be done using a parasol to protect you from direct sunlight. It will bring a Bohemian style to your dining experience. Use bright colors in your outdoor dining design for more connection with nature.

Yellow, orange, and green are the colors of the summer season. Use them in details to make the place look more vibrant.

The cushions on your chairs and the tablecloth on the dining table can add extra colors to your design.

The parasol you are going to be using should be taken care of to ensure it lasts. If it is going to be windy, it is better to fold it to avoid damage. Once you are done dining, the umbrella should be packed away. If you got under the rain, make sure you dry it first before putting it into its case.

20. Don’t forget about extras and details

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Think about small things that do matter in a grand scheme. The dining table must be covered with a suitable tablecloth that will match the mood of the outdoor dining event. The cutlery should be pretty to add charm to the table.

Chairs can be decorated with cushions and extra pillows for more comfort. Consider placing a rug in the dining area to create a cozy feel on chilly evenings.

The lights should be placed around the space where you are going to be dining. Consider using a few different lights, including the ones that are solar battery-operated.

Adding extra meals, such as fruit plates and other snacks, so your guests have something to nibble on while waiting on the main meal and chatting.

Don’t forget napkins and toothpicks. Such small things will make the outdoor eating experience more pleasant.

21. Consider using your actual dining table and chairs

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What if you have no space to set up a dining area in your garden? Do not worry. Consider using your actual table and chairs outdoors. Relocating your furniture outside temporarily will allow you to organize the outdoor event, even if the area in your backyard is cramped.

Placing the table near the house will be a good idea as it will shorten the way to the kitchen and will make it easier to set everything up and clean it afterward. Proximity to the bathroom is a convenient advantage as well.

22. Dininng on the balcony

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For those, who live in the apartment, the outdoor eating experience can be organized on the balcony. The convenience of having a table with chairs right outside on the balcony makes the experience unforgettable. If you had a rough day, just order some takeaway and spend the evening on your balcony.

If you live in the busy CBD area, you can enjoy the lights and atmosphere of the city. If you live in the countryside, the sounds of nature and the peaceful view will help you to relax.

23. Set up an outside cinema

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Have you thought about the idea of setting up your cinema in the backyard? Get the projector and a screen, throw some pillows on the patio, get snacks and drinks, and invite your friends to spend the evening together.

The area can be decorated with plants, armchairs, rugs, and soft blankets to create a nice look and experience. No one will stay unhappy. You will be the one to go to for an amazing outdoor eating experience.

FAQs: Outdoor eating areas

What is outdoor eating called?

The outdoor eating area is the place in your garden, where you gather together with your family and friends. It is equipped with an outdoor table and dining chairs. It is also known as al fresco dining, which is just dining outside.

How do you build an outdoor eating area?

Using the ideas above in the article, create your own unique outdoor dining room. It will depend on the area available around your house, the type of people you are going to invite, how often you are going to be gathering, and the climate in the area you live in.

What is Al Fresco dining concept?

The al fresco dining idea is perfect for hot summer days. The decor can be simple, and the outdoor furniture doesn’t have to be with vintage chairs. The al fresco concept is dining outside enjoying your meals, surrounding nature, and fresh air.

How do I build an outdoor dining area on a budget?

To create a unique outdoor area without an interior designer and lots of money to be invested, use the ideas in the article above. Some of them won’t require you to purchase anything. Browse through designs to get inspiration to create the perfect setting for special occasions in your yard.

To summarize: Outdoor eating areas

As you can see, you don’t have to spend lots of money to create the outdoor dining areas of your dream. Just the right location, minimum decorations, and a simple dining set are all you need for setting up the al fresco dining area. At the same time, using a few ideas from above will help to create the best place for dining outdoors.

If you find the article helpful, please share it with your friends and members of your family. If you have any questions left, do not hesitate to ask them in the comment section below.

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