Outdoor dining combines the freedom of the outdoors with the comfort and elegance and comfort of an dining room. From design layout possibilities to materials choices, amazing outdoor dining spaces depend on all the little details you’ve selected coming together to form the bigger picture. Here are 5 tips to ensure your big picture is one that can be enjoyed by all.
With outdoor dining spaces, one of the primary concerns should be the experience of the people using the area. Each guest will have a different experience of the space based on his or her own perspective. Make sure that the table around which you and your guests are gathered, provides a pleasing vista for each guest. Not all guests will be able to gaze into your flourishing backyard, so for those with their backs to the scenery, sculpture, wall art, or even decorative lighting is a good way to provide something of interest for the eye. While providing focal features for each point of view around the table is important, care should also be taken to limit the exposure of any unsightly features such as the construction site next door. Trees, screens, or shade sails can be set up to obscure unsightly features and ensure a pleasant view from every angle.
During brunches, lunches, and summer evening dinners, sun glare may become a source of discomfort for you and your guests. Once again, trees, screens, and sails can strategically cut the glare and provide shade. For patios that receive the full onslaught of midday summer sun, it may be wise to have some form of overhead covering installed. A pergola type structure can provide some shade, while remaining open and airy. If the wide gaps between the slats of a pergola aren’t sufficient for your space, vines or shade cloth can soften the sunlight and create more gentle lighting profile for your patio. A full, permanent covering is also a great option, provided your patio still retains ample natural lighting and fresh air through side openings. .
Your selection of materials for your outdoor spaces will contribute hugely to its character, whether that means the warmth and authenticity of natural stone, natural richness of flagstone, or the sleek lines of concrete paver choices such as Unilock’s Umbriano. Whatever your choice, always ensure the best quality so that your investment will continue to supply you and your family with enjoyment for years and decades to come. Your choice of natural stone or concrete pavers provides both visual and textural richness, contributing to your color scheme while also treating bare feet and fingertips to the tactile enjoyment of the stored warmth of the midday sun, pleasing natural grains and ruggedness of stone. Further variation can be brought to your outdoor spaces with the use of quality wood, fine furniture, and durable metal fittings.
Light and sound are both great ways to build up a rich and layered backyard ambience. During the day, dappled sunlight filtering through the trees may be enough to make your daytime patio ambience magical. Alternatively, different kinds of fabric used as outdoor curtains and shade cloth can further alter the mood of your outdoor lighting. At night, lighting becomes far more important and also easier to control artificially. An effective lighting plan will include accent or spot lighting to emphasize certain features such as trees or water features, ambient lighting to create a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere, and decorative lighting, such as string lights or candles, to add a touch of romance. Another aspect of ambience is sound. Limit unwanted noise to your patio with tall trees, hedges, and vine covered fences and replace it with the soothing sounds of a water feature, birds, and the rustle of wind rippling through reeds or the leaves of trees. Outdoor speakers will also allow you to affect the ambience with your own selection of music.
Nothing gets the appetite going like the sounds and smells of an outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchens are also great for convenience and their centrality to the outdoor dining area means that the chef is not excluded from socializing. In short, incorporating an outdoor kitchen into your patio setup will boost the mood, tempt with the delicious smells of outdoor cooking and keep the carrying distance of the prepared food to a minimum. Your outdoor dining space will also be greatly improved by the additional accessibility to facilities provided by the outdoor kitchen such as fridges for drinks, condiments and desserts.