When we built our house, we made a conscious decision that our outdoor room would be an intimate seating area with a fireplace, but not a space that would function as an outdoor dining area.
On the pool deck, we are using a 25 year old Brown Jordan patio furniture set that was given to us by my in-laws when they downsized, which includes a round table and chairs (seen on the left). We have plans to get new outdoor furniture at some point – maybe next year.
I have noticed that we rarely sit outside and eat. I am not sure if this is because of our natural inclination to eat inside, or if it is because the table and chairs are enough of a distance from the kitchen that it is not easy or practical to carry the food out there. I love the idea of outdoor dining, though, and I have been pinning a lot of outdoor room ideas onto pinterest that feature outdoor dining rooms lately.
We have a patio that is off the kitchen that is fairly empty (please forgive the state of the patio, it has been so damp and wet this summer, it needs a good pressure wash right now!). This space isn’t huge, and we tend to use it for entertaining when we have people over (we often set up a long bar on the far end), so whatever goes here must be flexible and light weight enough to move out of the way when we need the space. I think a round table would work well given the size of the space. A square table won’t work, as I need to seat at least 5 people (so that everyone in the family has a spot!). I could possibly do a rectangular table that seats 6.
This picture appeals to me on many different levels – it has the style I like, and seating for six. I love the dark trim and light walls of the house, which is perfectly reflected in the color scheme of the stone floor and the dining set (which I believe is Janus et Cie Amalfi). Via pinterest.
I have admired this picture many times when appreciating the kitchen in this William Hefner designed space, but only recently focused on the outside space – which also appears to be a Janus et Cie Amalfi chair and table set. It looks like a round table to me.
Here is a view of the back of the house – the dining set can be seen behind the tree. This patio space is large, and has a seating area as well. Architecture by William Hefner. I have been a fan of William Hefner’s work for years – and he has a new book out called California Homes that I am very anxious to read (I have not ordered it yet). Click here to see on Amazon.
This picture caught my eye because of the smaller size of the space, and the fact that the color scheme of the bluestone and house work well with the dark color of the dining chairs and table.
I saw this picture on The Enchanted Home, and it still remains one of my favorites. Attributed to Ginger Barber.
There is something about this picture that really captures my imagination. I don’t see many fully paved courtyards in Atlanta, but I remember them well from my childhood in Washington DC/Georgetown.
This is at a French Monastery, featured in Veranda, so does not reflect what an American back yard might look like, but it is such an inviting outdoor dining set up!
This has always been one of my favorite images of an outdoor dining room. The stone table surrounded by klismos chairs, and that unbelievable lantern, makes the most beautiful picture and is a lovely space. This house, designed by Bobby McAlpine, was featured in Veranda years ago, and this picture made the cover of the new book Veranda: The Art of Outdoor Living. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon here.
Suzanne Kasler’s outdoor table is just outside her kitchen; in fact, the outdoor table is parallel to the kitchen table inside, with steel windows and doors separating the two. The teak chairs appear to fold, and the table has a large stone top, which means that it probably can’t be moved without great effort! It’s a beautiful look, and there is plenty of room for it. However, I wonder if teak is too heavy looking and feeling for my smaller space outside the kitchen. (Note the Janus et Cie Amalfi seating in the covered room. It is a chic look that clearly has great appeal.)
John Saladino had a similar outdoor arrangement at his former home – teak chairs and a stone topped table. It would be wonderful to dine outside under the cover of the vines.
This is a pretty back yard, and I love the look of the teak dining table and chairs. Via pinterest, source.
I also like the look of a French bistro style dining set – it’s effortlessly chic. It looks particularly good on the pea gravel patio, don’t you think? Almost like it is in a Paris park.
Another casual Parisian style set up.
Since there has been so much royal news lately, I immediately thought about outdoor dining when I came across this picture of Kate Middleton’s parents’ home in Bucklebury. News reports indicate that this is where Kate, William, and the new prince will be spending time while the refurbishment on their new 20,000 square foot apartment at Kensington Palace is being finished. Notice the large outdoor table on the left side? It seems like this would be a wonderful place to eat summer dinners. Source.
The view from the table is absolutely incredible – I would be eating out here every day! The Middleton home sits on 18 beautiful and private acres. Source.
Based on the solar panel seen on the right side of this house, I think this is the front entrance of the Middleton’s Bucklebury Manor. It’s incredibly charming (I love the green door), and interesting to see the front knowing how deep the house actually is…the house appears like a cottage from this view. Source.
Here is an aerial view of the house, which gives a great perspective on the house and its outdoor areas. Note that there are not just one, but two outdoor dining tables – one on the right, and one on the left side of the house. I believe these pictures were taken when the house was on the market last year, so it’s possible that the Middletons did not replicate this arrangement when they moved in.
Do you have an outdoor dining area? Any perspective on what works well, or any styles/brands to recommend? I love the look of the Janus et Cie Amalfi items, but I am not wild about dealing with the cushions – even if they are outdoor fabric, they will get dirty very quickly (although I read a great blog post on a couple who had custom cushions made with marine grade vinyl – brilliant idea!). I am also a big fan of many of the Brown Jordan outdoor furniture items. I love the idea of teak, but think it might just be too heavy for the space. The bistro table idea might be a bit too casual and small, although very light weight and flexible. Any thoughts are welcome!
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