As our world becomes increasingly fast-paced, the allure of an outdoor dining area grows stronger. The simple act of breaking bread under the open sky offers a reprieve from the daily grind—a chance to reconnect with nature and, more importantly, with our loved ones. It’s something that goes beyond merely dining; it’s about creating a sanctuary, a retreat where the ordinary transforms into the extraordinary.

But why stop at merely dining alfresco when you can curate an oasis of comfort and style right in your own backyard? The importance of crafting a cozy and inviting outdoor dining areas goes beyond aesthetics; it’s about crafting a space where memories are made, and stories unfold. Imagine the joy of hosting a gathering that effortlessly transitions from day to night, where every seat feels like a warm embrace, and the surroundings invite lingering conversations.

At Terra, we’re all about Outdoor Living. Read on for some of our tips on how to transform a humble patio or backyard into something special.

Dining area with Montara table and Atlantic chairs
Montara table and bench with Atlantic chairs in outdoor dining area

(pictured above) The the rustic and refined Montara dining table and bench made from premium teak, paired with the Atlantic chair’s wraparound frames woven with all-weather rope.

Assessing Your Outdoor Dining Space

Evaluate the size and layout of your patio or outdoor area

Begin with a thoughtful examination of the space itself. Take note of the dimensions & the natural flow of the area.

A smaller space might encourage intimate settings, while a more expansive area offers room for grander designs. Pay attention to the play of sunlight and shade throughout the day, envisioning how it can enhance your dining experience.

With smaller spaces, you might be thinking about furniture that is compact and multi-use. For example, side tables that can also be stools or benches that tuck away under a table. You can also consider extendable dining tables & folding or stackable outdoor chairs for when guests are over, but can be tidied away the rest of the time.

The Diablo extendable table creates versatility in your outdoor dining space

(pictured above) The Diablo extendable dining table enables versatility in your outdoor dining area

In those grander spaces it’s worth considering how you want to break up the space to create intimacy. Perhaps a sectional seating configuration with an outdoor friendly floor mat could transform one part of the space into an outdoor living room, while a row of planters could create privacy for a dining space.

Consider the existing elements and features

Before even starting to place any furniture, consider the existing elements of your space. From the natural landscape to architectural features like walls, covered patios or pergolas, each component contributes to the overall ambiance.

Consider how these elements might integrate into your dining haven. Perhaps a particular tree becomes a natural focal point or a well-placed wall provides a cozy backdrop. By acknowledging and working with what you have, you create something truly personal and unique to your space.

outdoor dining table doubles as a gardening work table
gardening outdoors on a sunny day in outdoor dining area

(pictured above) The Portola dining table combines powder-coated aluminum with a ceramic-style glass top. Paired here with the intricately woven, Italian all-weather rope backrests and seats of the Mariposa dining chair.

Determining the primary use of the outdoor space

Understanding the primary purpose of your outdoor space is key. Is it an extension of your kitchen, an escape for quiet dinners, or a stage for lively gatherings?

Your specific needs and preferences shape the vision for your dining area. If family dinners are a priority, a larger table and comfortable seating may take precedence.

For those who love to entertain, versatile seating arrangements and perhaps a dedicated bar space for serving drinks might be in order. It’s about aligning the design with your lifestyle, ensuring that every square foot is a reflection of your aspirations.

Choosing a dining table

Lifestyle and Intended Use:

If you frequently host gatherings, consider a larger table with ample seating. For daily use, a more intimate setting and a round dining table may be appropriate.

The round Bodega dining table with a pedestal base
The round Bodega dining table with a pedestal base

(pictured above) Echoing European modernism of the mid-20th century, the Bodega dining table is crafted from durable, weather-loving materials for beauty without boundaries.

If versatility is what you need, opt for an extendable table that suits various occasions. You’ll be ready whether it’s time for a cozy family dinner or a festive get-together with friends.

Maintenance and Care

Assess the maintenance requirements of different materials. Some, like teak or aluminum, are known for their durability and low maintenance.

Additionally, choose a table that can be easily cleaned, especially if it will be exposed to the elements. Weather-resistant finishes and materials simplify maintenance.


Space Constraints:

Consider the dimensions of your outdoor dining area and the available space. Ensure your outdoor dining table size complements the area without overwhelming it or feeling too cramped.

Also, be sure to leave enough space around the table for easy movement. Consider the opening and closing of chairs and ensure a comfortable flow.

Climate Considerations:

Opt for materials that withstand your local climate and offer weather-resistance. For humid environments, resistant materials like metal or synthetic wicker are suitable, while teak is excellent for resisting moisture.

If extreme weather conditions are common, consider storing your tables indoors during certain months, or purchase outdoor furniture covers to protect them during harsh seasons.

Comfort and Seating:

madera dining table and chairs
teak outdoori dining tables and teak & wicker dining chairs

(pictured above) This Madera vintage beam table combines French country tradition with a California twist. The matching Madera outdoor dining chairs pair teak with all-weather wicker

Ensure your table is compatible with a range of outdoor dining chair styles. Consider armrests, chair height, and comfort to create a harmonious seating arrangement.

Furthermore, balance the desire for a spacious table with the practicality of accommodating your regular number of diners comfortably.

Style and Aesthetic Preferences:

Harmonize the table style with existing outdoor dining area elements like patio furniture, landscaping, and architectural features. Accordingly, choose a design that resonates with your personal style, whether it’s classic, modern, rustic, or a blend of different elements.

concrete outdoor dining table and woven rope dining chairs
concrete outdoor dining table and woven rope dining chairs

(pictured above) The Mason dining table’s minimalist lines and monumental forms are hewn from glass-fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) for industrial-strength style at less weight than conventional concrete.

Deciding on the Table Shape

The shape of your outdoor dining table plays a crucial role in defining the overall aesthetic and functionality of your dining space. Each shape brings its own unique charm and practical considerations, allowing you to tailor the design to your specific needs.

Rectangular Tables for Grand Gatherings

Rectangular outdoor dining tables are deal for larger outdoor dining areas and accommodating more guests. Provides a formal and classic look, creating a sense of symmetry.

Round Tables for Intimate Settings

Round tables encourage intimate conversations, as everyone is within easy reach. Perfect for smaller spaces, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Square Tables for Versatility

Square outdoor dining tables offer a balanced look and accommodate a moderate number of guests. Therefore this shape is well-suited for both compact and more spacious settings, providing flexibility.

Oval Tables for Elegance

Cavallo furniture in weathered teak - mobile 1

(pictured above) The Cavallo outdoor dining table in weathered teak boasts sweeping curves that wrap around dining chairs and soften the edges of matching tables for outdoor living with uncommon luxury.

Oval-shaped outdoor dining tables lend the formality of a rectangular table with the intimacy of a round one. The shape creates a visually appealing focal point, especially in longer outdoor spaces.

Considerations for Shape

Think about traffic flow how people will move around the table in your outdoor dining space. A round table might be more conducive to free movement, while a rectangular table might define a clear path.

Additionally, remember that the shape of the table influences how chairs are arranged. Round tables often have a more inclusive feel, while rectangular tables can create a linear arrangement.

Finally, the shape should complement the available space. If you have a square patio, a round or square table may fit more seamlessly.

Looking to enhance your outdoor dining area with a new table and chairs? Visit a local Terra Outdoor showroom or contact our friendly customer service team to find the perfect solution for your outdoor oasis!