The mercury climbs with the start of the Summer season. Now that you can officially shed the outerwear on most days and early evenings, you may want to enjoy “al fresco dining” on your home porch or patio.

While outdoor furniture is one consideration for dining in nature, you’ll want to add a few other items to your list. Here is your Summer guide to outdoor dining in style so that you’ll be ready to enjoy those warm afternoons and evenings with the culinary treats of your choice.

Location, Location, Location

Similar to when you chose your home, the location of your outdoor dining space matters. Since you will be serving meals in this area, it must be easily accessible to your home and preferably its main kitchen. If it’s a five-minute walk or trek through rocky pathways to get to the space, you’ll be less likely to use it.

Other considerations are access to facilities, such as a restroom, and privacy. Do you want neighbors salivating over your five-course meal or would you rather have your dining area in a more secluded spot so that you can eat and converse without prying eyes?

adult friends al fresco dining

Layout for Al Fresco Dining

Once you decide on a location, the next step is to choose a layout for your outdoor dining oasis. Before you can shop for outdoor dining furniture, it’s important to have a solid grasp of your space limitations.

diablo dining with table and dining chairs in quartz grey

One way that you can lay out your area is by using painters or masking tape to mark the ground with the size and shape of furniture. This will ensure that you have enough room for your table and chairs as well as some aisle space.

Outdoor Dining Style

Have you considered what sort of outdoor dining furniture you’d like on your patio or porch? If you’ve already started to build the perfect outdoor space, you can complement that style by expanding it into your dining area. The options for outdoor dining sets are numerous.

If you appreciate classic style and durability, you might want to consider a dining set made from concrete and acacia beams.

bordeaux dining table with napa chairs in white

Teak is another outdoor dining table style that is long-lasting, stylish, and low-maintenance.

Once you pick the style of table that best suits your needs, you can choose from a variety of contemporary outdoor dining chairs. There are chairs with and without arms, some with cushions, and chairs made of different materials such as wicker and teak. A long bench is another popular choice for outdoor dining that can bring you closer together with your family and guests.

Al Fresco Lighting & Shade

When you’re eating outside, you want to be able to see what you’re eating but also not end up baking in the sun. This can be a delicate balance depending on the location of your outdoor space and the time of day that you prefer to eat your meals.

Cavallo dining table and chairs in teak

It’s always best to have options, which means providing both shade and lighting for evenings. You can add a large umbrella to your dining area to block out harsh UV rays. You can also add string lights and some candles to provide light for those evenings that you are out after sundown.

Pest Control

No one is going to be thrilled about dining al fresco if they have to fight off annoying pests. Some of the ways that you can keep the critters at bay include keeping your space as clean as possible and making sure there is no standing water in the area to attract mosquitoes.

Also, use outdoor fans and sodium vapor lights, both of which will discourage flying insects from crashing your party.

Food and Beverage Options

Your outdoor dining experience will be comfortable with the right furniture selection, but you’ll also need some delicious food to make it memorable. If you also have an outdoor kitchen, grill fresh meats and vegetables, rounded off with a crisp homemade salad.

If you’re spending a lot of time outside, don’t forget to stay hydrated with flavored water or some other healthy beverage.

The Extras for Al Fresco Dining

Don’t forget to add the extras to your dining space that will make it unique and inviting. These might include bright colored table settings and centerpieces. If you live in an area that gets those cool evening winds in the summertime, you can also add a fire table to your patio or porch for warmth.

Creating an outdoor living space is the perfect way to extend the enjoyment of your home into nature. With the right planning and choice of quality outdoor furniture, you will be ready to enjoy the Summer and have meals with family and friends that will provide lasting memories.