How to Dine Al Fresco in Style

Designer Monica Pedersen shows us the most important things when designing for outdoor dining is incorporating some of the same ideas we focus on when dining indoors: great lighting, a centrepiece, place settings and an overall look that reflects the gathering, whether it's formal or casual.

[alfresco]

Sources: table and chairs, Fresh Home and Garden; mirror, rug, topiary trees, lantern, HomeSense; pots and boxwood bushes, Sheridan Nurseries; plates, cutlery, napkins, runner, salt and pepper set, napkin rings, glasses, Pottery Barn; silver goblets and bowls, Value Village and designer's own.

If the weather holds up, why not bring out your regular dining table? It makes the party feel that much more special. If you are hosting a larger gathering, you can rent two or more tables and put them up together to accommodate extra seating. We paired this rustic wooden table with these simple but beautiful grey wicker chairs that are perfect for the outdoors.

How to Dine Al Fresco in Style

When styling an outdoor party, remember you need to bring in a lot of colour, otherwise your table will get lost. It needs to stand out and pop. Here we went with a fresh patterned runner and a solid green tablecloth. It really allows the plates and accessories to take center stage.

How to Dine Al Fresco in Style

These melamine plates are incredible and look like the real deal. They are the perfect weight and they have such an incredibly fun pattern — they definitely don’t look like outdoor plates! For an elegant touch, we brought out silverware cutlery with a nice patina to counterbalance the newness of the dishware.

How to Dine Al Fresco in Style

Since lighting is everything, try to find a spot you can hang lighting from a tree or post so your outdoor table has the same ambiance our indoor dining tables have. Here we found a secondhand chandelier and spray painted it blue to match our table — it’s fun and unexpected. You can also round out the lighting with gorgeous lanterns and a sturdy mirror.  It will help reflect light and add a beautiful glow.

 

Video: How to Dine Al Fresco in Style

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