Picnics are all part of the British Summer, however, alfresco dining is the new kid on the block and has taken the common place out of outdoor eating on a picnic rug and lifted into a chic style, which many homes have adopted as a way to enjoy eating outside in the comfort of their own homes. This type of outdoor eating doesn’t wholly revolve around family barbecues – it’s more about eating breakfast, dinner or tea outside in style and comfort.
Like all styles of designs alfresco dining can be contemporary, traditional, modern etc. In the same way as your interior has a style this is transported outside into your garden, patio or courtyard.
Traditional outside dining leans towards wooden tables and wooden chairs, and when sunny a parasol. Seat pads can be added to wooden chairs to give more comfort when sitting, however, the rest of the outdoor furniture and style remains pretty staid with the exception of flowers and natural shrubbery planted in containers and pots. Traditional alfresco dining also revolves around eating cold foods rather than hot and any hot food is prepared in the kitchen and brought outside rather than being cooked on a barbecue!
A modern outside eating area has a tendency to favour decked areas and barbecues, Again wooden or plastic table, chairs and large parasols are the main furnishing, with lighting provided by strings of lights or tea-light candles. Modern homes tend not to have large gardens, but most will have a quiet spot which you use to place table and chairs. You can also add garlands made from paper or cheap wholesale fabric to give the area a homely look.
Contemporary styled homes typically make excellent use of their outdoor space. We’ve all seen kitchens and dining rooms with large glass walls which glide to one side so that the interior extends effortlessly and seamlessly outside. Contemporary furniture and furnishings can be bespoke pieces or focused towards modular seating, wicker bucket styled chairs and tables with glass tops.
Shade can be provided by using large canopies, or lightweight voile, while lighting is hidden discreetly with sunken lights or strategically placed spotlights. Cooking is carried out on the latest styled barbecues which fit onto walls or even the edge of the table. Fire pits will enable you to remain outside well after the sun has gone down.