As parents, you must be able to enjoy your family-friendly garden just as much as your children. While you may have a play area and various toys about the space, you should invest in a dedicated space that you adults can enjoy. One of the most common ways that adults use their garden is with alfresco dining. This is a great setup to invest in, as it can be used by the whole family, as well as an adult-only space when the children have gone to bed.
Outdoor dining spaces are a great way to enjoy eating your meals in the tranquillity of your garden. While you can set up the space to be enjoyed all year round, it is especially nice for the summer months. Spending more time outdoors can boost your happiness and well-being, so why not set up a space where you can dine?
The great thing about an outdoor dining space is that it can be made to suit your style and preferences. Whether you want something sleek and modern, or bold and boho, the possibilities are endless.
Here are some top tips to help you get started and create an alfresco dining setup in your garden.
#1 Choose a theme
Before you start working on your outdoor dining space, it can be helpful to think of a theme. This will then help to inform all the future decisions you make about your space, and which items to invest in. This will ensure continuity throughout your garden, as well as keep the process smooth and the costs low. The last thing you want to do is get halfway through and have to replace all the items that you have bought because you prefer a different colour.
If you’re not sure what theme to choose, have a look on websites such as Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. Take a look around your garden and consider what colour items and plants you already have, and you can build up from there.
#2 Choose your flooring
Flooring is one of the most important parts of your outdoor dining experience, as it will be the foundation that you use to store your items, cook, eat and hang out. It needs to be durable, sturdy and safe. Some of the most popular options are concrete patio and wooden decking. Once you have figured out what flooring is the most functional and practical for your garden dining area, you can then focus on aesthetics and design. Most garden flooring can be customised to suit the theme and style that you want to create.
Next, you should consider what setup you would like. This can be just a simple table and chairs that is big enough for the whole family, as well as guests. You can also opt for something less formal, with a garden corner sofa and an upcycled coffee table. There are a variety of options to choose from, depending on your theme, budget and preferences.
If you wish to use your outdoor dining space all year round, then you may have to carefully consider the placement of your dining furniture. Perhaps in a shaded area, or build a gazebo above your dining space. This can protect you from the unpredictable weather and provide you with the opportunity to use it all year round. You will need to consider a cover for your furniture.
#4 Cooking equipment
There are a few options when it comes to cooking your food. You could just set up an outdoor space that enables you to dine in the fresh air, but continue to cook your food indoors. If you have the time and budget to invest, then you may wish to set up some cooking equipment outside, such as a grill and a barbeque. If you choose the latter, then you may decide to extend the dining space so there is enough room for all your equipment, so that you can safely move around it. Smart storage space would also come in handy, so you can store away your cooking utensils, plates, cutlery and cleaning solutions you use to create a clean outdoor cushion for each of your family to sit on.
#5 Elevate the space
Once you have the basic setup equipped with everything you need to enjoy outdoor dining, you can elevate the space. You can do this by bringing in extra elements that will make it unique and special to you. For example, you can lay a coloured outdoor rug under your table, use brightly coloured tablecloths and linen, hang fairy lights, place some candles and plants around the place. A popular choice for an outdoor dining setup is a fire pit. This will keep you warm and you can even roast some marshmallows for pudding.
You can take this a step further by considering your entire garden because it will be your view while you dine. You can choose to get a fresh start, dig up your garden and get a professional landscaper to work on it. Alternatively, you can simply ensure that it is clear of clutter and rubbish, tidy up your shrubs, and plant some colourful flowers. This is a great way to make your space welcoming and inspiring. When you create a new habit, for example, dining outside, it can be difficult to get used to. If you create a space that is nice to look at, it creates more of an incentive to sit outside and enjoy it.
If you have children in your home, it is important to consider how you can make your outdoor dining space safe for your little ones. If you plan to use the outdoor dining space with your children, then this is something that should be built into the setup, for example, a safety gate to protect the cooking equipment and firepit. If it is just for adults, you may consider which items you wish to store away, and only get out when your children aren’t around.
Creating a space you dine outside is a great way to enjoy nature and quality times with friends and family. Whether you want to use it to enjoy lunches with the kids, or quiet time with your spouse, the outdoor dining space is a great addition to any home.