When creating an outdoor dining room, the most important thing to consider is the table. “Pick a table that seats as many people as possible,” says design manager Keti Lytras of Globe West. “People will often buy a table that is too small before realising they don’t always have just four people over for dinner.” Expandable tables are great for smaller gardens and terraces, and to avoid having a set module taking up too much space year-round. Style-wise, a classic, simple teak number will not only stand the test of time but will also age beautifully.
“There’s a big push for outdoor rugs,” says Adam Robinson of Adam Robinson Design. “When they first came out, we were all afraid to use them – but putting a nice rug under the lounge area can really define the zone.” Shade, pot plants and larger pieces of furniture can also help to differentiate areas. In terms of style, muted tones and hand-thrown pieces are in, says Adam. For help choosing pots, click here.
Living it up
An outdoor lounge area makes a versatile space, as it can also be used for casual dining. “Lounges, coffee and side tables create a really useable area,” says Adam. “You can put your drink down and move things around and eat.” Go for low-level furniture to achieve resort-style vibes, and comfortable sofas with low backs so your views from inside the house to the garden aren’t impeded.
Create an instant quiet corner with an uber-comfortable chair or lounge seat. Owner and designer Paul Hopper of Terrace Outdoor Living says this space, in particular, should reflect your own personality. “Consider what exactly you want and choose pieces that do the job,” Paul suggests. With so many beautiful rattan and woven features coming through at the moment, this is a good opportunity to add some texture and have materials that chime with the wider outdoor area as a whole.
Keti’s hot tips for the warmer months ahead include black edging, lots of greenery and resort-inspired pieces. “I think this is going to be one of the biggest trends,” she says. “People are wanting to feel like they’re on a tropical holiday at home.” To achieve that relaxed vibe, she recommends turning to modern sun lounges, but make sure they’re practical enough to actually use. They should be comfortable and be in the shade, says Adam, “otherwise in summer you’re just not going to sit there and use the space.”
For more outdoor entertaining inspiration, click here.