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Outdoor dining requires three elements: table, chairs, and shade. A salvaged farmhouse table, metal folding chairs, and a classic table umbrella create a casual dining setup. Covering the table with a tablecloth mirrors an indoor table arrangement, while the crisp white and khaki stripes go with the cool colors of the season. Add a vase full of sunflowers for the perfect summer gathering.
Alfresco dining is popular because it's so simple. Just set up a table and chairs outside and let nature do the decorating. Here a patio off the indoor dining room becomes the ideal spot for dinner on nice nights. A sleek metal table and chair set mimics the home's modern decor and withstands the elements.
An arbor over the dining table provides shade for diners and support for climbing wisteria. Teak furniture is a smart choice for outdoor dining because it can handle the elements and takes on a beautiful patina as it ages. Coordinate tablecloth or seat cushion fabric with the colors of surrounding plants and flowers.
If your family really likes alfresco dining, turn your patio into an outdoor dining room. Cover the area with an overhang and add a grill and fireplace for quick cooking. Wrought-iron chairs are a good choice for a traditional setting. Wrought-iron tables with glass tops are a classic outdoor furniture choice.
For a modern spin on outdoor dining, add a bistro set to your patio or porch. This furniture's square lines can add contemporary flair to any yard. Top it off with a classic outdoor umbrella that protects diners from the sun and matches the colors of the blossoming garden.
Wooden furniture gives a natural panache to a traditional setup. A table and chairs in the center of the patio work well for small gatherings. The side tables and chairs provide extra seating and conversation areas during large gatherings. Seat cushions in an outdoor fabric make the seats more comfortable and add color. Potted plants placed around the porch and vines hanging from a fence provide natural decoration.
Tucked away in the corner of the yard, a small table and chairs create an intimate setting. The simple chairs are dressed up with overstuffed yellow seat cushions. The yellow complements the green foliage around the yard. Make the setting even more romantic by placing it next to a fountain or outdoor artwork.
Nothing says summer like wicker furniture or synthetic wicker-look furniture. Mix and match chair styles in the same material to create a casual and cohesive atmosphere. These homeowners chose a yellow and green color scheme to coordinate with the black furniture and green foliage. Seat cushions and throw pillows add comfort and color to the patio. The tablecloth gives the table a softer look.
Treat your outdoor space like any other room by giving it a decorating theme. This patio has an Eastern theme with an ornate gazebo, lanterns, and red fabric. The red and gold tones provide visual pop against the dark iron structure and greens of the garden.
Get the Look: Hang lanterns at varying heights for an interesting display.
Cool white is the perfect contrast to hot summer days and nights. Director's chairs with white fabric are easy to set up and move around the patio for a casual setting. The white fabric also coordinates with the white structures around the yard without distracting from them.
Pots of colorful flowers and a candle chandelier give this porch the look of a garden-themed dining room. Anchoring the arrangement is a vintage green-and-white baker's table. New white metal chairs slide underneath, looking right at home.
Homey fabrics and pretty wicker invite family and friends to sit and enjoy a casual visit. Old porch flooring painted in a glossy tan stands in contrast to the vintage furnishings sporting distressed, time-faded finishes.
A once-rickety porch was remodeled into a spacious 650-square-foot veranda that takes better advantage of sweeping shoreline views. Natural-tone wicker is softened with deep cushions covered in classic blue cotton ticking.
Awning-style tilt-out windows allow breezes in, yet can keep rain and cold outside. A beaded-board ceiling gives the room warmth, and paint freshens up a tired wood floor. Since the room can be closed off from the elements, fully upholstered furnishings can be used.
A grove of trees makes the perfect spot for a patio. This one is located just off the kitchen, to encourage casual after-dinner conversation. A combination of teak and wicker seating is united by cushion color and tone.