There’s something about enjoying a meal outdoors when the temperatures are just right and the air is fresh that makes us feel relaxed and at peace. Many dining establishments recognize this attraction and create spaces to make this happen for you using the ideal atmosphere of comfort mixed with aesthetics.
But you don’t have to go out to a restaurant to have a similar experience if you have an outdoor dining space like a pergola (learn more about these structures at https://theluxurypergola.com), and the furniture to make it happen!
Here, we’ll dive into 5 elements that turn your yard into the perfect outdoor al fresco dining experience.
1. The Location
Alfresco is a classy term for “dining outside.” Notice the difference between how your mind views “eating on the patio” versus “dining al fresco.” There’s a distinction that takes you from a picnic-style meal to a more elegant, relaxing dining experience.
So, unlike a basic patio-table-and-chair meal, you need the right location to turn this into a culinary experience. If you don’t have a pergola, you can use your back porch. However, it needs to be clean with a minimalistic touch. Clutter and mess detract from the atmosphere.
2. The Dining Ware
What kind of overall experience are you trying to replicate? The dining ware you use should be an extension of that atmosphere.
Of course, you’ll need to consider your home’s style. If you have little ones, using expensive, elegant china isn’t feasible. But if it’s just you and your guests, and you want a more Titanic-style meal — minus the iceberg, unless it’s lettuce — you can plan for your special dishes and flatware.
Keep in mind whatever you use will be traveling from the kitchen to the outdoor location. Sturdy and lightweight are ideal unless you’re designing a look for an elegant occasion.
3. The Decor
Next, it’s time to decide what you want to surround yourself with as you eat. This is as much aesthetic as it is functional because you’re outside, so delicate and lightweight items can get ruined easily.
Tablecloths or table runners that are heavy enough to stay in place when it’s windy are more efficient than plastic or light cloth. You’ll also want to use that mindset with your coasters, salad bowls, dishes, and other decor. Even if you’re in a pergola, if it gets windy or rainy, you want to ensure your decor can withstand the elements.
4. Choose Your Colors
Restaurants use strategic color choices to create the look and feel they want. You can do the same thing with your al fresco dining area. Neutral shades work well if you want multipurpose decor and dishware, but bright colors can perk up the space and the mood.
Add a bold touch with a vibrant floral centerpiece or a richly hued or patterned table runner. Remember, with bright colors, less can be more.
5. Move to the Menu
Finally, it’s time to think about the food and beverages you’ll serve. Your meal should match the atmosphere you’ve created. For example, you don’t want to serve hot dogs and chips if your goal is a fine dining experience. On the other hand, fancy meals on paper plates with plasticware don’t match, either.
When your food matches the atmosphere you’ve worked so hard to create, you have all the elements of the perfect outdoor al fresco dining experience!