Outdoor Dining Ideas and Inspiration

Dining al fresco is something I love doing during the summer months. Whenever hubby and I make a lunch or dinner reservation at a local restaurant, we always try to get a table on the patio. Dining outside at home is also pleasurable – especially if you have a shady spot. Here’s some outdoor dining ideas and inspiration for you, from rustic to elegant.

A simple farmhouse table with colorful chairs like these would be perfect for my humble farmhouse.

Al Fresco Dining with Farmhouse Table and Painted ChairsPhoto by Kilim online

I do plan to have a pergola over our outdoor dining space. It lends a bit of shade for physical comfort.

Outdoor Dining Under a PergolaPhoto by Stout Design-Build

A plain picnic table gets a pretty shade of violet. I like the rust log pergola and candle chandelier.

Outdoor Dining with Purple Picnic TablePhoto by Clinton & Associates, PC Landscape Architects

If you don’t like dining outside with the bugs, set up a table and chairs in a screened porch.

Southern Farmhouse Screened Porch with Dining TablePhoto by

When I dine outside with pretty scenery, it’s easy to imagine that I’m in France or Italy, dining alfresco at a countryside winery. That’s the type of ambiance I want to create with our outdoor dining area. This space is a little more formal than I’d like, but it has that European vibe.

Mediterranean Style Outdoor Dining SpacePhoto by Laura Hull Photography

An outdoor dining area doesn’t have to be extravagant. A cozy table for two is all you need.

Simple Southern Porch with Farmhouse Table and Wood Folding ChairsPhoto by Historical Concepts

Let’s face it. A waterfront view for dining al fresco is probably the ideal summer situation. Which is part of the reason why our backyard makeover includes a pond! If you can’t move to the water … bring the water to your home.

Waterfront Dining in Cozy Balcony Style PorchPhoto by HillTop Interiors Inc.

When I was a kid, we had director-style chairs on our patio. They’re comfortable and practical for dining outside.

Canvas director chairs with farmhouse table for outdoor diningPhoto by Homes Delivered

Rattan furniture is a beautiful option for an outdoor dining set. I love the porch as much as the dining set itself. Ceiling fans encourage cooling breezes while enjoying a favorite summer meal.

Traditional Porch with Rattan Furniture and Dining SetPhoto by

I can’t wait to get started on our backyard makeover. I hope it will be done by mid-summer but we do need to wait to get the pond installed based on the contractor’s schedule. I know it will be worth the wait.

Come back on Saturday to see the design concept!

More Outdoor Inspirational Ideas:

Casual Patios for Relaxed Outdoor Living

Outdoor Living with Water Gardens

Country Garden Tour in Upstate New York

Garden Planning Ideas for Your Home

Oakbrook Garden Tour

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  1. Such cute outdoor spaces. It would be fun to sit outside with a glass of iced tea at any of these places.

  2. Can’t wait to see what you do with your backyard. I would love to have my plain-jane porch and yard updated, but I’ll have to live vicariously through you. I’m sure it will be amazing.

  3. I wish that I had the room for a big farm table. What is nicer than sharing a meal with a huge table of friends and family 🙂

  4. I just saw the backyard design on today’s post!
    Beautiful. I know you and your family will enjoy the addition.
    We have a certified Wildlife Backyard Habitat and a screened in porch.
    You will soooooooooooo enjoy your new space.
    Do let me know HOW to get the lighting over the purple table/chairs.
    I WANT IT!
    Plan some solar lighting for night time pleasure. It will add to your pleasure
    and lots of WHITE plants.