It’s almost summer, and it only means one thing to us: spending more time outdoors. This year’s summer seems promising, with the steady decline of COVID-19 cases following vaccination rollouts.
One activity you and your family definitely enjoy doing this summer is dining al fresco. After all, who does not like to bask under the warmth of the sun’s rays and watch the golden light conquer the sky? Everyone enjoys long evenings with good food, good drinks, and good company, right?
Considering all of these, it is a must-do to create a perfect setup for your outdoor dining experience.
Check out these helpful tips in creating a beautiful space where you, your friends, and your family can enjoy the outdoors while eating, drinking, and socializing.
What Is Al Fresco Dining
The term “al fresco” is an Italian term that means “to fresh” and “in the fresh air.” It simply refers to dining outside, enjoying the fresh air and beautiful weather. It envisions a hot yet breezy day with a lovely table set up outside, under a shade, as you enjoy a perfect meal.
Dining al fresco is typically casual. The decorations and linens used are simple. Though usually enjoyed during spring and summer months, some families enjoy al fresco dining during the autumn season. Essentially, al fresco dining is about enjoying the cool, fresh air outside.
How to Create an Al Fresco Setup at Home
1. Select a Lovely, Yet Practical Flooring
Since dining outside means taking out a considerable amount of furniture pieces and kitchen appliances, you would need good flooring to support it all.
Experts advise picking a functional yet durable floor material with a smooth and even surface to avoid accidents. It is suggested to select an outdoor flooring that matches your indoor to create a perfect blend.
If you have wooden kitchen flooring, decking is a great choice for your outdoor floor material, while paving options is perfect if you have floor tiles indoors.
2. Provide Ample Storage Spaces
A garden must have good outdoor storage. More so if your garden has a dining area and an outdoor kitchen.
Having ample storage space keeps your outdoor area neat and tidy. Hide pots and pans away and keep linens clean by investing in a garden storage box or a storage bench.
Since not everything has to be hidden, ladder-style shelving or a simple shelf can hold some of your outdoor stuff.
3. Create an Intimate Atmosphere
The main objective of al fresco dining is to enjoy the sunshine and open air. However, the weather can get too hot during lunchtime, and you would want some shelter when you are out dining at night.
One simple yet beautiful solution is to create a natural roof using climber plants like Wisteria or Ivy. These plants can form an arbor offering shade on a hot Saturday or Sunday noon. For added comfort and protection, you can also choose a dining set with a parasol.
To further create a nice ambiance, cover bare walls with brick panels, hang some festoon lights, and planters around the area.
4. Choose Crisp and Beautiful Table Linen
Just as tactfully you select your dinnerware for your al fresco dining, opt for crisp, fresh, and luxurious linens for your table. Opt for a cozy, rustic feel and look with natural color fabrics. Try to avoid bright hues as they tend to fade faster.
5. Stackable Dining Chair Options to Conserve Space
Not all of us get to enjoy a spacious garden or terrace for al fresco dining. So, if your outdoor area is on the smaller side, consider investing in garden chairs that are easily folded and stackable. You can choose plenty of options these days, from natural materials made of wood, fabric, or wicker to plastic-made ones.
6. Take the Kitchen Outside Too
It can be dragging and tedious to transport heavy dishes if your outdoor dining area is not right next to your kitchen. More so if you are prepping for a large group.
An easy solution is to add a little outdoor kitchen dedicated to your al fresco dining experience. To vamp it up, grow some herbs and spices nearby for a mini kitchen garden.
7. Liven the Place With Music
Finally, outdoor dining is never complete without music. Sure, you can have sounds coming from the indoors, but it can be bothersome having to go in and out to change the volume or music. Thus, it is a much better idea to invest in a quality outdoor speaker.
To create a memorable dining experience, the atmosphere and details are just as important as the food. While you have a perfect menu planned out already, take heed of these tips for your next al fresco dining experience at home.