Planning for spring and summer is exciting – from the first Memorial Day backyard picnic to the Labor Day pool party to close out the season with a bang. Whether your interests lie in eating a few meals outdoors with your closest family and friends or in having a large get-together, the right outdoor dining furniture sets the tone, gives everyone adequate space to eat their meal and makes sure they’re comfortable doing so. Similarly to your indoor dining table and ensemble, you may want the same type of classic elegance to transcend to your outdoor dining space. With everything from complete dining sets to outdoor bars and buffet tables, Pottery Barn has plenty of inspiration to help you create the best in outdoor entertaining this summer.
For one of the simplest ways to furnish your backyard, patio or deck, opt for a complete outdoor dining set. This lets you skip the need to mix and match expandable dining tables and chairs separately while still offering you many different options in seating arrangements. If you plan to regularly have a larger party at your outdoor table, opt for a long, rectangular dining table with included chairs. These longer tables typically seat anywhere from six to eight diners, giving each guest enough elbow room to enjoy a delicious homecooked – or barbecue grilled – meal. Different types of chair styles may suit your tastes more than others as well. An armless chair provides plenty of room during the meal, while side or patio lounge chairs give deep, comfortable seating. For the largest of get-togethers, consider a generous wraparound table or a banquette. These bench-like seating arrangements feature a table in the middle, with wraparound seating. This is great for a large group of friends, or families with children, as everyone sits snugly side by side. Smaller parties and more intimate get-togethers may do well with bar tables that seat two or three, or smaller round tables that fit just a few. For a backyard barbecue, these types of tables may do well placed knowingly around your deck or patio, offering bar-like, intimate seating for a number of guests. Bistro tables and chairs are not only small, but largely portable, allowing you to easily carry them from the deck to your backyard or poolside, allowing you to relax and dine anywhere you choose.
You may also want to choose outdoor expandable dining tables and chairs separately. This is a good idea if you’re putting your outdoor ensemble together piece by piece, or if you’re replacing older, worn-out items on your deck or patio. It gives you the ability to choose any type of outdoor chair you want for any table.
When it comes to materials for outdoor furniture, there are quite a few constructions that are resistant to the elements, and it largely depends upon your taste. For chairs, wicker is often a top choice. Its all-weather construction allows you to use it fundamentally through all four seasons, if you wish. Wicker chairs often include pillows and slipcovers, and these are customizable to fit your mood and the season. Choose everything from nautical blue-and-white striped patterns to sunburst yellow to enliven your backyard look. Other materials that do well through all four seasons include metal, teak, and many woods. For an eco-friendly option, look for FSC-certified or reclaimed woods, which both feel right at home in an outdoor setting.
To finish off your dining furniture, add an outdoor bar or buffet table. Many of these pieces are designed to match perfectly with available outdoor dining sets, tables, chairs and other furniture, allowing you to create a complete ensemble for your patio. Choose a rolling bar that’s on wheels for portability, or add a long buffet so guests can serve themselves during a party or outdoor soiree.