Our Guide to Stylish Outdoor Dining

Our Guide to Stylish Outdoor Dining

As the weather gets warmer, we're looking forward to spending more time outside. Dining al fresco is one of life's simple pleasures, and you can easily transform your outdoor space into a wonderful dining area. Whether you have a large garden, cosy patio, or compact balcony, we have a range of styling tips to create the perfect space for you, ideal for entertaining at home or enjoying quiet family meals. Here's how to elevate your outdoor dining area, making it stylish and functional:


1. Summer-Ready Tableware

Making the most of dining al fresco often calls for a variety of lovely dishes. Whether you’re partial to a few ‘picky bits’ or you’re cooking up a storm for friends and family, picking out beautiful tableware is a great place to start! One of our top tips for elevating outdoor dining is decanting where possible. Whether it’s preparing a cool drink in this stunning carafe, or adding a touch of sophistication to your table layout with this glass salt and pepper set with a tray, perfect for dressing up your condiments!

If you’re planning to serve salads, rice, or other sides, this beautiful stoneware serving dish is perfect for placing in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves. Complete the look with this stoneware plate, a beautiful terracotta piece from a South Indian pottery, and a rectangular stoneware plate to serve in style!

2. Choose the Right Furniture

When it comes to choosing your outdoor furniture, it’s important to take into consideration the space available to you. An outdoor table that is too big may overwhelm a smaller space, whereas, choosing a table and seats that aren't big enough may not accommodate all of your guests.
If you’re looking for a larger outdoor dining set, weather-resistant materials like teak or metal are great options, with teak in particular being known for its excellent resistance to water and insects. It’s a good idea to choose a sturdy dining table set, that is sure to last the distance for many summers to come. If you’re shopping for a smaller space, like a balcony or little patio area, our delightful bistro sets come in a choice of sleek grey, bright blue, or charming cream; creating a real sense of French alfresco style in your outdoor space. They are the perfect spot to enjoy a bite to eat!

3. Creating an Ambiance

The right lighting can transform your garden into a lovely, ambient space to enjoy on summer evenings. Whether you’re looking for a zen lantern that will cast a lovely glow as well as be a stunning dining table centrepiece, or decorative lighting for your garden, walls, or fences. Take a look at our list of lighting ideas for your outdoor dining area, and find the perfect garden ambience for your space:


1. String Lights

Drape string lights across your fence to add an easy glow, they’ll look warm and inviting and are quick and simple to put up!

2. Lanterns and Candles

Choosing lanterns or candles is one of the best ambient options for your tabletop, or placed around your seating area, like this zen large metal lantern, ideal for enjoying a candlelit meal. We love these glass tealight holders to cast a pretty glow as part of your table’s centrepiece, or this hurricane candle holder for a lovely, larger option.

3. Solar Lights

Easy to install, solar lights are a great option whether illuminating a pathway or garden features. These low-maintenance lights are eco-friendly too, perfect for the environmentally conscious home.


4. Choose Cosy Soft Furnishings


Adding some textiles to your outdoor space not only elevates the comfort of dining but also adds colour and texture to your setup. Pick out pieces that you love, whether vibrant colours and prints or calm and neutral tones, to create an even more relaxing atmosphere. Consider adding an outdoor rug for an instant cosy feel and to define the dining area. You could also choose cushion pads, like this stunning blue set, for some additional colourful comfort while enjoying a leisurely meal. For those who prefer neutral hues, our natural cotton seat pads add a lovely charm to your dining area too.
Don’t forget to add cushions and throws to decorate your space. A cosy wool throw is perfect for an extra layer of comfort on summer evenings, extending your dining experience. Pair this classic herringbone wool throw with lovely neutral cushions for a relaxing feel. If you love prints, this bright and colourful throw is a great choice for vibrant summer nights!

There are many wonderful ways to elevate your outdoor space for even more enjoyable al fresco dining. From making sure your seating area is lovely and comfortable with stylish soft furnishings to picking out the perfect tableware to enhance your dining setup, you can bask in the sunshine and enjoy the warmer evenings with our top tips for stylish outdoor dining.

Sophie, Interior stylist at Funky Chunky Furniture discussing our wood options

Sophie O'Mahony

Sophie is our in-house interior fashion expert, writing our on-trend blogs and curates our ethical accessory collections.

Sophie works with the furniture designers at Funky Chunky Furniture - she has quite a bit of experience creating rustic interior design sets for photo shoots across all rooms in the home.

About Sophie