LifeStyle Interiors Blog

Design that makes a difference

Al Fresco

Summertime is my favorite time.  Maybe it’s because summers are so short in Minnesota, or maybe it’s because I’m solar powered, or maybe it’s simply because summer is so beautiful…but I can’t get enough of the outdoors when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, and the skies are that lusterous shade of blue.  One of my favorite things about summer is eating outside.  It seems like such a simple thing- but sometimes the simplest things bring the greatest joys.  Enjoying a meal al fresco can be fancy, simple, casual, elegant, rustic, formal and everything inbetween.  Here are a few elements to think about when planning your next outdoor dining experience:

Lighting:

One might be inclined to forget about lighting when planning an outdoor event simply because the sunshine is the best light there is.  However, since dining in direct sunlight can be hot, uncomfortable to the eyes, and cause rapid degeneration of the food items involved most tables are set up in the shade of a lovely tree or under a canopy.  While lighting for the sake of seeing is not necessary during the day or even early evening…adding some white garden lights, candles, or lanterns can add ambiance and beauty to your event.

lanterns

Paper lanterns are easy, fun, and inexpensive

Outdoor Lighting

For a more dramatic effect – hang edison bulbs from the tree or canopy you’re sitting under

can-recycled-luminary

Tin cans can make great luminaries – make your own with whatever patterns you like!

Bringing the Outdoors….Outdoors:

There’s nothing better than decorating with natural elements.  Don’t get me wrong, I am all for using ‘real’ dishware, silverware and glassware outside, but when it comes to your tablescape, accenting with materials that are already in your environment is the best way to keep your event feeling authentic and natural.

Use a wood plank as a table runner

Use a wood plank as a table runner. Use seasonal flowers from your own garden.

Don't be afraid to add all sorts of natural elements to your centerpieces

Don’t be afraid to add all sorts of natural elements to your centerpieces

Linens:
Sometimes the best linens are no linens at all, but don’t be afraid to set your table with anything from simple white, to floral, to burlap!

Floral linens are a whimsical touch outdoors

Floral linens are a whimsical touch outdoors

A casual stripe is very inviting

A casual stripe is very inviting

"Ground length" can add drama and formality

“Ground length” can add drama and formality

Now you’re all set to plan your next outdoor gathering.  Whether it’s for something formal such as a wedding, anniversary or special birthday or simply because a Tuesday night happens to be a perfect night for eating outdoors you can make your event, big or small, memorable and fun!!

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This entry was posted on June 19, 2013 by in Inspiration and tagged , , .
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