Whether you are hosting a casual end of summer brunch, a celebratory dinner or cocktails and nibbles, creating your outdoor oasis means considering the space you are working with and what you are willing to change.
Design your al fresco dining area just as you would your interior space, regardless of whether the area is compact or spacious. Space plan, select furnishings, then add in your personal touches to ensure that you dine and drink in style all year long.
Pictured: Whisper White | Ridgetop18
If you have the luxury of ample space, it is a good idea to keep the dining area away from the lounge or seating area. Aim to unify the areas visually through consistent stone and brick flooring materials.
Create a Focal Point
Anchoring your space with a beautiful focal point, such as a firepit or stone fireplace, adds ambiance as well as an inviting and organic texture to your environment. The thoughtful use of materials such as stone cladding, brick veneer and stacked stone, will also allow you to marry your interior and exterior areas seamlessly.
Mixing and matching patterns can be daunting, but one of the best ways to keep balance is to retain a common thread. Select a palette using three key colors and play with patterns of three different scales. Pinstripes, floral and herringbone are a great go-to mix! Then, add extra interest through a variety of dish shapes and sizes.
Back to Nature
A living wall of plants layered upon your outdoor fencing can create an intimate space for dining with friends and family. Carry the look throughout the space using furniture in the same material and color as your fencing and add vivid color on the table for a touch of playfulness.
Light is Everything
Think about where the sun falls at different times of day and when you will be using your outdoor space the most. This way you can plan for layers of light such as foot lights for surrounding pathways, overhead string and dimmable can lighting for lounging, chandeliers for dining, stone fireplaces and fire pits, and lanterns and other uplighting for ambiance.
How will you elevate your outdoor entertaining space this season?
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Kerrie Kelly, Design Partner for Eldorado Stone
Kerrie Kelly knows that Everyone Deserves Great Design™. With that vision, Kerrie founded her California-based Kerrie Kelly Design Lab (KKDL) in 1995 to make great design more accessible. As CEO + Creative Director of KKDL, she leads a team of exceptional designers and has built long-term relationships with her brand partners. Kerrie is a Fellow, Design Luminary Award recipient and Past-Chair to the National Board for American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and a Global Connect Advisor for the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). Her insights on the latest design trends and new products have been featured in The Washington Post, Real Simple, Houzz, and other national and regional publications.
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