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Dining Al fresco

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

Is there anything more romantic than dining under the trees on a summer day with a gentle breeze caressing your hair? Somehow, the food is more delicious, the wine smoother and the company, oh the company, just even more pleasant. It's a perfect setting for whiling away the warmer hours of the day, letting your mind drift anywhere it wants to go. Cherishing memories, exploring new ideas for the future, or maybe not thinking about anything. A time to literally feel your heart slow down and just be one with Mother Nature.

It's wonderful to have a lot of friends over, but you can enjoy a special outdoor spot just for you. So often we see patios in neighborhoods without one thing on them. Create a place where you can go to enjoy a cup of tea, read a book, or just think. If you don't have trees, add an umbrella and plants to provide privacy and shade, and lots of flowers. Imagine what your perfect outdoor dining spot would be, make it just like that and enjoy!

Isn't it wonderful that today nothing has to match! How much more enjoyable it is to put different pieces together and have it look lovely. It doesn't even matter if you are using dining chairs, or what kind of table you have chosen. A table can be literally anything. Even if you choose a wooden table that isn't properly sealed, you can always cover it beautifully. And you'll have the fun in a few years or searching for another special one when your old wooden table falls in! Just have fun! Today, anything goes!

Slide show below... Which one would you want if you could snap your fingers and have anyone you choose? Click on the picture to see full screen.

Personally, I'm a fan of color. They say the older you get, the more color you need. I'm not sure if it's that, or you just naturally mellow as the years go bye and you no longer need everything to be one certain way. You get a bit more daring, or maybe you just don't care what anybody else thinks. What better place is there to take chances with color than outside where you have all of nature's exquisite colors from which to choose your pallet.

A table cloth is a great place to start, and the one thing I have always found lacking in the stores when it comes to sizes and style. With everything more relaxed today from fashion to home, formality is not necessary and neither is a store-bought tablecloth. Use an old quilt, or blanket or purchase a few yards of a colorful fabric which you may or may not choose to hem! Maybe you want to fringe it on the bottom. Maybe you want to layer several colors together, or add scarves, flags or bandanas to create your special look. Once again, today, anything goes!

Once your table cover is set, its time to choose dinnerware. You want something that won't break outside. This is where you can really take your color scheme over the top. I've been collecting melamine dishes for years and love to mix and match them. Plastic silverware is a no go, so either buy an inexpensive set for outside or just pick up miscellaneous pieces from flea markets and keep it separate for your good everyday silverware.

No table is ever truly set without flowers! It could be a living plant, a cut flower bouquet, or a single fragrant flower such as a rose. Even a four leaf clover you just found in the yard showcased in a tiny bud vase. Whatever you choose it should be something that makes you smile.

When the sun goes down, there is no need to go in. It's just getting cool, the fireflies are out, the frogs are croaking, and all settles down for the night. Time to turn on the fairy lights and lanterns and enjoy!

So I have a few suggestions for Dining Al fresco at your home. Top row: Melamine Dishes in fun colors easily mixed and matched. Second row: a Big Tray for carrying food outside, a great Stand for Desserts or flowers; 3 Piece Set: Tub for drinks, Tray and Silverware or Condiment caddy. Third row: Great Cake stand or lift/level; coolest Ship's Candle Lantern; Great outdoor lights. Fourth row: A big Basket for carrying out or storing tablecloths, etc.; Colorful 20 oz plastic Glasses (again no break); and finally a really nice Copper Bistro Set. What do you want to bet that you can find everything you need all in one place at the Lakewood 400 Antiques Market?

Take every chance you can grab to enjoy life, inside or outside your home. Never miss a chance to share quiet time with your friends, whether it's just stop by for a cup of tea or happy hour; brunch or dinner at night; or just to sit and talk about old times. These are times when memories are made. And don't forget to do something special just for yourself in between visits. Your outdoors oasis is a great place to meditate...




What are you doing to enjoy the outside your home?

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What better place to search for furniture or great accessories than at the Lakewood 400 Antiques Market! The Market is open the 3rd weekend every month and is a glorious treasure hunt sure to delight. You absolutely never know what you may find there! For info Click Here!

To see many more outside dining sets and for the photo credits on the jjd Pinterest Page! Click Here

Jan Jones is a Designer, Artist, and the Author of

"Finding Me: A Motivational Journey of Discovery for Young People." Click Here

and the website and jjd blog Click Here

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