Creating the Perfect Outdoor Dining Area

With the last few weeks of summer ahead, now is the perfect time in much of the country to embrace the warm summer days and spend time in the sun. A perfect outdoor dining area can allow you to spend more time with family and friends and soak in the sun at the same time. Here are a few tips to design the area that will best work for you and your home:

Photo courtesy of Chaplins Furniture

Photo courtesy of Go Modern

1. Consider the Colors

 

It’s always important to take into account the colors of the outdoor area. If the outdoor area is more centered around nature, consider more earthy colors that blend right into the background, creating a soft, calm atmosphere. For a bolder style, however, pick a color that contrasts sharply against the background. 

With this area, the lighter pinks and tans behind the dark table and chairs create a beautiful distinction of colors. Whichever your style, make sure to consider various colors in your design process.

2. Working with the Landscape

When working with nature, there are mainly two choices: working with the land or changing the landscape to fit your needs. Keeping the land untouched will allow for a more natural atmosphere, while changing the landscape may be more accessible and practical for an outdoor dining area.

For example, this bench by the pool allows a great lunch or dinner with family and friends. While nature is not emphasized, it creates a sleek, clean design that’s easily accessible to the house and pool, allowing for gathering around the table at any time.

Photo courtesy of Garden Trading

Photo courtesy of Go Modern

Photo courtesy of Lagoon

3. Creating Shade

While the idea of an outdoor dining area underneath the bright sun is important, practicality should always be a factor. With the sun out all day, it may get too hot to stay outside and enjoy the summer air. Remember to provide adequate shading, whether that’s with a tree or a canopy, so you and your guests are able to spend as much time outside as you would like.

This outdoor dining area was built with a roof for this exact purpose. Crafted with natural wood, it forms a calm atmosphere blocking the sun but keeping everyone close to the nature that surrounds them.

4. A Style that Fits You

Whatever the design, make sure that it fits your personality and will be used often for gatherings of family and friends.

Photo courtesy of Lagoon

When the weather is warm, it is important that luxury homeowners have a backyard suitable for entertaining — whether it is to host an intimate family gathering or a large celebration with friends.

 

With spring in full force, it’s time to say hello to outdoor picnics, long days spent in the pool, and family barbecues.

 

In order to refresh your backyard in time for spring, we explore a few quick tips that will help your space to feel both luxurious, yet livable.

Seating

Whether it is a complete outdoor living room and a full-service kitchen, or a small table with chairs and an arrangement of delicate metal benches, ample outdoor seating is a must-have.

Photos courtesy of Garden Trading (above featured image, left image and image to the right) and designbotschaft GmbH (middle)

Featuring a three-seater sofa and two armchairs, the Colwell Sofa Set creates a lightweight aesthetic whilst also offering comfort. The set will look striking beside a pool, on a decking area or patio to sit and relax during the warmer months.

Fire

On chilly spring nights, a stylish fire pit or outdoor fireplace can provide some much needed warmth while it also improves the design appeal of your backyard space.

Solus Decor’s Elevated Halo Fire Table fit well into a wide variety of outdoor environments, with their clean profiles and soft curves.

Photos courtesy of Solus Decor

Lighting

String lights and lanterns help to create a relaxing ambiance perfect for entertaining all evening long.

Torche, by Les Jardins Solar Lighting, merges modern sensibility with versatile design. Torche is the ultimate outdoor accessory, especially when used as an upgraded version of a tiki torch to light darkened pathways.

Photo courtesy of Lights4fun (left) and Les Jardins Solar Lighting (middle & right)

Greenery

When enjoying an evening outdoors, it is important that your guests are able to enjoy the smell of fresh greenery and blooming flowers. Be sure to include a ton of plants and flowers throughout your backyard space.

Photo courtesy of Lights4fun

Winter nights are often welcomed as an opportunity to stay inside under blankets until warmer, brighter days return. For those who do decide to host a gathering in the winter months, parties are almost exclusively held indoors to shield guests from the cold. While a traditional indoor winter gathering can be both elegant and entertaining, there is no reason to fear hosting an outdoor gathering during winter.

With the right decor, menu and activities, an outdoor party in the winter is the perfect way to connect with your guests. For those living in regions prone to snow, standard outdoor furniture may not be suitable, but sturdy picnic tables, hay bales, and pine-themed decorations with pops of color from holly berries stand up well to winter weather. Having adequate lighting is crucial, since the sun sets relatively early during winter. Maintain a cozy ambiance with string lights, or have a bonfire double as a source of both heat and light.

Whether you choose to have everyone sit by a fire pit or instead encourage people to spend time in a hot tub, make your guests comfortable in the cold by offering an outdoor heat source.  Even in places like Florida, where temperatures do not drop as low as they do in the north, outdoor heating is crucial to creating a cozy atmosphere. A cast iron chiminea gives off significant heat while contributing to a wintry aesthetic, while structures like gazebos help block wind and can be decorated with pillows and blankets.

Warm food and drinks should be on the menu for any outdoor winter gathering. Swap out salad in favor of soup as a first course, and serve a hot, filling entree such as lasagna or pot roast. If you have a grill, try using it to prepare both the main and side dishes — not only will it allow you to create a hearty meal for your guests, but it will give off heat to help keep them warm. Serve warm drinks like hot chocolate, coffee and tea. If you plan on serving alcohol, consider drinks that pair well with warm spices.

While swimming or lounging in the sun may be out of the question, some warm weather activities, like lawn games, can still be enjoyed in the winter. Set up cornhole, horseshoes or a ladder toss station to entertain your guests. If you plan to host your party at a snowy destination and would prefer to more closely adhere to a winter theme, encourage guests of all ages to participate in a snowman-making competition or snowball fight.

Photos Courtesy of Hootsuite.

On a quiet afternoon you may decide to read a book, enjoy a glass of wine or watch passersby — and, a porch is the perfect place to pass the time. 

By Alyssa Gautieri

The term “porching” has become popular among Americans who enjoy spending time outdoors on their porch. With summer officially under way, we decided to take a look at some communities perfect for porching. From the coastal South to the mountain lodges, here are four real estate developments that embrace porching.

Palmetto Bluff

South Carolina
Situated in the heart of South Carolina Lowcountry, this 20,000-acre property embraces traditional Lowcountry architecture with countless porches. Views include picturesque moss-draped oaks and gas-lit walkways. Montage Palmetto Bluff also recently debuted a new Inn with a wrap-around porch complete with relaxing rocking chairs.

Photo courtesy Palmetto Bluff

Snake River Sporting Club

Wyoming
Nestled in the woods, the Residences offer expansive porches with sunny mountain views. Additionally, owners can porch up at The Clubhouse, which overlooks the Snake River. Residents may choose to grab a drink or bite to eat from the local restaurant to optimize their porching experience.

Photos courtesy Snake River Lodge

The Cliffs

The Carolinas
The Cliffs is a collection of residential communities set upon a protected national forest that extends from Asheville, North Carolina to Greenville, South Carolina. The communities offer a range of porching opportunities, from Lake Keowee to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville.

Photos courtesy The Cliffs

Kukui’ula

Hawaii
Each residence at Kukui’ula — the leading luxury resort community on Kauai’s south shore — offers an expansive patio overlooking lush tropical landscaping and a variety of ocean, golf and mountain views. Owners and guests can easily grab a cocktail or glass of wine at the nearby restaurant to complete their porching experience.
 

Photos courtesy Kukui’ula

From California to Texas, families and friends around the country will gather to celebrate Independence Day. What better way to celebrate than with stunning views and a spacious backyard?

By Alyssa Gautieri

Turn on the grill, slip into your swim suit and grab your sunglasses — it’s the Fourth of July. Independence Day is more than a day off from work. It is a great time to celebrate the summer, gather with friends and family and show off your beautiful backyard. Here are only a few stunning luxury homes with backyards perfect for summer barbecues and social gatherings:

Corpus Christi, Texas

Represented by: Jodi Schultz

This unique Mediterranean-style waterfront home is a prime location for a fourth of July celebration. Stunning views, a luxurious swimming pool and comfortable outdoor seating — all the essentials to make your holiday special.

Tucson, Arizona

Photos courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain

With designs that reflect the High Desert — Pueblo, Spanish Colonial or Arizona Ranch — The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain offers an outdoor living area perfect for entertaining guests. Its unique patio and beautiful fire pit make this yard a perfect location to commemorate Independence Day.

 

Austin, Texas

Represented by: Mary Lynn Gibbs

This Texan home creates an outdoor paradise with its 2,000-square-foot patio, a cabana, luxurious pool with a fountain and outdoor see-through fireplace.

Malibu, California

This modern rustic farmhouse with stunning ocean views features a vegetable garden, fruit trees and a professionally designed tennis court — making it the ideal property to accommodate visitors and guests. It is also surrounded by lush gardens and situated in a private, secluded location.

Bel-Air, California

Represented by: Ron de Salvo & Chris Cortazzo

This dramatic Tuscan villa sits on nearly 1 acre of land. With panoramic city-to-ocean views, total privacy, 6 fireplaces and a pool, the Palazzo della Figlia creates a great space for an outdoor gathering.

Miami Beach, Florida

Represented by: The Jills, Danny & Hillary Hertzberg

Miami Beach is a great place to spend the holiday, and these two Miami Beach homes each offer exceptional views and ample space to relax.

Sandy, Utah

Represented by: Shelly Tripp

Constructed with entertaining in mind, this backyard features a saltwater pool, hot tub, fire pit, sports court, a gas grill and tiki lights that achieve the ideal ambiance.

Style Selector
Select the layout
Choose the theme
Preset colors
No Preset
Select the pattern