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Dine En Plein Air with Outdoor Dining Sets

While warm weather is gracing the northern hemisphere, it’s natural to want to do everything outside. From picnicking to camping, people are enjoying the fresh air and the hotter temperatures. A great way to take advantage of these upcoming sunny days is to be “en plein air” with an outdoor dining set. You would have all the benefits of eating outside, but with more structure and class than on a picnic blanket.

Savannah 7pc Oval Dining Set, GF-LD1031B-42-8-S7 by AFD

“En plein air” (literally meaning “outdoors” in French) is an art term for painting outdoors, an art movement popularized in the mid-19th century through the idea that nature should be depicted realistically and in its natural light. And what is food and meal plating if not one of the greatest functional art forms we perform daily? While painters would probably disagree that depicting a verdant landscape is comparable to making the perfect summer salad, this artistic movement and dining outdoors share the sentiment that to enjoy is to be outside whenever possible.

Not enough color in your yard? Bold red or orange cushions pop against the greenery (by Lee Ann Marienthal Gardens)

Want to add a more artistic feel to your outdoor space? Choosing the right outdoor dining set can help. Most decks end up being a similar style of wood throughout, and the only color you can bring into one is what you stain it with. But an outdoor dining set can bring in that much needed color in the form of seat cushions, umbrellas and/or centerpieces, and place mats, all of which can be easily swapped out for another set. Changing your outdoor dining cushions is a simple, great way to keep your deck’s look from wearing out without the hefty price of a remodel.

Buying a complete dining set instead of by the piece can save time and stress to make sure everything fits together well (by SDG Archictecture, Inc.)

If you’re struggling to match all of your furniture together (or just don’t have the time), you can buy a complete dining set all at once instead of building it piece by piece. This is a convenient, hassle-free way to ensure every chair matches and that the table is the right height to sit at comfortably. Buying a complete set also often means you’ll get discounts that you wouldn’t get if you purchased the same items individually. If you’re buying online, you’re also more likely to get a shipping discount or free shipping with a bigger online purchase.

Location for your outdoor furniture is just as important as its style (by Graham Atkins-Hughes Photography)

An outdoor meal doesn’t have to be a big party for your friends and family; it can also be an intimate moment for just a couple people. It can be easy to get carried away in the hectic everyday and not take time to quietly connect with a loved one. Outdoor furniture made of natural materials like wood and stone can be placed directly in your garden to enjoy nature in a more organic way than on a deck or patio. If you want to enjoy a quiet, intimate conversation, place your outdoor furnishings not on the patio but instead in the garden.

Savannah 5pc Bar Table Set, GF-LD1031L-42/8

The great thing about outdoor furniture is that it’s weather-resistant in order to stay outside all spring and summer. There’s nothing worse than setting up your outdoor dining and then having to take it all back inside during bad weather because it can’t hold up to sun, rain, or intense wind. Depending on your winters, you may have to pack your outdoor dining set in the garage for the off-season. Even if you’re able to leave your furniture out year round, it’s usually worth removing detachable cushions and bringing them inside during bad weather to extend their lifespans. And on those too-hot days, many tables allow for a large umbrella attachment to shade you from the hottest sunshine.

It’s a beautiful time of year that should be enjoyed outside, and outdoor dining sets can help you make the most of the summer months.