5 Outdoor Dining Table Must-Haves to Dress Up Any Al Fresco Meal
Eating outside will feel positively luxurious with these simple outdoor dining table add-ons.
Spring, summer, and fall—depending on where you live—are when fun outdoor activities take over. They’re the times for sipping coffee on the front stoop and planning weekend cookouts in the backyard. There’s nothing quite like the perfect outdoor party under the stars, and a huge part of enjoying that time in the fresh air in comfort is pairing solid outdoor entertaining practices with functional outdoor décor ideas.
Depending on the space, a well-equipped outdoors may mean plenty of durable outdoor seating, or a sturdy deck for impromptu al fresco dance parties. For many people, though, part of that space includes an outdoor dining table and all the accessories that come with it. Having a place to eat outside is one thing, but having a table decked out in eye-grabbing décor can take any outdoor meal from standard to stupendous—and it just takes a few pieces.
Ideally, outdoor dining table accessories are all multi-taskers. They should look nice, of course, but they get bonus points for serving a second purpose, whether that’s holding utensils, keeping the table clean, or providing sustainable alternatives to plastics or other landfill fodder. For the most part, these finds do just that. Use them to set your prettiest outdoor dining table yet—you’ll be surprised at the difference a pretty table setting makes for your outdoor meals.
RELATED: How to Set a Table
After that table is set, be sure to give it a solid cleaning regularly to fight off the extra dust, pollen, and more that comes with being outdoors. If the table is under cover, you can leave your tablescape in place between meals, but exposed tables should be cleared when not in use to preserve the lifespan of the outdoor dining table accessories.
Re-setting the table, replacing the table runner, and rearranging the plates for every meal or happy hour may be annoying, but so is buying new accessories every season as the old ones suffer from overexposure. This way, you can enjoy every beautiful piece of your tablescape for a little longer.
Dorotea Hand Painted Dinner Plate
Perfect indoors or out, this dishwasher-and-microwave-safe set is ideal for those looking to add a bit of pattern while avoiding bright colors. Each plate is hand painted by a Seattle-based artist.
To buy: $53 for a set of 4; amazon.com.
Bamboo Dinner Utensil Set
This reusable bamboo utensil set is an eco-friendly alternative to plastic cutlery. The bamboo is sturdy enough to use many times and has a breezy summer vibe.
To buy: $9 for two sets; amazon.com.
These round, heat-resistant trivets can be placed under hot dishes on the dinner table. The woven rattan material is both a charming decorative piece and a way to stop dishes from sliding off the table.
To buy: $24 for a set of 4; amazon.com.
Available in three different sizes, these lanterns are ideal for adding ambience to an evening dinner on the patio. Use them as a centerpiece along the dining table or hang a few around the backyard to help set the mood.
To buy: From $49; westelm.com.
Macrame Table Runner
Add a bit of boho chic to your outdoor space with this handwoven runner. Drape it over a raw wood table for an organic look that is sure to elevate your summer barbeque.
To buy: $56; amazon.com.