Perfect Picnic Pieces: 5 Ideas for Festive Outdoor Eating

It’s being July already, you’re probably well into the season of picnics and outdoor eating. You might be a seasoned professional at it, in fact, with your patio table dusted off and picnic basket at the ready. But if, on the off chance, the days have sped by and you haven’t found an opportunity to take dining to an al fresco level, let these photos be the first to invite you to do so. Either way, I hope you’ll consider incorporating these ideas into your next outdoor dining experience. Because they are sure to create an atmosphere and, ultimately, an experience to remember with fondness:

Decorate the Airspace.

Wood furniture outdoor dining

Whether it’s hanging a chandelier (even a faux one will do the trick) or fabric garland, something about having an eye-catcher dangling above creates a feeling of purposeful festivity in an outdoor eating space. I particularly love how this vintage metal chandelier lends a degree of understated sophistication above two old wooden tables, pushed together to create more (and cozier!) seating for the occasion.

Toss in Comfy Textiles.

Wood furniture outdoor dining

Maybe the sweet vintage convertible might be asking a bit much, but any outdoor dining experience is made sweeter with some comfortable textiles. A soft blanket or two, some pillows, even a jacket or long-sleeved shirt at the ready will make you and your guests feel at ease. They’re invited to come on over, lounge, and hang out a while…which, in good company, is one of the season’s finest perks.

Pick a Style Theme.

Wood furniture outdoor dining

If you pick a visual “theme” of sorts (in this case, black and white stripes), even the simplest of outdoor eating experiences become eye-catching and inviting. No need to overdo it with tacking vinyl fish décor or moose heads, though. Keep things tasteful and classic (and simple!) if you’re not sure what direction to take.

Add Color, Color, and More Color.

Wood furniture outdoor dining

Nothing says “party!” like a jumble of bright, bold colors. From potted flowers to hanging lanterns to colorful garden chairs, color creates an instantly welcoming outdoor ambiance, especially during summertime. Throw in a gingham checked tablecloth, and you’ve got the perfect setup for a fun-filled picnic, even if it’s impromptu.

Consider the Beauty of Simplicity.

Wood furniture outdoor dining

Don’t forget that, in some cases, the best style choice is to let nature take its course. With a chunky wood farm table and charmingly mismatched wooden seating, this outdoor eating area is simplicity incarnate…and it welcomes visitors all the same. I love the minimalism of the wooden furnishings in this industrial-vibe setting, with the metal sheeting and gravel.