When you’ve got a big outdoor area, there are so many things that you could do with it. You can turn it into a play area for kids, a nice area for relaxing in the sun or you could consider turning it into a great outdoor dining area. This is a great way to use the space when you’re at home with the family or even when you’re entertaining guests. If you’ve got a lot of wasted space in the garden and you want to do something amazing with it, just follow these basic steps to create the perfect outdoor dining area.
Build A Patio
The first step is to build a patio, it’s not enough to just stick a table out on the grass and get a barbecue going. You need a proper area where you can put your furniture and prepare food for your guests. A patio is the easiest way to do that. It also splits the garden up so you can use the closer end as a dining area but still keep a grassy area for other activities and growing plants etc. Once you’ve put a patio down, you also need to think about covering it. During the winter, you want to be able to sit out there without getting rained on and in the summer, you need a bit of shade to give you a break from the heat, especially in the middle of the day when it’s burning hot. A simple wooden structure with a cover on will do fine.
Now that you’ve got your patio ready, you need to think about making it comfortable. Heating is the first thing to consider because if you don’t heat it, you’ll only be able to use it during the day in the summer. But if you get a couple of outdoor heaters in there, you’ll be able to stay out there well into the evening and you could even sit out there in the winter if it takes your fancy.
You should also think about staying cool in the summer because, if the weather is particularly hot, you want it to be pleasant out there. The shade will do that to some extent but you could put some outdoor fans out there as well. They’ll keep everybody cool in the summer and they’ll circulate the air properly so it doesn’t get too smoky under the cover when you get the barbecue going.
The next step is to choose some great outdoor furniture to go in your outdoor dining area. It’s best to go for some folding furniture here for a couple of reasons. First off, even though you’ve got it covered, there’s still a chance it could get wet if it’s particularly rainy and windy. So, you don’t want to leave it out all of the time, otherwise, it’ll get damp. Get something that you can easily fold away and put in the shed or the garage somewhere when the weather is horrible.
Think about some after dinner furniture as well. When everybody is finished eating, you want somewhere nice and comfortable to relax, so invest in some outdoor sofas as well as your dining table and chairs. Just make sure that you can take the cushions off easily if the weather is bad, otherwise, they’ll get soaked and start to go moldy.
Next, you need something to cook on, most likely a barbecue. You can just buy yourself a normal barbecue that you can store in the garage or keep under a cover until it’s time to cook. That’s the simplest option but if you want to make the outdoor dining area extra special, why not build your own? It’s actually pretty easy to build your own barbecue with some bricks and oven shelves and it looks a lot nicer than anything that you can buy in a store. Visit www.gardenersworld.com for a quick guide to help you out.
You could even consider building your own pizza oven in the garden as well. Watch this great video tutorial for some tips on molding your own pizza oven out of clay in the garden. There’s nothing like a proper homemade pizza cooked in your very own wood fired pizza oven in the garden.
Food Preparation Area
It’s a bit of a pain if you have to keep preparing everything in the kitchen and then running back and forth to get all of the food. That’s why it’s worth building a small food preparation area in the garden as well. It doesn’t have to be much, just a simple worktop area where you can chop things and get them ready for the barbecue. It’s a good idea to include some good storage underneath the worktop as well so you can put all of the cooking utensils away under there when you aren’t using them.
Lighting is obviously very important if you’re going to spend the evening out in the garden enjoying good food with family and friends. The outdoor heaters will provide a little light but not nearly enough so you need something else as well. You can buy outdoor spotlights which do a good job of illuminating the space but they’re quite ugly and they can be very expensive. Luckily, there is a simpler, cheaper, and more elegant option. A cheap set of fairy lights will do the job just as well and it’ll look a lot better. Just wrap them around the edges of the cover over the patio or along the fence around the garden and they should provide enough light.
A Vegetable Garden
Now that you’ve got the dining area set up, you need something to cook out there. You should have plenty of space left at the other end of the garden so why not consider putting a vegetable patch in? You can grow lots of fresh, delicious food down there then pick it, wash it, and cook it up right away.
Stop wasting all of that extra space in your garden and turn it into a great outdoor dining area instead. It’s a lot easier than you think.
*This is a contributed post