Alfresco Dining at Home: Your Ultimate Style Guide

Christian Lacroix Arts de la table - Caribe collection by Neil Bicknell - alfresco dining

We will all be staying at home more than usual this summer so why not create your very own alfresco dining zone at home?! Read on for everything you need to know to create an enchanting and functional space for endless alfresco dining from home this summer.

A Step-by-step Guide to Setting the Stage for Alfresco Dining in Style


alfresco dining table lemons nature rustic
Design by Sabrina Monte-Carlo – Villa Riviera
(Photo by Yvan Grubski)

Step one is to pick the perfect spot. Take into consideration things like the ease of access to your grill/kitchen. Do you need electricity? Where is the sun so it isn’t blaring in your eyes at mealtime? Are bugs going to be an issue? Because if they are a screened area really is your best bet if possible!

Here are a few great places to set up for alfresco dining in style!

  • Porch/Deck
  • Patio/Terrace
  • Open Lawn Space
  • Dockside/Poolside
  • Gazebo/Pergola


Ultimate Provence by Humbert & Poyet - alfresco dining
Ultimate Provence by Humbert & Poyet

Tables & Chairs

Once you have your spot picked it is time to set the scene. Start with the basics, where will you sit? Find a table and chairs that you love, are suited for outdoor use (if you planning on leaving them out), and fit the look you are going for (i.e. modern, rustic, eclectic, etc.). Want color and texture? There are tons of fabulous outdoor fabrics on the market so do your research before making your final selection.

Brabbu Modern Outdoor Dining Room - demorais international - alfresco dining
DeMorais International Modern Dining Room

avalanche dining table koket

Picnic Style

Or perhaps you don’t want a table and chairs and are in the mood for a picnic-style mood? Go for it! Throw down your favorite picnic blanket or a gorgeous rug and then continue setting the scene.

Lights4fun, Iberian Summer Collection 2018 - alfresco dining picnic style
Lights4fun, Iberian Summer Collection

Cocktail Area

Do you want to have a special area for pre/post-dinner cocktails? Perhaps by a fire pit or built-in fireplace? Think about seating for this area as well. And how about a bar? No one wants to have to go inside for a refill so if you have the space go for it. The bar could be a built-in structure, or simply a bar cart or other piece of bar furniture.

Lights4fun, Journey Courtyard Rustic Seating Area Lifestyle - backyard retreat
Lights4fun, Journey Courtyard Rustic Seating Area

How to Create Your Dream Outdoor Living Space


Lighting is a key element to consider when creating your dream alfresco dining space. Especially if you plan on dining at night!

Lights4fun, High Summer Garden Sunset Alfresco Dining Lifestyle  SS20
Lights4fun, High Summer Garden Sunset Alfresco Dining

Think strings of hanging bulbs, and outdoor-friendly standing lamps and/or chandeliers if you have a set up this makes sense in. Don’t overlook utilitarian lighting like pathway lights or spots to accentuate gardens.

Cooking Needs

If you are bringing dining outdoors, why no bring cooking too? Incorporate a grill or step it up a notch and add a pizza oven and your alfresco dining experience will hit a whole new level.

Gozney, Black Edition Free Standing Outdoor Oven pizza oven
Gozney, Black Edition Free Standing Outdoor Oven

Other Decor to Consider

The goal is to make your alfresco dining space endlessly inviting so some other decor ideas to consider to amp up your look are outdoor rugs, plants and flowers in floor planters, and other ground accessories (firepits, statues, fountains, etc.). You should also consider whether or not you want an umbrella at your table or nearby.


Christian Lacroix Arts de la table - Caribe collection by Neil Bicknell
Christian Lacroix Arts de la table – Caribe collection by Neil Bicknell


Your choice of tableware can be a great way to set the theme of your table setting. Ideally, it should coordinate with any other patterns and colors you have in the space. Flowers and butterflies, go for an enchanting decor. Bright solids, go for a more modern look.

SACHA WALCKHOFF_MAGIC GARDEN_lifestyle-Philippe Garcia-summer tabletop dinnerware
SachaWalckoff Magic Garden
(Photo by Philippe Garcia)

Table Linens

While a table cloth is not necessary, adding one can be a great way to bring in color and pattern. If you have a fabulous table by all means do not cover it up! Beautiful cloth napkins can also add color and pattern, coordinate with your tableware.

Tabletop Decor

Sabrina Monte-Carlo, Villa Riviera
(Photo by Yvan Grubski)

If your looking for a more permanent centerpiece find something that will do well outdoors, something like potted plants or a statue. You can then add to the table with candles and other decor as you like. Or perhaps you love centerpieces and want to create a fresh one for each meal. If this is the case go wild! Fresh flowers, unique vases, candles, and candle holders will all make for a stunning alfresco dining table.

Serving Items

Make your life easier and your experience more enjoyable by utilizing helpful serving items. Add a tableside wine holder/cooler and platters with covers.


Last but certainly not least, create the mood in your space. Turn on music, light candles, turn on lights, start a fire, maybe even add some blankets if it is going to be an extra chilly night.

Now sit back and relax! We hope you enjoy endless alfresco dining at home this summer in your very own cozy and stylish setting!

Words by Anna Beck Bimba