Outdoor living is more desirable than ever given that we’ve all spent far more time in our homes over the last year than we’ve likely ever done before.
As we move into the summer months, SPRUCE asked Bianca Bodley, principal landscape designer of Biophilia Collective for her guidance on curating the perfect outdoor dining experience in your garden.
When we create an outdoor dining room we typically look for a space that receives the most late afternoon sun.
We orient it to a beautiful view in the garden or we create that view with plantings to start enveloping the space, making it feel intimate without blocking light.
I often situate a water feature adjacent to a dining area as it creates both a mesmerizing focal point and also a tranquil sound to add to the experience.
We can use pergolas to create that sense of an outdoor room. I prefer very open and modern pergolas that let in lots of light, draping them in scented plants such as jasmine and wisteria which create those heady warm nights.
Lighting and fire are also important elements as the sun goes down. I’m a sucker for bistro lighting tastefully installed on the pergola or around a nearby tree to create magic. I also love a modern chandelier centred on a harvest table with a high pergola roofline … very dramatic!
Casual dining around a fire table is equally popular. My favourite fire tables are tall enough to double as serving surfaces and come with a built in cover- these allow them to act a table by dusk and fire at night as the night transitions. Fire is such a magnet and perfect focus point for conversion and meals.
Proximity and access to the inside living space will affect how often and how easily the outside space will be enjoyed. Designing pathways and patios that lead naturally from the home to the outdoor living areas are essential to creating good flow and connection between the spaces.
Outdoor kitchens are very popular to situate close to a dining area. I like to have them far enough away so that they are their own zone with a bar area for the conversations while preparing a meal.
Let these emerging trends inspire you to create a lovely outdoor dining experience.