Outdoor Dining Trends 2014
With the trend of the patio as an extension of your home comes the trend of outdoor kitchens. Adding a space for cooking and entertaining makes hosting family and friends a breeze. No more running back and forth, indoors and out - everything can be done while still keeping an eye on kids and mingling with friends.
Most outdoor kitchens will need a grill, refrigerator, and counter space for working. Features such as a bar counter for seating and serving, sink with running water for easy clean up, hidden trash bin, and storage for cooking utensils make the outdoor kitchen even more user friendly. I would recommend finding a designer who can take your budget and incorporate the necessary requirements for your specific needs, not to mention give their expert tips and advice to get the best bang for your buck. http://www.houzz.com/outdoor-kitchens- Here are a few ideas from Houzz.com to get your juices flowing.
Just as indoor dining has gravitated towards more casual less formal dining, so has the outdoor space. More tables and chairs are available in heights other than standard dining. If you’re looking for casual dining here are a few ways customers can achieve this:
1. Chat Height – This can be achieved with a table lower than dining, but taller than a coffee table, 22-25” in height. Many tables and fire pits are available at chat height and can be paired with comfortable lounge seating.
2. Dining Height – Regular dining tables are still popular, but with more comfortable chairs, such as swiveling and rocking chairs and chairs with added seat and back cushions. Also, pairing these comfortable chairs with a dining height fire pit is gaining popularity.
3. Counter/Bar Height – This can be achieved with either a counter or bar height table paired with the appropriate sized stools. We are also seeing more kitchen and bar counters with the growing trend in outdoor kitchens which can be lined with stools for the casual dining atmosphere and quick meals.
SERVING DINNER FOR A CROWD
The dining trend seems to be “the bigger, the better.” If you have the space, go big! People are entertaining larger crowds and they want room for all guests to sit as a group to enjoy each other’s company. From round to square to rectangular to oval, large sizes are in. Allowing for 8-10 place settings or more is a must.
If you don’t have room for one large table, opt for a couple smaller tables to provide enough seating for your entertaining needs. Two smaller square tables can be pushed together to create one large rectangular table. If a large table is only needed for a few occasions each season, check out an expanding dining table from OW Lee and Gloster.
Investing in good quality, long lasting patio furniture is always a good idea. Outdoor furniture can definitely take a beating from the harsh outdoor elements, especially in our Minnesota climate, and human errors such as a ketch-up stain from a burger mishap or the infamous red wine. Although buying low quality furniture might save you money in the immediate future, typically it won’t last for more than a season or two. This can add up fast if you continue to need replacements. For most of us, we invest in our indoor furniture so why not invest in your outdoor space? If you think of outdoor furniture in the same manor - an investment - you will be happier in the long run and will enjoy your furniture for many years to come.