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Swoon-Worthy Outdoor Dining (And You Don’t Need to Live in the Hamptons)

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Nothing says summer like enjoying a well-cooked meal outdoors. But what if your outdoor space isn’t exactly exciting and you don’t want to shell out your hard-earned cash? If you are on a budget and you want to have a beautiful outdoor dining area, you have come to the right place. Creating a space doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, all it takes is some creativity and inspiration and you will be enjoying your own swoon-worthy outdoor dining area in no time!

Thrifty doesn’t mean boring

Some of the best patio designs we have seen were not created on a large budget, but instead were built using creativity, time, and thoughtful décor. It may be tempting to get an entire patio set and all the accessories from one big store, but that can rack up a huge bill. And what is the fun in that? Instead, surprise your guests with fun and funky touches here and there that express your unique style and taste. 

Goodwill, thrift, antique stores, and even the Dollar Tree have some great items that can be repurposed to create a swoon-worthy dining experience, or you can simply repurpose indoor furniture. Pops of color, unique patterns and bright side tables, benches, or accessories are such a fun addition to any outdoor space. You can even try to bring the colors from your surrounding garden on to your patio. Additionally, antique lanterns, Christmas lights, or tin can candle sconces can transform your outdoor dining area from ordinary to extraordinary. A good rule of thumb is to find high-quality, neutral furniture that can match many different design schemes.

Make your guests feel cozy

It is fun to make things colorful and bright, but you may also want to help your family and guests feel cozy while they are enjoying a cocktail or delicious meal. Dividing up your patio space is a great way to make an area specific to dining and it doesn’t take a lot of money or time. An antique room dividing screen, umbrella, or large planter can do the job nicely and make things feel more intimate. Lights and candles are an easy and inexpensive way to add a soft, cozy glow for guests and family once the sun sets. 

If you don’t yet have a dining space, it’s time to design one! You can use simple bamboo poles and a white or tan canvas drop cloth from Home Depot to create a shady spot for dining. These can even be put in the lawn with tent stakes for extra support. Add lights, lanterns, and other décor that you have lying around or find on the cheap to spice things up. Additionally, you can use flagstone or other large pavers to make a small dining patio in an unused portion of your yard. Not only will this extend your family’s usable patio space, but it will be a beautiful addition to your summer evenings.

Say goodbye to paper plates

If you want to really make your outdoor dining area feel swoon worthy, ditch the disposables in favor of something better for the planet and more fun to eat on. If you are going for a classic look, why not grab some mismatched China from a secondhand store? What about a variety of different drinking glasses? Our bet is your guests will be surprised and delighted by some beautiful dishware. Plates, cups, and utensils are also a great place to add in more color or tie together your overall aesthetic. When it is time to eat, choose fuss-free meals, rustic cutting boards for serving trays and even a bar cart for mixing up some delicious drinks.

Regardless of the look you are going for, you can find some great ways to cut costs and make a lasting impression on guests by letting your creativity run wild. Take your time, look for design schemes you love, and make thoughtful decisions that can help your family and guests to feel the cozy, fun and swoon-worthy vibes of your patio restaurant without spending too much of your hard-earned cash.

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