One area that has grown in recent years by a huge percentage is people using their garden as an outdoor living area.  Often known as Al Fresco living, it includes using part or all of the garden as outdoor rooms complete with furniture, heating and lighting.

Outdoor Tablecloths

Along with all the garden items needed to make an outdoor living area, outdoor tablecloths are now a staple of outdoor living to make your space feel bright, cosy and easy to clean up. We advise oilcloth or vinyl tablecloths for the outdoors as this can handle spillages and the occasional rain shower!

How to Create an Outdoor Dining Area

One of the most popular ideas and perhaps the easier to do is to create an outdoor dining area.  A patio or area of decking will work well for this.

A table and chairs are first on the list.  Aim for ones that are similar in height to a dining room table, so it is comfortable to eat at.  Sure, you can have those coffee table styles as well but if you want to eat a knife and fork style meal, something higher will be best.

You will want a few key accessories for this.  Top of the list is a wipe-clean vinyl tablecloth.  Constantly cleaning an outdoor table is a pain but using a wipe clean tablecloth means you don’t need to.  And if there is a sudden shower, you can simply leave it there until it stops and wipes it dry.

If you have kids, you might want to invest in some shatterproof crockery and glasses for outdoor dining.  Plates don’t do so well if they hit patio paving blocks!  Plus, the colourful variety of plastic crockery available makes the whole meal more colourful and fun.

Create Relaxed Outdoor Areas

Along with somewhere to eat, you might want to create relaxing areas where you can sit back, enjoy the view and chill. Patios and decking areas are good for this again but that’s not all.  You can use an area with gravel and add chairs and a coffee table to it.  This can be separate from the ‘dining’ area or if the space is large enough, you can have both areas beside each other.

If you have a lawn area, this can be a relaxing spot and somewhere for the kids to eat.  That vinyl tablecloth that you bought for the table will double up as a blanket to throw on the lawn for kids to play on.  And it makes a great spot for a garden picnic too.

Add Outdoor Accessories

The final part of any garden plan is to get the right accessories.  For instance, you might want to have a heat source for those cooler summer nights near the relaxing area.  A chiminea or a firepit are excellent ideas if you don’t have small children.  Even electric options can work well.

A water feature is a great idea near the dining area, creating that relaxing feeling without causing too much noise so everyone can chat during the meal.  If you get enough sun, then solar-powered options are great, or you can get ones that are connected to the mains supply – but you’ll need a qualified electrician to do this for you.