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Whether you're enjoying an afternoon lunch with your family or are planning on entertaining guests for a summer dinner party, having a comfortable, inviting and cozy dining atmosphere can take your patio to the next level. Your outdoor dining space can be just as stylish and snug as the interior of your home. Here are a few ideas to evoke a cozy ambiance:
Set the mood with lighting
The first step to setting a comfortable atmosphere in your outdoor dining area is having the right light. A chandelier can instantly glam up your space and give you a warm glow that perfectly illuminates your dining area. Consider other subtle light sources as well, such as stringed lights, lanterns and candles.
Ward off bugs
Nobody wants to be shooing away mosquitos, flies and gnats while they're trying to eat or converse with friends. There are a few ways to banish bugs on your patio for a pest-free zone:
Hang bird feeders: Hanging bird feeders will attract beautiful birds to your backyard, who will feast on bugs and keep them away from your dining area.
Screen your porch: Consider installing a retractable screen on your patio that you can put down when the bugs start to come out. This way, you can enjoy the fresh outdoor breeze without any of the pests.
Citronella candles: Citronella candles are a must-have for your porch because they set a comfortable glow, and their scent helps to repel bugs.
Fans: Install a fan on your patio that can provide a light breeze when it's not windy out. This will blow away the bugs and help set a relaxing atmosphere on your patio.
For outdoor dinners that continue well past sunset, firepits are the perfect accessory. Install an outdoor fireplace near your dining table to keep you and your guests warm as you continue to enjoy dinner and converse with one another. The embers of the fire emit much more than warmth – they help set an intimate tone.
Opt for comfortable chairs
Search for patio dining chairs that are as big on comfort as they are on style. Consider purchasing chairs with plush, relaxing seat cushions to encourage your guests to sit down, relax and stay awhile. Sunbrella fabric, for instance, is not only comfortable, it's resistant to the elements. It's best to invest in quality chairs that are going to last you many years.
Use warm colors on your outdoor dining table by looking for decorative tablecloths and unique centerpieces. Use fresh flowers to dress up the middle of your table, and look for table runners in soft oranges, purples, reds or yellows.