Sunny mornings and warm summer nights are on their way again—meaning that it’s time to get back outdoors for brunches, barbecues and late-night drinks with friends. Choosing a stylish set of outdoor dining tables and chairs is an opportunity to extend your home’s living space beyond your back door, as well as a chance to unleash your personalized eye for design throughout the whole property. Before choosing the best outdoor dining set for your space, begin by asking yourself a few questions about your property:
- Is my outdoor space meant for relaxation and quiet, large gatherings, or a bit of both?
- Will I be using my dining area for any other type of activity aside from dining?
- How many people do I regularly host in my outdoor space?
- Which outdoor dining set material is best for my climate, style, and budget?
Once you’ve explored these basic questions, there are plenty of ways to personalize your choice based on size, layout and your surrounding property. Consider these tips to find the best outdoor patio dining set ideas for your home.
How to Choose the Best Outdoor Dining Set Size
Outdoor dining sets work in spaces both large and small, typically hosting 4, 6 or 8 guests around a variety of table shapes. If you frequently host larger families or groups of friends, consider the customary 7-piece dining set or 9-piece dining set catered to both narrow porches or wide pool decks. Sets such as a classic 7 piece dining set offer flexibility when transitioning from a formal evening to casual outdoor drinks.
Two-to-four-person, wrought iron bistro sets do well on smaller porches, balconies or tucked into the back of a private garden area. Consider foldable patio pieces when you need to transition the space on a regular basis for changing weather.
The dimensions of your space are not the only factors to consider when choosing the best outdoor tables and chairs. Position of sun, shade, stairs and doors should determine patio furniture placement and for comfort and traffic flow.
Think of Other Ways to Use Your Outdoor Patio Set
Imagine a perfect afternoon lounging in the sun or hosting evening drinks with friends. If you see yourself enjoying long, home-cooked meals with a large group, lean toward choosing a set of dining tables and chairs that recreate your indoor dining room. On the other hand, consider love seats, couches and lounge chairs for a social gathering for drinks, conversation and more casual dining activities. When looking to switch between these two activities, check out patio dining sets with easy-to-transfer seating, such as the San Marino 9-Piece dining set, with lightweight, resin wicker chairs that can move around a fire or pool after each meal. It’s important to maximize the functionality of your dining set by considering what other activities you’d use your dining set and space for.
Select Patio Dining Set Material That Best Fits Your Climate and Lifestyle
Selecting patio material comes down to a combination of personal style, your region’s climate, and how often you plan to switch things up. How does your outdoor space relate to its surrounding environment? If your primary hosting area sits in full sun, you’ll want to choose fade-proof, UV-protected materials, or once which are easy to cover when not in use.
In particularly damp areas, be sure to choose materials that are more resistant to wind and precipitation. Consider a dining set’s weight and storage options when planning to move your set frequently. Outdoor dining set materials have come a long way, often offering a mixture of weather-resistant, user-friendly features.
Woven Resin Wicker
A well-rounded, popular choice today, many dining sets large and small include this sun and water-resistant fabric. Resin wicker sets are paired with lighter frames of wicker or backed by aluminum for structure and style—such as in the Soho 9-piece Dining Set by Sirio.
Aluminum provides the best of both worlds—it’s easy to move and often rust and sun-resistant. Choose a powder-coated and UV-protected variety for extra protection.
Wrought iron adds a classic look—often a bit more intricately designed—and includes the same weatherproof advantages of aluminum. Its significant weight, however, makes this material better for windy areas or patio sets that rarely need moving.
Wooden patio and outdoor dining sets mesh with a wider variety of porch styles, though may require more upkeep to protect against splintering, mold or rot. When choosing wood sets, go with a quality variety such as eucalyptus, teak, or wood particularly treated or protected for the outdoors with protective covers.
Consider Patio Dining Style and Décor
Once you’ve locked down your space’s specifications and how you plan to use your patio dining set, consider your own personal style. A modern patio set design can change the energy of an outdoor space, like with the Venice 5-Piece Patio Dining Set by Sirio. Seat shape and size includes a modern flair while keeping things practical and comfortable.
Is the best outdoor dining set for your space styled with a complementary rustic and wooden feel? Or would a wrought-iron bistro set tuck nicely into the corner of your balcony? Whichever you choose, remember to personalize your outdoor dining set with changing seasonal décor as you would indoors. Add a customized touch in the details such as chair cushion style, centerpieces, and even the surrounding lighting design.
The best patio dining set for you should combine function with personal style. Both cozy balconies and wide-open patios host dining sets with grace and comfort. As you plan your next summer soiree, choose the best outdoor dining set for your unique needs with the help of these patio dining set ideas. For more ideas on how to furnish the rest of your outdoor space, check out Starsong’s patio furniture buying guide.