Now That It's Summer, Here Are 14 Items to Create a Dining Room Outside

seating area
credit: CB2

When summer gets underway, one thing about our eating habits becomes clear: we want to chow down outside. And whether we're firing up the grill or simply serving a few dishes al fresco, we also desire a place to gather that's a bit more chic than a picnic blanket. In order to create an outdoor dining room, choose modern designs that you'd also incorporate into your interior decor. That way, this backyard "room" will feel like an extension of your home. From a striped rug and a matching pillow to a functional dining table and rolling bar cart, we've collected 14 items that'll set the scene for a picturesque feast. And since all of these items look great whether its hot or chilly out, you don't have to do much to your new breezy space once fall rolls around.

Worn Black and White Rug

Worn Black and White Rug
credit: Target

Establish a classic foundation for your outdoor dining area with this black-and-white rug from Target ( starting at $59.99 ). The bold neutral stripes will always be on trend, making eventual design changes easy.

Vintage Edison Bulb String Lights

Vintage Edison Bulb String Lights
credit: Kohls

Small details, like the wrapped copper wire on these vintage Edison bulb string lights from Kohl's ( $44.99 ) will go a long way in creating an ambiance.

Square Planters

These square planters from Crate and Barrel ( starting at $39.97 ) may look like they're made from heavy-duty concrete, but their lightweight fiberglass construction means you'll be able to move them around your backyard until you find the perfect spot.

San Martin Outdoor Dining Side Chair

San Martin Outdoor Dining Side Chair
credit: Horchow

This handmade teak-and-rope dining chair from Horchow ( $825 ) is quite the splurge item, but its durable wood base will patina and look even better with age.

La Mer Rose Outdoor Pillow

La Mer Rose Outdoor Pillow
credit: CB2

Play off the bold black-and-white stripes in the rug with this outdoor pillow from CB2 ( $34.95 ). The incorporation of bright colors will make it easier to work with other shades in the rest of your decor.

Brown Tilting Umbrella

Brown Tilting Umbrella
credit: World Market

Make sure you're always covered from the sun with this brown tilting umbrella from World Market ( $41.99 ). The chic gold hardware is a small detail that will help pull your space together and make it feel polished.

Linen Napkins

Linen Napkins
credit: Parachute

These plain linen napkins from Parachute ( $30 for a set of two ) can easily go from a casual backyard barbecue to a moonlit dinner party. Pair them with glassware and real silverware for a more elegant look, or stick to disposable options to keep the evening more low-key.

Eucalyptus Bar Cart

Eucalyptus Bar Cart
credit: Wayfair

Instead of making your guests trek through the house every time they need a refill, bring the drinks to them with this eucalyptus bar cart from Wayfair ( $116.99 ). The wheels make it easy to move it back to your living room when the party is over.

Citronella Candle

Citronella Candle
credit: Tj Maxx

Keep the mosquitoes at bay and the festivities going strong with this citronella candle from T.J. Maxx ( $6.99 ). Mix it in among an arrangement of other candles to create a centerpiece that's a refreshing departure from the standard vase full of flowers.

Belmont Butterfly Extension Dining Table

Belmont Butterfly Extension Dining Table
credit: Pottery Barn

The next time you have unexpected company drop in, don't panic — just open the extender on this belmont butterfly dining table from Pottery Barn ( starting at $249 ). As the focal point of your outdoor dining space, this table has the timeless details and size to command the attention it deserves.

Oasis Party Tray

Whether you use this oasis party tray from Bed Bath and Beyond ( $20.99 ) to hold a group of succulents in the center of the table or to transport appetizers out from the kitchen, it'll be the piece you use the most this season.

Galvanized Steel Beverage Bucket

Galvanized Steel Beverage Bucket
credit: Sur La Table

The last thing you want during a summer soiree is warm drinks. Keep things cool with this galvanized steel beverage bucket from Sur la Table ( $29.96 ). The white rustproof finish means you won't have the replace it in a few months, too.

Vintage Bulb Crate

Vintage Bulb Crate
credit: Shop Terrain

Use this vintage bulb crate from Shop Terrain ( $38 ) to hold pots full of herbs you'll use all summer, like mint for mojitos and cilantro for fresh guacamole, and it'll be your most functional piece of decor yet.

Simple Candleholders and Vases

Clear Glass Hurricane Vessels
credit: West Elm

These clear glass hurricane vessels from West Elm ( starting at $19 ) can be used for more than just candles. Switch it up and fill them with anything from fresh fruit to greenery to create a different centerpiece for each occasion.


Ashley Tyler

Ashley Tyler

Ashley Tyler is a South Florida-based freelance writer with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Nova Southeastern University. When she's not writing, s... more