When the weather warms up, there is nothing more suitable and comfortable than an outdoor dining area. This is an informal place where you may meet some of your visitors and a place that makes your family feel like they have changed the environment even when they are still at home.
You can stay longer at such a dining as compared to the indoor and if you have any teens or you are throwing a party, you can just pull the chairs away and use the same space as a dancing area. This should be an easy to set up area with lesser expenses as compared to an indoor dining.
The place for an outdoor dining area should be one that will make you, your family and visitors feel comfortable and relaxed. The place should be free of street noise and at least next to one wall. “The place must be quiet, comfortable and private to avoid interference. It should have protective elements to shield you from the elements of weather such as rain and sunshine,” says Moses Kinobe, an architect with Uganda Society of Architects.
Kinobe adds that the area may be an extended terrace or veranda with a barbeque area in case of parties or an extension from the kitchen. This saves you from frequent trips to the kitchen.
The outdoor dining may also be put on the patio in the compound with umbrellas or parasols to provide a shade during day. It would be suitable if it was at the poolside with a good cooking area.
Someone may decide to have a simple structure separate from the main house specifically for dining (gazebo). The roof may be thatched but it is important to ensure that there is plenty of fresh air so the structure should not go above the window level.
Kinobe says, “If you decide to have a cooking area, it is also aisable to have a lockable structure which keeps the serving utensils like cups, plates and glasses.”
The ground in the dining area must be at the same level to avoid wobbly chairs or tilted tables. It is aisable to put simple furniture that is easily carried away.
You have to choose outdoor dining area furniture depending on the size of your family and number of frequent visitors you have. If you have a big family, look for dinning sets with a large table with at least four or six chairs. A bistro set is suitable for two people. A picnic table would be the greatest for a family with young children it is also good to have outdoor buffet tables if you frequently throw parties. “If you are going to dine with a bigger number of people, a camping table will work out well and then spread out chairs according to the number you expect.
Warmth and lighting
These are very essential in an outdoor dining area. Patio umbrellas provide the shade in the area and keep it cool during day.
The fact that it usually gets chilly at night necessitates warmth and lighting provision such as candles or electric lights.
In the evening, a little light may be required so you may decide to have candle lit meals or wire lights around your dining area. Movable lights work more efficiently with an outdoor dining area.
“This is no reading area so outdoor dining area lighting must be soft except if there is a cooking area whose lighting must be strong to ensure proper hygiene especially at night,” says Kinobe.
Size and colours
The size of your outdoor dining area would depend on the size of your family and how many guests you intend to have at your dining.
Kinobe says, “It depends on how much space you have in your compound or veranda but the area should not be as big as the main house.”
Depending on your choice, a person may choose colours for the walls that they think will make them feel comfortable while they use their outdoor dining area. As for the furniture, black or brown works well for this area because these two colours can stand harsh weather.
Just like the indoor dining, there is need for an outdoor rug which protects your patio or floor from food spills. Incorporate some of the elements from the indoors such as vases, candles and other decorations to make it more comfortable. Take note, however, that these decorations should stand the sun or rain.
“The floor in an outdoor dining area should be easy to clean, says Kinobe. This is the reason we do not encourage people to use carpets because you will have to force the people you are dining with to remove their shoes, especially when it rains. Stones, or a tiled floor would be good polished ones in particular.”
Place of ease
This would also depend on how often you use the place and how many people you usually dine with. “If you use the area for a bar, you will need to have toilets just adjacent to the dining area. However, if you do not use the area so often, constructing a toilet next to your outdoor would be a waste,” Kinobe explains.
However, even in this wet season, if you have a dining area that is protected from rain, you can always use it.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor