Dining and entertaining outdoors is one of the great pleasures of the warmer months, but it can sometimes be a challenge to compose a space in which eating and communing outdoors is both comfortable and welcoming. Because a modern outdoor dining table may become a key furniture purchase for your patio or deck, it’s worthwhile to think carefully about how you’ll be using that exterior space, and how your outdoor dining table will function inside that space. Before you make a final decision about outdoor dining tables, consider the following:
Obviously the size of outdoor dining tables are, to a large extent, informed by the sizes of the spaces they’ll occupy. Still, if you decide you need a patio dining table, for instance, think about size in relation to the other pieces of furniture that may or may not be in the space, and how your table will fit into the overall design scheme. And also consider how you’re likely to use your patio dining table. Will it primarily be used by you and your family only, or will you be frequently entertaining? It’s important to think about size in relation to the dimensions of a space, but also in relation to how it best complements your lifestyle.
If your patio dining table is used most frequently by a small group of people, say 2-4 people, focus on purchasing comfortable chairs for those who will be benefitting most by the outdoor space. In other words, even if your outdoor dining table is large, don’t waste resources on chairs that will only be used occasionally when you entertain. When you entertain, side chairs that are easily stored away or stacked when not in use are a much smarter way to tackle adequate outdoor seating for parties or small gatherings. As is the case with patio dining tables, outdoor seating should be geared more for your everyday life than for rarer occasions, like dinner parties.
Today, you’ll find a whole range of materials—wood, metal, plastic—tailored specifically for outdoor living, and which material you settle on is, ultimately, a matter of personal preference. Ideally, the material you choose for patio dining tables or any outdoor furniture should be both durable and designed to withstand most outdoor conditions. But bear in mind that outdoor spaces should ideally be extensions of your indoor rooms, rather than presenting a jarring visual break from the inside of your house or apartment. As long as you approach designing your outdoor space as you would any other room in your home, you’ll more than likely make the right material choice for your contemporary outdoor dining tables and all outdoor furniture choices.
There are reasons to choose a round table over a square or rectangular one, and vice versa. But whether shopping for modern outdoor dining tables or any other outdoor table, shape should be a consideration, but not because there are any rules as to which shape is best. Buy what appeals to you visually, but also think about practicality, functionality, and durability. The shape of your designer patio dining table or any outdoor furniture should be the end result of those factors, not the driving force behind the choice you make.