Summer dining must haves

Is there anything more perfect on a summer evening than dining al fresco? We don’t think so! Amazingly, there are things you can do to make the evening even better. The following is a list of great ways to make the best of your patio parties.

Think summer, think outside!

The first step for creating a wonderful dinner outside is to make the best of your outdoor space. You can begin by taking note of where the sun shines the strongest and where it sets so you can plan your table placement accordingly. If you need to create a shaded area for guests who don’t like the direct sun, then it’s better to plan ahead rather than shuffling things around at the last minute. If you’re planning on eating on the porch, deck or patio, then check that you have plenty of room for everyone to dine together.

Relaxed or formal? Both are good.

You don’t have to go all out like a Downton Abbey dinner party to make a great formal dinner. You can, however, use your best dinnerware to make it feel just as special. If you’re going for the formal look, it’s tough to beat a white linen table cloth and matching napkins. Additionally, you can really set the tone by ensuring everything matches and that you lay each table setting the same. This way it’ll look spectacular!
Formal dining is not for everyone. If it isn’t your thing, you can use brightly colored china or picnic plates, vibrant table settings and relaxed table centers to create a gorgeous al fresco experience. You could even pick a theme, like French bistro or Tuscan summer, to really give your guests a dinner to remember!

When the sun goes down

Always prepare for when the sun slips beneath the horizon. You can focus your thinking around lighting and warmth. For example, check the forecast ahead of time. If it’s going to get a bit chilly, you could simply provide blankets for everyone to wrap themselves in. They look great if you fold them neatly over the back of each chair before your guests arrive. Or, if you’re planning on sitting around a fire pit after dinner, then make sure you’ve got enough fuel to last the evening.

Another option is to screen in your porch with our motorized retractable vinyl walls. The vinyl provides a climate-controlled room when in use, protecting you and your guests from insects and the evening chill.

As it gets dark, remember that you can light up your yard to bring it back to life. There are so many lighting options – from candles in mason jars to strings of lights in your trees – that you don’t have to stick to plain old deck lighting. Get creative and really let your evening sparkle!

Music, music, music

For many, music is essential for all types of get-togethers. However, you don’t want to upset your neighbors by playing loud and disruptive music. By building a suitable playlist ahead of time, you’ll be able to press play and enjoy your evening stress free. If you’re unfamiliar with making playlists, try user friendly sites such as Soundcloud, Spotify or Songza where you can easily piece together your favorite hits!

Keep the bugs out!

Now you won’t be surprised to know that we recommend retractable screens as the best form of protection from bugs when the lights go down. You can use motorized screens on your home’s large openings and even screen in a porch or patio. If you are in search of screens for French doors, worry not! We have options for those, too.

We understand if screens are not an option for you. Thankfully, there is a myriad of products out there to keep the bugs at bay! By simply planning ahead, you’ll encounter a variety options where no one has to be bothered by insects.