How to Choose the Perfect Dining Set for the Outdoors

Posted By: admin on 13 Aug, 2019

“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”

-Ronald Reagan

The Italian term al fresco is popularly used for outdoor dining. Ever wondered what is it about dining al fresco that is so appealing? Truth be told many people enjoy the warm breezes and sounds of nature in their backyard or on a patio. From improving mood to decreasing anxiety and depression, spending time outdoors is beneficial for our overall memory, attention and concentration. The Harvard School of Health confirms it.

The question remains: how do you create the perfect outdoor dining experience?

Step 1- Ask the Right Questions

When it comes to Canada, summer is the best time to dine al fresco. A casual dining experience in beautiful weather and a festive ambience is the essence of outdoor dining.

However, entertaining your family and friends requires planning, whether it be a casual barbeque or sunset dinner. There are many ways to create an inspiring outdoor dining space, but you need the right dining set. That means the perfect patio furniture set, including chairs (with cushions), benches, dining table and umbrella.

But with so many options, confusion is inevitable. So before you take the plunge, read through this guide to understand what makes a great backyard or patio dining set.

When you are looking for the perfect outdoor dining set, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

  • How many people are you planning to accommodate?
  • How often do you plan to get together?
  • What is the size of your available outdoor area?
  • What age group will be using the furniture (adults, kids or both)?

Step 2- Choosing the Number of Seating Options

8-Piece Patio Dining Set

A standard outdoor dining set can accommodate four to six people comfortably. Depending on your answers to the above questions, you will be able to find suitable pieces for perfect outdoor dining.

Dining sets come in many different configurations. For example, an 8-piece dining set includes a rectangular table with 7 chairs, while a 5-piece dining set features a square or circular dining table and four chairs.

In case you are wondering how to make the right decision, we have that sorted out for you.

Consider these key points when making a choice:

The Available Space

How large your patio or deck is plays an important role in determining a suitable dining set arrangement. Clearly, to accommodate an 8-piece dining set, you need a lot of space. And you need even more space for people to walk around freely, after setting up the seven chairs and a large table. Always remember that chairs should be far enough apart to give guests space to move their arms.

When it comes to rectangular tables, a 4-foot-long one can accommodate 4 people, while a 5’ or 6’ one can easily accomodate 6 people. Therefore, to set up an 8-piece dining set, you would need at least an 11×14-foot area.

Type of Event

Another important factor to consider is the nature of your event.

  • A smaller 5-piece dining set with an oval table is more suitable for morning or afternoon dining, or a casual evening with friends over beers.
  • Larger 7- or 8-piece dining sets are meant for a large get-together, such as a BBQ or meal for the entire family.

The Budget

This is crucial. Naturally a larger dining set will cost more, so unless you have a big enough space and plan to accommodate a large number of guests, a small 5-piece set or conversational seating should be enough.

Step 3- Choosing Between Dining Height and Bar Height

Most times you end up choosing a traditional height for your dining set; one that is closer to the ground. Many activities, though, require a taller bar-height dining set.

The Ambience

What kind of ambience do you want to create? A 28”-30” table height is standard. Hence, if you intend spending the night chatting with guests after dinner then the dining sets need to be comfortable.

To get a more versatile height, dress it up or down according to your convenience. A formal dinner will require a more dressed-up set-up when casual gatherings can be arranged easily for a weeknight meal.

Bar height sets are also a great addition to your casual outdoor dining. They are inspired by the tall stools used in a bar, thus the name. Bar tables not only offer comfortable seating but, at a 40-42” height, they are also great for standing and resting your drinks while you hang out with friends and loved ones. However, these dining sets can be dangerous for kids. In that case it is advisable to stick to standard dining set heights.

The Available Space

The available space is also important for choosing the right height of your dining set. If you choose taller dining sets, they will tend to keep people a bit more separated and will require more room. However, your foot traffic requirements will decrease significantly as people can lean in to have a conversation. Otherwise, stick to dining height sets if you are planning to fill up your back porch.

Step 4- Consider Seating Options

The one thing to remember when choosing dining sets is that no one size fits all. Different seats offer different advantages. Here are a few examples:

Swivel Chairs

Swivel Chairs

If you want optimal comfort and a 360° view without having to move your chair around, these expensive but super comfortable chairs are best. They are great for having long conversations but take up more space which makes them ideal to place at table ends.

Side Chairs

Side Chairs

This is the most basic variant of patio dining furniture sets. Basic dining chairs are easy to get in and out of and save space but do not have arm rests.

Arm Chairs

If you want an armrest, armchairs are most convenient, as you can sit back and relax with your drink in style. These chairs are another great addition to your patio dining set but restrict side-to-side movement.

Folding Chairs

Folding Patio Chairs

The high-back support these chairs provide offers unmatched comfort for enjoying a fun evening outdoors.

Step 5- Choosing the Right Dining Set

Here is a list of dining sets for the most common outdoor seating areas.

Back Porch

Your back porch can serve multiple functions, from hanging a hammock to hosting fun activities, but do not overcrowd it. A coastal furniture collection with weather-resistant wicker material is the perfect choice here.


Decorate patio with Patio dining set

This is perhaps the most spacious of your backyard spaces and is perfect for fine dining outdoors. Here you can play with the colour of furniture, and there are multiple options to choose from.


Patio dining set by the pool

If stretching your feet and relaxing poolside is your primary concern, a large 8-piece dining set combined with chaise lounges is a good choice.


Balconies offer limited room for dining outdoors, but that does not mean you have to compromise on comfort. Choose round dining tables with folding chairs to make space for drinks and snacks.

If you still have questions regarding the perfect dining set for your outdoor space, you can always get in touch with the professionals. Getting the right patio furniture set is just the first step in creating an al fresco dining experience your guests will not easily forget.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>