Progress report: Gina’s outdoor dining space

A while ago I asked you for help in planning my outdoor dining area.

Things are taking shape so I thought I’d give a little update on how things are now and what my plans are for completing this area.

A big thank you to everyone who commented on my post on planning outdoor meals and offered their suggestions. They’ve all been super helpful, and I’m still thinking of ideas for what to do in the corner I suggested building an outdoor bar.

The place in front

For the first 18 months that we lived in our new home, this area was totally wasted. We had Arnie’s dog bed out here and little else!

Tired of not seeing anything when I was in the kitchen, I ended up setting up the vertical garden Kmart hack I came up with, but that large obscured tiled area was still empty.

The original plan was to turn this space into an alfresco living room and the front balcony into an alfresco dining room, but after living in the house for some time we felt these spaces would be better switched. That way the outdoor dining area right off the kitchen and outdoor living room would be away from Arnie who would no doubt destroy all my cushions and decorations if he could! I’m really glad we flipped those areas that flow a lot better now.

Earlier this year we moved our existing outdoor dining here and this is what the space looked like before…

Outdoor dining area

You’ll notice that the outdoor setting really didn’t suit this space – way too bulky and the dark wood against the red brick and black paneling just looked odd. This table setting wasn’t the most functional either, the chairs had to butt together to fit around the table and they were also very heavy and difficult to move in and out. So I sold that backdrop on Gumtree and put the money towards buying a more modern and streamlined exterior backdrop.

When I published the planning post for al fresco dining, I looked at a few new furniture options, considering the size of the table, the overall style, and of course, the cost.

I chose the stunning table from local Canberra furniture maker boyandgirlco, but adjusted the piece to make it longer and have a reclaimed hardwood top instead of pallet wood.


At first I had a moment of doubt, did I make the right decision?? But when I put the white wire chairs around it, I was hooked.

This is how the place looks now

I placed 6 Kmart white wire chairs around the table and two lounge chairs with Matt Blatt wire chairs at either end.

We placed fairy lights above the table to create that magical outdoor ambiance. After looking for outdoor string lights for a while I was very happy to find this affordable option on eBay.

Some greenery was added using a DIY potted plant stand I made (although I plan on moving it around the corner) and some larger plants in concrete aggregate pots. And I also put some decor from The Reject Shop in this room.

Alfresco dining


Table top decoration

Alfresco dining at night

What now?

To finish off this space I want to add a lot more greenery and create the feel of an outdoor oasis. I’m thinking of creating some painted pots similar to the ones I made a few years ago to add a few more pops of color. And dare I say I’m also considering having a mix of artificial and real plants in these pots.

I KNOW I never thought I would say it but after designing an investment property this week where I couldn’t use real plants I had to source some quality artificial plants and they are surprisingly very realistic and offer a great force green… we will see.

Again, you definitely need more decor out here—more pillows, lanterns, hanging planters, and other decorative pieces to add a layer of styling.

While there’s still a long way to go, I feel like the new furniture and start of styling (mainly the garland lights) helped create a completely different vibe out here.

I’ll update you again once the room is ready! If you have any ideas for awesome products I should use or suggestions on what I should be doing out here, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

And if you like how I’ve designed my dining area so far, be sure to check out these affordable ideas for adding style and ambience to your outdoor space!

styling products

Outdoor table: boyandgirlco
Bistro Wire Chairs: kmart
wire chair: Matt sheet
Pillow and Tabletop Decor: The reject shop
fairy lights: eBay
Hexagonal Vertical Garden: a Kmart hack with this DIY

Disclaimer: Some of the items mentioned were gifts

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