This week I am bringing back an old blog post because I think it sounds like the perfect way to celebrate the spring arriving. Without further ado, a revitalized version of Five Steps to Create a Tuscan Outdoor Dining Room, by Barbara Ley, slightly revised by myself:
Wouldn’t you love to travel to Tuscany this season? You may not have considered that you could be transported to an elegant and sophisticated Tuscan Garden without the travel time, airline tickets, jet lag, and packing decisions. One timeless classic trend for outdoor living is recreating Mediterranean gardens and landscapes right in your own backyard. Combining the graceful elements of the Italian Renaissance with the rustic charm of enchanting Tuscany farms creates spaces that are serene and peaceful; your space will boast refined style, while remaining incredibly accessible.
Define Your Dining Room with a Pergola: Renaissance Italy loved using pergolas to support grape vines, and modern pergolas. Invite those same feelings of a glass of fantastic wine in a tranquil Tuscany vineyard. Whether you plan to vine your pergola with flowers, grapes, or nothing at all; the structure will not only help to set the boarders of your room, it will define its taste immediately. Red Cedar and Treated Pine pergolas give more of a rustic look for country retreats; while white vinyl pergolas recall ancient Greek or Roman sophistication. Either will look lovely around your dining set; it just depends on what direction you’re taking!
Use a Natural Teak or Red Cedar Dining Set: Reflect the rustic and simple appearance of Tuscany with a natural wood outdoor dining set. As the focal point of your outdoor dining room, you will want to use a material that reflects the rich tones of the earth. A long rectangular picnic table is best, as it truly gives a sense of large-family gatherings. Gorgeous teak is the finest choice as its dense and smooth finish, coupled with its wealth of color will echo the natural elegance of the Tuscan landscape. However, outdoor dining rooms on a budget need not fear; you can reflect the pastoral grace of the country side with simple red cedar tables or treated pine dining sets as well.
Place-set with Colorful Old-World Pottery: Ditch the paper plates, and go for something a little bit more refined. Using real dishes will not only help the environment by reducing waste, it will truly finish your Tuscan dining room. Using pottery in rich earth tones like forest greens, clay reds, and rich browns might even make the food seem more sophisticated. Don’t worry about creating the perfect set. Mix and match colors, sets, and dishes for a homey experience that will make you feel like several families are coming together anytime that you eat there. Create a dynamic collection by going to second hand stores to splurge on an unmatched variety of imperfectly hand painted pieces; don’t be afraid if it has a bit of a chip (as long as it’s still safe for eating). Many discount home stores now sell pottery inspired sets that are fairly inexpensive. With no pressure for perfection, your mix-and-match set will be an instantly interesting topic of conversation… and you won’t have to worry a bit if a plate gets broken—just add another one whether it matches or not!
Accent with Wrought Iron: Wrought Iron accessories will compliment your natural teak dining set or red cedar picnic table for a more holistic setting. Using wrought iron trellises and arbors will do the trick, while also providing a place to add the wild Italian flora listed in the next step. If your space is expansive, try using a small aluminum patio set (painted black so it looks like wrought iron). You can use it to set desserts or drinks out on, or even as another side table for when guests are mingling before the meal starts.
Add Tuscan Shade and Flora: Complete your outdoor dining space with expert garden design. An Italian Cypress tree will create privacy, while Olive Trees will complete the feel of the space. Tuscan bushes not only make brilliant shrubs, they will truly bring your whole outdoor living space together. If you decided not to vine any plants around your pergola, adding wrought iron trellises for berry plants, grape vines, wisteria, and pastel roses will add the softening touch of nature that is essential for completing your Tuscan façade. Don’t worry about needing to keep these plants perfectly in line, a bit of wild nature couples perfectly with the rustic feel of the space.
Tuscan Outdoor Dining Rooms are popping up all over the place, and it’s easy to see why. The pairing of sophistication with rustic simplicity allows an accessible elegance perfect for this season’s retreats. Whether you’re using yours for hot dogs and hamburgers, or home-made bruschetta, your family and friends will absolutely flock to your outdoor living space! If you are looking for the perfect pieces to complete your space, remember that Fifthroom.com has a ton of gorgeous pieces available.