Whether you have a mas­sive back­yard or a tiny apart­ment pa­tio, com­bine th­ese vin­tage finds to cre­ate a cozy din­ing area.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Contents - BY VICTORIA VAN VLEAR

Whether you have a huge back­yard or a tiny pa­tio, com­bin­ing th­ese easy finds will cre­ate a cozy out­door din­ing area.

• A STURDY TA­BLE. The fo­cal point of any din­ing area is the ta­ble, and an out­door pa­tio is no ex­cep­tion. Your ta­ble will help de­ter­mine the style and feel of the space, so get this piece first. If you’re bud­get­ing for your pa­tio, spend the most money here. Be­fore you shop, de­ter­mine how many peo­ple will com­fort­ably fit in the space; then search the flea mar­ket for a ta­ble that will fit the bill.

• THE RIGHT SEATS. Seat­ing comes next. Once you have your ta­ble, de­cide whether you want the seats to fit the same style or cre­ate va­ri­ety. Also con­sider space. If your pa­tio is cramped, you don’t want bulky chairs—stools might be best. You might even be able to get them for free—th­ese wood stools were cut from an old ceil­ing beam.

• LIGHTS. Be­sides the prac­ti­cal­ity of light­ing, lights will help set the mood. If you want to go all vin­tage, find a few old lanterns—you could even con­vert kerosene lanterns to hold can­dles. If you can’t hang the lanterns, stand them on the ground along the edge of your space. If you do have a roof or cover, you could also look for strings of lights, which would pro­vide more light and a mod­ern look.

• RE­COV­ERED PIL­LOWS. Let’s face it—most out­door seat­ing isn’t very com­fort­able. It has to with­stand the el­e­ments, so it’s usu­ally bare plastic, wood or metal. Add pil­lows and cush­ions to your seats to make them more com­fort­able. The pil­lows in this pa­tio are cov­ered in a va­ri­ety of fab­rics, in­clud­ing 19th-cen­tury home­spun linen. Just re­mem­ber to store the pil­lows inside, or they’ll be ru­ined quickly.

• A TOUCH OF NA­TURE. Your out­door space is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to bring in a bit of na­ture. Have a few vases on standby to fill with cuts from your gar­den or bou­quets from the farmer’s mar­ket. You might also want a few pot­ted plants or hang­ing bas­kets with fuch­sia or hang­ing ivy. The more plants you have in the area, the more se­cluded and pri­vate the space will feel.

Gar­denista: The Defini­tive Guide to Stylish Out­door Spa­ces by Michelle Slatalla, pub­lished by Ar­ti­san Pub­lish­ing, © 2016; ar­ti­san­

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