Fresh air, peaceful sounds, a soft breeze and the smells
of spring and summer make eating outdoors favourable,
especially in climates where these months provide optimal
temperatures to spend time outside.
Here in the Niagara region, patio dining in the warmer
months is offered at many popular restaurants, and home
owners are now wanting to bring this experience to their
own backyards.
‘Al fresco’ dining has become increasingly popular in
contemporary landscaping, and simply a barbecue and
patio set seem passé for those wanting to truly enjoy eating
a meal outdoors.
Give your patio a makeover, and invest in some upgrades
to make your backyard a welcoming place to host and
entertain guests, or simply just enjoy your meals with family
or a peaceful morning coffee solo, al fresco.

outdoor sectionals
It’s like being in a living room, but you’re
outside! Outdoor sectionals are trendy
patio furniture sets which include a
sofa and coffee table, and sometimes
extra seats and an ottoman, to bring
the ultimate lounging experience into
the sun. Though it’s hard to serve a full
traditional meal on a sectional, imagine
eating on your laps while watching TV,
but under the sun experiencing the magic
of spring and summer.

beach house themed outdoor dining rooms
Bring a little ocean flare to your outdoor dining space,
by selecting a matching set of wicker furniture with
colourful cushions. For the table, choose a stone or
wood design to provide a natural look. Beach-inspired
decor such as seashell wind chimes, and a vase filled
with sand and glass beads bring your al-fresco dining
space closer to the ocean, no matter if you live in the
country or suburbia.

covered pergolas
Begin the transformation of your patio into an inviting dining
space with the addition of a pergola. These provide shade or cover
to a walkway or outdoor eating area and can be made from iron or
wood. The structures have a lattice or crossbeam covering which can
be adorned with pretty floral displays, vines, or weather-resistant
fabric to create curtains.

stone pizza ovens
Outdoor “Masonry Ovens”
have in recent years become
a trendy addition to home
patios. Known as brick or stone
ovens, they consist of a baking
chamber made from fire-proof brick,
stone, or clay. Traditionally, these were
used in kitchens to perform any sort of
baking, yet modern outdoor ovens are
usually associated with artisan breads
and pizzas. They’re both a conversation
starter, and a unique activity to offer
guests when you entertain outside in
the summer. Instead of a traditional
barbecue, why not host a ‘Make Your
Own Pizza Patio Party’.

retractable awnings
Similar to the idea of a covered pergola, a retractable
awning provides the optimal way to transform an open
sun-bathing spot to a covered dining spot. These are great
for small patios, as you can choose whether or not you need
shade when eating outside.

outdoor bars

When lounging in the sun or entertaining in
the evenings, what a better way to keep drinks
conveniently at hand than with a personal
outdoor bar? Imagine hosting a sunset
cocktail hour where you can play bartender,
or allow your guests to help themselves to a
mixed drink with your liquor, mixes, ice, and
glasses all in one spot. Outdoor bars are an
inexpensive upgrade to your patio and can be
purchased with matching bar stools to enjoy
beverages and snacks al fresco.

deluxe modern grills with built in cabinets
Everyone enjoys a barbecue in the summer. Whether we serve
traditional favourites like hot dogs and burgers, grilled veggies, or get
fancy and try out cedar-planked salmon, these outdoor
appliances are a necessity for enjoying meals al fresco.
The latest grills, such as the Broil King Imperial XLS,
include features like electronic ignition systems to start the
grill by pushing a button, stainless steel dual-tube burners,
to prevent flames from grease drips, and even built in lights
and illuminated knobs, so you can cook outside at nighttime.
In addition to an expansive grilling area, they include additional
side burners, a rotisserie kit, and surfaces to keep food warming
while you finish barbecuing. Don’t forget, there is also additional
storage space inside the stainless steel cabinets.

built in outdoor kitchens
These are not an easily affordable option, however, if you’re
looking to really give your patio a makeover and not only serve,
but prepare an entire meal outdoors, consider installing a built-in
outdoor kitchen. You can purchase these at patio furniture stores, or
shop online to find something which suits your landscaping.
Outdoor kitchens such as the Caribbean BBQ Island Outdoor
Kitchen 4-Burner Built-In Convertible Gas Grill by KoKoMo
come with expansive countertop space, a mini fridge, and instead
of a stove and oven, a luxury 4-burner grill.

You don’t need a full backyard makeover to upgrade your al fresco dining area this season. Choose simple and affordable upgrades as a starting point, and allow the inspiration of the outdoors and the tranquility of the summer bring your ideas to make your alfresco dining space come to life. TM