The concept of open air dining is brought to log and timber home living in a variety of designs. 

The traditional American picnic has met its match with today’s concepts of dining in the fresh air. Gone are the days of a cooler filled with Tupperware encased foods to be spread on paper plates and eaten stretched on the ground on a blanket. Instead outdoor dining has harkened back to the gentile European aristocracy style of comfort in the great outdoors.
 

Upscale Picnic

Today’s outdoor living spaces are actually designed with upscale picnicking in mind. Porches have widened to easily accommodate dining tables and chairs. Gone are the pop up chairs and folding tables. Instead furnishings designed for comfort and elegance have found their way into outdoor dining spaces. Chandeliers and other lighting sources have been added to planned spaces to replicate what might have been expected in a formal dining room.
 

Cooking

Ease of serving has been accommodated with chef’s kitchens in the out-of-doors with refrigerators, wine racks, stoves, ovens, drink stations, prep tables, sinks and storage for drinkware and dishes. Less formal meals may happen on bars with seating that has traditionally been the breakfast seating in an indoor kitchen.
 
Grills, once the staple of searing and sizzling for a batch of burgers and hotdogs have incorporated the grill master’s preferences for charcoal, pellets, gas and electric hook ups and recipes that rival fine dining chefs. While grills are certainly an outdoor cooking concept, upscale outdoor kitchens incorporate built in ovens and microwaves.
 

Amenities

Dining spaces have been made flexible for family nights out on the deck with a large screen television and popcorn as well as for the elegance of entertaining with fireplaces and firepits and ambient lighting. Wired for sound whether during a meal or an Apéritif, speakers that distribute ambient music or sound for a dancefloor are a common request from homeowners.
 
No dining space is complete without some thought given to controlling the unwelcome visitors from the outdoors. Today’s screens and framing are capable of blending into the structure without the feeling of being enclosed.
 
What is clear is that dining in the fresh air is fast becoming a “must have” feature as homeowners design their forever homes.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Room For Company

The couple who built this home in the woods often take their food outdoors for a quiet meal together. Because the porch is wide, the table can be moved to add more seating when company comes.

Mountain View

This large Gatlinburg, Tennessee, vacation home is used by its owners for getaways and is available for rent. The outdoor dining space was situated with a view of the mountains in mind. 

Fire Pit Patio

In the distance the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina can be seen from this gravel patio, which has a grill, fire pit and serving table. The homeowners can move additional seating and dinings tables in as needed.

Dining on Two Levels

In a large timber frame home with two levels of covered outdoor living space, the homeowner created a primary grilling and cooking area off the living room and kitchen inside the main level (right). For the area outside the walkout basement, they created a picnic area near the hottub (below).

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