Presenting two modern exotic outdoor dinner party settings

Outdoor dining by The Home Port and Pottery Barn

Since the vacation period has begun, you may want some inspirations for an easy entertaining outdoor party. I will present you this week-end four unique styles. They are all perfect for alfresco dinner parties.

You will be able to reproduce these styles by adding a few accessories to what you got at home. I will point out the elements that make each style unique.

Ethnic sunny nautical theme

If you ever hosted a Moroccan style party, you may be left with accessories that you do not know how to match with something else. The eclectic style means that you do not have to be trapped in a style. I found you a great example of eclecticism in action.

My first look mixes Indian or Moroccan style lanterns with a bright version of the nautical theme. When you think about sailing and the sea, the sunrise and the sunset are a big part of it. One way to update nautical theme is to use the color of the sunset. As you can see on the top photo this unusual mix works.

The style shot is from The Home Port store. The Reclectic Lanterns are made in India. Someone got the bright idea to produce these ethnic lanterns by recycling misprinted pieces of aerosol and soda cans. Each lantern is unique and colorful. The small lantern is $22 USD, the middle one is $28 and the larger lantern is $48.

The other key element of this design is the Regatta Votive Holders in SunStripe. A set of 3 votive holders of different sizes costs $38 USD. For a total of $136 in accessories, you can create a pretty unique outdoor dining table

Simple white plates on a clean lined table urbanize the look. The Home Port shows off their Moda Dining Table. This white fiberglass sleek and seamless table creates a soft shine when the candles are lit. A rectangular or square table looks better with this scheme.

Festival of lights

I selected the second look because woven rattan is a popular furniture style. I have to say that I am impressed by this build-in gazebo tent. The three low walls create a sense of intimacy and they delimit the space. The fabric roof is gorgeous and sophisticated. By using a neutral fabric, your eyes are attracted to the festive accessories.

When dealing with large space, lots of people have problems designing it. What you have to remember is that the brain feels more comfortable when the space is visually separated in human scale zones. Every good interior designer will lay out their plan using this principle. In this case, the low walls anchor the outdoor dining room.

This setting is all about entrance. You can mix and match sizes and forms of glass candle holders. Lay out lots of them. LED battery operated lights and solar outdoor fixtures can be used if you prefer them for the trail.

The idea here is to create a lighted trail that people follow to end up at the dining table. The best looking trails are never the straight line, especially if you go for an exotic mood. You define even more the entertaining space by putting candles all over the rail.

This picture is from Pottery Barn where the Woven Rattan Ice Bucket & Stand is on sale for $99 USD. It is only available online. This design is sophisticated because the color palette is short and straight-forward. They use three neutrals for all the furniture and the big accessories. Even though there are lots of it, red is confined to an accent color role.

July 7, 2007 Update: I am showing you the Chesapeake Gazebo. It is on sale at $3999 USD if you order from the catalog and the online store of Pottery Barn. Professional assembly is required.

If you got electricity on top of your dining table, take a look at the Fish Trap Pendant Shades also on sale at $49 (reg. $89) at Pottery Barn. The Fish Trap Pendant Shades take their inspiration from the centuries-old Asian tradition of snaring fish in woven bamboo traps.

Tell me what you think about these two outdoor dining looks? I will continue this series tomorrow by presenting you two great looks for a dinner by the sea.

Buy online: Reclectic Lanterns at The Home Port
Buy online: Regatta Votive Holders SunStripe at The Home Port
Buy online: Moda Dining Table at The Home Port
Buy online: Woven Rattan Ice Bucket & Stand at Pottery Barn
Buy online: Fish Trap Pendant Shades at Pottery Barn