Up on the blog this week, it's all about dining alfresco this Fall. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, many families are contemplating the annual feast. I say, don't stress about hosting an indoor event this year. Take it outside. Here are my tips for a comfortable outdoor dinner this fall. Just note: In its guidelines on holiday celebrations during the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC labels a small outdoor dinner with friends or family who live close by as a moderate-risk activity, so plan carefully to limit risk for everyone involved.
Keep Your Guests Warm
First and foremost, it's about keeping your guests comfortable. If you live here in Philadelphia or in the tri-state area, you know that the weather can be unpredictable around Thanksgiving. It could be 70 degrees and sunny or a frigid 40 degrees and cloudy. No doubt it will be crisp at some point during the evening. Invest in outdoor heaters and put out cozy throws to help keep the chill off. You may also want to consider a pop-up canopy so Thanksgiving can go on, rain or shine. (Just make sure there’s still plenty of air flow!)
There are plenty of outdoor heater options. The restaurants use them so we can enjoy alfresco dining all year long. I found a great option for $150 at Home Depot. West Elm also has a nice version for a little more money. You can also rent a heated tent.
Photo Cred: Home Depot
Add some twinkle
While an outdoor fireplace would be most ideal, not all of us have one in out outdoor spaces. Add outdoor string or Fairy lights to create some ambiance. Candles also make great additions to Thanksgiving centerpieces and can help set the mood and provide soft lighting for your gathering of family and friends. While you may light some citronella candles around your patio to ward off pests during your holiday gathering, it is best to opt for flameless, unscented candles for your table. Flameless candles will continue working just fine if the wind picks up and will not spill wax or start a fire if someone knocks one over. Varying the intensity and source of illumination add depth and drama to your party site, reinforcing a feeling of enclosure around a core of festivity. It's about bringing a little interior design inspiration outside!
Photo Cred: Pinterest
Take Inspiration from Nature
You are taking the Thanksgiving table outdoors, so why not let nature be the source of inspiration that shapes its style and overall appeal? This does not mean that your Thanksgiving table in the garden needs to be filled with pumpkins and fall produce alone. You can borrow from the hues of your garden or even colors that represent fall to give the table a stunning yet natural look. Themes such as rustic, farmhouse and even organic work best here. For those who still want to keep their outdoor Thanksgiving table distinctly modern, pops of orange and purple are great options indeed. Whatever your interior design style, you can recreate it outdoors!
Photo Cred: Pinterest
Keep seating flexible
Big parties may call for multiple seating arrangements so guests can comfortably sit down and enjoy dinner. Choose several seating options and table sizes to create a setup that's the right size for your space and guest list. Don't hesitate to recreate an outdoor living area either!
Photo Cred: Pinterest
The good news: Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie haven’t been canceled. The bad news? You may not be squeezing yourself around a table with 10 of your nieces and nephews to celebrate Thanksgiving 2020. Because coronavirus still makes indoor celebrations a little dicey—and the new CDC Thanksgiving guidelines recommend celebrating indoors only with friends and family who live in your household, go ahead and plan the ultimate outdoor Thanksgiving!
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In addition to being a Philadelphia Multifamily Interior Designer, I also design boutique hotels, fitness centers, office spaces, residential development projects, other commercial spaces such as office and retail spaces, and the senior living community throughout the tri state area. We work here in Philadelphia, the main line, and even Nationally!
About the Interior Designer
Tina Delia, a native of Ocean County, NJ, current resident of Philadelphia, is the Founder and Principal Interior Designer of Delia Designs. For the past eleven years, Tina has been steadfast in her vision and continues to develop herself personally and professionally. She is dedicated to excellence and insistence on forward thinking design. At the forefront of her designs is the idea that our spaces have the ability to transform our lives. She is looking to move us, inspire us to see, think and create freely. After all, it's not only about creating beautiful spaces.