Dining alfresco is the pinnacle of a great Seattle summer. From the leisurely breakfasts and relaxing lunches to the celebratory happy hours and lingering dinners, Seattle temperate sense of ‘heat’ is accentuated by its near lack of humidity. By outfitting your backyard or patio with a comfortable outdoor dining set, you can create a destination-worthy extension of your home that will welcome everyone from a party of one to a large group.
Why Buy an Outdoor Dining Set in Seattle?
Nicknamed the ‘Emerald City,’ Seattle comes by its lush landscape honestly. It averages more than 150 days of rain and roughly 226 days a year with clouds. And while Seattleites have learned to love the outdoors even with a little drizzle, there’s something special about the roughly 3-month summer.
The longer days tend to be filled with sunshine and lush landscapes, where the grass and trees cling to their green foliage while the rest of the country turns brown. It is a time of year when the outdoors seems to sing with joy, one when meals are best savored with fresh air.
Why buy an outdoor dining set in Seattle? The better question is, why don’t you already have one. Outdoor dining sets are a patio staple, though they don’t always take the shape that one would expect.
To help you pick the right outdoor dining set for your Seattle patio, we’ve compiled our top five considerations.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Shopping for Outdoor Dining Sets
Not all patio furniture is built equally. And not all patio furniture is right for all spaces. By considering the following questions, you can start to identify which dining sets would be right for your space.
1. How Big is Your Space?
Let’s make no bones about it, not all spaces fit all pieces of furniture. The very first thing to consider is how big your space is. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to have roughly 30-inches between the edge of a table and an obstruction (such as a wall, outdoor dining cart, or BBQ). This provides enough space for someone to comfortably take their seat and get up.
That being said, when your party grows, you may be tempted to squeeze a few more seats around the table and consume some of this space. That’s completely natural. And assuming your party is game for getting cozy and being flexible, this can be manageable on a case-by-case basis.
2. How Do You Want to Dine Outdoors?
The traditional dining table is 28- to 30-inches tall. This height allows you to comfortably accommodate dining chairs that slip under the table. If you plan on serving more formal meals this is the ideal choice, as eating with a fork and knife is easiest at a table of this height.
That being said, if your version of dining alfresco lends itself to more coffee and pastries, lemonade and finger foods, and cocktails and appetizers — you may find yourself gravitating towards an outdoor coffee table. These tables average 16- to 18-inches in height.
3. Do You Want Your Outdoor Dining Set to do Double Duty?
While outdoor dining is an incredible way to enjoy Mother Nature, your patio isn’t reserved for just for food. In fact, we’re big proponents of using it in multiple capacities, ranging from mid-day games and outdoor movie nights to a relaxing, quiet retreat.
Depending on how big your outdoor space is, you may be looking for your patio furniture set to do double duty. This is completely normal and completely doable. The trick is to consider the primary function of your outdoor space and the secondary function.
Say, for example, you want your outdoor space to accommodate dining as its primary function and allow for lounging as its secondary function. In this case, you’ll want to look for a patio dining set that fits your space and provides ultra-comfortable, cushioned seating. These deeply cushioned seats can easily become lounge-worthy with the addition of a footrest.
4. What Material Will Last Seattle’s Dose of Mother Nature?
Not all patio furniture is built equally. Some patio furniture is more durable than others. Teak, for example, is made from a material that is resistant to rot, infestation, and cracking. It can last 20+ years in Seattle’s wet environment.
5. Do You Need to Be Able to Move Your Patio Furniture?
When it comes to moving patio furniture, weight is a serious consideration. Heavier patio furniture — like wrought iron — is less likely to get blown away. It also takes more effort to move. If you’re worried about the weight, something like a lighter-weight mixed material, may be a better solution.