Hayneedle style manager Vallerie Drorbaugh turned her backyard into a dining spot to rival any restaurant patio. Learn how to style a dramatic space for a memorable outdoor dinner party with her top tips.
Watch the video to see how Vallerie used some creativity and functional pieces to create her new outdoor dining space:
Setting the Scene
To create this intimate outdoor dinner setting, Vallerie looked to a mix of décor pieces from indoors and out and repurposed some items to create more dimension and visual interest. She started with an exclusive Coral Coast outdoor dining set to anchor the space, and used the natural touches from the woven wicker as a theme that carries throughout the patio. Using a collection of woven baskets for a centerpiece, side table, and ice bucket adds versatility while maintaining a cohesive feel around the space. She also cleared off her potting bench to serve as a bar and sideboard, minimizing trips inside.
I love, love, love unexpected things and contradictions. I brought an indoor room divider outside for the evening to define the space and screen out another area. And that black plaid rug in the organic outdoor setting … I really loved that contrast. Those would have to be two of my favorite elements of this shoot.
For a backyard dinner party that’s going to go well into the evening, soft lighting increases the mood and helps keep the gathering going past sundown. Cafe lights add extra drama, while battery operated candles on statement candlesticks or in copper lanterns add a summery glow without the risk of fire. Vallerie also repurposed an indoor chandelier for use outside to recreate the feel of an indoor dining room. She went bold with the textiles with striped pillows in neutral shades and woven forest green pillows along with the oversized plaid rug.
Setting the Table
For the tabletop, Vallerie selected non-breakable plates more immune to mishaps on concrete, and lined them with vintage napkins. She bundled silverware with twine and included a piece of natural stone to each place setting to keep items in place and serve as a nice parting gift for guests.