Outdoor Dining Ideas for Family BBQs

Whitney Jones

Article Posted By: Whitney Jones

of Whitney J. Decor

Outdoor Dining Ideas for Family BBQs

Here’s a backyard just full of outdoor dining ideas for gatherings or just enjoying time with the family. This is the work of interior designer Whitney Jones, who writes the blog at Whitney J Decor.  It’s her addition to the Patio Style Challenge series here on The Home Depot Blog.

Whitney has created a space with plenty of room for family barbecues and relaxing outdoors. She’s also included some clever ways to create an outdoor buffet, decorate an inexpensive chair, and add a moss-covered monogram to the backyard fence.

Outdoor Dining Ideas

When I found out I would be one of the bloggers participating in the Patio Style Challenge, I was extremely stoked to create an outdoor dining space that was fun, comfy and functional.

A backyard in New Orleans in need of a makeover

I personally don’t have a patio, or any outdoor space where I live, so I opted to transform my mom’s backyard.

As you can see above, my mom’s backyard needed lots of work. The air conditioning unit and swing weren’t functioning, so we had them removed. We also picked up the deck, moved it to the back of the yard where the swing was, and gave it a nice coat of gray paint.

And, by “picked up the deck”, I mean we literally picked it up…

I helped, too, but I sure wish I hadn’t. My back IS NOT built for deck moving.

Moving a backyard deck to a new spot in the yard

It all starts with a great table…

I’ll show some close-up photos of the deck in place later, but I NEEDED to show you this Vichy Springs 7-piece patio dining set that Home Depot sent me.

It is BEAUTIFUL!! I recovered the pillows that came with the table with a new green and white fabric and replaced the pillows on the head chairs with these really cute bee outdoor pillows.

The outdoor dining table and chairs are made of powder-coated steel in a cool dark brown color and are great for any color scheme (for people like me who like to change things up often) and any design style. The high boy chairs are extremely comfortable. I love that the chairs rotate, making it easy to get in and out of them.

Vichy Springs 7-piece patio dining set in a backyard

A throw pillow on the Vichy Springs 7-piece patio dining set

Vichy Springs 7-piece patio dining set

Chair from the Vichy Springs 7-piece patio dining set

We actually opted to put the table and chairs in the grass, as opposed to grounding them on the deck or with stone pavers, to be able to move them easily. My brothers use the yard for working out, so it was essential for the yard to still be functional for them.

Vichy Springs outdoor dining table

I am most in love with the Vichy Springs table’s built-in beverage bin to hold our drinks (and crawfish – we LOVE crawfish here in New Orleans). It has a canvas liner for durability and to prevent dripping. There’s a drain inside to release standing water once the ice melts and a lid to go over the beverage bin when it’s not in use.

Vichy Springs table's built-in beverage bin

Outdoor Dining Ideas for Family BBQs

Burgers, anyone?

Home Depot also sent me the Weber Q 1200 portable gas grill and I got to choose the color. The green is so bright and pretty!

I love how, even though the grill isn’t large, we were still able to get a bunch of burgers and wieners on it.

Home Depot sent me the stand, too, and it makes transporting the grill even easier.

This thing was so fun (and easy) to pull around that I may or may not have done a mile of laps around my mom’s yard. This photo was taken before we moved the deck to the back of the yard.

Weber Q 1200 portable gas grill

Weber Q 1200 portable gas grill

Weber Q 1200 portable gas grill

Workbench Becomes an Outdoor Buffet

Now, with a table, chairs and grill, we needed a place to put our food and other stuff that we’d bring outdoors when we’re entertaining. I let my mom convince me that we could build some sort of buffet, and off to Home Depot we went. Once we got there, my primary mission was to go straight to the lumber department and beg someone there to show me exactly how it would need to get done, but before I could get to the lumber department, I saw this wooden fold-out workbench. On the box were the words, “assembles in five minutes”.

Ummmm… YEAH!!! Give me two please. Well, I didn’t have use for two then (or the room in my truck), so I only picked up one. And, like the box mentioned, it literally took us less than five minutes to set it up. Installation was so quick and easy that I didn’t have enough time to take a photo. It’s fully assembled, we just needed to unfold the legs and place in the shelf.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Whitney… it’s not very pretty…”.

I know, I know… but, it’s meant to be worked on… with ugly tools, and glues, and paints, and stuff like that.

So we also picked up metallic pewter stain and some white ceramic tiles.

Wooden fold-out workbench

Stain and tile for outdoor buffet

DIY outdoor buffet and portable grill

Here’s what it looks like now.

Outdoor buffet in a backyard

Here’s a closeup of the tiling on the workbench.

DIY outdoor buffet

And, because it was so easy to put up, it’s also really easy to take down and move around the yard or transport to my mom’s garage if she wants to use it for another purpose.

The Backyard Deck

Okay, now on to the newly positioned deck.

A backyard deck decorated in yellow and green

An inexpensive wooden table ready for an upgrade

Notice the new paint job on the deck. But can we talk about this table real quick?

This table cost $15 at a store that I can’t remember. I planned on spray painting the entire table with a glossy white paint… then wanted to do the legs with jute cording instead of paint… then remembered that I had a bunch of paracord that I didn’t have any use for.

All we did was use a glue gun and wrap the legs of the chair with the paracord, use a Behr white paint sample for the top, and voila!

Paracord-wrapped table leg

Backyard deck decor

Hanging flower planter

Deck decor

A backyard deck decorated in yellow and green

An elephant figure and a white pottery luminary on a backyard deck

An elephant figure on a backyard deck

This elephant from my latest thrifting trip! The large luminary is from The Home Depot!!!

OMG!! I love them both!!

Moss Letters

Creating moss letters

Moss-covered letters decorate a backyard fence

For the moss-covered letters, I simply stapled the moss on each letter.

Straw hats decorate a backyard fence

Moss letters and straw hats decorate a backyard fence

I also used inexpensive straw hats and poked fake flowers through them.

I am in love with how everything has turned out and have enjoyed going to my mom’s house so much more!! The backyard is so much fun to be in, and we look forward to using it for our family barbecues!

Outdoor Dining Ideas for Family BBQs

Thanks Home Depot for choosing me to be apart of the Patio Style Challenge. And, thanks to you guys for being interested in my reveal. I’d love to know what you guys think!

Whitney has a few more photos of her mom’s backyard on her blog. Take a look!

Whitney Jones is a New Orleans-based interior designer and the founder of Whitney J Decor. She specializes in “small spaces that are functional and glam with an eclectic twist.”

For more outdoor dining ideas, see other Patio Style Challenge articles as well as our Patio Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest.

And browse our Outdoor Living Department for everything you need to enhance your outdoor space, including all our patio furniture.