Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer dining alfresco

We love to eat outside on the deck in the summer. OK, I like to eat outside on the deck and I would do it every meal if I could. 

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I realized that it really is a pain to bring out all the dishes, glassware, flatware, food etc., every single time we ate outside then carry it all back in again. Plus, what do you do when you're sitting around a fire pit eating a roasted hotdog?

Then it dawned on me the perfect thing would be cafeteria trays, so I found these vintage melmac trays on ebay. You can wrap flatware in the napkin, place a tumbler in the slot and carry everything in one trip! Instead of my making a million trips in and out, each person can carry their own and it's stylish. Score! 

I made a table runner from outdoor fabric with a slot for the umbrella to go through, then used burlap placemats. They are great for outside also. 

Honestly, this really makes outdoor dining a breeze.

Our umbrella was in really bad shape with algae, etc., and I found this replacement cover for $29 on ebay. They come in different colors and are so easy to put on. So much better than getting a new one, don't you think?

I think I have it covered as far as outdoor eating space goes. Our house is so small that with three kids, we love the room to spread out when the weather is nice, and here in the NC mountains, it's like heaven on Earth:-)

Thanks for stopping by:-)

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  1. Oh Anita, every time you do a deck post I get nostalgic for our old house and deck cause it looks EXACTLY the same, with the trees. It is so beautiful and I LOVE the melmac dishes and pitcher. Is that an ice bucket too? I was going to ask how you found a runner, should have known you made it! Just beautiful. Have a wonderful weekend. We are off tomorrow for the Outer Banks for our vacation. XO, Pinky

  2. Anita you are seriously so creative! I love the trays and the tablecloth and the placemats and EVERYTHING! :-)

  3. Anita, what a lovely setting. I enjoyed my visit to your blog very much ( I'm your newest follower)I look forward to many more visits. I hope you will share this post at my Thursday hop ( you can still link up through Saturday). We like to eat outside too, and when are grandchildren are over they always ask to eat outside. Hugs!

  4. Your idea for the cafeteria trays is fantastic. Love the little pink salt and pepper shakers!

  5. Ah... It looks wonderful and inviting. We're just about to the end of our alfresco season around here. Here, we enjoy spring and fall (and even winter) but not summer. I love everything you did here, especially the use of the old cafeteria trays. I used to have a set of them, but someone borrowed mine and never returned them. I need to check ebay.

  6. That is so clever to use the cafeteria trays. I love your decorated deck.

  7. What a beautiful setting. But even more it made me smile, thinking of old memories of school lunches and my Grandfather always had is coffee out of a mug with the rattan. Love the idea of using the old soda bottles for vases.

  8. Stunning post with perfect pins! Thank you for linking up to our Pinterest party!

  9. What a wonderful place for outdoor dining. Only WINDswept prairie here. Our food, etc would be blown into next week on most days. I remember my great grandmother having the burlap cups. Now that's vintage. :)Your settings are lovely.

  10. Oh my goodness, my mom had probably a dozen of the cafeteria trays that I got for her one year when they were getting new ones and trashing some old ones(in perfectly good shape). We inherited my parents home 2 years ago after my mom and dad passed away and I think I trashed those trays. Crazy me. The dining table looks great. Love the runner and the burlap place mats. You are so creative. Have a great week. Sheila

  11. Beautiful post, love the soft pinks, I so remember trays like those. The green surroundings look so peaceful, wish I was there.

  12. I love your deck. Now I'm on the hunt for cafeteria trays! I just got home from a big girlfriends campout and some of the gals had them for our meals. They were so handy I decided I was going to get some. Seeing yours today has sent me to EBay and Etsy!