Al Fresco Dining at Home: Everything You Need for a Backyard Dinner Party

backyard dinner party al fresco dining at home

The time is finally here for summer nights outside, drink in hand, and friends all around. Al fresco dining at home is the perfect way to dip your toe back into hosting and gathering — and we are SO ready. You don’t need much to plan a breezy backyard dinner party, but we’re here with the inspiration to get you relaxing and vibing all summer long.

{photo above via Calimia Home}

What is al fresco dining?

al fresco dining at homephoto: Anna Delores Photography // see more from this chic summer party

But first, let’s clear the air. Loosely translated from Italian, “al fresco” means “in the cool air.” We’ve come to use the term to simply mean “enjoying a meal outside.” From picnics to BBQs to backyard dinner parties, eating outside is a true treat for the senses and automatically inspires a feeling of ease.

al fresco dining at homephoto: Kadi Tobin Photography // see more from this intimate backyard wedding

We’re particularly inspired to plan some al fresco meals at home thanks to so many beautiful backyard weddings this year! There is so much you can do in your own backyard (or patio!) to create an inviting space for family and friends. It doesn’t take much and it shouldn’t take much.

al fresco dining at homephoto: Mary Costa Photography // see more from this colorful backyard wedding

The whole idea behind al fresco at home is that of ease! It’s a breezy meal that doesn’t need to be planned to the very last detail. Having items at home that help you carry food, keep things covered, and make the space inviting + cozy will all attribute to a dreamy (and easy) night with friends.

backyard dinner party al fresco dining at homephoto: Sara Ligorria-Tramp for Emily Henderson

Stock Your Home for Easy Al Fresco Dining

Let’s channel that Italian influence and enjoy some laid-back meals outside! It’s helpful to have a few things on hand specifically for backyard gatherings. Here are 26 items that make al fresco dining at home a real picnic — literally and figuratively.

1. Wheat Straw Plates

wheat straw plates

Buy on Amazon | Set of 4 $15.99

2. Bamboo Spun Serving Bowl

target serving bowl

Buy at Target $15

3. Raised Floral Glass Tumblers

zara home glasses al fresco dining at home

Buy at Zara $9.90 each

4. 3-Pack Acacia Wood Bowls

HM 3 wood bowls

Buy at H&M Home | Set of 3 $17.99 each

5. Jacquard-Weave Seat Cushion

woven seat cushion

Buy at H&M Home $17.99 each

6. Al Fresco Dining Table Cotton Tablecloth (3 color options)

HM cotton tablecloth

Buy at H&M Home $12.99

7. Linen-Blend Napkins (3 color options)

hm napkins

Buy at H&M Home | 2-pack $9.99

7. Glass Dome with Wooden Tray

glass dome with tray

Buy at H&M Home $29.99

8. Wine Glasses

hm wine glass

Buy at H&M Home $5.99 each

9. Linen-Blend Apron

hm apron

Buy at H&M Home $24.99

10. Linen-Blend Table Runner

linen table runner

Buy at H&M Home $14.99

10. Rattan Tray for Al Fresco Dining

hm rattan tray

Buy at H&M Home $29.99

11. Ceramic Tile Trivet

outdoor dining decor trivet

Buy from Urban Outfitters $10

12. Soleil Tagine

outdoor dining decor soleil

Buy from Urban Outfitters $54

13. Roma Wrapped Utensil Set

uo wrapped utensils al fresco dining at home

Buy from Urban Outfitters $29

14. Glass Drink Dispenser for Dining Al Fresco

glass drink dispenser outdoor parties

Buy from Urban Outfitters $24

14. Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over By Alison Roman

nothing fancy

Buy from Urban Outfitters $32.50

15. Stoneware Pitcher

target pitcher

Buy at Target $19.99

15. Terrazzo Patio Accent Table

target terrazzo outdoor table

Buy at Target $99

16. White Metal Outdoor Lantern

metal outdoor lantern

Buy at Target $30

17. Outdoor String Lantern Lights

target string lantern

Buy at Target $17

18. Stoneware Wind Chimes

target chimes

Buy at Target $17

19. Square Solar Pathway Light

solar path lights

Buy at Target $4 each

20. Streamlined Cheese Knives

anthro cheese knives

Buy at Anthropologie | Set of 3 $24

21. Silver Al Fresco Dining Beverage Tub

aluminum beverage tub

Buy at Target $16

22. Round Lidded Picnic Baskets

anthro baskets

Buy at Anthropologie $38 | Set of 2

23. Stripe Seagrass Utensil Holder

anthro utensil holder

Buy at Anthropologie $28

24. Woven Straw Food Covers for Al Fresco Dining

anthro food covers for backyard dinner parties

Buy at Anthropologie $128

25. Aura Raffia Placemats

anthro placemats

Buy at Anthropologie $88

26. Al Fresco Dining Picnic Basket

anthro picnic basket

Buy at Anthropologie $128

Here’s to al fresco dining at home that’s simple, delicious, and goes well into those dreamy summer nights!