Classic Picnic Tables...With a Twist

Searching for an affordable dining option for your outdoor area but want something cool looking? Your first thought might not be a picnic table (you don't necessarily want your outdoor oasis to resemble a country road rest stop area) but they've got a certain spunky type of potential we like exploring.

Affordable, it's true, picnic tables also fit a nice amount of folks for dinner parties and tend to handle the weather pretty well (even looking better and better as they age). If the idea of just a picnic table seems too basic, consider a few fresh ideas that might make you have more enthusiasm for this sometimes overlooked basic outdoor seating and dining furniture item.

Setting a picnic table with favorite tableware and flowers and greenery makes an awfully huge difference in transforming a simple, familiar wood form. But what about when you're not entertaining? A dramatically large set of plants and planters on top of a picnic table can be interesting and add some height to your outdoor area.

Using the picnic table as a spot to create a vignette of favorite outdoor items (perhaps even changing them season to season) can be a way to add character to this simple furniture form. And finally, don't forget paint: A fresh coat of bold color will instantly add relevance to a picnic table and if you're not sick of the trend yet, imagine how awesome chalkboard paint would look. And heavens...what if you painted an entire picnic table in a neon hue?!

More Apartment Therapy picnic inspiration:
Channeling Community Seating With Picnic Tables
Budget Sources for Outdoor Furniture

(Images: Jose Villa via Once Wed via Elizabeth Anne Designs; Better Homes & Gardens; Thinking With My Heart; Better Homes & Gardens; The Chandelier Surf Shack via Garance doré website via My Favorite Things)

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Adrienne photographs beautiful homes in and around her home base of Austin, Texas. She's a contributor to UPPERCASE Magazine and spends all her free time exploring small town Texas. She watches a lot of Star Trek.