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Outdoor Dining Inspiration and Beautiful Melamine Dishware

The weather is (slowly!) warming up and now that the pollen here in North Carolina is dissipating some, I can start to think about spending more time outside and even dining outside! I love eating outside when the weather is nice. It feels casual and freeing - almost like a little mini-vacation even on a weeknight. Plus, with little kids who have messy eating habits, clean up is much less of a worry outside. We use plastic plates every night for our kids to eat off of but when dining outside, it's a great option for adults too. Melamine (the name for the sturdy plastic dinnerware) is available everywhere these days and has become so stylish. It's hard to believe that the tables in these next few pictures are set with plastic dishes!

beautiful outdoor tablescape with melamine plates Bunny Williams for Ballard Designs

One King's Lane

Williams Sonoma

There are lots of great reasons to consider buying some melamine dishware. It is sturdy and unbreakable which makes it ideal for outdoor dining, Another plus is that it is super light weight. When you are having to cart things from inside to outside to eat, this is a big plus. And clean up is easy because melamine is dishwasher safe! A last benefit to melamine is that it is extremely affordable. That makes purchasing new dishware and serving pieces that you might use for a limited time during the year more reasonable.

The options for style of melamine diningware are endless. You can find melamine in any color, shape, or size that you want. Here are a few fun dishes that I'm loving:

Melamine doesn't just have to be plates. You can find bowls, utensils and also serving platters. Just look at a few of these platters - they don't look plastic at all! These would make a great house-warming or wedding gift because they are so pretty and practical.

This tray looks just like marble but think how much lighter this would be to carry things around!

Doesn't this next one look just like a woven basket?! But this is much sturdier than a wicker tray.

Lastly, this definitely looks like ceramic to me. It would be so cute for the beach - it reminds me of a shell.

All of these serving trays can be found on OKL.

Hopefully this post has inspired you to think about upping your outdoor dining game! I'm off to wipe down the last (hopefully) of this yellow pollen from our table so we can start eating outside some.

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