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Dinner alfresco: How to set a perfect outdoor table

With the warmer evenings upon us, we can’t think of a more perfect way to cap off the day than by enjoying a leisurely dinner outside. Here are our favorite pieces to help you set the perfect outdoor table.

Pretty plates

We love these colorful Marimekko Sateenkaari green and blue plates from Crate and Barrel. Made of melamine, these plates will last for years to come and won’t break if dropped on the ground.

Price: $7 each

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Marimekko Sateenkaari green and blue plates

Fabulous flatware

flatware from Kmart

One of the most important attributes for great outdoor dining supplies is that they be durable, yet inexpensive. We think that this great flatware from Kmart fits the bill and complements the Crate and Barrel plates beautifully.

Price: $19 for a service for four

silverware caddy

This pretty teal silverware caddy from Target will make transporting your flatware in and out of the house easy. Keep it stocked and ready for impromptu meals outside.

Price: $10

Serving saviors

Samba square white tray

This Samba square white tray from Crate and Barrel will help cut down on the number of trips you’ll need to make in and out of the house. (Fewer trips in and out mean fewer bugs in the house!) Simply load it up to take everything you need outside and then pile the dirty dishes on when you’re done eating. This high-gloss engineered wood tray is lightweight, sturdy and easy to wipe clean.

Price: $28

Food tent

Those same bugs that you’re trying to keep out of the house often want to swarm around your food. This great food tent from Sur la Table will keep them far from your food.

Price $7 each

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What’s dinner outside without a drink to go with it? We love these DuraClear Tumblers from Williams-Sonoma. Made from crystal-clear shatter-resistant polycarbonate, they look like glass, but won’t crack or break.

Price: $50 for a set of 6

Duraclear martini glasses
For those evenings when you’re looking for something with a bit more kick than water and the evening calls for much-needed cocktails, Williams-Sonoma also carries these great DuraClear martini glasses.

Price: $77 for a set of 6

trio beverage dispenser
On those nights when you’ve invited friends for dinner, this trio beverage dispenser from Z Gallerie will help you keep something for everyone on tap. Whether you fill it with lemonade, iced tea and punch or margaritas, sangria and mojitos, we think it will be a huge hit.

Price: $70

More summer outdoor living

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Creative ways to keep things cool outdoors
Creating outdoor entertaining space

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