dining table and chairs in the patio
Photo: Caren Alpert
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Private Patio Dining Room

Ringed by a low boundary wall built from salvaged granite stones, this sunken-patio dining area in Reading, Massachusetts, feels intimate even though the neighbors are just a few yards away.

Materials: Beige and gray concrete floor pavers and a stacked-stone wall define the footprint of the space. The wall doubles as a buffet table and extra seating at outdoor dinner parties.

Furniture: A patio umbrella keeps diners from baking in the sun while also providing a rooflike sense of enclosure. The teak table and chairs are treated with tung oil to maintain their natural color and prevent rot. The cushions are covered in a quick-drying fabric that resists mildew.

Landscaping: Granite slab steps lead up from the patio into a shade garden that’s bounded by rose of Sharon bushes. When in bloom, the bushes form a living wall that completely shields the patio from the property next door.
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