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Open-air spaces are a gorgeous backdrop for parties. They make everyone feel relaxed and happy. Blue skies and lush greenery easily enhance the opportunity to have fun with friends and loved ones all afternoon long – and on into the evening. But what really gets guests excited is the smell of your cooking! Sharing a meal together – whether that’s mouthwatering barbecued ribs straight off the grill or some hearty comfort food – is a big part of spending time on your patio, balcony or deck. In fact, it’s what a lot of people remember the most after an enjoyable visit. And because guests eat with their eyes first, your colorful, attractive plating has a pleasant effect on their taste buds. Pottery Barn’s outdoor dinnerware makes your cuisine look even more tantalizing at dinnertime. Here’s what makes it so special and helpful.

Our melamine outdoor dinnerware is visually enticing. It’s intensely colored and carefully crafted to offer the appearance of traditional glazed ceramic, so even before it’s time to eat, your dishes set the mood. Artistic pieces act like exciting decor for the dinner table. Is it alright to keep place settings organized around the table even if your party doesn’t feature a seated meal? Absolutely. They give your backyard elegant ambience and make the space even more inviting. The colorful pieces elevate any celebration, even when guests are lounging on the deck with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Another benefit of melamine pieces is they’re practically indestructible. If you’re planning a family reunion with lots of kids and adults present, you don’t need to worry about any dropped dinnerware. A spilled plate isn’t the end of the world thanks to outdoor dinnerware. Just hand company a new dish and get back to the fun times. Afterward, enjoy easy cleanup – melamine is safe for your dishwasher. Pop everything inside, push a button and relax.

Not sure what kind of outdoor dinnerware is right for you? Here are a few ideas. First of all, feel free to go brighter and more intense than you might normally with your indoor china. The reason? The outdoors are wonderfully welcoming when it comes to getting a bit uninhibited. After all, everything in nature itself pops with vibrant hues, from the deep red of fresh roses to cool blue beaches. Take your personal style – tropical, countryside, elegant or artistic – and then crank it up. Check out some style possibilities.

Looking for a Latin vibe? Infuse your backyard with the laidback notes of salsa dancing, brass bands and spicy cuisine with citrus tones like lime green or orange. Toss in some pink for good measure. Because a lot of Mexican and Latin-American cuisine already has striking colors, think about having several sets of dinnerware in different shades. That way you can pick a contrasting option that really makes your food stand out. Yellow-corn taco shells with pico de gallo, sour cream and cilantro look beautiful on green plates.

Host a Mediterranean-inspired poolside soiree with deep indigo or pure white dinnerware. It seems as if you can smell the fresh ocean air while enjoying a tasty salad with plenty of olive oil and fine wine. This is a great option for large dinner parties or a formal lunch with friends.

Give your guests a taste of Italy by serving family style. Orange and red dinnerware gives the space a warm Tuscan feel. Large dinner plates have more than enough room for homemade spaghetti and meatballs or crunchy pizza with mozzarella and olive oil drizzled on top. If the thought of Italian food gets your taste buds excited, imagine what it does for company!

It’s a wonderful idea to mix and match different shades and styles of dinnerware when creating your place settings – unleash your creative side completely. Turquoise dinner plates, indigo salad plates and red bowls are very artistic and draw attention to each element of your meal.