written by:
December 19, 2013
Picnic tables. They work well inside or out, and they conjure happy memories of lazy summertime afternoons spent with friends and family. They're also simple and not fussy, and they allow for clear sight lines though a space. Put another way, they are perfectly at home in the modern world. Here are some graceful picnic-style tables from Dwell's archives.
Modern picnic table in Marin County, California

The landscape designer Loretta Gargan and her partner, the artist Catherine Wagner, frequently host dinner parties on the patio outside their house in Marin County, California. The table and benches are from Modern Outdoor. Photo by Morgan Rachel Levy.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Charming Weekend Cottage Renovation in Marin
1 / 8
The Half Full table and bench by Ross Gardam

The Half Full table and bench shown here in this bungalow in greater Melbourne, Australia, are by Ross Gardam. Photo by Peter Bennetts.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Modern Australian Bungalow with a Victorian Ash Facade
2 / 8
picnic-style table in Moose Lake, Wisconsin

Backless picnic-style benches stand in for chairs at the refinished Milwau­kee Public Library table in Roger Scommegna's weekend getaway in Moose Lake, Wisconsin. Photo by J.J. Sulin.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Four Walls and a Screw-Top
3 / 8
Backyard picnic table in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Sarah Baird and her children, Bo and Sky, read at the picnic table behind the house that her architect husband, David, designed for them in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo by Roy Zipstein.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Baton Rouge Oasis
4 / 8
picnic-style table in renovated Airstream trailer

With the classic Murphy bed as inspiration, Japanese architect Toshihiko Suzuki transformed a standard Airstream trailer into a versatile small wonder. The sides of the picnic-style table fold down and connect with benches to create bases for twin beds. Photo by Sadamu Saito.

Originally appeared in Hide and Sleep
5 / 8
picnic-style table in renovated San Francisco house

The solid French oak dining table and bench that Nicole Hollis designed for the house that she renovated in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood were fabricated by B Serota Furniture and Architectural Design. Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography.

Originally appeared in Table Manners
6 / 8
Picnic-style bench in Norfolk, England

Carl Turner made this 20-seat table—shown here in his converted barn in Norfolk, England—from a birch-core, black phenolic-faced plywood, a waterproof material more commonly used to form concrete. The film-coated ply comes cheap, making it ideal for this kind of experiment. Photo by Christoffer Rudquist.

Originally appeared in Barns Ennobled
7 / 8
Picnic table in Los Angeles

The courtyard behind Hadley and Peter Arnold's renovated house in the Beverly Glen section of Los Angeles serves as an outdoor living room, where their daughter, Josie, plays freely, safe from nearby traffic. The family dines here most of the year at the custom-designed wood-and-steel picnic table. Photo by Catherine Ledner.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Compound Addition
8 / 8
Modern picnic table in Marin County, California

The landscape designer Loretta Gargan and her partner, the artist Catherine Wagner, frequently host dinner parties on the patio outside their house in Marin County, California. The table and benches are from Modern Outdoor. Photo by Morgan Rachel Levy.

Photo by Morgan Rachel Levy.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

in the mix antwerp belgium warehouse renovation live work space lounge area cushions dining table kitchenette borge mogensen cabinets
An artist and an architect build their home, studios, and an exhibition space inside an Antwerp warehouse.
February 13, 2016
senses sight products kinetic wire sculpture alexander calder mobile
A phenomenon of light and visual perception, colors signal a language of their own.
February 13, 2016
beach weathered seaside retreat sagaponack new york pine walls aluminum furniture
Balancing texture, proportion, and found objects lends unexpected sophistication to a seaside retreat.
February 13, 2016
Concrete floor, white walls, Bend sectional sofa, Metropolitan chair by B&B Italia, and Arper pouf in living room of Rhode Island family vacation home by Bernheimer Architecture.
Create comfortable areas to lounge, sit, eat, and entertain with these designs.
February 12, 2016
São Paulo apartment dining room with local wood floors and HAY chairs
From concrete to wood, these South American homes enjoy nature inside and out.
February 12, 2016
Custom cabinetry and trim in Chicago apartment renovation.
The Second City is second to none when it comes to inventive modern architecture, from Louis Sullivan to the present day.
February 12, 2016
Kitchen of 1956 midcentury modern Palm Springs home.
Celebrate Palm Springs Modernism Week, which runs from February 11–21, with a look at some of our favorite modern desert oases.
February 12, 2016
Gustav bicycle by Coh&Co
Designmuseum Danmark unveils a permanent collection highlighting new developments in Danish design.
February 12, 2016
A Seattle studio's courtyard
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
February 12, 2016
Chalet in the French alps
An innovative glass addition adds contrast to a timber mountain lodge in France.
February 11, 2016
Aumas' assorted collectables.
Bright colors and vintage furniture are abound in these French homes.
February 11, 2016
Kogan designed a number of the built-in furnishings, including the headboard and cupboard in the master bedroom.The cupboard is deliberately reminiscent of a mid-century stereo speaker. The vintage lounge chairs are by Percival Lafer.
Need to relax? Make your bedroom an oasis from the rest of the house.
February 11, 2016
Modern Florida seaside home with corian island, dornbracht faucet, cees braakman combex chairs and marble knoll table in the kitchen
Read more about Knoll's impressive career here, but in the meantime, explore just a few of her works in these contemporary homes.
February 11, 2016
Modern small box home in Mexico
Letting the warm climate indoors is a common thread through these diverse dwellings.
February 11, 2016
Modern white cabinets under the stairs with skylight above
What could be better than a modest-sized house in a quaintly historic city?
February 11, 2016
dining room lighting
These renovations connect rustic, classic, and modern design in Italy.
February 10, 2016
12362509 211441865858796 1743381178 n1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 10, 2016
modern outdoor garden room plastic polycarbonate
From colorful living rooms to a backyard retreat, Belgian designers reimagine vernacular forms and materials for the modern world.
February 10, 2016
Tel Aviv kitchen with custom dining table and Smeg fridge
Would you go for an out-of-the-box palette for your major appliances? See how these kitchens tackle the trend.
February 10, 2016
Exhibition view, of Klaus Wittkugel works at P! gallery, New York
On view through February 21 at New York's P! gallery, a new show explores the politics of Cold War-era graphic design with a presentation of works by Klaus Wittkugel—East Germany's most prolific graphic designer. Curator Prem Krishnamurthy walks us through the highlights.
February 10, 2016
Reclaimed cedar and gray-stucco home outside San Francisco.
The new kid on the block in a predominantly Eichler neighborhood, this Menlo Park home breaks the mold and divides into three pavilions connected by breezeways.
February 10, 2016
A third floor addition and whole-house renovation modernized a funky cottage on an unusual, triple-wide lot in San Francisco.
From modern interiors hidden within historic structures to unabashedly modern dwellings, these seven renovations take totally different approaches to San Francisco's historic building stock.
February 10, 2016
Delphi sofa from Erik Jørgensen and gyrofocus fireplace in living room of Villa Le Trident in the French Riviera, renovated by 4a Architekten.
The Aegean's all-white architecture famously helped inspire Le Corbusier; these five dwellings continue in that proud modern tradition (though not all are as minimalist).
February 10, 2016
San Francisco dining room with chandelier and Eames shell chairs
Brooklyn-based RBW's work—from diminutive sconces to large floor lamps—shape these five interiors.
February 09, 2016
Glass-fronted converted garage in Washington
These garages go behind parking cars and storing your drum sets.
February 09, 2016
Modern Texas home office with sliding walls, behr black chalkboard paint, concrete walls, and white oak flooring
From appropriated nooks to glass-encased rooms, each of these modern offices works a unique angle.
February 09, 2016
picnic-style table in renovated San Francisco house
From chandeliers to pendants, these designs make the dining room the most entertaining space in the house.
February 09, 2016
Midcentury house in Portland with iron colored facade and gold front door
From preserved masterworks to carefully updated time capsules, these homes have one thing in common (other than a healthy appreciation for everything Eames): the conviction that the '40s, '50s, and '60s were the most outstanding moments in American architecture.
February 09, 2016
Modern living room with furniture designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba
These oases by the sea, many done up in white, make stunning escapes.
February 08, 2016
A Philippe Starck standing lamp and an Eames chaise longue bracket the living room; two Lawrence Weiner prints hang behind a pair of Warren Platner chairs and a table purchased from a River Oaks estate sale; at far left of the room, a partial wall of new
Texas might have a big reputation, but these homes show the variety of shapes and sizes in the Lone Star State.
February 08, 2016