Designer Spotlight: Charlene Kennerknecht

Designing Clients' Outdoor Dining Experiences


Charlene Kennerknecht


This client enjoys the outdoors and her backyard so much that when she is home, she often leaves her side back door open to let the fresh air in. The Harborside dining extension table allows her and her family to enjoy intimate dinner parties and large gatherings with the easy extension afforded in the Harborside table. The accompanying dining chairs allow easy storage during the inclement weather months. We added the large umbrella so that even on an evening with light showers, she and her family could still enjoy dining alfresco.

Recently we decided to add some Shelbourne chaises with wheels and convenient side drink tables to their beautiful backyard. A variety of bird feeders bring added entertainment to the beautifully landscaped rear patio and yard. My client tells me this is her happy place. The addition of the Geranium pillows makes the perfect punch to complement the client's colorful perennial garden.



Another project was in Queenstown, MD, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay and the Wye River. Our client entertains regularly and in this case, we had about two weeks to put together the backyard for a large gathering. I immediately put a plan in motion for seating for 20 on a large patio overlooking the Wye River.

With the help of the Country Casual Teak Furniture Specialists, we selected the large Summit table which could accommodate our client's guests comfortably and the Summit stacking dining chairs for easy storage off season. Outfitting the bar with the Summit bar stools was a nice complement to the dining area. The Country Casual Teak team delivered and set up everything and the late-April outdoor dinner event was a success. The clients continue to enjoy their pieces including a large Teak umbrella which allows dining alfresco in sun and even light rain. Voila!

When selecting pieces for a client’s outdoor space, I always encourage them to romanticize about what they would enjoy most doing in their outdoor environments. If we create a space that invites them to go there, they will. Build it and they will come. Will you dine with two or eight people? Would you go read the morning news with your coffee or tea if you had a chaise or lounge area? Would you teach your children to watch for shooting stars in a comfortable rocker? These are questions that inspire the design of the space.


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