I have noticed a new concept, to me, showing up in many of the magazines that I subscribe to. The concept being to take your formal dining room furniture and transform your screen covered porch or sun room into your dining space. This is only temporary of course but a wonderful way to enjoy the cooling temperatures in a more formal setting.
In the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens there is an article entitled Natural Attraction that includes a pictures of an informal dining area on the porch. (I've searched everywhere for a digital copy of the article but could not find it...page 49) I love the fall decor of pumpkins placed randomly about the table and a large vase of leaves and flowers at the end of the table. Large bowls of soup, wedges of cheese and loaves of bread complete the fall meal.
Not only do you need to bring your formal dining furniture outdoors but include your fine china and fancy glasses as well. Just look at the beautiful backdrop of fall foliage and I think nature showed up in her best dress.
I have to mention one more periodical that I have garnered a lot of ideas from (in general) for formal porch dining. The Southern Living Easy Entertaining special publication is loaded with goodies. The article entitled Celebrate the Harvest served as the inspiration for this post and illustrates the topic beautifully. It is on newsstands until mid December so PLEASE go out and buy it.