What’s not to love about long summer days? Where gathering outside and eating al fresco is just one of the many joys of the season! Creating curated tablescapes, especially intimate outdoor tables, has become a favorite hobby of mine. You can see previous tablescapes on the blog within these posts.
And trust me, you don’t need to be a seasoned stylist or the Martha Stewart of your neighborhood to create a beautiful outdoor table for summer. It’s much easier than it looks when it comes to setting that tablescape outdoors for summer.
Anchor your table with a beautiful color palette, perhaps inspired by your backyard area, the flowers that are abundant at your local grocery store or a table cloth that calls your name. I’ve been nuts for block print patterns the last few years, and knew when I saw this beautiful block print floral oblong table cloth, from the Southern Living x Nellie Howard Ossi Dillard’s collection, that my latest outdoor table would draw inspiration from it!
How to set an outdoor table for summer
Our house isn’t huge, especially with an 85 pound dog AND our baby, so we tend to expand our livingspace to our back patio and backyard come summer. Although we have to contend with the Houston humidity and mosquitoes, it’s worth it to have some additional space to our home.
Once the crepe myrtles begin to bloom their hot pink flowers, I find myself usually sitting outside more often, and serving dinner on our patio, making the most of those cooler summer evenings.
But don’t feel like you need to be an expert on how to set an outdoor table for summer, if you follow my easy tips, you’ll be setting your next tablescape like a pro!
As I mentioned above, the playful blockprint floral pattern of the oblong table cloth inspired my design of this tablescape. A beautiful tablecloth can really anchor a table and set the tone of your tablescape. I love that this floral one is cotton, and easy to maintain. No need to send it off to the dry cleaners, unless you choose to, just throw it in your laundry at home and iron.
Generally, most will say to use outdoor safe plates and accoutrements when dining outdoors. But I say, what’s the fun in creating a beautiful table if you don’t use whatever plates or glassware that you want?! We already rarely use our more decorative plates and glasses, so when I get the chance to use them, I WILL!!
The beautiful white scalloped dinner and salad plates are earthenware and substantial. They’re great for indoor and outdoor use, and best part – they’re dishwasher safe. Hallelujah!
Each place setting is set on top of pretty woven floral placemats that can be used for a variety of occasions, not just the outdoor variety. I love that they’re a shape, yet subtle in detail in color. Each salad plate is topped with a little floral-shaped sweet treat for my guest to enjoy before OR after our meal.
Some might ask, what to put in the center of an outdoor table? And I’m always going to say fresh flowers and candles! It’s an easy and inexpensive way to add some pizzaz to any outdoor table for summer.
I ALWAYS buy my fresh flowers from Trader Joe’s, and they don’t even need to be the expensive ones. Eucalyptus and other filler greenery, is always cheaper than flowers and will amp up any flower arrangement.
For this table, I opted to keep the vases simple, but of varying heights for some interest to the eye. Again, the tablecloth and place settings are the focal of this tablescape, and everything else is anchored around it.
Other details & Decor
You’ll always catch me serving up a tasty cocktail or bottle of bubbly to guests. I pulled out a refreshing bottle of my favorite Cuvasion Winery Brut Rosé for everyone to enjoy in their stemless rattan glasses. Don’t be afraid of the decorative rattan accent; it slides off so the glasses can go straight into the dishwasher!
I could’ve gone matchy-matchy with the table cloth and napkins, but chose to mix up the napkin pattern by pulling in a similar color. I love this set of four block print blue floral napkins from the Southern Living Home collection at Dillard’s. They feel anything but cheap, and hold up well after washing!
As a side note, the colorful and lightweight flutter sleeve dress I’m wearing is perfect for summer! It fits great, comes in this fun hot pink and a classic white, and can be worn and styled in a variety of ways. I’m wearing a medium. Find it at your local Dillards, here in Houston I shop at the Dillard’s Memorial City location.