Summer Table Decorating
Beautiful alfresco dining ideas.
For this charming outdoor get-together, a rustic barnboard table is left uncovered, showcasing its rustic quality. New life is given to weathered chairs with white slipcovers and Breton-Stripe cushions. For a lush garden canopy right at the table, fill a tall vase with simple leafy greenery.
No need for formal napkins or grand floral arrangements — keep the look casual with tea towel runners and a few potted succulents. Golden cutlery adds a sparkling vintage touch.
Get instructions to make this DIY Tea Towel Runner yourself.
A dainty chinoiserie bowl looks youthful when paired with contemporary floral-print napkins. For a budget-friendly centerpiece, place wild flowers in a vintage mason jar, creating a perfect casual-chic arrangement.
A juicy palette of citrus hues dazzles under the summer sun. Fresh bursts of yellow — found in the tablecloth, floral arrangements and plates — pop against the leafy green surroundings. Classic wicker chairs finish off the quaint French garden look.
Start with layers of organic linen or burlap fabric to use as tablecloths — don’t worry if their edges are rough. To avoid a gaudy Tex-Mex look, go subtle and natural: pair aqua-blue glassware with wooden bowls and serving plates for an authentic feel.
For a buffet-style party, keep costs low by using the glassware and dishes you already have. Create a big impact with colour, without commitment, by framing a large piece of wallpaper or fabric. Finish off the look with matching flowers and napkins. Serve the delicious Cocoa Cannoli Cake Recipe pictured at your next dinner party, too.
A crisp blue and white palette feels clean and light. Linen tablecloths layered over a weathered farmhouse table offer a casual look. The large ceramic bowl filled with fresh dahlias is a summer tabletop must.
To create your own enticing green feast, mix mossy or vegetal greens with hits of emerald or jade tones, incorporating dishes, glassware and other vessels with charming botanical shapes and motifs. As an earthy foundation for your repast, choose an appealingly “muddy” tablecloth in taupe or light brown linen. Accessorize individual settings with green-trimmed linen napkins and tiny transparent vases filled with sprays of cuttings such as Queen Anne’s lace.
Former H&H style editor Michael Penney transformed the lacklustre 1950s addition on his old home with affordable lattice sheets and windowboxes he made himself. He painted all the wood an outdoorsy green, sanded it down for a worn look to suit the age of the home, added a table covered in a bistro tablecloth, comfortable wicker chairs from Ikea, and fresh flowers.
TV hosts Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman initally wanted black wrought-iron dining furniture for their rooftop terrace, but happened upon a teak set with caned chairs and a glass-topped table. Rooftops are windy, so hardy trees that do well in containers — such as the evergreens placed on either side of the mirrored armoire — are a good pick for added greenery. An elegant table setting was achieved with simple white dishes and grey linen napkins. A large bowl filled with limes is a simple and inexpensive centerpiece.
Trend expert Karen Von Hahn’s patio is perfect for entertaining large crowds. An aluminum railing on the back deck overlooking the pool adds a dockside feel. The oversized table was made from a 19th-century French iron gate welded onto a custom steel base. Its glass top keeps the look airy and water-like. The tropical table setting features vintage wood plates and colourful lilies, adding whimsy to this elegant dining area.
Hits of sky blue enliven a muted black, white and grey tabletop palette. Succulents in textured ceramic bowls and surrounded by glass hurricanes make an elegant centrepiece, as well. Generous armchairs with striped pillows invite guests to linger long after the dishes have been cleared away.
Add sparkle to your table with elegant glass vases like the unique examples shown here. Their narrow, long necks are perfect for supporting flower stems, making it easy to display flowers with plenty of height. Choose flowers such as delphinium and gladiolus, which offer gorgeous blossoms on stiff stems, to create a similar look.
A fresh blue and white table setting coordinates with the upholstered dining chairs. Using a contrasting colour for the floral arrangement allows the flowers to pop.
The furniture and accessories are in sync with the home’s interior, both in their clean lines and black and white palette. The colours also blend in with the spectacular waterfront.