Dining al fresco is a highlight of the warm weather months, but even when you’re not in the mood for an outdoor picnic, your meal can still feature a summer vibe. With the right tablescape, your dining area will fit right in with the easy days of summer. Ahead, find six tips that you can use to give your table a summer feel, even when you are dining in the cool shade of the great indoors.
Bring in Elements of Nature
Come summer, the garden is bursting with produce and the flower beds are full of blossoms. Bring some of this summer abundance–or at least the feel of it–inside. Real plants and flowers are easy to use. Just snip off a bit and add it to your tablescape. Think vases stuffed full of fresh flowers, bits of fern slid under each plate or tropical palm fronds scattered down the middle of the table. If real nature isn’t your thing, don’t rule out this tip entirely. Instead, select linens and tableware with floral or leafy patterns, or fill your flower holders with silk varieties.
Create a Beachy Vibe
There’s nothing so summery as a day at the beach, and your table can reflect the feel of oceanside living. Place settings in shades of blue and green give off a watery vibe right away. Even purple and indigo mix well into this scheme. Take the look up a notch with glass plates or drinkware in these shades. Their translucent appearance fits right into your beachside theme. For even more ocean decorating, sprinkle your table with seashells or add bits of sea glass and driftwood to your centerpiece. Dinner guests will feel almost as if they are dining right on the beach.
Embrace Pops of Color
No matter what color scheme you select for your summer tablescape, there’s something cheerful and bright about little accents of color mixed into your design. For example, in a beachy blue arrangement, a few accent dishes in deep purple will provide just the right amount of visual appeal. Another impressive effect is created by using all-white linens and dishes. One element, however, should not be white but instead a bold, bright color. For example, place hot pink roses in the center of the table, use lime green napkins or put a sunny orange dinner plate under the white salad plate.
Spread a Table Runner Down the Center
Tablecloths are an easy way to dress up your dining table. However, heavy fabric table coverings can seem too overbearing for the easy-breezy months of summer. Instead of using a full spread, stick with a smaller table runner. Just one or two feet wide, a table runner leaves plenty of your table showing while still adding a splash of color or pattern to your tablescape. This is an especially impressive look for beautiful wood tables. For contrast, use a light-colored runner on dark wood tables or a deep-colored runner on paler tables.
Use Spill-resistant Placemats
Although dining in air conditioning feels good on a hot day, there are some times when you may want to take your meal outside. Therefore, it’s worth investing in spill-resistant placemats that will hold up well even if you dine outdoors. This way, you can get double the use out of this aspect of your table arrangement. Even better, spill-resistant placemats are easy to clean up. Summer cocktails have a tendency to be bright and colorful. Their tropical taste is appealing, but they can leave a mess when splashed on traditional placemats. Spill-resistant linens are an easy solution.
Add Twinkling Lights
For many people, chasing lightning bugs after dark is a cherished childhood memory. Even those who no longer care about running after fireflies still enjoy their twinkle in the night. Bring the look of flashing lightning bugs inside by decorating your dining table with an array of bright little lights. A strand of white holiday lights strung across the table is an easy way to achieve this concept. Another approach–one that involves plenty of natural flicker and twinkle–involves arranging tealight or votive candles around the table and lighting each one.
For your summer tablescape, choose just one of these elements, or incorporate all six of them into your design. Whatever you choose, be sure to keep the look light, bright and fresh. Then, your table will be the ideal setting for grilled dishes, fresh produce, cold drinks and other summer treats.
This guest post was written by Jessica Kane, a writer for Silver Superstore, home of the internet’s best flatware.