Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and take a meal along with you! Outdoor dining can be white tablecloth and chandeliers fancy and formal or hot dogs and paper plates casual! Either one works great! It just has to work for you. I like somewhere in the middle. Since I’ve been seeing tons of amazing plasticware the last couple year or so I have been collecting plates and bowls and drinking glasses and fun accents for the table! Let’s talk about setting an easy and charming summer alfresco table!
Today’s Decorating Tips And Tricks Podcast is all about SETTING A SUMMER TABLE. What fun! We are really “dishing” about this one!
You can see all 54 episodes of DTT HERE.
Take very opportunity to take your meals out of doors! There is something really special about communing with nature while eating!
We have a large picnic table that we use when the family or company comes but I also have a little bistro table for Bobby and me on the side porch. Even a card table would be fine to dine on… as long as it is outside!
Don’t squander one good evening having dinner indoors! Get outside!
DON’T FUSS- NUMBER ONE RULE!
I think many of us forgo an evening outside because setting a table seems like a lot of work. Keep summer dishes in a crate (I use a vintage 7 up crate without the wooden dividers ) ready to be grabbed up and taken outside!
I have been collection great plasticware, also known as melamine, for a few years so I have a nice diverse collection. I have white square plates, red star bowls, and heavy duty plastic drinking glasses and wine goblets I keep in my crate ready to go outside! It’s my everyday go-to outdoor set of dishes.
I also have a caddy for the red and white handled flatware as well as some red or navy blue bandannas.
Then when dinner’s over I stack everything back in my crate and take them inside to be washed. Once washed and dried I put my plasticware back into the crate and stash it in my pantry.
Don’t make setting a summer table complicated because you are not apt to eat outside. And make sure everything is coralled in easy to tote containers.
USE EASY BREEZY PLACEMATS
Do not and I repeat DO NOT use a tablecloth for an every night meal when you venture outdoors! Save the tablecloth for a fancy meal. Use great placemats!
I tend to like woven placemats outside. They add tons of texture to any table indoors and out! And I can squirt any food off with the hose and hang them to dry! Easy, just like summer should be!
CREATE A CENTERPIECE OF FLOWERS OR HERBS FROM YOUR GARDEN
Flowers are always a pretty addition to a table. But again, let’s not get fussy. Easy to create centerpieces are the right answer for summer dining! And how about dotting your summer table with little centerpieces of garden-fresh blooms?
I use small white milk bottles or clear glass bottles and I fill them with what I find in my garden. I use both flowers and herbs. Then I scatter them across the table. Simple is best when it comes to al fresco dining!
LIGHT UP YOUR TABLE
We tend to eat dinner a little later in the summer, here at StoneGable. So a candle or lantern is a must! Even if it’s not dusk when we sit down, it’s nice to have a candle lit so it gives off a welcoming glow as the evening wears on.
We are blessed to enjoy the best summer light show every evening from mid-June well into July when the lightening bugs come out to play. I have been enthralled by their glittering nightly performance for much of my life and it still brings cheers from me!
ON A BUGGY NOTE
I know this may not be part of a tablescape, but keeping those pesky bugs off your dining area and you is so important when dining al fresco!
If you suffer from gnats and mosquitoes and other pests, the villains of outdoor dining, add citronella buckets around the table on the ground. Just make sure no one knocks them over and they are not put anywhere near where someone or something could catch fire! I really don’t like the smell of citronella while I am eating so they stay on our patio and not on our table.
Another option is to use citronella oil in Tiki torches around your porch and patios. Again, it’s a flame so be careful to place them out of the way of anything flammable.
I know there are a few very good essential oil concoctions for keeping bugs away. I’ll be looking into them this summer!
I hope this post has given you plenty of ideas for setting a pretty and easy summer table outside!!!! I’d love to hear your great tips for setting an easy and oh, so pretty al fresco table!
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