Summer Orange Tablescape

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where the mid-summer heat and humidity doesn’t rob you of all your energy and drench you from head to toe, this saucy orange tablescape might work well for your next casual dinner party. As for me, I’m campin’ out in the big produce cooler at Costco! 😉
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it!)

If your outdoor tables are unsightly like ours (average Joe folding tables), just add a full-length linen to cover up the scene of the crime. It masks the ugly and adds a touch of class a la Carolyne Roehm! is a good place to start your search for linens that fully cover all sizes in white, ivory or black. (Their customer service re: returns/exchanges is not the best from my experience, so choose carefully!)

I skipped chargers this go round. Instead, each place is set with just an orange dinner plate with a meandering white floral design and a salad plate with a reversed color palette. These melamine plates from Target’s 2010 summer collection are just one of so many great patterns available these days at very affordable prices.

The sheer simplicity of Hampton Silversmiths’ “Patriot” flatware works well with so many settings!

Simple clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery is both inexpensive and functional, and the austere design won’t clash with even the busiest dinnerware pattern.

There are so many great reasons to opt for a long Tuscan-style table for your entertaining needs. Many tend to think that round tables allow for conversation with more guests, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you measure the distance between 6 guests seated at a 72″ round table and compare it to that of 6 guests seated at an 72″ oblong, you’ll see what I mean! The decorating possibilities are extended, too, both literally and figuratively because you can create wonderfully lush centerpieces in the spirit of fabled King Arthur’s era!!!

I used a number of elements to fill out the center of this table. The central component that lends height and allows for candlelight at an elevated level is a pair of white metal hurricane lanterns from Z Gallerie. Flanking 2 sides of each lantern are pots of grass that add both color and texture to the tablescape. Note that the votive holders used are the same shape of the cylinder in the hurricane. Similarly shaped decorative pieces create a subtle sense of order and uniformity.

Whenever possible, I like to place multiple small floral arrangements across the table. Grouping some and leaving some as singles adds visual interest and forms a kind of “link” between elements down the entire length. Here clusters of inexpensive white alstroemeria are displayed in fun pear-shaped orange ceramic vases from Old Time Pottery.

When we dine in the yard, I like to create an outdoor lounge area for guests to chill out before and after the meal. Here I arranged our wrought iron set much as you would in a living room with silk pillows and a “sofa table” (actually just an ugly old 4′ folding table from the garage!) behind the settee. (Cushions are MIA due to a sudden hailstorm of bird poo that had to be vigorously scrubbed off! :-()

The sofa table is covered with a full-length white linen to better show off the orange accessories on top including an actual lamp brought out from our dining room. (Just run the cord to the nearest outdoor outlet! No outlet? Consider creating a cordless lamp using a shade on a glass vase with a battery-operated candle or uplight as seen HERE.) Use a “bug light” rather than a white bulb. It will not only ward off pesky insects, but the amber shade is very flattering and adds to the ambience! Cocktails – in this case, fuzzy navels made with peach schnapps, a splash of triple sec, and fresh-squeezed orange juice – are served from the table.

I’ll be really glad when I can fold up my tent and vacate the Costco produce cooler. Meanwhile, I hope you’re finding a way to stay cool and enjoy your outdoor entertaining!

Other summery tablescapes on this site using orange to jazz it up:
Orange You Glad You Came to Dinner?
Mandarin Bling
Oranges & Blossoms
Raining Orchids
Hot Tropical

I’m pleased to once again join Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish! starting Wednesday anytime after 6:00 CDT and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” starting anytime after 9:00 a.m. on Thursday.

53 thoughts on “Summer Orange Tablescape

  1. Alycia….was that “you” in the heavy coat, sitting in the cooler at Costco?…I was wondering why there was a tent in there with an amazing tablescape in front, with a hot chocolate (spiked with Baileys) bar….should have known!

    Gorgeous, gorgeous…you are the only one who can take melamine dinnerware and make the table look as though it was set with fine china!!

    I love the lamp on the table too!…Great idea!….Hope your temps get a bit cooler…Not to brag or anything….But…when I got up this morning and opened the door to the patio, there was a beautiful cool breeze…I was amazed…I will try and blow some your way!!!….


  2. You just nailed summer.. in the costco cooler with a tent.. absolutely my idea of how i’m spending it this year. Now to the awesome orange table.. I love your repetitive elements. You do that so easily! and with great panache. The varied heights are great too. Would never have believed that to be melamine. It’s great when they do it right. I think simple in summer is best.. less fussy as everyone is already fussy over the HEAT! Great seating area too. Such a great idea. We hope to get some couches for outside.. worried about the onslaught of the bird hail.. Have a great week.. xo marlis


  3. I love the orange and everything else about this table Alycia.

    I finally got my seaside table posted. I put that table together before the weather got hot. Even with the lower temps I was out putting it together early in the morning. Our patio suppers are postponed until further notice!:-)

    Thanks for the Costco tip. I let our membership lapse…need to renew while there is still room in the cooler!


  4. Your readers will appreciate that you’ve out together one of your entertaining classes for them on line. So much good information here, and the table is stunningly beautiful! I love the seating area with the sofa table, and the grasses and small orange vases are superb! Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay


  5. Absolutely beautiful color! Orange is so fresh and inviting and fun! And the complementary pillows on the seating next to that fabulous table gives it the extra Wow!


  6. Another beautiful table Alycia. Isn’t great to use those folding tables together? Like you said, just add a beautiful tablecloth and you are ready to party. The colors are perfect for a summer evening. I adore your lampshade. Love the lantern from Zgallerie….that store is the bomb!
    Happy Belated birthday , my friend.


  7. For some reason, the color orange helps cool me off in summer! Probably a re
    Under of all the orange popsicles and creamsicles I ate as a child 🙂 Another gorgeous table Alycia! xxoo Debbie


  8. This just screams summer! We cannot do this here because the bugs would eat you alive, but it certainly is beautiful to look at, especially on your green carpet lawn. Move over in that cooler, I am coming in!


  9. I agree about the round tables being harder to do centerpieces. Of course, I have two round ones on my patio! The orange and white color scheme with white flowers and green grasses make me think “summertime and the living is easy” feeling. Well done as usual. I was just in Las Vegas visiting family and it was only 106! No wonder my husband volunteered to go to Costco.


  10. I love the table…it is nice to see more and more orange on everyone’s tables! It is hard to believe those plates are not china.
    I was just up in your neck of the woods…no luck at Savers or Goodwill…just a bunch of junk and very little in the way of dishes! !t is disgustingly hot and humid really early this year. I am thinking of going to Vermont for the rest of the summer, but only if I can be guaranteed the temps won’t go over 80°!


  11. I totally get your desire to camp at Costco’s. This table is so cheerful. It makes me happy to see the colors. You are so fortunate to have a level yard to do a long outdoor table. We live on a hill and it makes for sloping table, which is fine if you don’t mind your food in your lap or your neighbor’s lap. Z Gallerie is one of my favorite inspiration stores. Nice job, but how’s it going to look in Oct when it finally cools off enough to actually eat outside? 🙂


  12. Girl…save me a seat in the cooler! It was 102 when we arrived back home! I wanted to leave again and go back on vacation! We had a “cold” front move through today so we were only in the Mid-90’s…I really wanted to slap the weather man…I don’t think I will be happy again until Fall.

    Love the orange table setting. Very bright and cherry…even if I’m not in the this heat! I love the sitting area you have set up, too. A perfect spot to relax before being called to dinner!

    Have a great week…I’m off to Costco!


  13. I absolutely love this one, Alycia. “They” say that you either love orange or hate it, and I’m in the love it column. This is just perfect for summer and makes me want to wear a gauzy white sundress and hat and sip a tropical drink. I love it.


  14. Wow, Alycia! Way to knock it out of the park! That first photo grabbed me — stunning — and it made me think the chairs were doing the can-can! I just love all the symmetry of this tablescape — so appealing visually! I always learn so much from your posts — you should be charging tuition! My two take-aways for today’s lesson are how repeated elements and one color plus white make for a sophisticated table — for not much money!


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  16. Alycia~ Your long orange & white table looks so cool & inviting on your lush green lawn! I ADORE your lounge area!!! I would prefer to sit there with my plate on my lap and sip on my fuzzy navel there if you please 🙂 I LOVE the lamp~ what a great idea to use a bug light for function and to cast a soft orangy glow!


  17. You’ve done it again Alycia! What a great outdoor setting. The orange is great with the white. Those center pieces are really unique to me. I like the height of them. Sorry about those cushions but the sitting area still looks lovely. I like all the greenery in the center runner area, too. The flowers in the orange vases are fabulous. Fun times on the lawn for sure! Have a great rest of the week and weekend!


  18. The whole setting is just so beautiful, Alycia. I love your dishes, your centerpiece and I love the colors you put together. I love the faux grass in the centerpiece and love the varied heights of all the elements used….Christine


  19. Your too funny! Hope you got out of the cooler just long enough to read all of your wonderful comments! I love all the tips you give – your posts are always very informative as well as entertaining!! Fabulous table! The dramatic height of the hurricane lamps is my favorite element out of so many!


  20. Bird poop is good luck you know! Good luck for the person next to you who didn’t get hit with it!
    Love your creamsickle table, and I am not an orange person. The plates are great!
    Those centerpieces are wonderful!
    I have 3 round tables on the deck, but enjoyed doing the rectangular one for a change.
    You are the energizer bunny dragging all your things out there in the heat! We have had good weather the last few days, thank God.
    Thanks for linking to Let’s Dish!


  21. So beautiful! I remember that Target collection and still love it! Sorry about the sofa cushions! Love the look of outdoor dining, but since it’s supposed to be in the 100’s all next week, I think I’ll just look! Stay cool!


  22. Oh Alycia, you’re so funny about the Costco cooler!! Your table is gorgeous, as always. I love your stunning centerpieces. Your setting is soooo pretty and you gave us such great tips.


  23. Hi, Alycia. There’s a peaceful simplicity to this table that I love. I think it’s because you used a white tablecloth, and that calms things down. Then there’s the symmetry of the centerpiece, AND there’s symmetry in the chair backs and the fact that you don’t have any chairs at either end. So even when working with orange, which can be pretty strong, there’s a sense of calmness. I love it. Oh–so sorry about your uninvited bird guests.

    I can’t imagine how you haul all this stuff out to the backyard and then back in again… Nothing gets in your way, I can tell. ~Zuni


  24. Seriously! Seriously beautiful! Agreed, I want your backyard! I love the coolness you brought out with the simplicity of the orange and white! We finally broke our record breaking heat wave of over 100 degree temps and got a bit of rain. Not enough to help dampen the wild fires that surround us but enough to cool it off somewhat.


  25. Your orange is so fun and those huge centerpieces look so good outside where you have no ceiling! Gotta love when the cocktail coordinates with the tablescape too!

    Robin Flies South


  26. Oh dear Alycia, you always make me so happy and leave me with a big smile on my face after visiting your posts. This long table, with long white tablecloth, (hiding the crime, lol) is fit for a KING..You’ve set a beautful, crisp and fresh table al fresco. I love the way you have the art to repeat the elements in your table so it looks professional, magazine like! I also adore orange, so I like to combine it in every season. Lovely as always darling.


  27. You did it again. Perfection, except for the bird hail. Love the orange and white. I was going gaga over the large candleholders before I got to the narrative. I loooooove then. So elegant, cuz you are an elegant lady.
    Love to you, Ginger


  28. I came back again and your table amazes me evry time dear Alycia! I’m here visiting with daughter Sofia and I came to show her your tables and she’s awe with some I have managed to show her..she says she’d be a student of yours for sure! Lots of hugs and HAPPY 4th. of JULY!!


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