Welcome to the Summer Page!
There are 10 fun events for summer on this page,
so scroll down to see them all!
Scroll all the way to the bottom for links to even more posts on this site suitable for summertime fun!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge!)
ORANGES & BLOSSOMS
Some get-togethers are just a little more relaxed than others, but that doesn’t mean the tablescape has to suffer!
Bright colors can go a long, long way to bring a summer tablescape to life!
With about 24 hours notice, I was able to construct this casual but inviting tablescape. Atop a white cotton linen, the brilliant orange matchstick placemat really stands out. The next layers are a simple white Corelle dinner plate, a bright pink & orange melamine salad plate from Burlington
, and a fun little orange slice plate for the appetizer. The place setting is finished off with a folded white napkin and fun white handled flatware from TJ Maxx
. Nothing fancy…just pure fun!
When it comes to centerpieces in a hurry, let your imagination kick in. A couple of white porcelain compotes did the trick in this case, stacked high with oranges from the fridge (tomorrow morning’s orange juice!), and dotted with waxflower and brilliantly hued plumeria blossoms. (Any small flowers will do that match or complement your tablescape colors.)
Tiny orange glass vases from Hobby Lobby
repeat the floral theme of waxflower and plumeria from the main centerpiece with impatiens from the side yard landscape tossed in for good measure.
Simply using items from around the house, the fridge, and the yard, a jaunty little tablescape is born!
This easy, breezy tablescape was quick to assemble and, thankfully, quick to take down as we were chased in just before dessert by a rain storm!
Another tablescape on this site using oranges:
“Orange You Glad You Came to Dinner?”
(just keep scrolling down!)
PLEASANT UNDER GLASS
I have a great fondness for ladies’ luncheons
. I am so much more at ease and relish the time spent with friends lingering over girly salads and quiche! When it’s just us girls, I can go all out pink, floral, delicate…no worries!
This luncheon tablescape in our back yard has all the elements of femininity at its all out best. This display is also perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or luncheon, or for a Breast Cancer Awareness luncheon. (Click here
for another Breast Cancer Awareness luncheon.)
Each of this tablescape’s place settings starts with a ruffly hot pink charger (Crate & Barrel
) topped with a sculpted ivory plate from Pier 1. The green salad plate adds another shot of color and picks up the secondary color in the table covering. The flatware is J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless from Macy’s
. All of the dishware, flatware and stemware is kept simple so as not to compete with the busy table covering. (The table covering, by the way, is a Waverly vinyl. I think vinyls can be used sparingly for breakfast, brunch and luncheon affairs if they are of a very high quality and every effort is made to smooth out the inevitable wrinkles.)
The napkins from BB&B
are simple poly-cotton in a deep shade of ivory with a BB&B woven green napkin ring. Tucked inside to mimic the colors and shapes in the table covering is a bit of deep green sword fern and a budding pink cymbidium orchid.
I wanted to do something a little different to accentuate the feminine side and
the outdoorsy feeling of the tablescape. Tucked beneath a miniature cloche bell jar (Hobby Lobby
) is a mound of bright green reindeer moss topped with an orchid. This feature is simply removed from the luncheon plate after the ladies are seated.
The grand 16″ cloche bell jar in the center of the table lords over its more diminutive counterparts and remains on the table throughout lunch. To slightly differentiate it and further play on the outdoor theme of the tablescape, a gazing ball is added along with reindeer moss, sword fern and cymbidium orchids.
and a tiny cluster of reindeer moss are affixed to the bell jar with a bit of Cling floral adhesive. Cling is great, but beware: clean up can sometimes be a bit of a challenge! To sidestep problems, always roll it into a ball. Any residue can be easily removed with Goo Gone or similar adhesive removal products. Another little tidbit: orchids are resillient and will hold up outside a water source for several hours unless it’s scorching hot!
I have put off doing a tropical tablescape all summer long, but this last dinner party before Labor Day seemed like the right day to do it. I’m glad I did. Summer is good to the last drop! (The aftermath of this dinner party was a near tragedy. Click HERE
to see what happens when you don’t take care with candles!)
The matchstick placemats drape lengthwise rather than horizontally for a bit of added interest.
I loved these dishes the moment I saw them at Pier 1
! It wasn’t so much the pattern as the color combination with that dash of bright red-orange. The red-orange finger bowl was filled with a bit of lemon water for each guest to cleanse their fingers between bites of sticky Tequila-Lime Chicken. The green embossed stemware is also from Pier 1, and I’m sure you’ll see a lot of it in future posts!
I picked these napkins up from BB&B for next to nothing on the clearance table! They have many of the same design elements as the dishes, so they were just perfect! The seashell napkin rings (surprisingly similar to some custom-created ones I saw in Preston Bailey’s “Inspirations
“) are Pier 1.
I really enjoyed creating the centerpiece items for this summer tablescape! The larger ones are simple raised “fishbowls.” Although I bought these as shown wholesale some years ago, they could be easily reproduced by gluing a fishbowl atop a large glass votive cup or short-stemmed/stemless martini glass. Large pillar candles are surrounded by colorful, interesting seashells and finished off with a snippet of alstroemeria which looked very similar to the red-orange flower on the dishes. To complete the centerpiece, I twisted a piece of feathery sword fern and topped it with a shell. (For another fun table using seashells, please click HERE!)
The smaller centerpiece arrangements are these really cool reversible bowls with a little indentation for a votive candle. (This bowl could be flipped the other direction and have a tiny flower in the indentation with perhaps a floating candle in the larger part.) I tucked sword fern and alstroemeria
underneath. By keeping all of the centerpiece items the same shape, it created a unifying effect.
When we sat down to dinner, the sun was just beginning to set. By the time we finished, we were able to enjoy the warm glow of the candles. (I can’t stress this enough…be careful when using candles, especially when it’s breezy out or THIS
– or something far worse – could happen to you!)
On the dessert/drink table, I piled Pier 1 dessert plates high on a beautiful bamboo tray alongside the homemade 3-layer chocolate fudge cake. The faux bamboo flatware is from JC Penney. The acrylic palm tree pitcher is from BB&B.
Raising a glass with our honored guests.
Click here for another tropics/beach-inspired table!
ANTS IN MY PANTS PICNIC
In August, it’s still sweltering hot outside, but the retailers already have store aisles crammed with holiday decor from Halloween to Christmas. I am so not ready for that! I still want to play outside with my neighbors!
A red & white checkered cloth lends a traditional look to this outdoor setting. I snatched up this piece of easy care poly-cotton fabric from a remnant table. My niece, sister and Mom are all a whiz with a needle, but I can’t sew a stitch. So…I just tidy up the edges with a pair of my hubby’s surgical scissors and call it a day! Hey, after all…it’s a picnic! Rustic!
What’s a picnic without lots of ice-cold, juicy, sun-ripened fruit for dessert? Delicious!
The place settings stack up on this summer tablescape with black resin chargers from Hobby Lobby, white Corelle dinner plates and black salad plates from Wal-Mart, and the cutest little ant-covered top plates from Pier 1. Each person’s bottle of Coca-Cola is iced down in a red lacquered metal pail from Hobby Lobby. Napkins are from BB&B and the flatware is the Pfaltzgraff “Legacy” pattern from JC Penney.
As the sun sets, pillar candles set inside oversized black lanterns provide a flicker of light to carry conversation into the evening hours.
I bought these fun giant ants at Hobby Lobby a couple of seasons ago. When I see really cool stuff like that, I just have to buy it…even if I don’t use it for a season or two! This purchase really paid off in the end because it adds a bit of the surreal, which is always fun! Happy Dog Days, everyone!
SUMMER BLUES…AND GREENS!
There is really nothing quite like the cooling, soothing look of cobalt blue in a summer tablescape! Mixed here with grassy greens and cloud-like white, it takes on a casually sophisticated look that is one with nature.
For each place setting, I started with a crisp, white cotton linen. The beautiful blue & white placemats are a vinyl from Bed, Bath & Beyond that caught my eye. The stark white square dinner plates, also from BB&B, are from the B. Smith With Style collection. The deep blue salad plates and graceful finger bowls are from Pier 1 Imports. I like these bowls because they can be used in so many ways! I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of them in subsequent tablescapes. Simple Pfaltzgraff “Legacy” flatware and cobalt blue glass tumblers from Old Time Pottery finish the look.
I picked up this gorgeous green & blue glass compote several years ago, and I am always thrilled to get a chance to use it in a tablescape! Filled here with an abundance of juicy Granny Smith apples, succulent limes, and cymbidium orchids, it really stands out. Orchids are so pricey that I often can only afford a single stem or two. Plucking the blooms and floating them in water (or tucking the stem into a water tube as in the centerpiece) is a wonderful option with a lot of impact. The flames of white candles in the cobalt hurricanes dance when the sun goes down. The potted grass is just another way to pull in the color green and to add texture and interest to the overall centerpiece.
Another way to punctuate the tablescape’s look with a bit more green was to place individual bottles of refreshing Perrier at each guest’s setting.
Click here for another idea using blue, green & white!
ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU CAME TO DINNER?
Sigh! As the kids reluctantly prepare to head back to class, we try to squeeze in just a few more outdoor family dinners.
I’ve been itching to use these creamscicle colored dishes all summer! Orange is “the new red” when it comes to stimulating the appetite and lifting spirits. For my tablescapes indoors and out, I am totally on board!
Rather than my usual (and beloved!) long, narrow table, I kissed two 6-ft. tables horizontally to create more of a square shape. Doing so allows for a more generous centerpiece as well as plenty of elbow room for each guest. (With the trays, this seats 8; without trays, however, this table configuration comfortably seats 10.)
Each of this tablescape’s place settings consists of a bamboo tray (looked good, and sure made clean up a lot easier!) from Old Time Pottery. The orange & white melamine dishes are from Target. The square shape lends a contemporary feel, while the floral design gives them a timeless look without being stuffy. (See these same dishes used for another summer tablescape HERE.) I fell in love with the icy orange flatware from Burlington and the flower & butterfly napkin rings from Hobby Lobby. Even the Costco stemware is plastic, but the design gives it an “authentic” look. The cool cube place card holders from Crate & Barrel finish the place setting. Off to the side, a small table holds snacks in complementary colors.
I mulled over centerpiece options for this tablescape for several days. Sure, the weatherman is predicting a drastic cool down from the upper 90s to the mid 80s, but how can I be sure? Fresh flowers will wilt as soon as I walk them out the door if he’s wrong. So…I went against everything I know and bowed to decorating with FAUX flowers!!! Somehow, though, with the cool orange color and the unrealistically large heads, it looks kind of 1960s mod instead of flat out weird. I may need to find more uses for faux flowers!
This is my Dad, Jim. I love him very much!!!
BLUE & WHITE FAMILY PICNIC
What better to do on a warm August evening than gather with friends and family for an old-fashioned, fun picnic…with an elegant twist?
Grandpa Ramon entertains the little ones while Grandma Alycia rushes to finalize details.
When the weather is warm, cool colors for the outdoor tablescape are definitely in order! A classic blue & white checkered tablecloth anchors the setting and renders a true “picnic” feel.
After a few family photos are taken…
…the food is set out, the champagne expertly poured, and it’s time for everyone to sit down, relax, and enjoy!
Reflective silver chargers, icy clear dishes & stemware (Bed Bath & Beyond
), and faux mother of pearl flatware (Target
) were perfect for the occasion. White pillar candles, which bring one of three levels of candlelight, are protected from the breeze with standard clear glass hurricanes.
Silver candelabra brimming with luscious grapes are outfitted with white candles to be lit after the sun leaves the sky. (Table linen and chairs from All Seasons Tent & Party Rental
Silver julep cups are filled with pure white and citrus green carnations along with hosta leaves from the garden. (They were later transferred to faux silver juleps for the guests to take home.) Notice the votive candles in addition to the pillars under the hurricane shades and candelabra. I like the look offered by multiple levels and sources of candlelight that make any tablescape dance!
Sweet bing cherries and plump, ripe blueberries are set out in beautiful white ceramic vessels from Hobby Lobby
for guests to munch on before and after dinner.
The dessert table is dressed up with a larger version of the carnation & hosta arrangements on the dining table.
I like to think of new ways to present old favorites. On this day fresh strawberry lemonade was served from a clear glass apothecary jar (available at Target
or Function Junction
). A custom engraved silver tag strung with ribbon identifies the contents. (I had several of these tags made up for various beverage and candy displays.)
Guests all dressed in blue & white raise a glass! To family!!!
SUN & SKY
The blazing, unforgiving heat of August in Kansas City just wilts me! Aside from blasting the A/C and sipping cool drinks, the best thing I can do to lift my spirits (next to shopping, of course!) is to surround myself with lots of bright color. I hosted a luncheon with a brightly colored tablescape and did just that!
I am a huge fan of classic cobalt blue which reminds me of the sea and sky, especially when paired with sunny yellow. A dose of white makes the brilliant colors in this tablescape really pop. This casual luncheon tablescape contains elements from Pier 1 Imports
(chargers, stemware, yellow crockery), Tuesday Morning
(napkins, napkin rings, placemats), Macy’s (flatware), and one of my favorite haunts, Z Gallerie
(centerpiece finials). Fun, wispy yellow spider & acid green button mums from Costco rounded out the look. (Click HERE
to see the dishes in the same design as these chargers in another tablescape.)
A cup of rich, creamy broccoli cheese soup makes the perfect appetizer, followed by a (relatively) healthy chicken Caesar salad with freshly shaved parmesan for the main course.
The 3″ square yellow crockery was used to bake individual apple-walnut cakes
that were later topped with cinnamon ice cream. These were the perfect luncheon size, and the presentation in the tiny crock made them a little more fun!
With my tummy full and my mind swimming with the feeling brought on by all the bright color…I think I’m back on track! Crisis averted!
Summer has become one of my favorite seasons. Sure, it’s hot and often sticky here in the Midwest. That’s to be expected. But there are just so many opportunities for outdoor entertaining that just can’t be taken for granted! My husband and I hosted a little dinner party that involved wine tasting (one of my favorite activities!) to forget about the heat for awhile. Neighbors came over to feast on tasty homemade Italian dishes while sampling red wines from the Adam Puchta Winery
in Hermann, Mo.
First things first….gather up all the necessary items and create a menu board. The chalkboard is from Kirkland’s
, and it really works out well for casual events!
I let the wine breathe a bit before the guests wander out onto the deck. The pasta dish gets a chance to “rest” for about 15 minutes after pulling it from the oven.
This little table was set up near the dining table so that guests could nibble on homemade bruschetta and antipasto while sipping a glass of wine before dinner.
This occasion provided a wonderful opportunity for me to pull out colorful Italian-inspired dishes in brilliant, cheerful reds, blues and yellows. “Yellow Talavera” dishes by Maxcera (TJ Maxx
) set atop sunny yellow placemats from Bed Bath & Beyond
were the foundation of the color scheme. Bright cobalt blue water glasses (Pier One
) juxtaposed clear wine stems. A mix of red roses and playful yellow Gerbera daisies in cobalt blue vessels completed the look. Corks of wine parties past displayed each place card. (Square appetizer plates and red dipping oil bowls from Crate & Barrel
You simply can’t go wrong with brilliant colors when serving Italian food!
RED, WHITE & BLUEBERRIES
Believe it or not, I am not a huge fan of purely “thematic” tablescapes. Christmas may be the exception, although I work hard to mix it up there, too. To celebrate our 234th year as an independent nation, however, I couldn’t help but to get a little kitschy with an indoor picnic on this rainy, blustery day.
The place settings for this tablescape were simple and fairly straightforward: Layered placemats from Pier 1
on a plain white cotton linen. The navy blue square plates, star bowls, and red goblets are also from Pier 1. The white flatware was a bargain at TJ Maxx
as were the napkins (Hobby Lobby
) and napkin rings (Bed Bath & Beyond
). (See these star bowls and American flag napkins in another patriotic tablescape HERE
The menu was pretty simple, too, with blueberries taking a starring role in the Orange Spice/Blueberry Tea. (Just crush blueberries and steep in prepared tea overnight.)
What’s the 4th of July without a classic lattice-crust blueberry pie? There were also lots of blueberries and fresh cherries for munching, as well as all-American deviled eggs and Rice Krispies treats for the young-at-heart!
Thank goodness for a great sale on red roses (just $3.99 a dozen if you can believe that!!!). Mixed with flashy white statice, hosta leaves and a touch of dusty miller from my flower garden, they made really nice arrangements for the dining room tablescape, buffet and foyer.
Hope you all enjoyed a safe and happy 4th!
More Summer tablescapes (click to go to post):