I hope you’re enjoying your summer! It has been weirdly rainy here in the Kansas City, Mo. area, and I’m just about sick of it. It’s great for the grass and trees and flowers, but it SUCKS for tablescaping!!! So…I’ve dredged up a beach-inspired tablescape that I created and photographed two years ago but felt unworthy to publish because it didn’t meet my potential. I had very quickly thrown it together for an impromptu birthday dinner party (for myself!) using just what I had within reach. (Note to God: Thank you for Ramon and Costco’s prepared meals!!!) I’ve since had a change of heart that says simplicity can be a good thing, and that’s why I’m publishing it today. Well…that and I have no ability to get out on the deck to do anything else but get wet for now!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)
As with many of the outdoor dining environments I create, this one started with full-length (90″ x 132″) white tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com on the two 6-ft. folding tables kissed end-to-end. They give the table a crisp, clean, “white linen suit” look that can still be considered casual.
When I named this post Ocean Blue, there was a definite reason for it! Look how brilliantly blue!!! Thirteen-inch silver metal chargers are topped with a beautiful 12″ turquoise blue Bormioli Rocco Inca glass charger. The dinner plate is a cobalt blue glass plate from Pier 1. The AKCAM starfish salad and bread plates were purchased at Home Goods a couple of years ago. (To see these plates used in another tablescape with a slightly more formal feel, click HERE for “Surf & Turf Dinner Party”.)
These photos lend even more clarity to the beauty and depth of color on the table. Each place setting is a bit different with either a cobalt, turquoise or white mix-matched salad and bread plate. The flatware is J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless.
This cobalt blue stemware from Dollar Tree never looked so good on one of my tables! It was the perfect complement to the dishes used!
I get a lot of mileage out of these tall clear glass cylinders. Every year I find a new use for them, so I really feel I’m getting my hard-earned money’s worth. Ahem…make that Ramon’s hard-earned money! 😉 Here they are simply filled with every seashell I could put my hands on from around the house. The four cylinders are evenly spaced down the length of the table. (DESIGN NOTE: If you think you might want to extend a bit of the brilliant blue color into the cylinders, consider mixing in a scant few blue sea glass chips, dragon tears, or slivers of agate. You can purchase these items at craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.)
These beautiful turquoise, cobalt and silver mercury glass votive holders are among my favorites! They were purchased at Village Gardens in Blue Springs, MO a few years ago. The color they turn with the candle flickering inside is amazing!!!
I bought a bunch of these fun seashell candle rings from Z Gallerie a few years ago. I don’t use them often, but they’re great for quick, easy decorating.
This tablescape would work nicely for a summertime birthday dinner party, lunch or brunch (minus the candles), rehearsal dinner, or even a casual, laid back wedding reception…especially if the happy couple’s honeymoon is somewhere balmy with sandy shores!
Other tablescapes on this site with a seashell/beach/nautical theme:
All-American Seafood Boil
Flamingos in Paradise
Surf & Turf Dinner Party
Old Navy Seafood Cruise
I’ll be back next week with another surf- & sand-inspired tablescape for Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish! – Summer Whimsy Tablescape Challenge”. If you’re looking for ideas for casual and fun summer tablescapes, be sure to join me! Meanwhile, this week I’m linking up with Christine from Rustic & Refined. Her new blog party is called “Table It!” I’ll also be linking up again with Susan from Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday”.
Acclaimed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami wisely wrote, “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain: When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
That’s how I can best sum up my feelings about what happened when we recently packed up our lives and moved to Georgia, only to move back within the week. And while we are still weathering that storm, trying to make sense of it all, trying to learn from its harsh, hurtful, and very expensive lessons…I know that storms are a mere hiccup and that sunny days will prevail.
We’re not quite completely settled back in yet and we probably won’t be entertaining guests for awhile, so I thought I’d share photos of a dinner party from last summer that I never published. (Believe me: In this record breaking heat, we would not be eating outside anyway!!!)
Summer is definitely a time for bright, tropical-flavored colors. This table for four started with a shockingly pink floor-length table linen from LinenTablecloth.com. (A word of caution about LinenTablecloth: In my experience, their customer service is just horrible at times, so choose wisely and read the fine print!) A pair of Pier 1 multi-colored matchstick table runners crisscross to anchor the setting.
A trio of paper parasols from Hobby Lobby extend the table colors across the deck.
These have got to be among my favorite summer dishes: ruffled melamine chargers in aqua (Crate & Barrel), topped with a simple white Corelle dinner plate to break up the color a little, finished off with a fun tropical-themed salad plate from Pier 1. The stainless “bamboo” flatware is from Target.
I chose pure white cotton napkins to give the eye another little break from all the color. Each napkin, folded in a compact square, is topped with a seashell toting a fresh orchid bloom. (The great thing about fresh orchids – besides how insanely great they look – is that they can thrive without water for several hours!)
The towering white bamboo vase is from my favorite store….let’s all say it together….Z Gallerie! Mounds of seashells collected over the years add a little girth to the bottom of the centerpiece to balance it out with the top. Tucking a few orchid blooms and brightly hued cockscomb here and there amongst the seashells adds color and extends the floral theme. (I just love decorating with seashells!)
This lush profusion of fabulous orchids – courtesy of my dear friend Craig Sole of Craig Sole Designs – are arranged in an untamed fashion along with curly willow branches that lend height and texture.
I’ll end this post with one more quote (expletives redacted) from author Kelly Cutrone: “This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a [$&!##%] year: Things will change. You won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache.” Amen, sister!
It’s great to be back! Thank you for stopping in, and please be sure to join me this Thursday for Tablescape Thursdays hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. You’ll be glad you did!