Al Fresco Flair

Setting the scene for a delightful summer spread with inspiration from the chicest tablescape tastemakers.

From Bahamian bohemia to East Hampton elegance, the art of setting the table outdoors can take on many surprising personalities. Tried-and-true favorites mixed with a bit of the unexpected and a generous dose of comfort make for the best gatherings.

A Taste of the Tropics

If you’ve ever lived or vacationed in the Southern hemisphere, you’re well acquainted with how the heat can put a damper on any occasion. Having a porch fan or two, ice cold drinks, and citronella candles burning will alleviate l discomfort so guests can enjoy the island-inspired spread. Palm fronds (cut from trees bought at Lowe’s or Home Depot!) are an easy way to add some ambiance as are woven glassware and serving pieces from Amanda Lindroth. Her Hope Hill Bahamas home and soirees radiate an effortless sensibility for an evening where the lush surroundings take center stage.

Faux Rattan Glass Serveware
Faux Rattan Glass Serveware


Southern Charmed


Event planner and queen of personality Rebecca Gardner always infuses parties with details that will have guests talking long after the night wraps. For this colorful low-country dinner, watermelon slices echo the vibrant kaleidoscope of hues found in the linens, centerpieces, and marbled paper lanterns overhead. An unfussy bar set up along a dock beam encourages refined revelry.


Ladies Who Lunch

Alfresco Dining
Source: Tory Burch

It’s always a good idea to use the fancy fare, especially if the al fresco setting suits your tabletop’s color scheme. Lettuce ware, long touted for its delicious texture and handcrafted appeal, looks sensational when set with silver and patterned linens. An East Hampton garden luncheon is the perfect opportunity to showcase your collection while delighting friends with a morning of tartlets and tea sandwiches. Cue the summer bridal and baby showers!

Tory Burch and Out East Tablescapes
Tory Burch and Out East Tablescapes

Source: Out East



West Coast Character


California’s temperate climate can’t be beat while the state’s chic hostesses like Stephanie Booth Shafran are hard to top too. An unabashedly feminine affair featuring pink blooms and dainty Herend china feels right at home in her LA backyard. Place settings that double as parting gifts are a thoughtful gesture, seen here in the form of Baccarat butterflies set atop preserved boxwood.


Classic in the Countryside


Look no further than Alice Naylor-Leyland’s whimsical tablescapes to bring real-life inspiration to your own event. Simple floral arrangements and delightful accoutrements are woven into a dinner scene that’s easy to achieve. Employing a high-low mix of melamine serving ware and heirloom pieces creates an approachable yet elegant setting. Disclaimer: English countryside manor not included!

Need a simple yet sophisticated hors d’oeuvre recipe to please your guests? Try my favorite cheese ball recipe.

Here’s hoping you enjoy a summer brimming with splendid vistas and marvelous company. Happy entertaining!

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