Let’s be honest, there is nothing that brings a dinner party alive more than a well thought out tablescape. Quality glasses with beautiful designs, matching plates and napkins, candles, placemats, and beautiful centerpieces can truly elevate any backyard dinner party. While the way you set your table may seem secondary to the food or drinks you provide guests, in reality it is equally important. In addition, a well thought out tablescape in even the most plain backyard can really bring the party alive. Whether your aesthetic is more garden party or beachside cookout, below are a few excellent items to help bring your outdoor tablescape vision to life.
Wicker Circle Placemats
Wicker circle placemats are simple yet elegant way to upgrade your outdoor tablescape. These can be used with plain white plates, or a fun color aesthetic. They keep things casual while still ensuring everything looks put together. In addition, they are easy to clean and are durable as well. Whether you are looking to splurge at Pottery Barn, or find some budget pieces at Target, you can find wicker circle placemats just about anywhere. Even if you have a party this weekend, do a quick search on Amazon and find some pieces that perfectly fit your style.
Blue Accent Color Plates
Blue accent plates are some of my favorites for any outdoor tablescape. Blue is a calming color that represents openness. As a result, blue accent color plates help to bring a sense of peace and serenity to your outdoor tablescape setup. Whether you like your plates with bold patterns to be the attention grabbers on your table, or whether you prefer plain and simple plates, adding a touch of blue on your tablescape with help to set the vibe of your dinner party.
Center pieces are not only for weddings! If you are planning a dinner party around a large rectangular table, a few centerpieces can help to set the aesthetic of the party. My favorite centerpieces are attention grabbing, yet understated. Think boho chic with succulents or candles on wood slices set throughout the center of the table. You can also use beautiful flower arrangements, greenery spread down the center of the table, or bright sunflowers for the Summer months.
Candles are the perfect addition to any outdoor tablescape, especially those that start around 4 PM or 5 PM and run into the night. There is something about candles that are so romantic. They also add more dimension to your tablescape. However, it is important to light candles at the right time to ensure everything runs smoothly. If your guests are sitting for dinner, light the candles about 10 minutes before guests sit down. This will give the wicks time to burn and ensure the ambience is set before guests enter the backyard. Don’t blow the candles out until everyone has left the table, and moved to another part of the yard to enjoy after dinner drinks.
Determining what type of candles to use can be difficult. Scented candles are best left for inside the house, and in the bathroom. A big part of any culinary experience is smell. Smelling a candle, even though it may be pleasant, can throw off the taste of the food served. Therefore, you should stick to unscented candles that are white or match your color palette and vary in size throughout the table.
Tan Linen Runners
Tan linen runners have a way to elevating any tablescape. Their neutral color ensures they will go with any color palette or pattern you choose in addition to not taking away from other attention grabbing pieces on the table. From Pottery Barn to William Sonoma and H&M to Target, tan linen runners can be found just about anywhere. They act as a perfect base for any table by tying in each tablescape component without overdoing anything. Having a table runner can also help to protect your table from spills and make the cleanup process that much easier.
I am such a fan of gold utensils. Gold utensils have a way of increasing sophistication, depth and elegance on any tablescape. They also allow you to use more muted colors because they give a pop of flare all on their own. It will also make your guests feel as though they have stepped into a modern, fun and young vibe. Gold silverware may not be everyone’s style, but it also ways seems to elevate my dinner parties and my guests never fail to complement this aspect of my tablescape.
Pretty glasses are an absolute must for any outdoor tablescape. There are a variety of different glasses available depending on what your dream aesthetic is. If you like a luxurious vibe, go for lightly colored crystal goblets. Or, if you like more of a relaxed feel, opt for glasses made from recycled glass and held by woven seagrass like those at Pottery Barn. Glasses are a very visible portion of the tablescape, which makes them an important component during the design process. I like having a variety of pretty glasses in my arsenal, so the vibe is a little different each time I have friends or family over.
Pitchers come in lots of different shapes, sizes and materials. I have tried lots of different pitchers throughout the years, but none come close to crystal pitchers. There is something luxurious about picking up a heavy crystal pitcher that absolutely glistens in the sunset. Some of my absolute favorites are made by Waterford and can be found at most major department stores. Crystal pitchers can be more expensive than other alternatives. However, the difference in cost is definitely justified for what you get. In addition, it makes your guests feel as though they are receiving a top of the line experience, and crystal pitchers can help to leave a positive lasting impression.