I absolutely love a good meal at a beautifully set table. I love the way it makes you want to linger and savor every bite. I love how the conversation continues well past the time that the plates are empty. I love the connection with friends and family that is created when you share a home cooked meal.
Our summer is all about time with friends and family on our ranch, so there is a lot of cooking in the kitchen together (and lots of dishes!) We often have casual meals out on the porch and enjoy the warm summer evenings.
Since I don't want to make a big production of setting the table, I have come up with some simple ways to make a table look inviting while still keeping it casual and easy. This has become my "Signature Summer Table" and I wanted to share the elements I love with you all.
I love these simple willow placemats. They are perfect for any season, and make a big statement without being too fussy. I love the way they add texture and a neutral color, but work with any color palette.
To add a pretty, patterned element, I often pair these placemats with a table runner. In this case, I used a piece of vintage fabric I found at the flea market and sewed together to make a wide table cover. This one looks a bit like a faded bandana, which is perfectly suited to a ranch meal on the porch.
Unlike the more formal tables I sometimes set, our casual summer table often has a mass of foraged wildflowers from the meadow. Whatever is in season and blooming works for me. I put these flowers in a vintage coffee pot and they make the perfect centerpiece for this outdoor table.
You may already know that I am a fan of white plates. I have several sets that I mix and match on all kinds of tables. In this case I used a simple dinner plate with a dot pattern and a salad plate with a pretty dot and emblem pattern. I love they way these brighten the table and work with any color palette.
These gingham napkins are the perfect casual napkin for lunch or dinner. They add a whimsical element to the table and keep the overall style fun and easy. I used a simple galvanized napkin ring to keep the look rustic and simple.
BIRCHWOOD CANDLE HOLDERS
The final element that I love on a casual table is these birchwood candle holders. I think they add the perfect rustic element, especially for an outdoor, country table setting. They hold small tealights that add ta beautiful glow as the sun sets.
I will repeat this look throughout the summer. I may change out the napkins, table runner or flowers, but the overall style will stay the same. Simple, casual and rustic...I hope this inspires you to create a signature summer table that you will be able to use again and again.
Below are links to most of my favorite summer tabletop products. I have sourced similar items if the exact product is no longer available.
The above sources are affiliate links.