3 Stylish Summer Table Setting Ideas

Celebrate warm weather with three outdoor table setting themes that embody summer's hottest design trends.

  • Look One: Vintage Romance

    Invite your friends for an alfresco lunch in a rustic outdoor locale. Stripes are a hot trend this year, so why not play them up in a vintage-inspired table setting?

  • Carnival Stripes

    A durable table covering made from heavyweight Quadrille fabric is both beautiful and practical for an outdoor event. The summery turquoise and blush pink hues set the stage for this vintage-inspired fete.

  • Mixing Old and New

    Thrift store dessert plates sit atop durable-but-stylish melamine plates and trendy ombre-dyed pink napkins. Scalloped, diner-style sundae glasses give the setting a sweet, old-fashioned feel.

  • Custom Menus

    A customized menu card at each place lends an air of sophistication to an outdoor event and minimizes the age-old question of \"What's for lunch?\" Download this vintage-inspired menu, created by Fig. 2 Design Studio, and customize it for your own alfresco event.

  • Natural Centerpieces

    Tinted triangular vases in varying heights are filled with leggy ranunculus and vibrant magenta roses, creating a casual-yet-elegant feel for this outdoor event.

  • Beautiful Blooms

    Small recycled jars filled with roses coordinate with the striped table covering and add a sweet, fragrant touch to the table. Search thrift stores for interesting glassware that's easy on the budget, too.

  • Don't Forget the Wine

    Here, coordinating wine bottles do double-duty as drinks and table decor.

  • Look Two: Neons and Neutrals

    Neon hues paired with neutrals like camel and sand create a playful, energetic color palette for a table setting. Don't be afraid to try this bold trend when hosting a supper gathering this summer.

  • Monochromatic Style

    Monochromatic centerpieces are another trend in entertaining. To get this look, use one type of flower with a graphic punch, like these white Fuji mums. Here, they're tucked into textured clear vases (less than $2 at dollar stores) transformed by lime spray paint.

  • Office Supply Placecards

    Simple melamine plates are durable and easy to care for. Offset their understated gray hue with neon polka dot place cards to welcome your guests. Use simple stationary-drawer supplies to create the custom cards: sticky notes and washi tape with highlighter detailing atop brown Kraft paper. Solid linen napkins with banana bark napkin rings ground the place settings.

  • Tons of Texture

    Create neutral texture on the table by transforming a weather-resistant canvas painting drop cloth (available at home improvement stores) into a stylish table covering. Use painter's tape to create white stripes, then spray with gold- or sand-hued paint.

  • Custom Invitations

    The neon washi tape detail on the place cards carries through to the invitations. Customize these downloadable invitations, created by Fig. 2 Design Studio, with your party details.

  • Neon-Inspired Drinks

    Even food and drink can be an easy way to perpetuate this summery color scheme: Dress up sparkling water (or a gin and tonic) with slices of lime and delightful striped paper straws.

  • Beauty and Function

    Shaded melamine tumblers from Target play up the summery green and blue hues beautifully, and are durable enough to withstand the outdoors. And don't forget after-dark mood lighting, like these coordinating blue pillar candles perched atop white bases.

  • Look Three: Global Chic

    Host a colorful alfresco luncheon featuring bold, global patterns. Limited outdoor space? Book a spot at a local winery for a scenic backdrop.

  • Heavy-Duty Patterns

    With a natural setting like this, colorful prints and patterns in fabrics and tableware look lovelier. Chose heavy-weight fabrics, like this suzani print from Quadrille, that won't blow away with windy conditions. Always double-check weather conditions before and on the day of when planning an outdoor gathering.

  • A Bit of Shine

    Shiny surfaces like this bowl from Mary Jurek reflect the light and colors wonderfully without looking cluttered on the table.

  • Simple Centerpieces

    Yellow roses and white sweet peas in Mason jars are elegant, no-fuss arrangements, adding just the right mix of visual interest for a casual outdoor venue. When in doubt, keep it simple.

  • Set With Style

    Gold tableware and coordinating thrifts store floral dessert plates make the table look lively but not cluttered. Use large-scale patterns in similar hues for a cohesive look. Budget-friendly clear glass plates double as chargers without competing with the existing patterns.

  • Post-Party Picnic

    With a venue this delightful, why not carry on the fun post-lunch? Spread a blanket on the grass and sip wine under the open skies.

  • Save Room for Dessert

    Serve a light dessert with a sweet wine and fresh fruit for garnish from a patterned tray.

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