This week's post is all about taking it outside!
Going back in time a little... picnics were a HUGE part of my childhood. Every couple months, we'd go on one big, glorious, family picnic (we were about 30 of us!). We lived in Dubai, a city that is insanely hot in summer (too hot to be outside) but super beautiful in fall / winter / early spring. It was sort of a reverse picnicking season!
My favorite park to go to was the Dubai Creek Park with it's sprawling lawns and huge shady trees. And my favorite food was barbecued chicken and this delicious French Toast (we'd call it "slices" for some reason) that one of my uncles made for us kids.
You'd see many families sitting around enjoying the breeze, playing board games or just chatting up. But inevitably, we'd be the loudest, most boisterous of the lot.
You could hear us laughing, arguing, pontificating and backslapping from a mile away! Food was being passed around, an angsty toddler or two was on the lose, some kid somewhere just got struck by a ball and another one was climbing the jungle gym like there was no tomorrow! It was mayhem. A wonderful kind of mayhem :) The parents had a hard time keeping track of who was where, but the sun would set and somehow, magically, we'd all end up as a whole again, trotting tiredly back to our cars. It was a glooooorious time.
Tis being the season for outdoor entertaining, picnicking and the likes, I was very inspired to pull together a couple of formal and informal tablescapes for anyone taking it outside & making some equally glorious memories with your family & friends this summer! I've discovered some really good looking and budget-friendly disposables for the season and there's lotsa fun (and not to mention, kid-friendly) melamine out there as well. Creating an inviting outdoor setting has never been easier! :)
Breezy & Beachy
I liked this seaside, beachy tablescape I saw at the mall the other day... I liked that the simple white dinnerware was combined with a whole lot of texture (rattan, wood, mesh etc.)
You could create a beachy casual setting of your own, but maybe with a little more color?
I started with this beautiful coral dinner plate (it's melamine) and added some texture with a mesh table cover, rattan chargers and wood flatware.
Hints of gold & these neat table lanterns "pick up" the setting. I especially LOVE the small gold tea light holders - spread 'em across a table and they'll create a perfect ambiance for an outdoor setting. Bringing in a a hint of blue with these cracked teal glasses.
coral dinner plate / natural rattan charger / nautical net table throw / beachwood flatware / starfish place card holders (too cute! from Etsy) / linen striped napkins / gorgeous table lanterns (love these to bring some height into the setting) / cracked teal stem glasses teal / gold tea light holders / tropical stargazer lillies in a vase as centerpieces
Pretty & Posh
These rose plates by Caspari instantly caught my eye. They're elegant & fun, and they're disposable people!
Quite perfect for a semi-formal setting..
Throw on a white tablecloth and line with this fancy-looking (but totally disposable!) place settings - lime green and white dinner plates, paired with the rose dessert plates, and some fancy gold flatware.
Scatter chartreuse tea light holders across the table, and add on a beautiful peony centerpiece to play up the plates. I LOVE this "First Come First Served" acrylic pitcher by Kate Spade! It's such a classic & so fun. Perfect for keeping you guests glasses topped with lemonade.
white tablecloth / burlap pleated table runner / green dinner plates (disposable), rose dessert plates (disposable), gold flatware (disposable), paper cups, paper napkins, Kate Spade acrylic pitcher, chateruse tealight holder
Classic Blue & White
I came across this beautiful indoor blue-and-white setting and fell instantly in love with it. This table is so stunning, as is the place setting, and the yellow flowers. This could easily be something you take outside!
I was very inspired to do some blue & white for a picnic :) Yet still keeping it classic...
A CLASSIC Picnic
2 easy tips for outdoor entertaining
Here's a couple tips I've picked up from the first lady of Southern design and decor (the wonderful Bunny Williams), on how to take even the most casual setting up a notch and make your guests feel a little extra special...
The Napkin Fold. Make a quick fold towards the inside at the top of the napkin, then flip the ends to the outside. It's super easy to do and makes for a great finishing touch even for some casual dining.
Floral Centerpieces x Hurricanes. I love this idea for adding some pzzaz to your outdoor table. Arrange a floral centerpiece with seasonal flowers/plants. Flank by hurricanes. The hurricanes should be tall enough that people can still see each other across the table. Etsy has a bunch of nice vintage hurricane choices!