Oh how I love a good summer soirée (or anytime soirée, for that matter).
Whether it’s a holiday party, an outdoor picnic, or a ‘just because’ celebration,
when preparing for my guests, the decor is always top of mind, specifically table
decor. From the centerpiece and glassware, to linens and all the finishing accents
that make the design that much more special….each of these elements
collectively can be an extension of you.
Do it with style. Add your personality and personal touch from beginning to end.
Is there a reason or a theme for this event? If not, make one up that speaks to
your life and include it in every aspect. After you’ve decided on the location,
thread elements of that theme in every detail, including the invitation, and even
the time. Who says the event must start at 3 pm? Make it 3:01 pm because that’s
the day you were born (3/01) or use a time that has some relevance to the theme.
We’re always thinking about what we’ll wear for an event, but what about your
table? What will it wear? Dinnerware, glassware, flatware, linens and the
centerpiece are crucial elements to creating that ‘oh so pretty’ table. Sprinkle in
the finishing touches that complement your style, and you’re ready to set the
perfect, and ‘oh so pretty’ tablescape.
Start with the color palette to tell the story. Everything and everyone has a story, and you’re the creator for your event. For Christmas dinner in my home, I use red
wine goblets, and for outdoor picnics, I may go with vibrant colored
Photos: Rainy Night at Ravinia Park Outdoor Concert, Featured on CBS News (circa 2018)
Next, it's all about the centerpiece, and you can build everything else around
that. No table is complete without candles and flowers. Taper, pillar, or votives -
must haves - because they will create a mood and make your dining experience
that much more cozy. When choosing your floral arrangement, you want to keep
in mind height; you don’t want to create displays that are so tall that your guests
can’t see others that are across the table from them.
Moving on to dinnerware, glassware and flatware…the type of event that I’m
throwing tends to dictate which to select. As a lover of glassware (I can’t seem to
have enough), the style of plates and napkins that I chose play off the chosen
By mixing and matching your plates and glasses, you can add a little fun and flair
to the table by choosing complimentary styles — the same motif such as florals or
geometric patterns helps pull this idea off. If you’re lucky enough to own a full set
of china, use it — you don’t have to wait for a formal occasion. I’ve used china for
a casual afternoon brunch. Not sure which way to go? You can always do all white
or all black, then make it as casual or as formal as you please.
If sophisticated is your style, mirrored chargers are a great way to elevate your
table design. As for the linens, the tablecloth and napkins should be cohesive with
your color palette. Keep in mind, fabrics such as jacquard or linen, and select
napkins and runners can add texture, color and interest.
No table is complete without the special finishing touches. The finishing touches,
such as place cards or favors is what will amp up the table, making your event
memorable and help with the overall success of the fête. I once used picture
frames with images of each guest as my place cards.
You see it’s all about being creative, fun and showing your personality and style.
Dress up your table like you’d dress up yourself. Do this for your next backyard
social distancing soiree, pretty please?
Cheers and Bon Appétit