I’m in the mood for summertime dinners on the patio, the kind served on real plates with cups that won’t blow away even if it’s a gusty summer night. Paper plates and plastic cups will have their place, but this will be the first summer that we get to dine outdoors on the wooden tables we built for our wedding, and the first season that we have coordinating sets of dinnerware to boot. Something about the combination makes me all excited and ready to dine like I live on a terrace in California. Or maybe it’s just a few consecutive 90-degree days and the fact that I found sale-priced napkins in cute patterns at Anthropologie, and must make them all worth my while. In any case, it doesn’t take much to pull together a pretty scene, and I hope it gives you an idea of how you can pull together your own dining escape with some touches of do-it-yourself and arrange-it-yourself thoughtfulness.
Lining the table with a set of overlapping napkins as a working runner was quick in a pinch (also consider colorful quilting fat quarters bought at the craft store), and I love how the white plates, bowls, and serving tray offer a sharp contrast. The pattern of the napkins, the stripes on a stash of paper straws, and a few toothpick flags made using polka-dotted washi tape make me feel like I’m dining outdoors at a cafe, probably one that I rode to on a scooter while wearing a flowing sundress. I also plucked a few blossoms from the garden and put them in a salvaged jar used a simple bud vase.
If you’re looking for table setting ideas — whether it’s for a summer picnic or an actual wedding — these DIY wedding table settings will jump-start your inspiration.