We are still not quite finished with the pergola
, it needs paint and wire run between the beams so the bougainvillea can grow over the top, BUT it hasn’t stopped us from already having a few gatherings with the new set up. People often think you need to have a ton of different sets of dishware for frequent entertaining or that you need an entire prop closet to set a beautiful table. Of course it helps, but for those of you that don’t have access to Martha Stewart’s prop room, I’m sharing a few tips to create a simple al fresco table inspired by Target
‘s spring line.
1. Use what you have. I have two sets of dishware, one white and one black and I don’t think you need much more than that. If you are trying to start your own personal entertaining prop closet, I would say get a full 12 piece set of white
before getting anything else. It lays a clean foundation and it’s easy to completely switch up the look with less expensive items. For flatware… I have one full set of modern gold, and a similar in stainless, but a while back I found this vintage 100 piece brass set and it happened to be a perfect match for Target’s “Summer Safari
” collection, reinforcing the tropical vibe I’ve got going. When it comes to linens, no matter how casual the party, I still like to use cloth napkins
if I can. Of course with my collection,
I don’t have a shortage on those, but if you are just just getting started, I’d recommend choosing a simple pattern, like the black and white dot, that can go with almost anything but brings visual interest to the table. And finally, glassware, I use stemless wine glasses
for everything. For water, wine, juice, cocktails, for everyday and for every gathering. I have like 30 of the same simple shape.
2. Skip the florals. Instead of a floral centerpiece I used these oversized vases to create a no fuss sculptural focal point.
3. Nature’s placemats. No placemats? No problem. To add just one more layer to the table I picked up some Monstera leaves for an inexpensive and disposable charger/placemat. It takes only about 2 seconds to throw these down first, but the visual impact is huge. Ferns would also work if you live in a woodsy area, you could just snip, snip, snip!
and finally #4. Bring the inside out! That is usually the other way around but creating an outdoor room is easy. Bring out your favorite pillows (I am obsessed with these macramé-esque
ones), a cozy throw
, and hang a mirror
(art or a wall hanging could work too). This instantly creates a personalized outdoor space that makes dining al fresco even more special.
I’m so looking forward to many more dinner’s under the bougainvillea this summer. x
From Target: Large Vase // Small Vase // Wicker Mirror // Throw // Pillows // Stemless Wine Glasses
Napkins by Sarah Sherman Samuel // Flatware is vintage // Table from Modshop // Rattan Chairs are Vintage from ModernHaus
Photos by Sarah Sherman Samuel
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