Setting a Summer Table

It's no secret that I love the beach. In fact, I think it's fair to say that at any given moment, there is pretty much no where else I'd rather be. When summer rolls around, I like to display little reminders around the house since I'm landlocked in the desert.  One of the things I've done the last couple summers is to set a beachy tablescape in our dining room as a daily reminder of the place I love most. But, no matter what the season or theme, I have found that the secret to setting a beautiful table is layering. I take you through step-by-step here.


First layer: Linens

Table runners are a great foundation piece for any table setting. You can run one lengthwise or two widthwise or even layer two like I did here. The burlap runner on the bottom layer I found years ago at Pottery Barn on clearance and takes me through all seasons. The nautical runner I made myself using this fabric from JoAnn, and with my 40% off coupon cost me about seven bucks. I am no seamstress by any means, but if you can thread a machine and sew a straight line, you can easily make your own custom runner for as cheap as you can find your fabric.

Placemats or chargers also provide you a good visual base from which to build. For this scheme, I placed these Ikea seagrass placemats at each seat. They naturally lend themselves to the beachy theme, but I love them so much that I use them year round.


Second layer: The anchor pieces

These are your focal point pieces.  For this table, I used two pairs of vases I already had. The glasses vases, I designated as candle holders, first filling them with sand that I brought home with me from Maui a few years back. The tall white vases I added to give the table some interest and dimension.


Tip: If you are needing to build a stock of vases, Michaels has a nice selection and with your 40% off coupon, you can do this rather affordably.


Third layer: Florals & Greenery

I think every tablescape needs some type of greenery, even if its just a couple of blooms. I opted for these white hydrangeas and tuberose from Trader Joe's. You just can't beat their prices for florals. Because I used the larger glassware  in even numbers, I used an odd number of mini arrangements using small Mason jars, adding them in between for balance. 


Fourth layer: The little things

This is where you pull in your small thematic elements. In addition to sand, I also happen to have a nice assortment of shells, driftwood pieces and other ocean treasures I have collected over the years. I sprinkled these little things throughout the length of the table to fill it out. 


I always add votives to any table I'm styling. It is an inexpensive way to add a cozy and intimate feeling to the meal. To dress them up, I wrapped and hot glued jute twine around these inexpensive glass votives holders to add to the nautical vibe. 


Last layer: Dinnerware

Your last layer of course will be your dishes. I personally love white. It provides a crisp, clean palate and I think, allows food to be showcased in the best way. I am lucky enough to have a mother-in-law that is a fabulous potter. She threw this set of white dishes for us last Christmas and they look great layered on the placemats. 

Well there it is, my summer table. No matter what look you are styling for, keep these layering tips in mind and you will no doubt have a table that is polished and pretty! Thanks for reading :)

- Tara