‘Tablescaping’ takes the everyday task of setting the table, to a mindful and creative artform which can make your guests feel really special. There are decadent and extravagant ways to lay a table, to styles that are more informal but still expressive. A delightfully simple way to do so is the addition of vibrant colors and gingham checks that help bring your table to life and give your dining space an instant glow-up.
From alfresco picnics to hosting your besties for dinner, we’ve styled up four dreamy summer dining looks that we hope to inspire you with, for you to recreate your own.
‘Italian Nonna chic’
As our grandma era continues with no end in sight, grandmillennials have coined yet another delightful trend: ‘Italian Nonna Chic’. This look is inspired by the love and appreciation for simple cooking, hosting loved ones and setting the table filled with pieces that hold sentimental meaning.
Start by laying your table with a classic tablecloth in nostalgic print: gingham, or a crisp white linen for the base of your tablescape. Then layer with linen napkins – either contrasting to your tablecloth print or an alternative colorway. Vintage glasses are a must and I often find thrift shops the best place to source these from; you can find differing shapes and heights to add variation to your table top and they add an instant vintage charm. Ceramic pitchers, mismatched plates and dinner bowls are an ‘Italian Nonna chic’ must-have, so plate up your favourite summer dishes for your guests to feast on.
‘Rustic Picnic Chic’
When the chance for alfresco dining arises, we must be ready to seize the opportunity. Whether you’re bbq-ing on the coast, picnicking at your local lake or in your back garden, our nature-inspired shades of table linens will help to execute your desired rustic picnic look perfectly.
Lay a gingham tablecloth over your table or directly on the floor to double-up as a picnic blanket, and add contrasting or matching linen napkins for additional texture. I love to tie a knot with my napkins to add to the rustic vibe, but tying with a piece of string and a sprig of lavender is also a dreamy touch. Complete your picnic-inspired table with mismatched plates and glasses, carafes and of course, your favourite summer tipple on hand.
There is nothing more delightful than a slow weekend breakfast. I love hosting breakfast or a coffee morning; it’s a great way to catch up with friends without the late-night hangout - if you’re a morning person and can’t keep up past 8.30 pm, this one is for you.
A simpler table set-up, opt for a table runner to add instant pizazz, followed by a napkin for each guest and enamel plates to dish up a rustic style brekkie. For a coffee morning, dress your table with a gingham tablecloth and create a snack bar of delicious pastries, bowls of fresh fruit and plenty of tea and coffee served in your favourite mugs.
‘Besties Dinner Party’
I often find eating out leaves me feeling a little 'meh’. Granted, my hometown is a bit smaller than what the delights of central London has to offer, but I find the joy of hosting my own dinner parties outweigh the experience of eating out.
A dinner party doesn’t need to be an extravagant five course meal. A sharing platter of olives and cured meats, followed by a wholesome bowl of pasta and finished with something sweet would be more than enough to satisfy your friends. Why not serve them all together in the name of ‘Girl Dinner’? The latest dining trend elevates what we all know as ‘picky bits for tea’ to a whole new world. A slightly chaotic plate of your favourite foods – anything goes.
When it comes to hosting your besties, your table should reflect the vibe you’re hoping to achieve. Mixing and matching prints and colors is one of my favorite ways to add a fun and vibrant feel to a tablescape. Colors like Raspberry mixed with Warm Blue Gingham, or Honey with Berry Gingham will instantly scream ‘Girl Dinner’; add brightly colored stick candles in fun holders and some freshly snipped flowers in bud vases to finish.