Every year when the days grow longer and the evenings grow warmer, I love the transition from eating meals inside to enjoying them outside. Not only does dining al fresco make every bite taste better, but the house seems to triple in size as soon as we incorporate the yard into our routine! Since every square inch is precious when you’re living in 600 square feet with four pets, we make the most the extra space by dressing up the patio table with the same intention that we do our indoor dining room. So when Pier 1 asked me to raid their massive tablewares selection and use my picks to share my tips for outdoor dining, I already had a zillion ideas up my sleeve!
As with the rest of my decor, I’m all about subtle touches when it comes to setting the table. You can’t go wrong combining classic patterns like these striped napkins with the earthy texture of woven placemats and braided rope napkin rings. Mixing and matching ceramics is also an easy, effective way to add interest to a dining spread. Here the blue of the dinner plates complements the same hue in the napkins, while the beaded trim on the salad plates injects yet another textural element that’s at once playful and polished.
Whenever I’m shopping for the table I keep my eyes peeled for versatile serveware. With only so much cupboard storage to spare, I need every item to do double duty! The trio of bowls in this condiment set offer up berries to top yogurt and granola for a morning brunch, then portion out nuts and snack mix at cocktail hour or dips and spreads for dinner. Plus the braided grasscloth holder swings beachy, retro, or modern depending on the other pieces you pair it with!
To make even weekday meals feel special—without the added effort and expense of flowers—look for table decor that’s not only unique enough to stand on its own but that opens the door for an unexpected twist or two. A lantern holds a succulent rather than the expected candle; and instead of dispensing water, a fun ceramic pitcher houses a few grass stems cut from the garden. Both provide height as well as major personality!
A few final elements complete this quietly coastal look, including bamboo flatware and big tropical leaves in place of a tablecloth (I trimmed these from my yard but the craft store sells very convincing leaf placemats for just this purpose.) The only thing left to do is dish up some of the season’s freshest ingredients and feast as the sun goes down!
Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Pier 1 Imports. I received compensation to style, shoot, and write this post; however all opinions are and always will be my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to bring you fresh ideas daily!