Back to Basics: Summer Tablescapes

Today’s post is going to be such a fun treat as we launch the first post in a new series called Back to Basics. Each month around this same time, I’ll be partnering with some of my favorite bloggers for a 101-style post on a variety of topics ranging from painting furniture to easy appetizers. This month, we’re sharing the basics of styling a summer tablescape but honestly these same techniques can be used any time of the year. You guys ready? Me too!  (Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. You can read our full disclosure policy here)

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I almost always begin with a clean slate before I start decorating for a particular season or event. It really helps to cut down on any distractions and keeps me focused on the task at hand.

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Next, I find a piece of inspiration. This is a vintage sheet that belonged to my Granny but you could easily use a picture you found on Pinterest or a magazine, a swatch of fabric, a place setting or centerpiece.

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Those little yellow flowers and scalloped edge were just too cute to pass up. This is a queen size sheet that has been folded in half. You could also use a runner, placemats or leave the beautiful wood grain of a table exposed too.

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Add a bit of texture with chargers or layer with placemats. I picked these up at the thrift store and we use them all the time. These are on our current wish list.

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Place a dinner plate on the charger,

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then add a napkin (you could also place a napkin to the side or on top of the place setting too)

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before layering a salad plate on top of the napkin, dinner plate and charger. I’ve had these dishes for 20 years now. I like to mix and match different sets so we’re always on the lookout for random pieces that could be easily mixed in throughout the year especially for spring and summer.

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Once you have the place setting, add silverware, drinking glasses and name tags if you’re hosting a more formal gathering. Mason Jars make it easy to bring drinks inside or out if you have an outdoor gathering space.

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Finally, focus on the centerpiece and other ways to dress up the table like candles.

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The crepe myrtles have been going bananas in our yard lately. They smell so good and have such whimsical blooms. These are placed in separate vases filled with cool water to help keep their blooms fresh for as long as possible. We picked up the dough bowl at an antique mall a few years ago but you can find a similar one here.

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We’ve really been making a conscious effort to pull flowers from our property whenever we’re putting tablescapes together. Without a doubt, it’s making us more creative and appreciate of all the green foliage options too.

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Using fruit in centerpieces or tablescapes is an easy and inexpensive way to add a bit of color to your tables. You can find lemons just about any time of the year but they definitely seem to be having a moment this summer. These will last all season.

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One thing we always to try to remember before hosting a large party or a small dinner is the reason we’re all gathering around the table in the first place. It helps to take the pressure off being the perfect host or having the perfect house.

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Pulling together a vintage sheet, layered place settings, mason jars and clippings from the yard can be accomplished even at the last minute.

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It can be as casual or as fancy as you want it to be. We made this farmhouse style buffet from an industrial shelving unit. You can read about that makeover here.

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Summer is a great time to linger a little longer over dinner and just enjoy being together. These lazy days are the best days because Fall is right around the corner.

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Be sure to check out all the other fabulous tablescapes in this series below!

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Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,



  1. says

    What a sweet table Coco! I love the vintage flowers on the sheet and the plates. It adds such a bit of charm to the table. The lemons do give such a pop of color. Love your centerpiece. I have to get caught up on your blog. I’ve been so busy vacationing…not a bad thing, but I could use a day with my i-pad to get caught up.

    Have a great day sweet friend!


    • says

      Thanks so much Nancy! I can completely relate to being happy to have a break but at the same time feeling the need to catch up. I just finished one of your IG stories on the kitchen and everything is looking so pretty. I think we’re going to have a similar rug ha ha #twinsies

  2. says

    CoCo, this is so lovely. Your Crepe Myrtle is beautiful in the beautiful dough bowl and what a fabulous centerpiece you created. I love the idea of using your grandmothers sheet as a table cloth. Perfect! Thanks for co-hosting this wonderful series.

    • says

      We are so glad to have you as part of this series BonBon, I know it’s going to be such a fun year. I love your tablescape and drink ideas too. They’re both perfect for summer. Hugs, CoCo

  3. says

    Your table setting is beautiful! I love the centerpiece. I have a large dough bowl, but always struggle with how to fill it. Your burlap, flowers, and lemons idea is super summery, just what I was looking for! Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this great new series!

    • says

      Such kind words, Amy, thank you so much! This dough bowl is one of my favorite pieces too. We put everything from books to plants to moss balls and shells in here. I’m so glad you’re a part of this series and I’m looking forward to creating with you this year. Hugs, CoCo

    • says

      I appreciate all your kind words, Tara, thanks so much! We love having you as part of this challenge. Your outdoor area is beyond amazing. I could hang out there for hours 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  4. says

    It looks great! Love the breakdown of how to set it all up – it can look so intimidating to see a beautifully-set table and have to try to re-create something like it on your own!

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