Outdoor entertaining is a treat. Especially for those of us in the northeast as we patiently wait all winter long to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Well, at least without freezing off our behinds. Throwing a BBQ or simple afternoon meal can still be simple but also have a little polish. Take a plain patio table, and make it inviting.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Creamsicle Tablescape, I like mixing high and low items together. I also like color contrast. In this super easy table setting, I used a muted cornflower blue linen tablecloth with burlap stripes as runners. The tablecloth I bought years ago at Pottery Barn and the burlap strips, which provide a more casual feel, I picked up at Michael's. At the time I purchased them I had no idea what I would use them for but knew I would figure something out. And I did.
The large oval white plates keeps it neutral while the simply folded vintage yellow/white napkins I found at a garage sale adds an extra fresh pop of color. And let's not forget that other vintage touch, the water glasses, another garage sale find. The art of the mix and match.
For the flower arrangements, I truly kept it organic, simple and literally NO cost. I cut hydrangeas from the garden to create a main centerpiece, bursting with blues and greens. Then using miniature vintage glass bottles (another antique store find), I added wild flowers that one our neighbors was cutting down and throwing away. (I know, can you believe they were getting rid of all the beauty!!!) These tiny florals add a cottage feel that plays down any fussy factor and gives a sense of ease. Add a few votives to add light as your party heads into the evening hours, and it's easy as 1, 2, 3.
Outdoor entertaining doesn't have to mean paper platers and plastic tablecloths. By the same token, adding linens doesn't mean it becomes formal. Using a mix of linen and organic, new and vintage items you can create an laid-back afternoon feeling without being too precious. Trust me, it's easy breezy, like a summer afternoon.