The ease and beauty of summertime calls for table settings that are eclectic, pretty and practical. Don't put away your formal china - summer "casual" doesn't have to mean plastic cutlery and paper plates. Instead, opt for a mix and match summer table that nods to summer's informal qualities while celebrating a season made for socializing.
Classic and modern, formal and informal, bold and demure, floral and check, silver and gold, fun and serious, high and low - all of these elements can work together for a lovely summer table. I was challenged to take a few pieces of fine tableware from Classic Replacements to act as the foundation of my summer table.
To start, I chose this gorgeous Limoges LeFarges Chant D Oiseaux Dinner Plate. I adore its gentle octagonal shape, its beautiful floral pattern and, most of all, the colors! I took the trio of colors used on the Limoges plate - blue, orange and pale blue-green - and made that the color scheme for my summer table.
I also selected this lovely Christian Dior Gaudron Gold wine glass for my mix and match table. It has a faceted stem surrounded with double gold rings. The pattern was manufactured for eight years in the 1990s by Christian Dior in France. Although Christian Dior Gaudron Gold was discontinued, you can find some of these special pieces from Classic Replacements.
The gold rings on the wine glass inspired me to set the plates on gold chargers. Generally I use these chargers for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but they add a brightness that works nicely for summer too. If you want to go more casual, try bamboo or wood chargers or seagrass placemats.
Last but certainly not least, I chose these Vera Wang Lariat set of two serving spoons from the Classic Replacements stock. These serving spoons add elegance to a summer table at a reasonable price. (Classic Replacements offers all pieces at a reduced cost.) And these special Vera Wang pieces will last forever and work with any type of table setting.
You need to see the Vera Wang serving spoons and feel their weight to truly understand how lovely they are. The pattern on the handles is incredible.
I wanted to take these gorgeous formal pieces and make them part of a less formal summer table. So I laid the foundation for my table with a fun and vibrant indoor/outdoor tablecloth in blue and pale green.
To bring out the orange in the Limoges china plate, I plucked a couple of orange flowers from our backyard planters, along with a couple of white flowers for contrast. Seeing as it's summer, it's the perfect time to take advantage of "free" florals from our own backyards for our tables. I put the flowers in a blue recycled glass drinking glass for another informal note.
I picked out this tulip-shaped stone candle holder from my collection of accessories to add more in the way of casual vibes to the table. I happened to have orange tealight candles too, so I popped one of those in the candle holder to match the flowers.
Cloth napkins add an air of celebration to a table. But I didn't want my table to look too stuffy. I spotted these fun orange beaded napkin rings at a home decor store and I felt they would be the perfect whimsical touch for a mix and match summer table.
I also like the idea of adding touches of wood to your summer table. Serve appetizers on a wooden cutting board or bread in a rustic wood serving bowl. I took so much pleasure from setting my summer table that I want to eat like this every day! Probably not going to happen (time constraints and all), but I'll be sure to make an effort to do it more often at the very least.
5 tips to create a pretty mix and match summer table
1. Don't be afraid to mix and match formal and informal, expensive and inexpensive pieces.
2. Make use of your "holiday" chargers. Gold, silver and red chargers can look summery in the right context.
3. Find (or make!) unusual napkin holders to add whimsy to the table.
4. Add wood serving dishes to create a casual summer feel.
5. Take flowers from your garden and place them in a pretty blue glass.
About Classic Replacements
Browse My Summer Table Picks
I greedily poured through the Classic Replacements site to pick out my fave pieces of china, crystal and flatware (as well as a few accessories). Have a look at my picks from Classic Replacements. So many gorgeous florals for summer and an incredible selection of plates in stunning black designs. Check it out and tell me what your favorite pieces are! They have brand new items and fun serving pieces too.
What are your tips for creating a summer tablescape? What china patterns do you collect?
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