Set a Different Table for Your Outdoor Party

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Save the paper plates for the 4th of July because this Memorial Day we are taking a shabby chic approach to our dinner table! I love the rustic look of a wooden table outdoors with mismatched wine glasses, candles, and low vases with flowers. This festive and romantic look will impress all of your guests and bring a cozy feeling to your outdoor dinner party.

Does this sound like something you’d see in a magazine but would never be able to pull off at home? Well, you’re wrong! It’s actually not difficult; it just takes a little fun thrift shopping, maybe a couple of strong people to move a table out to the yard, and using a bit of creativity to pull it all together.

“Shabby Chic” is actually an easy way to decorate because the old, mismatched, and distressed dishes, glasses, and table linens you’ll need, you either already have in the back of a closet, or for relatively little money, you can find some amazing things at your local thrift stores. As a matter of fact, unless you own things that you’re planning on using, the thrift store is a good place to start. The stemware, dishes, and linens I find always help get my creativity flowing, and I find myself visualizing how I can set a beautiful table with these treasures.

Recycling and repurposing everyday items is de rigueur these days, so don’t let yourself get boxed in to thinking I need to find a tablecloth, for example. Some blankets or soft sheets can give you the perfect bohemian look you want. 

Votive candles or tea lights scattered among low vases filled with fresh cut flowers make the perfect tablescape for this shabby chic theme, but don’t put so many that there isn’t room to put anything else in the center of the table. To me, this kind of dining perfectly lends itself for placing huge platters of food -- family style -- on the table for everyone to dig in and serve themselves. One of my favorite meals to serve like this includes a big bowl of our Saigon Slaw (, pork barbeque, ribs, or pork tenderloins cooked on the grill, and baked beans. (I can envision the bountiful platters and bowls of food being brought to the table for my hungry guests! In my head they are oohing and aahing...I’m sure your guests will rave too. ;-))

If you’re looking for ideas to get started, Pinterest has so many beautiful images of outdoor tables like these. I feel inspired and get some of my best ideas after browsing pictures on the internet. We’d love to see any shabby chic outdoor tables you’ve created. Post a pic in the comments!  

Here’s to a Memorial Day full of good friends, great food, and time well-spent together. All of us at Bellisari’s wish you a safe and healthy holiday weekend!

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