The warmer weather inspires us to get outside to eat, play and garden. Is there a better place to bring those three elements together than the dining table? This post is the first in a short series on outdoor entertaining. The focus will be on table settings and antique serving pieces. Rather than a literal “how to …” it will be a place where I can share ideas for creating beautiful tablescapes for family and friends.
If you entertain often antique serving pieces have a multi-purpose quality which can be helpful. A reticulated silver basket can hold any number of things like utensils, candies, flowers or candles. Or emphasize the multi-generational charm of large, silver embossed server by juxtaposing it with a minimalist serving platter. As you start to use these pieces more, you’ll learn to appreciate how versatile they are and how they add life to an otherwise dull table setting.
Utensils with handles made from natural materials, like mother-of-pearl or antler have an uncommon appeal. Antique utensils in particular come in many sizes. The smaller luncheon size makes them easy to fit into small baskets or containers to be set aside for appetizers or desserts. Antique linens – tablecloths, napkins and placemats – embroidered with monograms, and decorated with floral needlework and lace soften hard surfaces and anchor the place setting, as well as define the guest’s special place at the table.
Finally, flowers from the garden are a delightful way to add color and scent to a table. Gather a bouquet in a crystal vase for a centerpiece, or use cut single stems in small fluted silver or glass bud vases and set them around the table. You could also snip long vines, like wisteria, and weave them throughout the place settings for a low-level arrangement.
I hope this has inspired you to create a beautiful table and to enjoy entertaining friends and family this summer. Wishing you many enjoyable outdoor gatherings. Stay tuned for more table setting inspiration from Marchioness.