Summer Inspiration: Setting the Outdoor Table

In this beautiful weather, a lot of homeowners are choosing to eat and entertain outside. An outdoor table setting can be a beautiful addition to any home and the perfect companion to your outdoor grill and kitchen. We’re inspired every day by our clients and thought we’d share a few tips for setting your outdoor table:

Tie in Nature

Make your table part of the outdoors with nature-inspired elements and centerpieces. Flowers are a classic centerpiece for an outdoor table- but we’ve seen beautiful ones using stones, seashells, or even pinecones.

Go Counter Height

For additional seating, try a tall bistro table or outdoor kitchen with an eat at bar. See our outdoor kitchen gallery here.

Kalamazoo outdoor kitchen bbq

Products: Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Appliances

Pick a color scheme

Summer weather goes perfectly with bright colors! A warm color scheme (reds, oranges, pinks, yellows, and even leather) is perfect for your next backyard party, and reminds us of fruity drinks and bright florals. A cool color scheme (blues, greens, whites, purples) can make an elegant table setting that reminds us of the beach.

Don’t be afraid of bold prints

Whether in the table cloth, cups, or napkin details, a bold print like stripes, floral, or chevron can liven up your table setting. Don’t overdo it—the beauty is in the subtle pop of print.


Candles are a favorite for the outdoor table, but a breeze can sometimes blow them out. We always have tiki torches, string lights, or even flameless candles and lanterns as a backup. Get some beautiful votives to place on the table to match your color scheme!

Create a theme

A leather theme is a nice way to celebrate the horse-race season or the Long Island Hamptons Classic horse show.

set the table

No bugs allowed

No one likes bugs joining their dinner party. Add a citronella candle to your table to deter mosquitoes. It’s also been said that bugs dislike the scent of Marigolds—so try mixing this flower into your centerpiece! It’s also important to have covers for all of your food and pitchers.

Add lots of cushions

Outdoor chairs can sometimes be a little hard (and get a little weather-worn), so cushions can make your guests a little more comfortable in their seats.

Mix and match

Table settings don’t have to be perfectly identical—we love outdoor settings that mix plate shapes, colors, seating and other details. Each guest gets their own personalized spot when you mix and match! Save the “good china” for your indoor meal—opt for more durable materials like melamine that are okay to drop. Check out our Outdoor Table Inspiration board on Pinterest for more inspiration! Here are some of our picks (Note: Kitchen Designs is compensated if you make a purchase using links we share in this post from our affiliated vendors):

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