A NOT-TOO-RUSTIC SUMMER TABLESCAPE

a natural table design that mixes high and low designs

This table design is a bit difficult to write about. It was honestly something I threw together after Liz found these gorgeous green Belmont Plates from Target. Apparently, she had this whole design scheme in her head and I just couldn’t resist putting my spin on it.

It’s not that we are necessarily competitive with each other, but my brain doesn’t allow me to look at something without thinking about how I might do it differently. Hell, I even find myself redesigning my own designs.

My ex used to call it “the stare.” The stare meant something was going to get rearranged, repainted or replaced. In the end, I guess I had started staring him down too, but for the record I would have settled for a redo instead of a replacement.

GREEN AS A NEUTRAL 

So, back to these plates. After watching Liz pull together some ideas, I started hashing out my own plan. I often think of green as a neutral. It goes with everything. Just ask Mother Nature.

I started with a layer of earth in the form of a Natural Linen Tablecloth from Sur La Table. 

Then, I added some trees literally and figuratively with some Acacia Wood Chargers from Target and a great piece of driftwood. Even my vintage flatware is a combination of teak and silver. 

I added in my “greenery” with the plates and topped them with a fun pinstriped napkin. To really dress things up I designed a fun watercolor menu that you can actually edit and download from our printables, and finally topped everything off with a sprig of actual greenery. 

NATURAL DOESN’T HAVE TO MEAN RUSTIC 

This table certainly has a lot of rustic elements. Wood chargers, brass patina vases and let’s not forget that big hunk of driftwood. However, I never like my tables to be exactly one thing or another. Kind of like wearing jeans with strappy high heels or a sequined skirt with an old band tee. Eclectic is the name of my style game.

To give things a little sparkle, I added these beautiful crystal wine glasses and a few traditional brass candlesticks. Here’s the thing – I believe in using your crystal and china if you have it. There is zero point keeping it stored away for special occasions. I think dinner with friends is always a special occasion. Sometimes, even dining solo on leftovers and a cheap bottle of beer can be a special occasion. Treat yourself. Use the damn crystal! After all, Miller Highlife is the champaign of beers. 

DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL WITH YOUR FLOWERS 

Sometimes things call for stand-out floral arrangements, but often flowers that blend in with a design can have a nice impact too. For instance, the flowers used in these arrangements are just an extension of the table design – greens, earthy tones, and a little pop of brass.

They also incorporate a little bit of that high/low style. Eucalyptus and ranunculus make up a fairly traditional base, but the pop of dried pampas grass, which always reminds me of feathers, adds a little funky glam to the mix.  

TO DINE IN OR OUT, THAT IS THE QUESTION

Obviously, it’s summer, and dining al fresco is always an option. Even with the fancy crystal, I don’t see why you couldn’t set this table up in your backyard for an intimate soirée.  And, I’d treat my menu just like my table – a bit of casual and fancy.

Maybe start the evening off with a unique cocktail. The Two Cents is a nice combination of sweet and smokey because it features maple syrup and mezcal. Delicious.

Speaking of smokey, Kielbasa might sound like a strange main, but I promise this Summer Squash and Kielbasa combo is fabulous – especially on a warm night. Add No Knead Italian Herbs and Cheese Bread to the mix, and you have simple, but savory meal.

I’d end things with the ultimate in high/low combos – Browned Butter Rice Krispies Treats. Yes, you read that right, Rice Krispies Treats. Those, sometimes dry, little sticky squares you ate at every homeroom party from 1st to 5th grade.

I cannot emphasize enough how the browned butter changes the standard dessert game completely. I thought after the age of 11, I’d never have to eat another Rice Krispies Treat again. But this recipe is so good, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on a Michelin menu someday. I’m totally NOT exaggerating.

Cheers! 

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