Wow, by the look of my most recent posts, it sure looks like I’ve been partying it up on the rooftop patio this summer. Well it’s partially true although you’re not seeing all the rainy days in between the rooftop shindigs. Summer is super short here so I like to take advantage when it’s nice. My favorite part about hosting is setting the table. I don’t like to go too over the top with themes but I couldn’t help myself when I saw this fun outdoor sea life dinnerware set from Pottery Barn recently. I decided it would be the perfect reason to create an Under the Sea outdoor tablescape theme for my next rooftop dinner party. I used some subtle decor elements to create the theme and of course had to throw in DIY project (or two) for something extra special.
As I mentioned, it all started with this great set of 4 dishes. I just love the sea life illustrations – they’re sophisticated yet still fun & whimsical. When it comes to a sea theme, it’s easy to just make everything blue which would look fabulous but I decided to mix it up a bit for this setting with some contrasting colors, natural elements, interesting florals along with some various shades of green and blue.
I’m not a huge fan of tableclothes but I love how a table runner can add some color and pull a table setting together. The first thing I did to create an under the sea tablescape theme was make this really easy dyed table runner. There’s something about dyed fabric that is so sea-like and it’s so quick and easy (stay tuned for the upcoming DIY tutorial). Once you have the dye out it’s hard not to get a little carried away so I also made some ocean-like streamers for the chairs which add the perfect unexpected element of whimsy.
Keep reading for lots more pics of this under the sea outdoor tablescape…
My favorite part about setting a table is choosing the flowers. I never really know what I want until I walk into the flower shop and get inspired by what I see. I was looking for flowers that somewhat resembled some of the plants you may see under the water along with some greenery and simple white blooms.
I’m not sure what the unusual grey-like plants are but don’t they, along with the green flowers, look so much like floating coral? The big red bloom was inspired by the color of the plates and the shape reminded me of a sea shell.
As an added touch but without being too cliche, I used a piece of driftwood I found at my cottage with a few touches of gold leaf to dress it up and some small shells at the bottom of the vases and candles.
The Water Hyacinth Place Mats added another natural reference and lots of great texture. They’re so versatile and neutral which can work with so many different themes.
I died over the green enamel dipped flatware. How stunning are they? They’re perfect for an sea theme. I’m a big fan of the melamine plates and glassware for outdoor entertaining but I still always use the real deal stainless steal flatware because it just classes up the joint, you know what I mean?
When it comes to setting a tablescape it’s all about the layering. This is a pretty simple table setting but you can see that there’s a few layers of various colors, patterns and textures to add interest.
It all cleans up pretty nice don’t you think? There’s nothing better than a Summer evening with good company and good food. Ok and a nice table doesn’t hurt either.
Here’s where you can find all these great pieces from the Pottery Barn outdoor dining collection:
I know it may seem a bit overwhelming to create a table setting design for your dinner parties but it adds so much and it doesn’t have to be super complicated. Get a few versatile pieces that can be used for different styles & themes then change up some of the decor elements. The biggest tip to help with the stress is to set your table the day before (or two) before your dinner party, then it’s done and you’re not rushing to do it at the last minute. If you like this, check out another pretty summer table setting I styled for Style at Home Magazine.