Entertaining with Style: Outdoor Dining

Entertaining with Style: Outdoor Dining

As the weather warms up, it means two things – it’s time to start drinking chilled wines and it’s time to take dinner outside.  The rules for dressing your outdoor table aren’t much different than the rules for dressing yourself.  You always want to include color, texture, pattern and shine.

Before you host your first outdoor dinner party this year check out our inexpensive ways to transform your outdoor table into an elegant entertaining space.

Dressing the Table

You want to think outside the cloth which means you don’t need to limit yourself by only using tablecloths.  You can use old fabrics and sheets to cover your table.  Then you wont feel badly if they get stained.  

When picking your cloth look for ones that incorporate two main colors. Choose fabrics that have fun, but don’t compete.  Finally, you can always use burlap to add some texture.

Place Settings

Fabric strips can serve as double duty by acting both as a tablecloth and place mats.  If you want to give these fabrics strips a little extra than use pinking shears or hem tape to make a designed edge.

Melamine plates are a great option to eat with outside.  They are break-resistant dinnerware!

Finally, don’t be afraid to match silverware and glasses.  The different looks will add a fun element to your outdoor dinner party.


Don’t be afraid to bring inside elements outside and place then on your table.  Vases or crystal bowls will add a nice touch.  

Alternatively, you should also use outdoor elements to accessorize.  Scout your backyard and use beautiful branches like Clinton’s dogwoods to make a centerpiece.  Finish off the table with votive candles and terracotta pot saucers.  The candles will add a little shine and ambiance and the saucers make great platters.