Hosting and lifestyle experts, Shannon and Jenna of The Busy Bee, are on the blog today sharing how to set a sophisticated Summer tablescape using their favorite Summer table decor finds at Old Time Pottery.

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When we were little, our Summers were full of many dinners spent around our Nana’s dining room table. We’d spend hours at the table sharing stories, laughing until we cried and passing dishes of her made-from-scratch meals she had spent all day preparing. And Nana didn’t just take the time to cook the tastiest meals, she also made dining at her house an experience, especially around the given holiday with a themed tablescape. So, this year, as we were designing an intimate 4th of July dinner party, we drew inspiration from our time spent around Nana’s table and created a sophisticated Summer tablescape to encourage our guests to stay a while. For stylish home decor that won't break the bank, we went to Old Time Pottery!

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While this red, white and blue design coordinates perfectly with a July 4th celebration, it can very well be enjoyed for the remaining Summer months. With a variety of textures, patterns and muted tones, this sophisticated Summer tablescape is perfect for a stylishly casual dinner that lingers well into the evening.

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Sophisticated Summer Tablescape with Old Time Pottery

Want to create this simply elegant tablescape for Summer dining this year? We’re sharing exactly how we achieved the look using our favorite table decor finds at Old Time Pottery below!

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How to Set a Sophisticated Summer Tablescape

  1. Choose Subtle Tones

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Every design begins with a color palette or theme. Since this tablescape was intended to be set for the Fourth, the colors of the American flag came to mind. Instead of incorporating the vibrant hues of our flag’s red, white and blue, we opted for subtle tones to elevate the design. 

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To the human eye, lighter tones are often considered more visually appealing or sophisticated because they’re not as vivid as the true hues. To the contrary, vibrant colors are often viewed as being more juvenile. Therefore, the muted reds and blues seen throughout helped to create a sophisticated Summer tablescape.

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2. Soften the Surface with Textiles

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Table linens and textiles are a sure and simple way to dress up a table. We chose a woven table runner with a subtle pattern to elevate the overall design while keeping the overall aesthetic Summer-casual by allowing the wood tones of the table to be exposed.

3. Draw Guests in with a Unique Centerpiece

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Draw guests to your tablescape by creating a beautiful centerpiece they’ll enjoy gazing at throughout dinner. This woodchip tobacco basket makes a statement on its own and was perfect for displaying a collection of decorative table decor that served both style and function.

4. Provide Linen Napkins over Disposable

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While disposable napkins are convenient, linen napkins are an easy way to bring sophistication to your Summer tablescape. Plus, they’re better for the environment and you can use them over and over!

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#HostfulHack: If you cannot find linen napkins to coordinate with your decor, decorative kitchen towels are a great alternative and cost-effective option! We found these muted red, French striped kitchen towels near the dinner napkins at Old Time Pottery, and we couldn’t be happier with the way they turned out.

5. Go Formal with Flatware

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In this case, “formal” does not necessarily mean ornamental or upscale. Instead, use metal flatware over disposable and set as you would expect at a formal place setting for a more sophisticated look. Forks to the left and knives and spoons to the right. No need to visit a tableware store near you, you can find everything you need right at Old Time Pottery.

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#HostfulHack: Can’t remember which side of the plate your utensils go? Remember this: F-O-R-K has 4 letters in it as does L-E-F-T. K-N-I-F-E AND S-P-O-O-N have 5 letters in them as does R-I-G-H-T.

6. Set Stemware

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Whether you plan to serve wine, water or mocktails at your Summer dinner party, set stemware at each place setting for an elevated look. We decided to serve a red wine in order to tie in the red tones of the table design, so we selected these modern, Bordeaux glasses. Old Time Pottery also has a great selection of white wine glasses, champagne flutes and goblets.

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7. Plate or Re-Plate Your Entrees and Side Dishes

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Before presenting your entrees and side dishes, place them in or on decorative serveware. This works for homemade, store-bought or restaurant-ordered alike. 

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Believe it or not, the pot pie shown in this French blue, floral pie dish is a pre-made frozen entree from our local grocer. As you can see, presentation is everything when it comes to food, and beautiful serveware will only add to your sophisticated Summer tablescape.

#HostfulHack: Plate store bought entrées and/or sides as well as restaurant takeout on decorative serveware for a homemade look. Then top with your favorite garnish to take it up a notch!

8. Set the Mood with Candlelight

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One of the easiest and cost-effective ways to create a sophisticated Summer tablescape, is to add candlelight. Simple tea lights or votive candles will go a long way in fostering a warm, inviting and elegant setting your guests will want to enjoy for hours to come.

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After all the details and decor were set into place, we took a step back and smiled. We know Nana would appreciate this thought out table design that celebrates the season at hand. Our only hope now is that it inspires you to create a sophisticated Summer tablescape to spend with loved ones this season.

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You don't have to spend a lot of time hunting for the nearest home decor store, find your closest Old Time Pottery and start decorating! And if you’re wanting to learn 5 Easy Ways to Elevate Your Summer Table Decor, be sure to head to The Busy Bee for all

 of our simple tips and tricks.

Hap-Bee Hosting, friends!


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About Our Blog

When it comes to home decor inspiration, we think our shoppers have the best ideas! We have a passion for the unique and beautiful - whether it's decor, food, or furnishings. You'll find simple, inspired ideas to enhance your home and excite your family from real Old Time Pottery fans. Browse all of the looks from Instagram and Pinterest to others' #otpstyle, and use the hashtag to show off your own styles.