Below, we have gathered our favorite tablescapes, inspired by the best summer decor ideas, the prettiest garden party ideas, and the latest interior design trends we love.  ‘This summer, all the stylish summer table decor ideas will be a bounty of color, pattern and, of course, blooms,’ says Homes & Gardens’ Editor in Chief Lucy Searle. ‘It’s a match made in heaven.’ So, if you are looking for outdoor dining ideas that focus on the table setting alone, search no further…

Summer table decor ideas

Composing the perfect combination of summer table decor ideas isn’t that different to the tablescaping tricks we employ year-round and during festive occasions to make guests feel welcome and to create a focal point for celebrations: rely on beautiful china, an eye-catching centerpiece, colorful table linen, and pretty name cards. 

1. Choose charming chintz for traditional appeal

Take your indoor style out into the garden for a gorgeously inviting lunch. Pretty in pink, these delightful colorful armchairs by Birdie Fortescue (opens in new tab) invite you to linger comfortably over a long, lazy lunch on a sunny day. Green accents complement the garden setting while a decorative, frilled floral tablecloth, also by Birdie, adds a feminine touch.

2. Add a personal touch

When it comes to laying the table for a gathering with friends, including a bespoke element can make all the difference. Here, patterned layers in a pretty palette are elevated with the addition of hand-drawn name-cards from Scribble & Daub (opens in new tab).

3. Go for laid-back luxury

Combine contemporary furniture, such as these chairs from Fermob (opens in new tab), with washed linen tablecloth and napkins to create a relaxed but chic setting. These pastel linens are from Rowen & Wren (opens in new tab). Small posies of flowers in stoneware ceramic vases stay true to the casual mood. 

4. Use an eye-catching statement pattern

Bold really can be beautiful, as shown by this vibrant setting featuring a collection of tableware from Cabana (opens in new tab). Here, the pop of yellow in the midst of reds and greens offers a lovely surprise. This level of drama means you don’t need to go big on flowers or other table decor.

5. Choose rustic simplicity surrounded by greenery

If you’re looking for outdoor birthday party ideas, this couldn’t be simpler. And there is little more delightful than lunch on a warm summer’s day beneath the dappled shade of a pergola covered with vines. And here understated everyday tableware is brought to life and given a celebratory feel with the simple decorative addition of colorful fresh roses placed down the centre of the table. 

6. Get the feels for a French fancy

There is something wonderfully original about this combination. Taking inspiration from French restaurant La Colombe d’Or (opens in new tab), this tablescape sees a hand-painted paper tablecloth and name-cards by Chiara Perano (opens in new tab) mixed with pretty pink tumblers, bamboo napkins, and frilly napkins by Amuse La Bouche (opens in new tab) serve as the setting for some wonderful summer lunch recipes.

7. Choose simplicity with natural materials

Sometimes the simplest of touches is all that it takes. For an effortlessly natural-feeling place setting, simply tie a linen napkin into a loose knot, add a piece of seasonal fruit or foliage picked from the garden and a handwritten namecard to indicate who sits where. A crisp white linen cloth ensures the table feels dressed and ready to go. 

8. Conjure up an elegant affair

Creating a summer flower arrangement is a must for a celebratory feel. Green and white table linen is the chicest of palettes for a summer lunch party in the garden. The delicately patterned linen tablecloth and napkins with delicate floral design, from Summerill & Bishop (opens in new tab), feel at home in the natural surroundings, whilst the white ceramics add a crisp, elegant edge. Candles ensure the gathering may comfortably stray past dusk.

9. Choose a patriotic combination

If you’re looking for a patriotic color scheme, perhaps July 4th decorations, this combination is a lovely twist on the norm. A decorative mix of pattern on pattern in tonal shades sets the scene for a jovial feast. This striking zigzag Wickewood (opens in new tab) tablecloth works wonderfully with the Cabana wicker place mats and napkins. Another decorative note is introduced with the marbled plates from Designers Guild (opens in new tab).

10. Go for greenhouse chic

As a sustainable alternative to a floral centerpiece, consider a row of homegrown aromatic herbs and potted greenery running down the table. Small cuttings can be gifted to your guests as part of their place setting. Worn vintage zinc chairs complete the look.

How can I decorate my summer table?

The simplest way to decorate a summer table is with a pretty tablecloth, china that complements it and a pretty table centerpiece. The centerpiece itself doesn’t need to be complicated: simple, small vases of flowers cut from your own borders can be enough to give the space the celebratory, summery feel you desire. If you are decorating a summer table for a late lunch, putting candles on the table, or to hand, will help you seamlessly move from lunch to late lounging.