What’s the easiest way to make your summer parties extra-special? Put together a beach-themed tablescape, of course! It doesn’t matter if you are hosting a casual summer dinner, a backyard barbecue, or a celebratory brunch on the porch: setting a special summer table for a party lets your guests feel appreciated. The thought and effort you put into your beachy tablescapes suggests that you’re excited about your guests and enjoying a meal with them.
Summer is the time to sit back and relax, and we have some tablescape ideas for summer parties that are as simple and delectable as chicken on the grill. Just remember that setting a beach-themed table need not be expensive - while you can certainly go as overboard as you want, the right combination of colors and candlelight can create a beautiful beachy table setting that doesn’t break the bank.
What every tablescape needs
In order to create a beautiful beach-themed tablescape for a summer party, you need the following essentials, which you can adapt to any tablescape regardless of occasion or time of year:
- Place settings: This includes your napkins, china, silverware, and optional napkin rings or place cards.
- Placemats or chargers: Whether you use simple straw chargers, paper placemats, or something altogether different and creative, a placemat or charger adds dimension to your table.
- A centerpiece: The rule of thumb to follow: low-level centerpieces are the best - that way you and your guests can see each other and nobody has to worry about offending the hostess for moving her lovely centerpiece out of the way just to have a chat with the person across from them.
- Candlelight: From tea lights to pillars to flameless candles, candles are an inexpensive way to add height, drama, and ambiance to your table, day or night.
- Color scheme: Selecting a palette and sticking to it communicates your theme and provides the tone for the meal.
Here are a few ideas for beach tablescapes you can try this summer:
1. Breezy By The Sea
Color scheme/palette: Neutrals, whites, and pale blues and yellows, natural textures when possible
Centerpiece: Glass jars in varying heights and sizes filled with shells or sea-colored glass beads set atop a burlap or bamboo runner down the table
Candlelight: Set a tea light on top of each filled glass
Placemat/charger: Shell-rimmed charger (either store-bought or DIY’ed)
Place setting: White or pale blue plates and clear glasses, beige or white napkins
Something extras: Seashells are great to put down the runner, or you might want to have one large shell anchoring down each place setting.
2. Nautical Night
Color scheme/palette: Navy or cobalt blue and white
Centerpiece: Cover the table with a blue or white tablecloth - if you can find one with stripes, all the better. Lay a net down the table in lieu of a runner and set a lantern filled with candlelight in the center for a lighthouse vibe.
Candlelight: Purchase rope-wrapped candle holders or make your own with a glass jar, some rope, and a glue gun - see here for a step-by-step DIY tutorial!
Placemat/charger: Silver or straw chargers (depending on how “fancy” you want to be) or blue and white striped placemats.
Place setting: White china, blue napkins
Something extras: Any small ornaments or accessories you can find with anchors or lifesavers on them are great to include in this centerpiece or on your place settings.
3. Tropical Tastes
Color scheme/palette: Mint, coral, beige, and white
Centerpiece: Luxe fresh flowers in a row down the table in jars filled with sand, mini-pineapple, palm leaves anchored by a pile of seashells that surround an oversized pillar candle or row of small candles
Candlelight: The candles are part of your centerpiece already, so just be sure to light them!
Placemat/charger: Natural-woven round placemats
Place setting: Bright colored china, aqua-colored napkins, and a few light blue sea glass jars,
Something extras: Little cocktail umbrellas for tropical frozen drinks, of course! Flower garlands, a string of twinkle lights, starfish