Summer Dinner Party

IMG_4041Summer entertaining should be easy and breezy, not overly stressful. Yet, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a little dressed up.

Since setting the table happens before any party, you can take your time and embellish up to a day or two ahead. For a recent dinner, I started with matching hot pink chargers from Marie Daage with my wedding china, Wedgewood Crown Sapphire. It’s one of those patterns that I loved, then tired of and having spent years in the drawer as I rotated a number of other patterns, finally seemed new again. Pulling in the hot pink napkins and glasses gave a little punch to each table setting.

As I have mentioned before, it has been a banner year for the hydrangeas, so I was thrilled to just use what was in the garden for my centerpieces. Using a mix of containers…some gifts, some recycled, some simple water glasses, I was able to create a landscape of high and low down the center of the table.

Perhaps my favorite touch was using hydrangea leaves for placecards.IMG_4038 IMG_4034 IMG_4055 (1) IMG_4046 IMG_4033IMG_4036Using what you have and have accumlated over time, mixing it together and sharing it with friends…that makes entertaining easy and breezy.

Elizabeth-signature

Pretty Place Settings

My husband has been itching to have a dinner party. We both truly enjoy hosting friends for casual or formal evenings, the kind where the table is set and you know you were expected. We were fortunate to attend a super fun dinner party last weekend and it makes you want to get in on the fun!

If it’s been a while since you’ve set a formal table, these place setting diagrams by Waiting on Martha make it easy. Just add them to your Pinterest page, so you’ll have them when you need them!

Now all you have to do is create a guest list and a menu! Come on, you know you want to!


images: Waiting on Martha

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

For centuries, the pineapple has been seen as a symbol of hospitality and welcome. 

Legend has it that New England sea captains, who had travelled to the Caribbean, would spear a pineapple on their fenceposts to signal their safe return. The pineapple was an invitation to their friends to come visit, share food and drink and listen to tales of their voyage.

How perfect then, to use this symbol as the focal point of a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” dinner for our new neighbors. I’d been saving the pineapple cocktail napkins from Lettermade for something fun and this was it! They served as a focal point on our outdoor bar. 

I kept the color palette simple by keeping the to the green, echoed in the fern plant, and the textured tray and chargers which mimic the rough exterior of the pineapple.
For the centerpiece, I filled a large dough bowl with 4 pineapples. Super simple. I thought of adding flowers, but that would have been too much. Just like dressing yourself…dressing your table is about what you put on and what you leave off. Sometimes less is more. As in impact. I wanted to emphasize the pineapples, so I let them carry the table.

Now, it’s time to welcome the weekend! What do you have planned?