Summer Tablescape Ideas: 9 Ideas for the Perfect Summertime Table


Summer is all about embracing every minute of downtime to soak up the sun, get outside, and enjoy vacations and holidays with family and friends. And when that’s not happening, you want to feel like it is going on indoors, am I right? Here are my top ideas for summer tablescape ideas – plus tips on how to make them your own.

Are you ready to celebrate all things summer around a table with family and friends? Hosting meals outdoors or inside is one of the best parts of the season. I’ve got some great ideas to get you started with celebrating the beauty of the summer.

Summer Tablescpape Decor Ideas
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The Best Summer Table Decoration Ideas

It’s so easy and simple to add summer details to a table in the summer.

Clip blooms from your backyard or add treasures from your last beach trip to the table. Use wine bottles for candle holders or bowls of fruit for centerpieces. It’s all so fun to decorate with lots of bright colors and sweet nods to the seashore!

1. Bright Summer Florals

Starting with the champion of easy summer tablescape ideas here: Add seasonal flowers for instant elegance. Summer blooms are the most vibrant of all and will brighten up your table effortlessly.

Drop colorful flowers like sunflowers, hydrangeas, dahlias, calla lilies and zinnias into one large vase or cluster several small ones. You can do nothing more and the season will come alive on your table. Summer is so simple!

beautiful hydrangeas, peonies and lilies for summer table centerpiece.

Add some beautiful floral napkins to a simple table setting to add extra color and summer fun!

2. Tropical Citrus Splash

Even in the most traditional designs, adding a little citrus will remind everyone of the joy of summer’s arrival. You can use fresh fruits as decorative accents – like a bowl of lemons, limes, or oranges – to bring a burst of sunshine to your table.

Bowls of fruit for summer or spring table decorations.

Or you can draw inspiration from their colors or patterns to add a pop of bright orange, lemon yellow or chartreuse green in napkins, vases, napkin rings, plate chargers or colored glassware. I usually choose just one or two pops. A little goes a long way.

3. Coastal Charm

Seashells, starfish and pristine sand dollars are some of my favorite beachy treasures and I am sure I am not alone. You can incorporate them into place settings, scatter them across the table or around your centerpiece, or use them to mark place cards.

Simple summer place setting with blue bowls and white starfish decor.

And yes, it’s OK to combine them with other summery elements like fruits and flowers for your table setting. They all co-exist in nature this time of year, so why shouldn’t your table show it? I love the color contrast and common memories they bring about the season. Your guests will love it, too.

4. Seaglass Accents

Still going with the beach theme, is there any more beautiful gem you can discover on sandy shores than sea glass? If you’re familiar with my home, you know I already have an affinity for soft blues and greens.

Coastal Decor in the Dining Room with white plate, rattan charger and shell decor.

I love summertime when I can bring them into my tablescape this way. You can use frosted, tinted glassware, glass bottles, votive candle holders, and tinted blue canning jars to get the look.

blue glass decor for summer tablescape.

A long time ago, I made a long DIY box with some scrap wood and filled it with mason jars full of seasonal flowers in spring. The look easily made the transition to summer. A long box or tray is perfect for holding fall and winter wares, too. That little idea has gotten some serious mileage for centerpieces.

5. Beachy, Breezy and Nautical Textiles

Lightweight, breezy linens are what we wear in the summer ­– especially here in the South. Shouldn’t your table?

Choose summery textiles in shades of white, blue and beige to feel like you are on the beach even when you aren’t. Nautical themes and traditional European accents like gingham tablecloths are signs of summer, too, especially for big summer celebrations like the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

summer decor in the dining room.

Get the look with navy stripes in canvas or terrycloth textures and red-and-white checkered heavy cotton gingham for napkins, placemats or table runners as you see fit for the place or occasion. Napkins or a table runner in these textiles over neutrals can be just enough.

6. Raw Natural Textures and Materials

Nature comes alive in spring and matures in summer, so you can’t go wrong by incorporating beautiful woods and other raw materials into your tablescape. Think of beachy accents like sea oats and driftwood – and materials from tropical and exotic climates like bamboo, rattan and jute for your summer tablescape ideas.

summer decor in the dining room.

I always start with a rattan charger because it screams beachy summer. A bamboo or a beautiful local wood serving board for charcuterie or hors d’oeuvres and rattan chargers will instantly add natural warmth to your table.

Summer Table Setting with natural wood tones.

7. Summer Farm Fruits

I covered tropical citrus fruits, but don’t forget what we find fresh at our local farmer’s markets this time of year. Fresh strawberries, peaches, blueberries and blackberries say summer to me, don’t they to you? You can add big or little baskets or pretty dishes of them to your tablescape or simply pull inspiration from their colors and motifs for pops of color in your linens, dishes and glassware.

peaches in a bowl with a striped navy and white pillow.

These are all rich, jewel colors, so they go best in moderation against whites and other neutrals, plus muted “neutral” blues and greens.

8. Light, Breezy Colors and Whites

I mentioned what fabrics we prefer during warm weather months, and we all know the colors, too. Dress your table like you do yourself, keeping it cool and airy on these sweltering summer days. Think of it like yourself on a sunny day in the perfect light linen or fine cotton clothes, picking the brightest, biggest peach. Simplicity and luxury at once! Do that with your table.

Eat-in Summer Kitchen with red/brown engineered hardwood floors.

When we get time to slow down in the summer, that is exactly what this time is for. Keep it neutral with white dishes and neutral placemats and tablecloths. Then pick the cutest, sweetest little accents to change it up throughout the season.

9. Alfresco Ideas

As for outdoor tablescape ideas, most of these ideas translate perfectly for dining al fresco. Still, you can take it up a notch using things you may already have! Instead of bowls of unpeeled fresh fruit, combine uncut fruit with greenery and cut fruit platters for serving.

beachy table decor in the dining room for summer.

For place settings, add bundles of fresh herbs tied in a bow. They are a pretty touch and smell amazing. Hang outdoor string lights for a cozy ambiance overhead and twinkle lights on the table. Gather up your potted plants to set the scene for that special brunch, lunch or dinner.

lemon ricotta pancakes recipe

Start with these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and you can’t go wrong!

Final Thoughts

The best part of all of this? If you have been having fun with all of these simple ideas through the summer, you’re going to be the hostess with the mostest come the end of the season on Labor Day.  You will have all of the elements for a classic backyard barbecue that brings friends and family together before the season turns to fall.

Bring in the wooden serving boards and chargers, checkered gingham, nautical stripes and blue glass. Add some rustic elements like ice-filled metal beverage tubs and a tiny bit of burlap to hint at fall.  I promise it will all work together to signal the change of seasons where everyone will remember the best parts of summer while looking forward to the beauty and fun of autumn.

seasonal summer decor for the dining room.

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