How to Design the Perfect Garden Tablescape

Posted by admin on May 17, 2019 under Backyard, Buying Furniture

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As much as we love bringing the outdoors in, there is something exquisite about a leisurely dinner in your own garden. Are you are throwing a dinner party, celebrating a special occasion or having a romantic dinner for two? We have a vast array of ideas to inspire your next eye-catching outdoor tablescape.

What is a tablescape?

A tablescape is an artistic arrangement of functional and decorative items on the table. The tablescape displays a purposeful combination of items that create a wow-factor for an event, celebration or a special meal. Sometimes the word ‘tablescape’ is used interchangeably with ‘table-setting’ or ‘table-setting arrangement’.

Tablescaping includes everything from cutlery, tableware and glasses to the fabrics, outdoor garden centrepieces and greenery. We would go a step further and say that a tablescape even includes the table and chairs. The appearance of your decorations should be harmonious from one to another. Read on to discover our outdoor dinner party table setting ideas.

Follow our eight steps for an outstanding tablescape

Step one: finalise the meal’s formality

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It is essential you choose the formality of your garden meal from the offset. Is it restricted to a specific etiquette due to the type of event? For instance, if you host a wake after a funeral, you need to follow select protocols.

The formality of your dinner should match the corresponding event. As such, there is more flexibility if you are having a dinner party merely to socialise. However, it is vital to make your guests aware of the formality you choose.

Step two: choose your outdoor tablescape colour palette

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Next, you need to select a colour palette for your garden tablescape. This step must be done with care and, naturally, reflect the dinner’s formality. We suggest accentuating the season within your colour choice. This is a staple guideline concerning outdoor table decoration ideas for parties.

For instance, a spring palette may draw upon the pastel colours of blossom, capturing the light and airy essence of the season. There are numerous tablescape ideas for spring. Whereas outdoor table decoration for summer could depict fifty shades of green or bright and cheerful colours.

Step three: select a combination of textured materials for your garden table decorations

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Textured materials are fundamental to every tablescape. Textures are easily overlooked in table setting ideas for dinner parties. Yet, it is the most important part. The elements do not need to be ostentatious but as the saying goes, the devil is in the detail. Let the individual materials speak for themselves by choosing quality over quantity. Yet, ensure there is a variety.

As mentioned, your outdoor dinner party table setting should reflect the season. Consider sheer and flowing textiles for a romantic spring atmosphere. Thick fabrics are preferred during autumn and winter tablescapes. For instance, chunky knit napkins coupled with stoneware mugs. In that scenario, add a cosy throw and hot water-bottle to complete the look.

Consider selecting several of these textured materials for your outdoor tablescape:

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Silk
  • Sheer fabrics
  • Lace
  • Sackcloth
  • Woods
  • Ceramics
  • Stoneware
  • Glass
  • Concrete
  • Metal
  • Marble

Step four: consider the look of your furniture

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Your tables and chairs should factor into the texture equation. Strong and thick wood can be beautifully paired with infinite themes and styles. In fact, garden tablescapes featuring wood stand out. However, depending on your table, the wood may clash with select colour palettes. If that is the case, a high-quality table cloth is a great solution.

If you are hosting a large event you may wish to rent the furniture. However, dinner parties will likely take place using your own furnishings. If you cant restore your current furniture, we suggest investing in an extendable teak table. These are perfect for dinner parties and family gatherings.

Teak is a durable wood which requires minimal maintenance and can be left outdoors. As such, it will last the test of time. Their graceful ageing develops into a silver-grey and can be sanded for their restored colour. The expandable option is an excellent choice for those of us who like to entertain guests and create stunning garden tablescapes.

Step five: secure the right tableware

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Your tableware selection should come naturally once you have chosen the formality and theme of your event, the colour palette and your primary textures. Nevertheless, there are several crucial things to consider before making any purchases.

Will you be waiting on the tables or hiring someone to do so? If this is the case, a distinctive effort can be applied to the presentation of each dish. As such, we recommend choosing platters and plates that accommodate this goal. A large dish promotes embellishment with a gourmet finish.

Glass and china are naturally classy options for formal events. However, stoneware can be dressed up too. Your cutlery can be simplistic, display intricate floral designs or industrial styles. Rose gold cutlery is often paired with boho outdoor dinner party table setting ideas. Whereas yellow gold is a classic item for a formal event. However, rules can be broken.

Step six: showcase nature on your outdoor tablescape

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You can show off the greenery and floral elements. After all, you are having a garden party! Take your colour palette with you to the garden centre, along with a picture of some of the materials you will be using. The staff are sure to know which plants will best supplement your theme and may also have a few outdoor table decoration ideas.

Calla lilies are a sophisticated and elegant choice for a formal gathering. They can be placed within fish bowls as a outdoor garden centrepiece or stand proudly in a tall vase. Alternatively, dress your table with garlands or vines. They can be placed on a translucent table-runner or become the stand-alone feature.

Step seven: Don’t forget the lighting

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If your meal is in the evening you may wish to incorporate candles into your theme. Candles are a source of light and ambience for when the sun goes down. Additionally, candles can double up as an outdoor table centrepiece. Tall candle-sticks are extremely elegant for fine dining events.

While tall candles are fantastic outdoor table decoration for summer parties, this type of candle is the least child-friendly. Safer options include glass lanterns which keep the fire contained and can be placed on or around the table.

Step eight: design name place cards and menus

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Seating arrangements are popular for larger events, establishing formal connotations. If you are hosting a small garden reception, name cards can be another way to show your creative edge. After all, there are many designs and trends to choose from when looking for table setting ideas for a dinner party.

Acrylic place cards with white or gold lettering set against a tropical leaf will execute quite the statement. You can explore different possibilities with alternate coloured text. Another option is to use a sheer card with the guest’s name. Match the place names with a cotton-paper menu. For a minimalist style, choose a well-spaced font with clean lines rather than curves.

If you are not using assigned seating, place cards don’t have to be off the table (pun intended). For instance, a simple ‘Bon Appetit’ is a welcoming gesture and can complement the table setting. These small details give your garden party tablescape a little extra shazam!

Final tips for planning a garden tablescape

Once you have several garden table ideas and decided how you want them to appear, you can move on this next checklist.

  • Make arrangements to source the necessary merchandises, furnishings and greenery.
  • Hire any necessary staff to act as waiters, help with any heavy-lifting or professionals to set up your garden tablescape.
  • Alternatively, prepare everything yourself in advance, giving yourself plenty of time to spare.
  • Write down the arrival times of all your products and services.
  • Don’t forget to organise food and drinks.

Also, will you need a gazebo or covering in case it rains? Do you have plan-B scenarios in place in case there is a mishap with one or two elements of your garden table decorations? These are the types of questions you need to resolve before your event.

Once all of these steps have been completed, you can sit back and enjoy a perfect garden tablescape with all your friends. Don’t forget to snap a few Instagram photos to show off your masterpiece!

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