outdoor table stylings inspiration

Now that the Memorial Day holiday is behind us, the unofficial start of the summer season is upon us and that means dining al fresco. I love eating outside whether it’s at an exotic resort or at a local restaurant or in our own back yard. Today I am sharing outdoor table stylings ideas to get us all in the mood to dine outdoors.

Although our table settings outdoors tend to be more relaxed and casual, it doesn’t mean these tables can’t be special and thoughtful. I am intentional about my table top wares for the outdoors, including, enamelware, wooden pieces, rattan and galvanized pieces. The fact that these are not breakable is a big part of why I choose them.

Sometimes it’s fun to use fancy pieces outside too though. The occasion, the particular guests and the size of the party determines how I decide to style the table and set the tone for the fete. Also keep in mind these items I tend to use outdoors, also grace many of our tables inside as well. The rules are flexible, and it all depends on the event. Remember to have fun!

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outdoor dining creates a certain feeling

You’ll see many of the same trends in all the tables I’m sharing here today, but they all have their own theme or style. I love the freedom and playfulness setting a table outside allows.

Outdoor Gathering Tablescape & Tips

outdoor table stylings
outdoor gathering tablescape & tips

This post {outdoor gathering tablescape & tips} not only showcases a pretty table, but also has some great tips for outdoor dining.

outdoor table design ideas
outdoor gathering tablescape & tips

You can see more pictures and read more details on each table styling by clicking on the links below the images.

Thrifted Pewter Goodies on a Garden Table Design

In this tables cape I am showcasing some thrifted pewter ware. Pewter pieces are also great and outdoor friendly.

outdoor pewter table design
thrifted pewter goodies on a garden table design

I love how most outdoor gatherings usually start during plenty of daylight, but transition into dusk and darkness. Candles, twinkle lights and lanterns create great ambiance.

outdoor gathering
thrifted pewter goodies on a garden table design

use summer time motifs to set the mood for outdoor table stylings

Setting a table outdoors, which is not centered around a certain event or holiday, holds so many theme options. You can use a nautical theme, a garden theme, a floral theme, to name a few. One of my favorite summertime decor muses are seashells.

Seashell Tablescape

Seashells are on repeat on this table. The centerpiece has piles of seashells, plus there’s seashell votive holders sprinkled around the table and shells as accent plates at each place setting

seashell tablescape
seashell tablescape
seashell tablescape
seashell tablescape

Cloche Seashell Tablescape

Placing anything under glass in a cloche immediately amps the interest level. The large centerpiece cloche with the conch shells plus the mini individual cloches at each place setting with small seashells totally sets the beachy vibes.

cloche seashell tablescape
cloche seashell tablescape

I love how the copper pieces mix and mingle with the seashells in this table design. All the different linens are unexpected for an outdoor setting and add great textures.

cloche seashell tablescape
cloche seashell tablescape

Remember you can see more pictures and read more details on each table styling by clicking on the links below the images.

let the natural surroundings inspire

Last Day of Summer Garden Tablescape

The color green is always front and center around here, but it’s easy to inject it in outdoor designs since it surrounds us in nature.

summer tablelscape
last day of summer garden tablescape

There’s so much I love on this table from the transferware dishes to the hydrangeas from our yard and the ivy plants in the shabby chic containers.

summer tablelscape
last day of summer garden tablescape

The funny things is that these are all table top pieces I would use on a table inside, but they evoke a different feeling when set on a table surrounded by nature.

End of the Summer Tablescape al fresco

Always have plenty of cozy outside with plush pillows, throws and wraps. They do not necessarily have to be outdoor pieces, but just bring them out from inside the house for a particular evening.

summer table design
end of the summer tablescape al fresco

I love how all the container gardens are bursting on the patio. Y’all know how much I love my container gardens {container gardening ideas & inspiration}.

summer table styling
end of summer tablescape al fresco

Dinner for 2 al fresco

Sometimes it’s fun to bring fancy outside. It’s unexpected and it keeps life interesting. This romantic table for 2 was the perfect excuse.

dinner for 2 al fresco

It immediately transports me to an intimate bistro in Europe. That’s worthy of a pretty table in my book. I actually have a table in the garden coming your way soon.

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dinner for 2 al fresco

gathering & mingling during the warm months

I’m ready to use our outdoor spaces to enjoy the good life for the next several months. How about you? If you want more tablescape inspiration check out my Pinterest Board.

summertime entertaining

get the outdoor table look

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”

Charles Bowden

sharing @ between naps on the porch


  1. I LOVE The seashells!! They look SO pretty in those glass cloches!! So many amazing table ideas, MJ!!!

    1. Thanks Rachel. Hope your having a good weekend. XO- MJ

  2. Mary Jo, I love all of your alfresco tables, ideas, and tips. I love setting a table outdoors and themed tables are so much fun. Thank you for all the inspiration!

    1. Oh thanks Pam! I really appreciate the compliment coming from you since you set so many beautiful tables. Thanks for stopping by. XO- MaryJo

  3. Anna says:

    These are lovely MaryJo! I love the cloche Seashell table. My mom moved from California to New York several years ago and she always says that she missing sitting outside in the evenings the most. She misses those beautiful California evenings. Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks Anna. The best is no bugs. I loved balmy summer nights back East but the bugs not so much. Now we can have our Dutch door open everyday and not worry about bugs. XO- MJ

  4. I love all your settings MaryJo! Especially that gorgeous table for two! Love your beautiful chargers and plates too. Thanks for sharing – I’m inspired to set some outdoor tables now!

  5. Cara says:

    Oh my, I love the mini cloches MaryJo. I have them on my list of things I want or think I need, lol. That list is long… the seashells make me think of the ocean, and that is always a nice thought to have.

  6. Nicolle says:

    Hi MaryJo!!!! All of these tables are beautiful! My favorite is the seashell candle! Thank you so much for sharing at my weekly link party. I’m happy to be featuring you this week <3

  7. theanswerischocolate4920 says:

    Mary Jo, Beautiful and so perfect for the season. Featuring when my party opens!

    1. Thanks so much Carol! I very much appreciate the love! XO- MJ

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