Some of the joys of summer mean dining al fresco, after work garden barbecues, firefly gazing with a cocktail, and lake swims - I’m soaking up every last drop of these days, especially when you know there’s always a rainy day or two around the corner. And with all the outdoor dining, I’ve put my bamboo servingware to good use. Not only does it make great tabletop dinnerware, but the bowls and tray double as easy-to-carry vessels for freshly harvested greens. I’ve been enjoying discovering all the ways I can mix and match what I already had for place settings with this new summer-ready bamboo ware.
Dining outdoors, in and of itself, adds a special touch to any meal, especially this time of year. So when I’m setting a summer table, I like to incorporate natural elements that compliment my environment. These bamboo plates have been on heavy rotation so far (see here). Not only are they a sustainable alternative to paper or plastic, but they're made from non-toxic materials, are super durable and chic. The curved design of the small plate is perfect for serving a salad and I use the flat plate for the main dish or as a charger. For this table setting I’m also mixing in these handmade ceramic lace plates. I love how the two dinnerware collections create a high-low feel – making the table top look elevated, while maintaining those casual summer vibes.
One of my favorite parts of creating a table setting is adding floral accents and greenery. There's such an abundance of plants and flowers this time of year, the options are endless. I played off a bouquet that Jeffrey had gifted me for our anniversary by separating the stems and using these big green fern leaves on top of my woven placemats. I love the mix of textures and colors from each element, and just like how we layer our beds or our outfits, this is no different.
The bouquet also had these pretty pink blossoms that I knew would look lovely displayed solo, so I separated them and arranged a few into glass bud vases. I love the simplicity and ethereal quality of putting one or two stems in a few bud vases. I sometimes feel that flowers on a table can be overwhelming at times, and take up too much space and block a view between guests, but this approach is simple and subtly enhances the table setting. Plus, it’s super easy to put together, you can even take a few clippings from flowers in your garden.
One of my all time favorite items to use on a table are these linen placemats. They're luxurious and richly textured and this anthracite color goes with everything. I pretty much use them for every table I set. With all the neutral tones and textures on this table, I let the napkins take center stage. These are the newest prints here and here from my collection of custom designed napkins, which feature a handcrafted block print design on organic cotton. I love to mix and match to create beautiful accents throughout, it helps make the table feel less monotonous. In this latest series, you can choose from four different prints, or incorporate them all!
For our meal, I gathered fresh greens and herbs from the garden to make a summer salad. Of all the bamboo serving ware, this tray and bowl get the most use. For my salad, I picked some kale, snap peas, chives and cilantro and tossed it all in the same salad bowl using these salad servers. I made a simple champagne vinaigrette, olive oil, mustard dressing served in a mini bowl - these little bowls are great for preparing and serving, so fewer dishes to clean up! Tomato season has arrived, so I couldn't resist topping the salad with slices sprinkled with fresh, crushed garlic and pepper.
We finished the meal off with a delicious dessert which I can’t wait to share with you next week. I hope wherever this finds you, you're enjoying the outdoors and these long summer days.