Easy Summer Table Setting Ideas

Summer is a great time to set a pretty table outside when the weather allows. Summer entertaining are two of my favorite words…yours too? In honor of all the delights that eating outside in summer brings, I’m sharing some casual table settings. Summer table settings can be casual and simple, or elegant and filled with summer sunshine. Here are lots of memorable Easy Summer Table Setting Ideas!

Easy Summer Table Setting Ideas

New Summery Linens

By now you know I love to set a pretty table. I hope you’re ready to set one {or lots!} too, since summer is the best time to entertain. Designing a fabulous summer table setting is an inspired way to create a special casual, welcoming mood. It doesn’t take a lot of work, just making use of what summer offers and playing up what summer is about…sun, fun, and nature. Here are a few tips to help you set the perfect summer table for your next entertaining party at home.

Easy Summer Table Setting Ideas


Choose a Theme

Celebrate the season with a summery theme. Amp up the fun factor of your table setting, and make it much easier to figure out what to use and how you want your table to look! In the summer setting below, I played on the theme of summer’s fruit bounty. There were flowers, sure, but the true stars of the table were antique ironstone dishes filled with summer fruit and fruit tarts.


antique french enamelware blue

Antique Bright Blue French Coffee Pot


Here are my favorite summery themes for a table setting:

  • Summer Fruits. Either one special fruit you love, or go for a whole season’s bounty!
  • Vegetables – set your table in cool greens and use a bowl filled with artichokes, or a basket with all sorts of vegetables, as a centerpiece.
  • Flowers – either one favorite kind like roses, a grand bouquet of all summer’s favorites, or little potted herbs?
  • Red White & Blue – patriotic – always a winner in the summertime!
  • Picnic with a great picnic basket!

hydrangeas and lavender bouquets

antique ironston

Like Ironstone Compote


What is a table without beautiful flowers?!  Summer is the time that your garden might be able to provide a beautiful bunch of flowers. My own head gardener, Mr. FGH, kind of frowns on lots of cutting, but I try to cut flowers “in the back” and add generous heaps of greens. A pretty antique French pitcher or jar is the perfect summer floral container. This garden centerpiece features a few branches of the Mexican sage, but wildflowers you find next to a country road will look just as fetching!

French Garden Planning Luncheon
French garden planning luncheon

1940’s Watering Sprayer | Vintage Hose Nozzles


Summer is all about easy, no fuss – “keep it simple” should be the focus.  My ‘go to’ simple colors for summer are very neutral. White or black dishes, or both, is an easy to use summer look. A few natural accents in wood or metal, some greens or flowers, and it’s a great look to let that glorious summer food take star status. Using a sturdy antique French linen sheet is easy {they pop right into the washer and dryer because they’re strong} or sometimes I just use a kraft paper ‘runner’ taped down on both ends of the table for a really casual an easy look.

The linen napkins are tied with a piece of kitchen twine, and have a sprig of rosemary from the herb garden as an accent. {Smells so good!}


Host a Memorable Dinner Party

Linen Napkins|19th Century Wood Bowl


Summer is a wonderful time to pull out all the stops with beautiful and exciting textiles! Pair new, colorful French tablecloths with antique French linen napkins for a beautiful effect.


Provencal French Tablecloth | Antique French Linens

Stack napkins between plates for a charming and casual effect like I did for this table below.

Easy Summer Table Setting Ideas

Olive Bowls


This is a given, but I know many of you live where summer days are just too hot to entertain outdoors. So, either figure out if you can host outside later in the evening when it {hopefully} cools down, or pretend you are in the great outdoors and set a summery table inside using garden elements.  For this summery table setting below, I used potted plants, antique wood nursery trays, and big bold bunches of sunflowers and summer garden flowers and greens, all the while keeping it very casual with lots of antique white ironstone plates, tureens, and bowls.


summer flowers and ironstone

French Kitchen/ Ironstone


Keep drinks light, and easy to get to. Often I set up a little drinks station on a side table and serve infused waters, iced tea, sometimes a summery mixed drink.  For sunny entertaining in the past, I set up a mimosa station on a little table right next to the outdoor dining table.  Another favorite is an herbal infused water, so refreshing on hot summer days and nights!

French floral arrangement


You know this, I always use some French antiques in every table setting. It could be the dishes, the silverware, or a big basket to hold baguettes or wine. Adding a storied piece to your table brings it to life, and also acts as a conversation starter!  Some of my favorite antiques to use on tables are French baskets, large French ironstone pitchers, and cutting boards.

The Promise of spring

The Promise of spring



Another fun idea is to have a picnic in your own back garden! An old quilt, a large piece of antique French ticking, all of these are great to place on your grass and use as the setting for an “at home” picnic.  Especially my little people love this there is something about sitting on the ground to eat lunch or dinner that they adore. But grown-ups do too! Just be sure to have some pillows around to sit or lay down on for your guests. If you’re not 100% sure about a whole entertaining meal on the grass, just having appetizers and drinks there could be a fun and unusual beginning of your party!

picnic set with French antiques

French cheese board


New Summery Linens
Antique Bright Blue French Coffee Pot
Like Ironstone Compote
Linen Napkins
19th Century Wood Bowl
Provencal French Tablecloth
Antique French Linens
1940’s Watering Sprayer 
Vintage Hose Nozzles

Summer time is fun and laid-back, so adjust your attitude to the same. Relax, and enjoy yourself, summer is the time for casual, easy entertaining. If you’re relaxed and go with the flow, your guests will have a much better time. I hope you feel inspired to set a few summer tables that bring you and your guests joy!


I’m sure you have great tips, we’d love to hear from you! Leave us your fun tips in the comments below, we’d love to learn new tricks from you! 


Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and above all uniquely yours. Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com

7 thoughts on “Easy Summer Table Setting Ideas”

  1. Alice Genzlinger

    No tricks but lots of treats. Here in Colorado we have a very short summer and our springs are very cold snd snowy sometimes. We have a large screened porch just off the kitchen that serves as a dinning room during Summer. It also protects from mosquitoes and other flying insects. This year God sent a Robin family to nest in the down spout. She’s currently feeding her babies. I have a sweet family with three littles living next door. I love to have mom and the girl sometimes for tea . Other times the entire family. Church groups and other friends gather there. There is a small koi pond my hubby dug for me many years ago near the patio. Just being quiet and listening to the water fall and nature was healing for me last year after lumbar and cervical surgery. I decorate according to the seasons and throughly enjoy all of the fuss. Your tables and garden gorgeous. Be sure to tell Mr FGH I said do?

  2. FrenchGardenHouse

    Alice, it sounds so lovely on your porch. That you lovingly share it with your neighbors and others is so wonderful. To see mama robin feeding her babies must be such a delight! Thank you for sharing a little snippet of your life, you know we love hearing about you! Xo Lidy

  3. Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors

    Lidy, each photograph is absolutely gorgeous and a feast for the eyes. You have so many pretties, and have shared some wonderful summer entertaining tips with us. Have a most wonderful day, sweet friend!

    1. Thank you dear Shannon! Looking forward to our time together Monday. Happy summer!!

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