It’s summer and the living is easy. And so is the entertaining. At least it should be that way. Inspired by the sights, sounds, and scents of the beach (whether the ocean or our nearby lakes), we created this entertaining tableau that amps up the classic blue-and-white color palette with some sparkle and shine of matte metals and bubbly. We checked in with local experts for their scene-setting tips so you can get the look at home. Tastemakers chime in with advice about how to plan your laid-back summer gathering so you and your guests can enjoy what the season inspires in us most: to kick back and relax.
Use what’s natural and in season to decorate the main table for your party. Cut from your garden—flowers, leaves from plants like hostas, and branches—for an effortless look. Here are some floral arranging tips from Jackie Reisenauer, owner of Munster Rose.
- Go for the unexpected. “I love fresh fruits, like artichokes, as part of the décor.”
- Cluster together containers of flowers and greenery to vary the height and add interest.
- Tuck in small containers around the table to add color and dimension.
The beauty of this look is the combination of classic china dishes and silverware juxtaposed with the shine of copper and modern shapes to keep the look fresh.
- Accent your table with finds from shops and antiques stores. “I love picking up random fancy pewter serving pieces, pitchers, and trays from Hunt & Gather,” says Michelle LeBlanc, owner of Mille.
- Layer in textiles to soften the look. Think beyond tablecloths to bed linens, throws, and even a new lightweight throw rug to add color and texture.
SERVE IT UP
Gather glasses, trays, and chargers to stock the drink station. Keep the menu simple with small-plate bites and a signature cocktail.
- Pick up some bubbly at Solo Vino in St. Paul, serve fresh radishes with cracked pepper and salt with a pasture-raised butter. Offer an assortment of cured meats from Red Table Meat Company, says Erik Eastman, co-owner of Easy & Oskey.
- Stock the bar with a selection of spirits, Vermouth, and fresh citrus, Eastman says. “A beautifully made martini is always on trend,” he adds. “It’s my favorite way to begin any evening.”
- Serve a signature cocktail. We got Easy to spill his favorite summer drink. Check out The Bamboo.
GET THE LOOK
Opening photo (Top Photo): Pitcher ($98), by Ruan Hoffmann, from Anthropologie, several metro locations; peach serving bowl ($160) and blue runner ($345), both by Caroline Z Hurley; terracotta bowl ($80), by Laura Vest Klein; all from Mille, 316 W. 48th St., Mpls., 612-209-7364; Japanese brass trivet ($80), from The Foundry Home Goods, 125 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-333-8484; white marble bowl ($14), by Kaemingk International, from Patina, several metro locations; blue plate ($98), by Anna Weatherley; salad plate ($44), five-piece setting ($189), and napkin ring ($22), all by Juliska; blue napkins ($162 for set of six), by Deborah Rhodes; all from Ampersand Shops, Galleria, 888-431-0927; roll bottle opener ($30), by Umbra Shift; stacking brass candlesticks ($165), by AVANDI; both from Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-375-7600; large standing bowl ($110), by Fort Standard, from Forage Modern Workshop, 4023 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-886-3603; candle ($80), by Tom Dixon, from MartinPatrick 3, 212 3rd Ave. N., Mpls., 612-746-5329; metallic glasses ($45 for set of four), by Wolfum, from Wilson & Willy’s, 211 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-315-2280; table and chair (prices available upon request), from On Solid Ground Vintage Rentals, 612-231-0787
Fresh Picks photo (Second From Top): Blue rug ($345), by Caroline Z Hurley, also from Mille
Scene Setters photo (Third From Top): Blue stripe bed cover ($345), by Abanjá, also from Mille; blue dinner plate ($98), by Anna Weatherley; salad plate ($44), and five-piece setting ($189), all by Juliska, all from Ampersand; tea light votive ($8.95), by Kaemingk International, also from Patina; peach serving bowl ($160), by Caroline Z Hurley, also from Mille
Scene Setters photo (Fourth From Top): Bowl ($84), by Fort Standard, also from Walker Art Center; blue stripe bed cover ($345), by Abanjá, also from Mille; martini side table ($149), from West Elm, 3879 Gallagher Dr., Edina, 952-835-8332
Serve It Up photo (Bottom Photo): Blue rug ($345), by Caroline Z Hurley; glass pitcher ($34), by Hawkins NY; both from Mille; metallic glasses ($45 for set of four), by Wolfum, from Wilson & Willy’s; tea light votive ($8.95), by Kaemingk International, also from Patina; Japanese brass trivet ($80), also from The Foundry Home Goods