Sharing a simple outdoor table setting idea with you as we head into late summer cooler nights on the patio. Set this up in the daytime to prepare for evening guests.
Today I’m excited to be partnering once again with Dimplex to share a simple outdoor table setting. This table setting is simple to put together ahead of time so you’re ready for evening guests and with the tips in this post, your guests will be comfortable visiting at the table well into the cooler evenings of late summer.
If you follow along on Lemon Thistle, you might remember I partnered with Dimplex earlier this summer to share their portable patio heater and I had asked for help deciding where to keep it- we have three patios I tested it on. Well.. we decided to get an above ground pool for our kiddos that we placed on the lowest brick patio so that left just two to choose from. We decided to keep it on our upper patio where we spend the most of our evening relaxing time. It’s the perfect view of a sunset and the heater just makes sense up there.
That left this dining area and when I saw this plugin heater, I knew it would make the perfect addition to the space. Now I’m ready to entertain comfortably well into the fall in both of our outdoor spaces!
Today, I’m sharing not just the heater but this simple outdoor table setting. I love entertaining and I love creating tablescapes, but as our kids have grown into busy school age children, our life has sped up a bit and I haven’t been taking the time to set up fancy tablescapes as often… I mean, hardly ever. I want to ease myself back into it with *easy* set ups that are just as beautiful. This table setting can be prepared ahead of time and even left out earlier in the day for your evening guests.
Other than the flowers which came from my garden, everything here just popped out of my cupboards and was ready to use. I tend to use the same formula for all my tablescapes and also for outdoor entertaining in general. For the table setting itself, I like to focus on function and then add in the decor.
START WITH FUNCTION
I start with an empty table and add the dining plates, bowls or salad plates depending what your meal will be, and then add flatware. I like to add in drinking glasses and if it were a fancier dinner, I’d add wine glasses too. This is all function and will help space the decor so that your guests can still easily set down drinks and dine without bumping over decor.
DECORATE EACH PLATE
Next, I love to add some texture with cloth napkins. You can reuse these for years so they’re really a solid investment. Years ago I even made myself a set of DIY cloth napkins and they’re still used so often around here. You could also add place cards at this stage, I chose to skip that this time and just add a cut flower from my garden. If you were preparing this ahead of time, you wouldn’t want to put this out too early as it will wilt in the sun without water.
ADD CANDLELIGHT + DECOR
Once you have your simple table setting base prepared… you can add decor! I love to add candlelight for coziness, it makes an evening feel a bit magic, don’t you think? I layered a few brass candle sticks with black candle sticks. I love the black taper candles, they’re so moody.
For flowers, you could order an arrangement, use a faux arrangement or head to your garden like I did.
I have a full video about floral arranging hacks right here if you’re interested. I set a similar moody floral tablescape for thanksgiving last year, using all of these late summer blooms, but with the cooler weather, I prepared it right before guests and left the flowers out of water in a runner. While this was so pretty, it takes more time to set up and isn’t practical to prepare ahead of time. I chose to create just one centrepiece for this simple outdoor table setting to keep it easy.
I mentioned before that practical is just as important to me as pretty when it comes to table settings. When you’re outdoors… that means accounting for the light as well as the temperature when you’re planning to dine into the evening. I like to set up my patios so they’re ready to entertain whether or not I’m setting up a full tablescape. I chat more about this in my tips for backyard entertaining spaces post.
I love to add patio string lights in addition to the candlelight for ambient lighting. It helps us see enough to get to the washroom, see each other and clear the table when it’s all done but it’s not too bright.
I also like to make sure guests will be warm enough. I added some throw blankets over the backs of chairs for when the evening cools down and now that we have this Dimplex plug in heater, we can turn it on and adjust the temperature for the weather. It has a remote and there’s three heat settings so we can turn it higher as the evening cools down.
A bit more about this Dimplex Indoor/Outdoor Plugin Heater since I’m so excited about it… it is so light weight it just pops onto a bracket that stays mounted on the wall so it’s easy to remove if you’d only like it out in certain seasons or to take it in when it’s not in use.
It’s also infrared so it distributes a much more even heat through the space (it doesn’t have to be in the very middle of your dinner table to warm everyone). Plus- it’s modern design isn’t intrusive to our patio which we’ve worked really hard on to make it a place I love to sit (and look at!).
I’ll leave it at that! I am so happy with how this turned out and can’t wait to recreate it when we have guests over again next week! Big thank you for Dimplex for partnering on this post- I truly love their heaters.