It’s finally summer…and most of us are still in some form of quarantine.
That doesn’t mean that summer is cancelled. Slowly but surely, I’ve been having small get togethers in the backyard (socially distanced of course) & it’s making this year a bit more bearable. Even though most of our summer travels have been cancelled, it does not mean that we can’t have a good time with the ones we love.
Let’s embrace the curveball that 2020 threw us & learn how to navigate this new normal. Whether it’s creating a little oasis in your home or turning your backyard into a vacation hotspot- let’s make the best of this summer.
I collaborated with my dear friends, William (William Lyon Designs) and Alicia (Dorset & Pond) to create two tablescapes to inspire you to entertain this summer. William & Alicia are both super talented interior designers who created these layered looks that are inviting & easy to recreate. Both looks are festive, fun & best of all will make you think you are on a delightful vacation but from the comfort of your backyard.
Let’s start with our first look: On Island Time! A whimsical take on a tropical paradise using natural materials, fun florals & tie dye (my favorite!).
Not only did we work with local small businesses in our area, we also made a point of highlighting Black owned businesses as well. This whole look was inspired by the runner textile designed by Justina Blakeney (well known blogger, author & textile designer). Local upholsterer- Top of the Line Upholstery worked their magic & had these runners made up for us in no time.
Pro tip: can’t find a tablecloth or runner to fit your table? Purchase some fabric & have a custom one made for you!
The tropical vibes of the runner textile inspired my vision for the menu! I created a Jerk Chicken Cobb Salad and a Caribbean Fruit Salad. And then Rice Krispy Treats for dessert (not Caribbean related, just tasty & feel like summer to me).
Most of the elements of this tablescape is shoppable through Dorset & Pond. Table settings are bundled in sets of 4, 6 or 8 to make shopping easier for you! Or you can purchase individual items. Add some DIY elements to your table to make it unique!
I created the place cards by cutting up thick watercolor paper & painting them based on coordinating colors to our table settings. Use a fine tip Sharpie to write all your guest’s names.
William & I also took on the project of creating the rosebud bottom drinking glasses. These are actually wine bottles from our favorite rosé- Cotes des Roses. The bottles were cut using a wet saw & then the top were sanded to make them safe for drinking. Another custom element- the fun yellow tie dye dinner napkins!
Bottom line- summer entertaining doesn’t have to be hard or stressful.
We made it easy for you to recreate this look at home (shop Dorset & Pond for table settings) or hopefully at least inspired you to play around with items you already own. Pick a theme or color to tie in the whole tablescape, right down to the personalization & menu.
Some easy entertaining tips:
- Always use a tablecloth to make the occasion feel special!
- Florals don’t have to be complicated- the handful of monstera leaves make a huge statement.
- It’s all in the details- add personalized elements such as Placecards to elevate your tablescape.
- Make dishes that will hold up well in the summer heat.
- To make hosting less stressful- set the table the night before or morning of, ask guests to bring a side dish or dessert so you don’t have to plan the entire meal yourself or just keep the menu super simple (a side dish, entree & dessert).
- Most importantly- have fun & mingle with your guests! Don’t spend all your time in the kitchen!
Stay tuned- later in the week I will reveal our second Summer tablescape!
- 2 tsp allspice*
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp ground pepper
- 1½ tsp onion powder
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 Romaine lettuce hearts
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- ½ red onion, minced
- ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients of the seasoning & mix well.
- Place chicken in a shallow baking dish. Cover with olive oil & then sprinkle seasoning all over the chicken (coating both sides).
- In another bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade & mix well. Pour this over the seasoned chicken. Cover the baking dish with Saran Wrap & marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or up to 8 hours).
- Once fully marinated, grill the chicken over medium high heat for about 6 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of your chicken). Chop chicken into bite sized pieces.
- To assemble the deconstructed Cobb salad:
- Chop the romaine lettuce & put on a platter. Layer the chopped red onion, red pepper, chicken & hard boiled eggs on top of the lettuce.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Photo Credits: Julia Dags