Summer Entertaining Tips | DOBI

Summer Entertaining Tips

How to Curate Elevated Place Settings & Refine Your Outdoor Space

Summer is in full swing here in Michigan, and that means it is the ultimate season for enjoying the nice weather and entertaining outside. There’s nothing quite like blue skies, pastel sunsets, and warm weather to put us in a celebratory mood. Match the moment by hosting an elevated soirée for your friends and family with a table that speaks to the upbeat vibe, and a space that enhances the mood. Just remember that doing so requires a little more than smoothing out pretty linens and lining your tablescape with florals.

Today we’re sharing how to kick up your party’s guest experience with ways to curate elevated place settings as well as tips to refine your space to welcome guests.

Select a Color Palette

The first step towards curating the ultimate summertime place settings requires establishing a color palette. The summer season just exudes warmth and positivity so we love working in warm, bright colors this season.

Some of our favorite color combinations are green, blue, orange, and white; a vibrant combination of colors found at the beach, which scream summer. We also love mixing in bright pinks, oranges, blues, and creams that are found in many tropical landscapes and sunsets. The color palette you choose will set the tone and the mood for your guests.


Hosting a dinner outside is no excuse for paper plates. After all, it’s a party! Going the extra mile with china or ceramic dish-ware will go a long way to make outdoor dining just a little more luxurious. And if you are nervous about using an expensive set outdoors, consider melamine pieces, which look and oftentimes feel like the real thing. We love these melamine pieces from Pottery Barn, which offer a variety of different styles, patterns, and price points. Amazon also has a ton of different options to choose from so you and your guests can enjoy without worrying.


Though your settings will likely vary based on formality and should depend on the cuisine you are serving, there are three essentials you shouldn’t skip. These include plates, cutlery, and glassware. The extras are up to you, but we suggest working some paper into the mix. You can even take it up a notch by adding menus or name cards that make wonderful and thoughtful touches depending on the occasion.


You’ve heard it before- “It’s all in the details.” To make menus or place cards feel even more bespoke, turn them into a DIY project with watercolor paper and paint, to make each piece personal to your guests. You can also take simple things, like napkin rings or even your favorite ribbons tied with herbs or a mini dried flower bouquet for your guests to take home as a keepsake.


When planning your outdoor soirée, don’t forget to add texture. It’s important to have a balance of textures and you can mix and match mediums to keep things visually interesting, playful, and unexpected. Consider using lightweight woven linens, rattan, and wood. All of these materials work together to give the perfect earthy summertime vibe.


While flowers are part of the overarching tablescape, they impact place settings through proximity, so be sure to choose your blooms wisely—overdoing it in the floral department could cause an overwhelming sensory experience or too much crowding.

Anchor your table with large arrangements—one for a round, two for a rectangle—and then mix in smaller bud vases, so as to not overwhelm your guests’ table. Alternately, summer is the time to decorate with plenty of potted florals, like geraniums. They have a vibrant color and a beautiful, light smell. Try mixing a few cut sprigs of lavender and rosemary to keep bugs away.

Martha Stewert Online