HOME IDEAS: Topple tyranny of boring tabletops with cool summer vibes

Styling a relaxed summer table is easy if you take a little time to prepare.

Channel a relaxed, beach vibe with one of the table setting ideas below. Each one is sure to inspire even the most skeptical guest.

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Shells, Baubles and Mini Lights
I saw this idea at a friend’s dinner party and thought it was so pretty. A simple large mason jar is filled one-third with sand and set aside. Purchase two or three strands of white LED micro battery lights and place the necessary batteries inside each strand. Insert the light strand into the mason jar. Add some colourful, shiny baubles or glass balls and a few small shells. Hide the battery compartment inside the back of the jar. Place these jars on side tables, console tables or along the centre of your dining table.

Illuminate the jars prior to your guests’ arrival.

Fruit & Greens
I love the look of fresh greens when they are combined with colourful fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges. Use greens such as salal or hosta leaves. Wash them thoroughly and place them along the centre of your table. Scatter your fruit in and amongst the greens and add small tea lights in glass votives for added effect.

Beach Party
Plastic coloured pails combined with small, summer plants provide a festive look on an outdoor summer beach party table. Pick up a few of these inexpensive buckets from your local dollar store. Fill them with some potting soil and add a colourful plant such as a begonia or lavender. Don’t forget to add your plastic shovel once you are done.

Herb Pots
Nothing looks cuter than small, herb pots placed along the centre of a dining table. If you would like to go the extra mile, paint your small terra cotta pots white and then add your fresh herbs. A small, hand-written label for each herb is always a nice idea. Give them to your guests when the evening is over.

Tin Cans & Succulents
This is an easy idea that you can assemble minutes before your guests arrive. The day before your party simply purchase four or five small succulents and plant them inside small tin cans.

You can find small tin buckets at some craft stores or use recycled tin cans from your recycle bin. Soak the cans in warm water to remove the labels. Scatter tea lights among the cans and down the table.

Barb Lunter is a freelance writer with a passion for home decor, entertaining and floral design. She also runs Blu Dog Staging & Redesign. You can find more information at bludogstagingandredesign.com.

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