July 23, 2020

setting an outdoor table for two

So, “my fellow hunker-downers”, today we’re gonna talk about setting a cozy table for a party of two, with pictures from last year’s photo shoot as inspiration.  

These are my two favorite pages from my layout in this month’s Cottages & Bungalows magazine. I just love that so many of my favorite vintage finds are included in these snapshots. It’s easy to use what you already have to create a pretty petite tablescape. 

I'm also including some behind-the-scenes photos I took on the day of this photos shoot back in June of 2019. 

Just a week before we set this little table up, I found a few vintage goodies at our church’s annual rummage sale. One being this lace-edged tablecloth.  

For a solid month, I was thinking “coastal décor". Not your typical seashells and nautical stuff, but things that evoke that special feeling of being close to the sea. 

For some reason the lace on this little tablecloth reminded me of a fishing net, and the pattern was geometric enough not to feel too grandmothery, I hope! 

I pulled, pulled and pulled “coastal” stuff out of my cupboards and drawers for weeks and gathered them together on a couple of tables, holding them there for styling on the day of our photo shoot 

I had these lanterns in my backyard for a while, and I had recently brightened them up with a little cobalt blue spray paint. I love how they look filled with large turquoise votives and a handful of seashells. 

You know me, I love collecting vintage blue and white plates and pretty colored glass goblets, so here was my chance to showcase a few of my favorites. 

Tips for setting an inviting table for two: 

-Find cozy spot outdoors, which may involve bringing out a table and chairs from indoors. 

-Start with a tablecloth to set the mood. You can even use a scrap piece of beautiful fabric. 

-Two plates, two glasses, two pretty napkins and silverware... easy to bring out to the table, right? Pick items that are favorites or fit with the theme you’re going for. 

-Add votives or lanterns for ambiance. 

-A potted flower or little vase with fresh greenery or blooms.  

-Prepare breakfast or lunch inside and just step out to your little outdoor sanctuary.  

Among the items I pulled for these vignettes were this favorite wooden cake stand, a set of pewter seashell votives and this zigzag vase. I just love the textures and pattern of the three items together, and when staged with some fresh hydrangeas, I think it’s just perfect. 

The cake stand and vase were purchased a while ago at Home Goods, in fact, I think the vase is actually more of a utensil holder for the kitchen, but I just love the vibrancy of it when paired with flowers.  

Years and years ago, I’m talking maybe 25 years ago, I received these pretty clam shell candle holders from my sister-in-law Deborah, and I’ve cherished them ever since. They’re lovely on this table.   

To add to the casual nature of this table, I simply used a piece of washed light blue linen and left the edges frayed and fringed. We casually draped it across the table for a carefree and interesting look. The BONJOUR bowl is from Anthropologie.

I have to say, I'd love to be sitting at this table right about now noshing on a little cheese and a few sweet cherries. It’s such a casual feeling, as well... The carefree summer days that I love. 

Here, on the back side of my shed, I transformed my potting station into a colorful outdoor beverage station. A tray with napkins, a selection of pretty blue glasses, sliced lemons and a bucket of ice is the start to a useful spot for an outdoor drink station for the whole family to use on the weekend. 

Back in March, at the beginning of this “staycation” period, my husband and I created another inviting outdoor area comprised of two café tables, four French bistro chairs and a set of faux shutter doors we attached to the wall. We call it Moulin, after our favorite local French restaurant.  

I’ll share more on our own private Moulin café soon. I’m just waiting for the ivy to grow a little more up on the walls to really have an authentic feeling of Provence in the backyard. We spend hours out there, under the black and white striped umbrella having coffee or a late lunch. 

It's all about escapism for me with these little vignettes I like to create. I encourage you to set up your own little special place to escape for a few minutes each day. 

ciao! fabiana 

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