The Season For Outdoor Dining!

I get sooooooooo excited when it turns time to eat outside. I just adore alfresco dining- be it at home or when out to eat. Seeing as we get out a lot less than we used to now that we have Henry, entertaining on our quaint back patio will be more frequent this summer for sure.

image via Cote de Texas/ House & Garden

Melamine table wear is essential for patio dining (and also an excellent choice for indoor dining too- especially with little ones).  And the advances in melamine style-wise has been crazy amazing in the past couple years. I spotted these marble patterned ones at Pier 1 and designed this whole tablescape around them– it’s elegant, rustic and all shatterproof!  I think I need to make this whole situation happen for my own house STAT!  Using real flatware and linen napkins makes an outdoor table feel substantial even when everything else is acrylic.

1. marble and wood grain plates // 2. // 3. // 4. mix and match acrylic barware like these vintage looking tumblers & stemless wine glasses // 5. pretty citronella candles keep bugs at bay without ruining your “look” // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. all this serveware is melamine too! I know- amazing!

But if your planning a picnic or big barbecue and have no desire to wash a single dish you can still create something that looks chic and beautiful with disposable party supplies!  Not an amazing choice for the environment, I know, but realistic when you are having a big, casual party and need the least amount of clean-up as possible.  I am obsessed with these paper plates that look like vintage blue and white china!

1. Adorable insulated tote and wine tote (make great gifts too) // 2. cute Paperless Post e-vites // 3. // 4. use pretty throws as picnic blankets // 5. // 6. old-school paper plate holders! // 7. gold plastic flatware for the win! // 8. plaid cocktail & “linen” luncheon napkins


  1. At home, we use real plates outside (even when we have 40 people for a big bash), but for picnics, sturdy plastic wins–no blowing away!
    The other great thing about dining en plein air with kids is that if you have spills, you just hose them down. (Them being the patio/table/chairs and sometimes even the kid, too.) That sure helps the laid-back vibe.

  2. We’ve used those “linen” napkins before and they are a great substitute for the real deal! Love your post as usual… next on the to do list, an outdoor space.

  3. Hi hello good afternoon!
    Just dropping a note that your third image is a Caspari product. I’m one of the designers. We are thrilled you’re inspired by our product!! :)
    Warm regards~

  4. THANK YOU FOR THIS FABULOUS POST! Last year I did a whole outside dining situation around a crazy fun Anthro napkin and Dash & Albert rug. AND now I might have to do another…..the marble is so good…..

  5. Hey!
    First of all, I really enjoyed this article. Plenty of ideas for future outdoor events.
    Second I must agree that for outdoors, plastic wins all the time.
    Thank you for sharing this with us.

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