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Dinner by Design: End of Summer Tablescape

In one of my latest designs, I decided to incorporate apples into a beginning of fall/end of summer tablescape. With the fun, red, white and blue tablecloth, it resembles a last summer weekend picnic lunch. And the apples fit in perfectly with that! Without the muted tones of fall, it is more of a happy throwback to outdoor relaxation.

A sideways view of the white charger stacked with two sizes of blue scrolled plates and a tied red napkin.

Beginning with Plates

With every table I have a different element that inspires the vision. For this end of summer tablescape, it was the beautiful, but sturdy, scroll-patterned dishware in blue. Believe it or not, I stumbled across these forgotten plates in my storage room! I was surprised to open an unmarked box and find them nestled there in two different sizes! It took a minute to register how they had made their way to my basement, but I eventually remembered inheriting them from a friend.

Although the set carries the Porsgrund trademark, I was unable to find the style name for this set. The Porsgrund site has some beautiful designs, but nothing quite like these plates with their scroll pattern first in blue-on-white and then in white-on-blue. Stacked together, the pair is whimsical and inviting. I simply set them above a plastic, white Hobby Lobby charger to create instant charm.

Looking down onto the place setting of stacked dishes, sliverware and bow tied napkin.

Notice also how I stacked these. Usually, I would stack plates so that they build from the center into a tier. This time I let them settle to the lower edge of the place setting. Just a fun little twist on how I usually stack dishes.

Bow Tied Napkin in Red

Speaking of twist, the plate orientation either suggested the napkin design or vice versa! Don’t remember which came first! But the bow tie red napkin was another playful element to the end of summer tablescape. Of course you’ll want a nice large fabric napkin for this display. I think I’ll also be using this napkin idea for my holiday tables. So cheery!

A view of the centerpiece and a place setting.

The Tablecloth

This plaid tablecloth in red, white, blue and green contributed to the playful design of the end of summer tablescape. The fact that the cloth is square while my table is a long rectangle didn’t stop me. I simply let the sides drape while the other edges came right to the end of my table. Still looks fabulous I think.

Punches of Red

The cheery red placemats and ruffly centerpiece mat pick up the red in the tablecloth and compliment the napkins.

Apples stacked in a wire basket with sage leaves tucked between them.

Apple Basket Centerpiece

Although wicker would have lent itself to the picnic feeling, I was hoping for something a little more sophisticated. Fortunately, I have this wire backet which pleased me very much! This made the apples a little more visible. I used another red napkin to line the bottom and then stacked my red/yellow apples with some green ones. Sage always makes a warm, fuzzy contrast! I love this shade of green! So I plucked a few leaves from my herb garden to tuck between the apples.

Salad Dressing Tea Cups

Three Korean teacups with blue and orange floral designs on the table.

Dinner started with a salad with options for salad dressing. Now if I can avoid it, I try to forgo salad dressing bottles on my table when everything else looks so nice. A plastic bottle of ranch seems out of place. So drawing from a completely different ethnic style, I set out these Korean tea cups. Asian teacups don’t usually have the handles that our Western European ones do so these made lovely cups with saucers for the salad dressing.

The Dinner Menu

As I mentioned, dinner started with a classic green salad. The main course was a fast and easy pasta, Tuscan Chicken Pasta, from Six Sister’s Stuff. The gorgeous Cheesy Zucchini Roses were a recipe from Joyfulhomecooking whom I follow on Instagram. These turned out to be a little more challenging than the recipe let on (how do you spread goat cheese on puff pastry?) but I would still make them again. And allow myself lots of time to prepare them.

Cheesy Zucchini Roses made of rolled zuccinni and puffed pastry.
A luscious layer bar served on a plate with blue roses.

And then Luscious Layer Bars were another Instagram recipe, this time by Handmade Farmhouse. I served them on my Blue Rose Century Stoneware. This plate looks great with my tablecloth.

What elements from my end of summer tablescape will you be able to use at your house? The apple centerpiece? The bow-tied napkins? I’d love to hear your takeaways in the comments!

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