By Jenny Reimold
After a long winter, celebrate the sunshine by moving your entertaining outside! Raise your glass to spring and refresh your outdoor space by creating tablescapes with blooming floral jars, luminous colors and baked treats filled with the season’s freshest berries. Set aside traditional checked tablecloths and welcome the beauty of the season with whimsy and brilliance.
One of my favorite ways to style a space is by mixing vintage finds with modern trends. In creating this outdoor tablescape, I used an antique, eight-foot table that was formerly used in a school house. The worn wood was repainted with subtle new coats of aqua and kelly green. The distressed white bench, which once held eager young learners, is perfectly accented with wooden chairs that offer an alternative to the common, cushioned, outdoor chair.
Following several unsuccessful trips to locate the perfect, coordinating tablecloth, I resolved to make one on my own after surrendering in the middle of the party supply store. Armed only with the sewing skill set learned from a seventh grade, home economics pillow project, I knew I needed a simple solution that didn’t require a needle and thread. After selecting four yards of a muted, polka dot, aqua fabric from JoAnn’s Fabrics, I selected a spool of white, pom pom fringe for its border. Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best, I added a bottle of Liquid Stitch to my cart thinking this magic project would be a substitute for a sewing machine. Much to my surprise, this $24, handmade tablecloth is now one of my favorites in my tablescaping arsenal. It took less than thirty minutes to make and its colors were EXACTLY what I was looking for. I didn’t have to settle for a look that did my style vision a disservice. If you can’t find what you are looking for, grab a bottle of glue and create it!
In keeping with the same cheerful outdoor theme, I selected Gerber daisies, hydrangeas and snapdragons, arranged in aqua ball jars, to add life and color to my table. Small and medium sized flower-filled jars, an alternative to one big centerpiece, were used along the length of the table. Local florist, Mansion and Marsh, used several inspiration photos I sent and created these beautiful designs. This talented florist specializes in detailed, unique and organic florals for the romantic bride or can assist with creating themes for special events. As with many of my tablescapes, I used wood slices and wooden crates to create visual appeal and dimension by lifting and highlighting these gorgeous floral designs.
Layering chargers, plates and dishware is a trick of the trade used by many design professionals but easy enough for the decorating rookie. For this outdoor table, I first used a pink, straw charger with a wide diameter, as my foundation. I then added white, shiplap chargers, from Need More Heart, on Etsy. These modern farmhouse accents have been used in several of my photo shoots because I love the look and texture of the white wood against my ceramic or plastic plates. Finally, I added festive $3.99 melamine plates and bowls from HomeGoods, in my color scheme of aqua, white and pink to complete the place setting. Topped with festive lanterns and vases from Steinmart, this outdoor table is an inviting welcome to sunnier days.
What outdoor meal would be complete without savory bites of spring’s harvest? Incorporating strawberries into outdoor entertaining is a hosting tip sure to please. For this styled table, I asked Meesh’s Bakery in Franklin, to assist with some desserts made with fresh berries that complimented the celebratory hues of the table. Normally known for her custom cookies, owner Michelle Wilson baked individual servings of “strawberry shortcake cookie” that were used as a creative place setting topper. These delicious and decadent strawberry pies were used as focal points in the display proving that desserts can also be décor.
For a real sense of outdoor living, with added photo opportunities unlike no other, add a retro glam camper to your special event! What started out as a simple outdoor tablescape took on new life when The Green Canteen Company delivered Comet, their mint and white luxury glam camper. Started by a former teacher who had recently moved to the area with her family, this camper rental business wanted to share the excitement of exploring Tennessee with outdoor enthusiasts looking to make lasting memories. Inspired by the original 1961 design, this sixteen ft. beauty features a vintage blackand white checkered floor with the modern conveniences of a refrigerator, microwave and central heat and AC. Comet and her buttercream “sister” Daisy Lou are perfect for a couple’s getaway, camping, houseguests, parties, glamping, tailgating or a fun photo shoot. This is the ultimate way to style an outdoor space with a combination of retro vibes and modern trends!
This outdoor entertaining piece was beautifully photographed by Evin Photography. Evin is an acclaimed professional photographer specializing in lifestyle and commercial photography. She creatively captures styled content for businesses, interiors, family portraits and weddings. She also has photographed books for Pizzazzerie’s Entertain in Style and Eric Ross Interiors’ Enduring Southern Homes. To see more of Evin’s gorgeous photos, vist evinphotography.com or on Instagram @evinphotography.
A very special thanks to Elena Graves, owner of Deerfield Farm in Franklin for use of her stunning property, antique table and beloved mini donkey, Taco.
Jenny is your Styling Your Everyday contributor. She will bring to you design and entertainment tips from her years of experience. Connect with @jennyreimold on Instagram or at jennyreimold.com.Style Assistant: Sara Brigman