Create an inviting and welcoming dining experience for friends and family with these simple summer table decor ideas using fresh peonies and rosemary.
Originally posted June 2018 • Updated May 2023
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I had every intention of showing off our new deck with a few simple summer table decor ideas. And then the day after we finished putting the deck together, the weather decided to shift and it’s been raining about every other day ever since.
With plan A on hold, it was time to start coming up with plan B. Because it’s summer, I knew I wanted to work with our outdoor farmhouse patio table. I enlisted the help of my mom and we moved it over to the hammock area – which has even better views of the lake so it’s a win-win.
For the table decor, I wanted to create something that felt simple and organic. And since it is summer, the idea to make peonies the focal point was a natural fit. Plus, keeping things simple lets the scenery really shine, without the table taking too much of the attention.
When pulling together a tablescape, it helps to first determine the show stopper. In this case, it’s the peonies. They were in perfect bloom at my parent’s house and they were kind enough to let me steal some for this tablescape. I’ve mentioned this before but my mom is an avid gardener and has several pink peony varieties that are ah-mazing.
After doing a walk around their property, I had a basket full of gorgeous flowers. To add some greenery to the mix, I cut stems off a lilac bush we have in our yard – they were the perfect addition!
To bring in even more natural elements, I filled mason jars with water, wrapped twine around the top and put in a few slices of lemon, a sprig of rosemary and a floating candle.
I had every intention of lighting said floating candle but the weather was not cooperating (shocking, I know) and throughout this shoot experienced intermittent bouts of rain and wind gusts that about blew me over. So instead, close your eyes and just imagine a gathering of friends and family, enjoying a delicious meal around the table with candles glowing, overlooking a beautiful lake setting.
Back to the table decor… To play up the peonies, I kept the dishes a simple white with a linen napkin that has some abstract blue pattern – I scored them on clearance at Target!
I’ve found that the way I decorate our home tends to reflect what I’m craving in our life. And sometimes, it takes putting together a simple summer table to remind me that it won’t be summer forever and it may be time to slow down.
I know it’s nearly the end of June and we have an endless amount of projects on our to-do list and deadlines we want to hit. However, I am officially challenging myself (and you, too, if you need it!) to embrace the simple summer and start saying yes more, instead of putting it off for whatever reason.
To say yes to the simple act of enjoying the outdoors for what it is at present moment.
I don’t know about about you but I can’t remember the last time I didn’t complain about how cold, hot, humid, rainy, dry, [insert adjective here] the weather was and just enjoyed it.
To say yes to dinner with family and friends, regardless of the state of our home.
We have been putting off our pretty-regular friend dinner because we want the deck to be finished. Yes, it will be nice to enjoy entertaining out there, but why wait?
To say yes to a night off of projects because we want to sit on the porch, watch the dogs play and just enjoy it.
I cannot remember the last time we BOTH took a night off. It is so easy to work and work and work, but before we know it, August will be here and we’ll be wondering where the summer went.
To say yes to getaways or road trips, even if they’re last minute.
We’ve thrown around the idea of taking the pups on a long weekend camping trip. Here’s to positive thinking and getting away!
To say yes to taking the boat out.
I still can’t believe that we didn’t get on ANY lake at all last summer. The fact that it’s almost the end of June and I still haven’t been out has me in a slight panic but I know the same fate isn’t going to happen – even if it means taking it out myself… 😛
To say yes to slowing down and really enjoying this simple thing we call life.
With that, happy summer!
All our best,