Delegate the Tablescape: Late Summer Entertaining

Thank you to Freshly Set and etúHOME for sponsoring this post. 

Late summer is one of my favorite times of year. September gives us the perfect balance of sunny days and hints of fall, setting the ideal scene for outdoor entertaining. Leave it to me to judge seasons by their “party potential,” but I do think that with all of the golden light, pretty sunsets, and lows in the 60s (praise be), Mother Nature is urging us to live it up.

Just because things are different this year doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the season with a responsibly small – yet fabulous – outdoor gathering. With that in mind, I turned to Freshly Set and etúHOME to design a sophisticated table that gives a fresh take on monochromatic styling, plus a menu inspired by the late, great Julia Reed. 

If you love tabletop décor, Freshly Set is the company of our dreams. It’s a tabletop rental service offering designer goods delivered directly to your doorstep. You select the pieces you’d like, confirm a delivery date, and after your party you send everything back using the packaging and shipping labels they provide. No cleaning required—Freshly Set takes care of it all. Plus, you get everything for a four-day rental period, which is plenty of time to fluff your table. This is the ultimate in delegating, y’all, and it was so fun to browse their product. It’s like playing in someone else’s amazing linen closet. 

For this table, I chose a green palette and used Freshly Set’s tablecloth, napkins, and placemats as the foundation. I love green because it’s seasonless and you can combine it with different pieces to set the tone for various times of year. To capture late summer, I layered in accessories with an earthy feel. Tortoise glassware found here on Amazon, Juliska Bamboo Flatware (repurposed from this table), wicker tea lights, and etuHome’s Mini Charcuterie Boards (more details below) lend a natural vibe to the overall scene. The mix of textures, all in tones of caramel and brown, helps to break up the green. Texture is key to adding depth and nuance to a monochromatic design; when one color is anchoring your table, you can mix materials (wood, bamboo, wicker) without it looking messy. To enhance the earthy theme, I incorporated potted ferns and mini myrtle trees. It’s a great way to decorate without breaking the bank on flowers, and of course, plants last so long (assuming I remember to water them).

Let’s talk about the menu and these fabulous wooden boards from etúHOME. etúHOME is a lifestyle brand creating beautiful pieces that center around sharing meals. I’m especially taken with their collection of charcuterie boards. They come in every color and shape and are so versatile. Of course, you can use them to serve food but I also love using pieces like these to style my kitchen island or even a console table. For this photoshoot, I used their mini boards to serve simple but delicious pimento cheese and chicken salad sandwiches, pickled veggies, pasta salad, and poppy seed muffins. The individual servings are Covid-friendly and perfect for a time of year that doesn’t require heavy fare. I planned this menu before Julia Reed’s tragic passing, and I realize now how much she influenced us as hostesses. She was a champion of delicious, easy, and classically southern food; she made pimento cheese chic! I like to think of this meal as a little homage to her. 

The changing seasons always bring me fresh inspiration, and it was fun to channel that energy into this elegant table. Fall is practically upon us and the holidays won’t be far behind. I’m so excited about the content we have planned for the rest of the year, and can’t wait to share more with you in the coming weeks. Until then, happy tablescaping!  

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