Posted in: How To, Lifestyle

How to Style Your Summer Entertaining

photo of styled table. ticking stripe linen table cloth with assorted coloured linen napkins, plates of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish sit on topphoto of styled table. ticking stripe linen table cloth with assorted coloured linen napkins, plates of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish sit on top

Your first memory of setting the table was probably as a child — parents or grandparents bringing out the good china for whatever esteemed guests they’d invited over (usually just more family members who, honestly, probably couldn’t tell the difference). Maybe some themed placemats for events — I’ll admit it, my parents still have special Christmas placements and yes, they still bring a childish thrill.

It’s safe to say that in recent years, tablescaping has seen a resurgence — something the Guardian calls “a decorative arrangement of ornaments or other objects on a tabletop.” Whether it's the rise of TikTok home cooks and trends like monthly dinner clubs, or the popularity of TV shows like The Bear bringing food hype into the spotlight, cooking and dining is having a moment right now.

With the new wave of culinary appreciation comes new attitudes — dining is becoming less formal and more communal, tablescapes included. We're seeing more relaxed approaches to table settings, less focused on being pristine and more focused on creating a space that feels warm and inviting. It’s all about summer tablescape ideas — casual yet cool, more focused on celebrating time with friends and family (and of course, delicious food), than the perfect napkin origami.

square image, close up of a napkin laying tousled on top of a ticking stripe tablecloth. Two ceramic plates of food sit on the table.square image, close up of a napkin laying tousled on top of a ticking stripe tablecloth. Two ceramic plates of food sit on the table.

And you know what encapsulates this breezy summer entertaining? Yeah, you know it’s coming — it’s our Abbotson Table Linen.

Starting with a handful of simple offerings, our designers purposely put together a capsule that can be paired together without any thought — this colour goes with that one, which goes with this pattern, no problem. 

And designing with a customer favourite — Belgian flax linen — was an easy decision to make. Not only is it a soft yet distinct texture with an easy drape, you don’t have to worry about messing it up. It’s one fabric we can safely say looks just as great rumpled and messed up, as it does freshly ironed.

“The flax-coloured tablecloth is our grounding neutral against mismatched colour”, the brains behind the collection, Senior Design Manager Rebecca Burnard, tells us. “If you’re looking for a more cohesive moment, Abbotson Linen Ticking Stripe in carbon is the one to go for.”

1. Go Bold with Your Base

If you're looking for a table setting that's set apart from the rest — start with the base. Our Abbotson Linen Ticking Stripe Tablecloth in carbon is a perfect starting point for fun summer styling. The eye-catching ticking stripe brings dimension to your tablescape, with a monochromatic colour palette that makes it perfect for mixing and matching accessories.

2. Light & Breezy

This colour scheme is perfect for fans of coastal styling, or for any minimalists looking to dip their toes in a splash of colour. It pairs our Abbotson Linen Napkins in white with the Reilly Napkins in the colour chambray – a classic pairing of crisp white and soft blue that's fit for the seaside. Style back with the aforementioned Ticking Stripe Tablecloth, or our Harlyn Tablecloth in monochrome for something a little lighter.

Close-up photo of three linen napkins in white, carbon and chambray, sitting next to a bowl of olives. Underneath is a ticking stripe tablecloth.Close-up photo of three linen napkins in white, carbon and chambray, sitting next to a bowl of olives. Underneath is a ticking stripe tablecloth.

3. Dabble in Dark Colours

After something with a little more contrast? Try pairing our Ticking Stripe Tablecloth with the Reilly Napkin in the same shade, carbon. Not quite as harsh as pitch black, this shade is perfect for those of us who want to bring just a little bit of drama to our styling.

4. Stripes on Stripes

Love a coordinated moment? You're in luck. Our beloved ticking stripe is also available in napkin form, perfect for pairing back with the coordinating tablecloth.

“For a sartorial-inspired summer look, stripes on stripes are the way to go — like your favourite linen shirt.”

Close-up photo of a dining table, dressed in a ticking stripe tablecloth with a carbon linen napkin on top. Plates of food and a bottle of olive oil sit on top, next to a hand reaching out for a glass of water.Close-up photo of a dining table, dressed in a ticking stripe tablecloth with a carbon linen napkin on top. Plates of food and a bottle of olive oil sit on top, next to a hand reaching out for a glass of water.
Two young people sitting at a dining table, laughing. One holds a linen napkin in their hand. The table is dressed in a ticking stripe tablecloth, with plates of food on top.Two young people sitting at a dining table, laughing. One holds a linen napkin in their hand. The table is dressed in a ticking stripe tablecloth, with plates of food on top.

5. A Little Bit of Everything

As we mentioned earlier, summer tablescapes are all about a relaxed, fun approach to dining. To really capture the essence of this, we say it's time to throw the styling rules out the window and mix and match to your heart's content. Patterns, fabrics and colours galore — these unexpected combinations bring an eclectic feel to your styling, ready to go with the flow.

6. Picnic Time

We’re cheating with this one — this summer tablescape idea involves no table at all. 

Yep, we’re talking about picnics. You can use your tablecloth as a rug (they’re big enough to be one), or bring along one of our wide-width beach towels if you want an extra layer between you and the grass.

7 months ago