This week we celebrated my son’s 16th birthday and we celebrated as a family with a special BBQ dinner. I wanted to keep the table scape simpler than the usual and definitely free of frills. So I am sharing with you another step by step of my table scape so you can see how do able it is.

Many of you ask where I bought a lot of the items I use…. Some of my things I’ve had for a while and have no recollection where I got it so I won’t be able to help you there. But I linked some of the items… or where I bought it so you can find it or find something similar if it’s no longer available. And right now, most of the items are on sale due to the fourth of July… how perfect is the timing of this post! I also went back to my recent posts to link the items that are still available for you all. I hope that helps!


First, I wanted to show  you my “before” prep. The more organized you are… the easier your dinner will go. Do as much as you can beforehand so you don’t feel rushed at the dinner hour.

I start with a list… always. Make a list of all the dishes you will be serving… down to the butter on the table and any sauces you plan on serving. From that list, I pull out the different platters, bowls, butter dishes and condiment servers that I will be using for each particular item served. I then place the serving utensil in each bowl/platter so it’s ready to go when the dish is ready to be put in it. If you need an extra reminder, you can write the particular dish that will be going in the platter on a small piece of paper and place it in the platter as well.

I also, choose what dishes, flatware, glasses and water pitchers I want to use and place them with everything else. And lets not forget the decorative items… candlestick holders, votives, candlesticks, vases with the flowers arranged in them… or anything else you plan to use on the table. As you can see here… I picked out the cake pedestals and wooden bowls I want to use to elevate my food. Literally… everything I plan on using on the table (with the exception of the table runner, or tablecloth and greens) is placed together in an area together. You can place you table runners and greens here too.. I always choose and have them outside before this process.


As I mentioned, I wanted to go simple and “no frills” for my son’s birthday dinner… so I decided to use this natural fiber table runner.


The next step is to place the greens. Earlier that morning… I went on the search in the common areas in my neighborhood for greens… and I chose weeping willow tree branches. Soft and interesting. During a part of the year.. this tree also has red berries that grow on the branches. I love that look… but this works.. even simpler.


For those of you that have been following me.. you know I always elevate my food with cake pedestals, wooden platters and wooden bowls that I turn upside down. Not only does it highlight your food.. which is part of your table decor…. you’re able to fit more food on your table to serve “family style”.


Next…. come any candlestick holders, votives, or hurricane lamps you’d like to use. As I’ve mentioned.. I wanted to keep it simple… so these little votives were the perfect touch. And when the sun went down.. the little light that streamed through the little holes were kind of magical.


 In keeping with the natural look, I decided to use my green plates that look like they are handcrafted. They really look like they are from a plate artist… and you’ll never guess where I found them. Target! I couldn’t believe it myself when I saw them. Gotta love a great find for a budget price! Each one is slightly different from each other in color variation. Amazing!


This evening, I chose my gold toned flatware. I am in love with these ones! And I love cloth napkins. They add a nice touch to any table and who doesn’t prefer cloth over paper? They also can add so much to your table decor. I needed just a touch of color and interest, so I used a variety of cloth napkins instead of using matching ones. This people… is the easiest way to collect napkins. Buy a napkin at a time when you find one you love. So much easier… and friendlier on your budget. Isn’t it a great look? Its one of my favorite looks and one of them has “Happy Birthday” weaved into the design…. guess who sat at that spot?


The glasses/ cups you use also add to your decor. I love to buy beautiful glasses and cups. I know your guests will also love that extra nice touch. As you can see here.. they can also add a touch of color and interest to the overall look. I have beautiful clear glasses, colored glasses such as these beauties, and different metal cups in different tones. Another beautiful item I love to collect!


And the final touch.. the food! Along with the water pitchers. Another thing I love to buy… in a variety of colors and textures. Now my table is complete… well almost.


No table is truly complete or beautiful without the lovely people gathered around the table. Time to feast!


When you set a beautiful table, you create an atmosphere that makes people want to stay and connect. I always love the look of a table that was “loved” by being used. Makes any effort so worth it… and this table took very little effort. This is an “after” shot when all the food was cleared and we were sitting and having an “after” meal visit. Gatherings are my favorite and I hope my newest 16 year old felt special.. surrounded by those he loves.

By the way.. summer nights are my fave.