Summer Table

Interior designer Shelley Johnstone is as brilliant with outdoor decor as she is with indoor spaces. In the traditional American style, the backyard of her beautiful home has a dream area, with a swimming pool, a cabin and table and charming white chairs, with grass and small trees all around. She’s chicly imported the spirit of Palm Beach to her Lake Forest, Chicago, environs. Her entertaining style is just as inspiring, too... take a look!

*Here are seven tips on everything from seating arrangements to setting the perfect summer table:

1. Start with a fun tablecloth. The tablecloth can set the tone for the entire gathering. Being an interior designer, I am surrounded by a ton of amazing fabrics that are my constant source for inspiration. I usually fall in love with a fabric knowing it will be perfect for making pillows and tablecloths for summer gatherings in my backyard by the pool. I use hues of blues and pinks and mix it up with every event.
2. Use a lot of pretty flowers. I like to mix garden-center perennials and green plants with fresh-cut flowers. For this table I planted green ferns with white geraniums and hydrangeas in white ceramic containers. For the center of the table I arranged fresh-cut parrot tulips, white and pink peony, ranunculus and greens in Tory’s white leaf pitcher.
3. Mix the china patterns. Here, I used Tory’s blue and white Oiseau salad plates on top of her white lettuce ware dinner plates. I also scattered her small pink and green leaf pieces around the table for interest and color.
4. Mix in some natural straw and bamboo to add a sense of casual summer ease.
5. Add colored glasses for a pop of color and interest.
6. Fresh fruit in bowls instantly adds color, too, and makes the table really feel like summer. For this table, I used fresh strawberries and kept their green tops.
7. Lastly, have fun, mix and match, and set a table that is pretty and relaxed. It will set the tone for your gathering. (via Tory Burch)

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