A table overlooking the water
Becky Stayner

Dinner in the Dunes

Cocoa-colored linens pick up the colors of the natural surroundings in this beachside table setting. Stylish print cushions add extra comfort to the wicker chairs, while a simple branch of coral makes a fitting centerpiece.

A fall-inspired table setting
Brooke Slezak

Posh Picnic

Jane Scott Hodges, designer of Leontine Linens, sets a stylish picnic table at her home. A rich palette takes advantage of late summer berries and blooms.

Wooden place mats balance the formality of silver goblets and fine china. Napkins by Leontine Linens feature a monogram in the table's palette.

A kid-friendly picnic basket

Lucky Kids

Individual picnic baskets keep younger guests happily occupied and away from the breakables.

A blue table with yellow dishes in the garden
Ka Yeung

Cool Summer Blues

A table in the garden set with blue and white china gets a splash of citrus with yellow tulips and lemon ornaments. Miniature topiaries make reference to the garden setting.

Yellow dishes on a blue table

Old Meets New

Old and new mix in the table settings: Antique blue and white china is layered on new lemon-yellow plates by Kate Spade for Lenox. Blue glassware strikes a casual note, while pretty table linens underscore everything with luxury.

A table with stacked plates and buffet style food
Tim Street-Porter

Easy Does It

A menu served at room temperature simplifies things when you're entertaining outdoors. This table requires minimal preparation, with plates stacked and food served buffet style so that guests can help themselves (and you can, too!).

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