Summer Entertaining Shop

When entertaining guests, it’s the little details and extra effort you put into the preparation and theme that combine to form a spectacular result. With plenty of warm summer evenings to enjoy dining outside, get ready to show off your summery accessories.

Think of a warm Mediterranean climate and lemons instantly spring to mind. Set the table with beautiful enameled salad plates with a fresh design of brightly colored lemons. Serve the food in a matching serving bowl and put hot dishes on the painted lemon cork mat. Lemon design napkins complete the look while napkin rings depicting a lemon on a vine add a fun touch. For a contrasting color theme, choose a bright red cherry set instead. For a tropical fruit theme, tidbit plates and tea towels with mixed tropical fruit designs are colorful and cheerful, such as ones with pineapples, watermelons and papayas.

If all the heat makes you long for a cool sea breeze, an under-the-sea theme is just what you need to feel refreshed. A melamine serving platter with matching salad plates depicting coral and sea critters sets the watery scene. Alternatively, marbleized enamel dinner plates resemble crashing waves, and these are complemented by shell-rimmed chargers. Plain white dishes are anything but boring when designed with an ocean theme in mind. The glazed stoneware features embossed starfish and sea urchins or is shaped like a fish. Chip and dip bowls shaped like clam shells add an original touch as do turtle shaped dip bowls. Complete the theme with starfish-shaped salt and pepper shakers.

Spice things up a bit with a Mexican theme. The brightly colored dinnerware features intricate patterns for a fun and festive feel at mealtimes. The hand-painted earthenware collection comprises serving bowls and utensils, platters with decorative serving handles, chip and dip bowls, as well as condiment trays.

Galvanized metal is synonymous with outdoor dining, so whether you’re hosting a casual dinner or throwing an impromptu barbecue, galvanize yourself into action and get your dining accessories ready. Place salad plates on chargers and carry the flatware in a caddy. Arrange snacks on a tiered stand and use a serving set when offering food to your guests. A galvanized party boat cooler makes for a great table centerpiece and guests can help themselves to a chilled drink so you can enjoy the party. For larger drink coolers, invest in a large party bucket or beverage tub and stand. A galvanized metal rolling wagon party bucket is a unique way to mingle with your guests while handing out drinks.

A Tuscan theme is a more relaxed affair with stylish terracotta that has an attractive crackle glaze for a wine cooler or wine bucket. Clear red wine glasses and a pitcher with a bold colored rim are striking as are the traditionally styled wooden wine trough, serving tray and marble cheese board. When dining outdoors, especially when entertaining guests, it makes sense to have shatterproof glasses and bowls so you can enjoy mealtimes with beautiful Italian dinnerware without worrying about breakages.

A subtle look is to use an antique silver dinnerware theme. The bowls, serving platters, jugs, coasters, cheese tray and tiered stand are made from brass with an antique silver-plated finish. The finished result is a warm and welcoming look that is paired nicely with vintage wood items, such as a barrel-top lazy Susan, a wall-mounted drink dispenser and a standing wine opener. In place of an antique silver look, go for shiny copper instead for a striking and cheerful look to the table setting.

Now that the table and drinks are taken care of, make sure the lighting is ready to create the perfect mood. Place candles on the table, hang lanterns by the entrance and dot string lights around the patio or decking for a party atmosphere.

Don’t forget, it’s not just the host who needs to plan ahead. At Pottery Barn, we have a multitude of entertaining gifts for you to give your host that will delight them no end and make all their efforts feel worth it. If you know what theme they’re going for, try and get a gift that blends in, such as a cactus Margarita glass, tropical fish bottle opener, vintage olive bucket or a copper bar tool set.