Martha Stewart's outdoor table dressing offers a 'fresh reinterpretation of florals' – a top trend for summer 2024

Stewart proves that outdoor dining success can hinge highly on table styling, as experts reveal their tips to achieve a perfect summer tablescape

(Image credit: Alexander Tamargo via Getty Images for Atlantis Paradise Island)

It's a time of year that many of us fantasize about: outdoor dining season. While recipes are an integral part to the outside eating experience, tablescpaing is equally important (in our humble opinion). As per usual, Martha Stewart is serving up some great table styling inspiration over on her Instagram page.

The host extraordinaire recently shared a photo of her outdoor dining set-up for her granddaughter's tea party, and the result is a perfectly pink layout. The floral tablecloth complements the blush napkins, while rose plates are joined by floral teacups.

Tablescaping is as much an art as it is an extension of interior decorating, and as such, it has become an increasingly popular hobby for many over the past few years. Luckily, we spoke to an expert to get some insight on tablescpaing tips and tricks (featuring a floral theme just like Stewart's).

'This year, we’re seeing a fresh reinterpretation of florals as shoppers invite nature’s beauty into their homes,' says Etsy Trend Expert, Dayna Isom Johnson. 'We’ve seen an array of celebrities and influencers alike who have been showcasing lavish tablescapes with tablecloths that mimic the folds of blossoms as well as making use of ultra-feminine pastel linens and botanical motifs.'

First up? Every detail counts.

'Focusing on the small details – like hand-embroidered runners, gold serving ware, or engraved napkin rings – is an easy way to make any tablescape feel more upscale and special,' Isom Johnson suggests. 'Whether shoppers are preparing their tables for a casual meal or entertaining guests, don’t be afraid to bust out the good stuff. Heirloom-worthy dinnerware adds an extra layer of sophistication and class to any tabletop.'

Isom Johnson also recommends looking at secondhand and antique shops for unique pieces for a tablescape; they add a je ne sais quoi to any set-up.

'Vintage accents add a sense of elegance and luxury,' she says. 'Think vintage-coloured glasses, candle holders, or coasters. And the best part, vintage pieces range in price point so there’s sure to be something for every budget.'

With that being said, don't overlook essential tableware in favor of design (as tempting as it may be).

'At the end of the day, your tabletop should be as practical as it is beautiful,' Isom Johnson states. 'To avoid an awkward or cluttered spread, I recommend investing in just a handful of impactful essentials and decor elements. Quality over quantity is key!'

Shop the summer tablescaping edit

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.