The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays- it’s at the start of summertime, filled with backyard bbqs, lots of stripes and fireworks. We always end up having the most relaxing, fun day no matter where we are (last year we celebrated in Idaho with Thomas’s family). This year we’ll be in Nantucket with friends and I already know we’re going to have a blast. Since the Fourth is already only a week away, it’s time to start planning the tables and decor! Lucy, our tablescape contributor (and my dear friend!) and I wanted to do something around the holiday. I mentioned to her that the Fourth of July always seems to be so casual and it would be fun to create a table that felt a little more dressed up than usual, but still simple and easy to throw together. It all started with these blue and white plates I bought from the Aerin x William Sonoma collection, from there, we built the rest of the table with items we already had. Keep reading to see what else we came up with…
For me, the Fourth of July will always be about extended family getting together. It is about gathering loved ones at the very height of summer and taking advantage of the long days. I remember as a child that wonderful feeling that everyone was now together and that months of summer adventures lie ahead.
For such a universal American holiday, Julia and I wanted this table to be family friendly and to feel a bit more elevated than a backyard BBQ but still very easy to replicate at home. Everything we used is widely available and this table does not require special skills to assemble! Keep scrolling to read my simple steps on dressing up a family table to make this year’s celebration one to remember.
Hydrangeas are a crowd-pleaser. In season everywhere, inexpensive and bulky, they will add a touch of sophistication to any table. Helpfully, they can be found at most grocery stores in the colors red, white and blue. I often grab ours from Trader Joe’s. Cut the stems at an angle (you can even quickly seal the stems in boiling water) and change their water often. Keep them cool in the AC until they are needed, and spritz regularly for maximum longevity in the summer sun. Hydrangeas love water!
Julia and I have fallen hard for these plates from the new Aerin collection for Williams-Sonoma. They are classic, beautiful quality and the shade of blue is so pretty. They could dress up any table and could be used over and over for entertaining, especially fitting for the summer months. I am always on the lookout for blue and white plates and vases to collect, estate sales and antique stores are often a good place to hunt.
White table cloth.
The one in this shoot was rented very affordably from a local event company (no need for cleaning and folding and storing!). This is the easiest way to breathe life into an old outdoor table that is past its heyday. If you have children at your celebration, it’s fun and elegant to dress the “grown up” table with a white linen and the children’s table with a paper cover. You can use the same flower arrangements down the table or across tables to unify the look. It’s also fun to put crayons on the children’s table so that they can express themselves. For larger groups, throwing a tablecloth over plywood boards on saw horses will allow you to accommodate the largest gatherings; rental companies also have collapsible tables that fit these linens perfectly.
Dress up for dinner.
It would be so fun and easy to freshen up this table and make it into a more formal dinner table for guests that are staying longer. After a quick tidy up and sweep I would add these votives, and add taper candles like these to extend the party spirit into the evening hours.
Have a wonderful upcoming long weekend!