I wonder if you can get a sense of the intense light and heat from this shoot. Upper 90's here in Albuquerque. But because it's not humid, if you find a bit of shade you're okay.
I'm a native, and also born in summer. I grew up here without air conditioning. We had fans of course. But I can tolerate the heat, and I like hot weather.
I love neutrals for a table as well as white. This vintage tablecloth never made it to the shop. It's exactly what I want to offer customers, but after the launder and the press, and running my hands over the soft "hand" of pure linen, it just gets to me, and I know that NO ONE will EVER love it more than me!
Light colors are best for a mid-day summer soiree. They cool the eye, and reflect the light like nothing else can. I like to use a long cover beneath the main cloth to drape the table. It gives the whole scene an elegant, classic, and finished look.
I'm adding a little fancier crisp linen napkin (vintage) for this setting to balance out some of the more casual elements that I'm using for this layout. I have my everyday white no name plates that get tough use, and always get replaced with thrift store fill-ins because they get chipped, etc., over time.
I like the way Europeans sit and linger for mealtimes. Especially in the middle of the day when you most need it. I'm always poring over books to copy settings that I like, and I'm crazy about cafe life.
I'm big at "impromptu" lunches in novel places in the yard. Once while the two of us were lingering at the table after a wine lunch on our front porch, the mailman happened along to deliver mail, and seemed startled and embarrassed to have stumbled upon what he believed to be a special occasion. It was only lunch. And we don't do it everyday. But a carefully laid table is something many people here are unaccustomed to.
The centerpiece is a white vase of dried flowers (they last a long time :)) with an ironstone water pitcher and shells.
Renoir would never set a table with these gauche dipping bowls from Williams-Sonoma! But they have my favorite themes going, and liven up the neutral table. They would be perfect for a small salad or dessert after they set the mood for the table.
I did buy a set as a gift, but then had to have some for myself too! (Are you detecting a pattern here?) They're perfect for summer when travel is on everyone's mind. They're also great conversation starters.
A set of four doesn't set you back much, and brings something really fun and different to add to the table now and then. I also find it more interesting to introduce just a flavor of a stand-out table setting than to have the whole shebang worked up.
I'm offering inexpensive (REALLY inexpensive) vintage jelly jars at the lunch table. They're low risk all the way around for a meal on the lawn, but still charming.
Finally, I enjoy having my antique homespun towels tableside to drape an extra side table, for accidental spills, an extra napkin, ambiance, etc., etc., etc..