This decorista is feeling the by the sea table setting ideas vibe. For those of us who look for any opportunity to show off our tablescape chops, the summer entertaining season is opportunity supreme.
There’s something about the combination of a summer day into afternoon or evening, good friends, great food, and a table set in by the sea style.
Yes, social distancing will guide the guest list and seating arrangement, but hosting a summer soiree we will be.
This post has become packed like a beach bag with sources and suggestions, requiring it to be split into two by the sea place setting ideas parts.
If summer entertaining in coastal style is your thing, grab a cool beverage, get comfy, and settle in.
Before we set the table, let me set the scene:
An interesting article in Better Homes & Gardens highlights findings from the book Blue Mind by author and marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols.
Blue mind is the reflective and peaceful state experienced as result of being on, in, or by a body of water. Research backs up the author’s theory of proving how being on, in, or by a body of water as in lake, river, sea or ocean bolsters happiness.
Replicating a day or evening at the coast, beach or seashore in the form of tablescape set with striking place settings and tablewares engages the senses of sight, touch, taste, and sound, promotes visual happiness, and gives those who love to set a gorgeous table a stylish dose of vitamin sea.
By the sea table setting ideas, indoor or alfresco, serve as a passport to dining adventures where the dining table top becomes an inspired canvas.
Visually interesting, unexpected, and conversation worthy pieces in colors and patterns not typically associated with the tablescape theme at hand is a fun and fresh way to approach place settings and serving pieces.
From coastal casual to elegantly formal to whatever floats your by the sea boat, well-appointed table setting options remain the best friend of the entertaining decorista.
Let’s by the sea table set, shall we?
Placemats and chargers made of natural materials such as wicker, water hyacinth, sisal and seagrass are decorating chameleons, and by that I mean they adapt beautifully to the style situation they are in.
The Pottery Barn Shell-Rimmed Charger is a shell of a good charger inspiration for a by the sea place setting accent.
Pier 1 has this Shell Border Natural Charger ($17.99 + tax), however, still somewhat pricey when you need several to set the table.
I’m thinking a knock your sandals off knockoff DIY project option may be a stylish alternative.
Woven chargers as well as plastic chargers in your choice of color create the canvas.
Lay out your choice of seashells to get the pattern and sizing right.
You may prefer the look of the shells placed at the edge of the charger, in one concentrated area of the charger, or covering the entire rim in an impressive mix and pattern.
Once you get the placement and look to your liking, go ahead and place a dinner plate on the charger to make sure there is another clearance between the edge of the plate and the shells.
Stack a salad plate atop the dinner plate to make sure it too clears the shells.
**A hot glue gun is just that, hot. Use caution and protect your fingers.**
Using a hot glue gun, glue each shell to the charger.
Prepare to impress.
After all, isn’t that the point?
Pier 1 stores will be closing soon, and their Going Out of Business Sale is currently underway.
There’s no time like the present to add dinnerware, placemats, napkins, and chargers from the sale to your place settings inventory.
Not all residential dining rooms or outdoor areas are lucky enough to come with an authentic by the sea view, but don’t let that detail impede the by the sea details.
Seashells are brimming with by the sea color, texture and pattern inspiration.
The distinctive colors, textures, and pattern play of the conch shell horn.
Tales and truths of lustrous pearls found at sea.
I love the colors in the Amina dinner plate from Crate & Barrel as the palette is reminiscent of the colors found in seashells by the seashore.
You can spend a pretty penny on dinner plates, and understandably so in some settings, but when a stylish pattern or color is available on the shelves of the dollar store and gives a good look, why would you?
Affordable options such as the Royal Norfolk Turquoise Swirl Stoneware dinner plate make a solid style base to build your by the sea place setting upon.
Color choices need not be too matchy-matchy.
Contrast keeps things visually interesting.
I like to color, texture, and pattern outside the lines of what traditionally identifies the coastal look.
Place setting accents and accessories in Louisiana Gulf Coast fashion incorporate the style of home.
Blue and white with shades of gray.
Need I say more?
When I was sourcing items for this post, I could not get immediately happy with the placemat selections in the coastal category.
Much to my delight, I came across this Oisin Sea Creature placemat which set into motion a sourcing session with not your average by the sea place setting options in mind.
Classic Stripe 4 Piece Bowl Set
Although a red, white, and blue palette is more closely associated with a nautical theme, it is 4th of July appropriate for a by the sea table setting.
Gold leaf oyster shell salt and pepper cellars add a touch of unique by the sea elegance to the tabletop.
Ocean Round Sculpted Dessert Plate
As far as flatware patterns go, I’ve sourced several color, texture and pattern selections in various price points and styles.
Vintage Glass Goblet Set of Six
Striped Rattan Wrapped Salad Servers (Set of 2)
Vintage fish plate sets, platters, and cutlery sets make such a pretty place setting.
On one of our treasure hunting trips over to Houston, Dave and I lucked up on an antiques shop specializing in English smalls (china, silver, decorative accessories).
I bought a divine service for 12 fish service with platter and a set of fish knives and forks for a phenomenal price.
We were big eBay sellers at the time, so listed they were.
Dave tried to convince me to keep the service, but I reasoned we would come across more of the same in our hunts.
We have, but not of the quality or the fabulous price.
Live and learn.
Patterns and textures created by nature’s wonder.
Salt kissed air.
A symphony of sea waves.
Place settings, serveware, and tabletop accessories in a by the sea theme set a coastal scene and seen.
Next up in this By the Sea Table Setting Ideas series is serving pieces, table linens, a simple DIY project idea, and tabletop accessories.
Sea you then.