16 Outdoor Place Setting Ideas

We put together 16 table settings to bring you inspiration for your next al fresco gathering

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”43″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_pro_slideshow” image_crop=”0″ image_pan=”1″ show_playback_controls=”1″ show_captions=”0″ caption_class=”caption_overlay_bottom” caption_height=”70″ aspect_ratio=”1.5″ width=”100″ width_unit=”%” transition=”fade” transition_speed=”1″ slideshow_speed=”5″ border_size=”0″ border_color=”#ffffff” ngg_triggers_display=”always” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]Ok, it’s no secret we love a beautiful place setting, and while we can’t help but come up with new ideas all the time for how to dress your dining room table, why not take the fun outdoors? This time, we’re using outdoor placemats, melamine dinner ware, shatterproof glassware, and more (of course mixed with some of our favorite indoor pieces) to come up with some outdoor place settings to inspire your next al fresco gathering!

Outdoor place setting inspiration

Orange & Citron

Bunny Williams’ new outdoor placemats are such a fun addition to an outdoor table, plus you can just wipe them down at the end of the evening. No laundering required! We also used a waxy Camellia leaf (and white paint pen) to create an easy place card.

Placemats / Dinnerware / Flatware / Glassware / Napkins

This table setting has a classic feel with a bit of prep

New England-Inspired

We love the classic, preppy feel of this table setting which we created using a navy-and-white stripe tablecloth made from Sunbrella fabric, paired with paper napkins in a red plaid. Top it all off with a trio of preserved boxwoods down the center of the table, and you have a chic table setting that’ll transport your guests to the East Coast!

Placemats / Dinnerware / Flatware / Napkins / Glassware

Bunny Williams Iris Melamine collection

Classic Blue-and-White

Bunny Williams’ gave her new melamine collection the look of a classic blue-and-white china pattern. It’s so pretty, you’ll hardly believe how durable it is! This gorgeous design needs little more than white hydrangeas and crocheted placemats to make a statement on your outdoor table.

Dinnerware / Placemats / Flatware / Glassware

Sherbet-colored linens give white dinnerware a fresh look

Apricot Accents

Apricot is one of our favorite new colors for summer. We used table linens in this fresh hue and paired them with copper flatware to spice up our classic Café Dinnerware.

Dinnerware / Flatware / Placemats / Napkins / Glassware

Bunny Williams' blue-and-white table cloth pairs beautifully with bright yellow

Blue and Yellow Bliss

Does a single bright, yellow lemon not beautifully complement Bunny Williams’ blue-and-white checkerboard table cloth? We cut a very small slit in the lemon so we could turn it into a place card holder. Easy, inexpensive, and unexpected!

Table cloth / Placemats / Dinnerware / Flatware / Glassware / Napkins

Neutral napkin and placemat with tape trim

Tailored Linens

A thick tape trim gives these place mats and napkins a polished feel that works with almost anything! Here, we bumped up the energy with Free Spirit Roses and tortoise shell flatware.

Placemats / Napkins / Flatware / Dinnerware / Glassware / Label Holder

Artichoke accent plates in fresh spring green

Artichoke Green

Accent plates are a great way to bring color to your dining table, while still using mostly neutral pieces. We used an accent plate with an artichoke design and gingham print. Then, we brought in other green accents, like napkins and potted rosemary containers!

Placemats / Napkins / Accent Plates / Dinnerware / Flatware / Glassware

Bunny Williams' Iris Melamine collection

Anything-but-Boring Neutrals

Now this is how you do neutral without being boring! The honey color of Bunny Williams’ Iris Melamine collection looks so beautiful against a teak table, and vibrant roses ‘go’ without being too match-y.

Dinnerware / Napkins / Placemats / Flatware / Glassware

Turquoise outdoor fabric and paper napkins are perfect power players in your outdoor tablesetting

Color Outside the Lines

Do any two colors feel more like summer than lemon yellow and bright turquoise? With melamine dinnerware, outdoor fabric as a table cloth, and paper napkins, this table setting is sure to stand up to even the rowdiest crowd!

Fabric / Dinnerware / Flatware / Glassware / Napkins / Ceramic Tag

Frog knot placemats with neutral pieces

Wow with Metallics

A set of gold or copper flatware can make setting the table fun! Our Marrakesh Flatware has a beautiful hammered texture and comes in stainless steel, gold, and rose gold. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe, so you get a super glamorous look without any extra dishwashing!

Flatware / Placemats / Napkins / Dinnerware / Napkin Ring / Glassware

July4th inspired table setting with red, white and blue

Independence Day Dreaming

No need to go kitsch this Fourth of July (unless of course that’s your thing!) Here we used a bit of red baker’s twine to jazz up a classic blue-and-white table setting for our favorite summer holiday.

Placemats / Dinnerware / Glassware / Flatware

Bunny Williams' Wildflower table cloth

Citron & Persimmon

Bunny Williams’ Wildflower Table Cloth has a fresh color palette of citron and persimmon that inspired this table setting. We used monogrammed linens, complemented by Free Spirit Roses to create a bold color palette while still feeling polished.

Table cloth / Napkins / Dinnerware / Flatware / Glassware

Outdoor placemats from Bunny Williams

Classic Color Palette

Blue and white is a combination that simply never gets old. Whether you’re using patterned china, a simple bordered set of dinner plates, or just bringing in blue accessories, we love all the ways you can reimagine this gorgeous pairing.

Placemats / Dinnerware / Napkin / Flatware / Glassware / Napkin Ring

Citron placemats and napkins

Fresh Faced

It’s always nice to have a matching set of placemats and napkins, especially for formal occasions, but when we’re looking to throw a fun, outdoor dinner party, we prefer to mix things up. In the same shade of citron, our Belize Napkins and Pom Pom Placemats coordinate beautifully, but with more pattern and freshness!

Placemats / Napkins / Dinnerware / Flatware / Glassware / Label Holders

Citrus-Inspired tablesetting

Citrus-Inspired Table Setting

Yellows, greens, and oranges work together beautifully on this outdoor table. We used Bunny Williams’ Wildflower table cloth, classic linen napkins with a green border, and a bright yellow lemon as a place card holder!

Table cloth / Napkins / Placemats / Dinnerware / Glassware / Flatware

Pom pom placemats feel fun and festive

Pom Pom Play

When setting a table outdoors, we love to use items that have a more playful feel than something you might use indoors. That’s precisely why we’re wild for our Mali Pom Pom Placemats. Crisp linen has that classic table feel, but with a pom pom trim, it’s hard to ignore their festive feel!

Placemats / Charger / Napkins / Napkin Rings / Dinnerware / Flatware / Glassware

Find more entertaining inspiration, or browse our Entertaining Pinterest boards.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Pamela Ginsburg

    June 3, 2015

    Love the table settings, but I find it comical when in one picture the knife blade is facing the plate and in another it’s facing out. Correct way is knife blade facing the plate. Just saying!

  2. Reply

    Jane Clinton

    June 2, 2015

    Where is the segment on decorating with string lights?