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Wednesday 12 October 2011

How to decorate your outdoor table for a Summer lunch.

Table decor idea: A feast for all the senses.

Use flowers and leaves creatively to add the spontaneous spirit of an al fresco lunch. Don't reach automatically for a jug or vase - gather flower heads from the garden or from arrangements inside the house. When the flowers in a vase begin to fade, there are always a few blooms whose beauty remains intact. Pick off those flower heads that still have life in them and scatter them over a tablecloth or display singly in little glass vases where they can be admired at close quarters. This is a great way to make the most of your flowers, even if they only last like this for a short term. They can even be kept in the fridge for a few days beforehand, if required.

The heads of nerine lilies or single gladioli blooms, usually seen at the top of long  stately stems and in the company of other flowers, are transformed when used in this simple, unassuming way. They add to that sense of 'contemplated haphazardness' which is so appealing but can be quite hard to achieve. Edible flowers such as nasturtiums, borage and pansies and freshly picked herbs such as chervil, coriander and basil can also be used to decorate and add taste to salads. And when serving cool drinks, such as fresh lemon presse, fill the glass with slices of lemon or lime and use sprigs of mint to flavour the water slightly and make it more refreshing.

Decor inspiration by Tricia Guild - Thinkcolour

Decor idea for a Summer lunch

A crisp striped cloth and a scattering of petals for a spontaneous al fresco lunch outside.
This table laid for lunch outside has a casual, carefree charm - a mismatch of chairs brought out into the garden in the shade of old olive and fig trees. What makes it so inviting, however, is the clever use of colour that belies the seemingly spontaneous arrangement. The orange of the Arne Jacobsen chairs is highlighted on the vibrant striped tablecloth, and echoed in the flower heads strewm around the place settings and tucked into tiny vases with a few scented geranium leaves.

"Eating outside is liberating - the simple act of laying a table out of doors frees us from the formalities that might prevail in the house. Take a few risks - mix old and new, rustic and contemporary - but keep it all moving with a subtle continuity of colour. There is great fun to be had in choosing which furniture and cloths to use. pick a favourite fabric and work around it, or take some chairs that work well together and continue the scheme around thos e colours. Fresh salad leaves, herbs and nasturtiums from the garden make a colourful and delicious salad." Tricia Guild

Decor inspiration by "thinkcolour"

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