Midsummer Entertaining Ideas

Hi everybody! This is Anke Illner and usually I post about table decoration on my blog but today I'm both very happy and excited to be sharing my first new column on decor8 all about tabletop decorating. I'll show you the same table in my dining room each month styled a different way to hopefully inspiring your next gathering. Entertaining is a big trend, wouldn't you agree, and it will only become stronger since many have come to discover that gatherings at home are more intimate than meeting up at restaurants - and a lot more affordable and give you a chance to be creative. Okay, time to get started with my first installment in my tabletop series. For this look, I'm bringing you some late summer inspiration.

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I always liked a table styling that tells a little story about the current season of the year. And I love the month of September. The warm light, fresh air, luscious colors and opulence make me happy all round. It is the best time of the year to ramble around the farmers markets, if you ask me. During my last visit, I could not resist the dahlias and small yellow plums (called Mirabellen in German). In good company with a homemade marzipan pound cake I set my September themed table with floral bouquets in small vases (formerly jam jars), rustic-style ceramics and linen-napkins. A big round wooden board functions as the centerpiece, giving the cake a perfect stage. Last but not least, I scattered some small yellow plums. Not only do they add some spots of yellow color to the table but also make the guests happy.

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When guests come, I mostly arrange several medium-sized bunches of flowers as they allow everybody to see each other. You`ll find a step-by-step tutorial for medium arrangements in Holly & Leslie's, "Decorate with Flowers". Furthermore, I discovered beautiful images of floating flowers in their book, the inspiration for my mini version on every guests' plate. My flower choice this time: multicolored dahlias, white phlox, sage and some grass. I can highly recommend sage as an add-on, its delicate scent is just wonderful!

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Along with coffee and cake I prepared cucumber and ginger infused water. I tried this for the very first time when visiting Amsterdam this summer and was surprised about the fresh, aromatic taste. Have you given infused water a try? Which variation? I hope you liked this table setting and I wish you the most beautiful late summer, dear readers! See you again in October for my next tabletop theme! - Anke.

(photography and styling: anke illner)