Summer Essentials: Dinner with Friends

With blazing temperatures and unforgiving humidity, the dog days of summer can get the best of all of us. A schedule packed with activities is a surefire way to beat the heat. Whether you pencil in time to host a dinner party with friends, cool off by lounging at the pool, sneak away for a relaxing picnic or pack your bags for a quick weekend getaway, check out these must-have items for your most stylish summer yet!

Expert Tips:

Add dimension to your table with layers! Runners make a great base that allows the natural texture of the table to show through or can be used in conjunction with other linens. Hester & Cook’s runners can be cut to any length, so you can drape them in the opposite direction to change things up.


Elevate the dish by placing a napkin or hand towel between the dinner plate and the salad plate. Wooden cutting boards or colorful trays used as chargers are an unexpected and playful way to add depth. Add a natural element to the place setting with a sprig of herb or greenery for the final touch.


Coordinate party favors and flowers with the color scheme and incorporate them into your design. If you have a narrower table like this one, try an asymmetrical centerpiece with the larger arrangement just left of center and the smaller to the right of center for a balanced pop of color!


Chilewich paper runner, $29 per roll; Silverplate vintage silverware (5-piece setting), $34; The Pencil Factory bridge pencils (set of nine), $13; Chilewich place cards, $4; Cake Drinkware stemless wine glass in white, $13; Cake Drinkware champagne flute in white, $18; The Bang Candy Company dark chocolate candy bar, $3 >>Hester & Cook; Wood tray in aqua, $26; Cow milk glass, $6; Belmont hammered brass shot glass (set of two), $24; Cherry and maple chevron cutting board, $50 >>White’s Mercantile; Match Dinnerware salad plate, $105; Match Dinnerware dinner plate, $110; Turkish-T hand towel, $19; Turkish-T basic blanket, $36 >>AshBlue

Flowers, styling and tips by Amanda Jerkins Design

Photographs by Michael W. Bunch, Art Direction by Heather Pierce and Derek Potter, Location courtesy of Twelve|Twelve