Summer Entertaining and an Overlooked Detail

The summer is rapidly approaching! The upcoming warm weather months are a peak time for entertaining. Whether it be a family barbecue, Sunday brunch, or an evening dinner party, we scarcely need reason to host or attend a summer shindig, big or small!

In preparation for your summer hosting duties, you may be interested in stocking your bar, creating a catalogue of yummy food and drink recipes, and planning fun activities to regale your guests with (I highly recommend the game Cards Against Humanity for  copious amounts of laughter!).

One of the things that often gets overlooked when preparing for summer hosting, is the supplies, specifically, dishware for serving your tasty meals on. Summer entertaining does not have to be limited to red solo cups and white paper plates! I wanted to spotlight some places and share some tips on selecting dishware to set up eye catching place settings for your summer hosting!

On a recent grocery shopping trip to The Superstore, I was inspired by a table display of vibrant and summery, plastic dishware that had the look of stoneware. There were a number of solid and printed designs in various colours that could be mixed and matched. The prices ranged from $3-$5 per piece. It got me thinking about how much more inviting a get-together or event looks and feels when the details have been considered. With that in mind, I want to share some tips that I find useful when planning the tablescape for hosting an event. The photos below the tips were taken at The Superstore during my shopping trip that day, to illustrate some of the suggestions.

Tip #1
If you do a lot of hosting and entertaining, opt for reusable dinnerware. To get the maximum use and versatility, choose solid colours for the primary, everyday use pieces (plates, glasses, bowls, etc.). Add bursts of colour or pattern with vibrant cloth napkins or place mats. If you have a bigger budget, add a patterned bowl to the spread!



Tip #2
When shopping for dishware, take a few minutes to find a surface to lay out an entire place setting on (a store tabletop or counter works well). You can get a much better idea of how the pieces work together, especially if you are mixing and matching colours and patterns. A little bit of trial and error goes a long way to help you achieve the look of a beautiful and balanced table set up.

Note: I didn’t need to purchase anything to get a clear visual of how the pieces would work together-bonus!


If you are working with a small budget, consider mixing and matching pieces that coordinate from different stores. You can find pretty and durable plates, bowls, and glasses at various dollar stores for $1-$2 a piece. Create the base of your place settings using the dollar store pieces (plastic or disposable), and splurge on a set of beautiful printed bowls, bold place mats, or detailed drinking glasses from another store to perk up the overall look! Add pretty printed paper napkins for an extra element of colour or pattern. Below are fun and vibrant disposable dinnerware from Party City. They have a rainbow selection of colours and prints to choose from!

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It’s possible to create inviting tabletops featuring fun and beautiful place settings on any budget. Incorporate fresh or faux plants and flowers to your spread to complete the set up!  If you are hosting a large number of guests and it’s not realistic to use individual place settings, places like the Dollar store, Walmart, Loblaws/The Superstore and Party City have disposable options that come in a variety of colours and prints! Don’t be afraid to step outside of your white disposable dinnerware comfort zone! Happy summer event planning and hosting!

One comment

  1. Kristi says:

    I love this idea. I am definitely going to pick up some supplies to have on hand. 🙂 thank you for the idea()

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