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How to style a relaxed summer table

Maximise the summer feeling with a casual table in a mix of balmy pastels. Here IKEA interior designer Elin Stierna shares her best tips on how to create an inviting table setting in a few steps.

Lay the foundation for a summery table with a white tablecloth, such as IKEA GULLMAJ tablecloth!
Lay the foundation for a summery table with a white tablecloth, such as IKEA GULLMAJ tablecloth!

Set a theme

“Start planning your table by deciding on a theme so you have something to work from,” says Elin. “It could be based on a colour, time of year, or the type of dishes you have.” Here Elin wanted to create a relaxed, summery look that is easy to set up. To achieve this, she combined different layers of soft textiles with a mix of pastels, whites and shots of the hottest shade on Instagram right now – sage green.

Pick the tablecloth

“Choose the tablecloth to fit your table. For a relaxed feel, try a classic linen-mix cloth that you wash so it’s super soft. Place it diagonally across the table so the wood’s natural beauty shines through.”

Try a simple cloth that you decorate with a runner or placemats in a contrasting material or style to break up the white.

Elin Stierna, IKEA interior designer

Get deco/centrepiece ideas

“Think about the feeling you want to create with your table setting and decorate to fit it.” Here Elin made a simple summery frame by attaching artificial flowers and fresh sage to some string that she hung over the table. Go for unscented candles so the scent of sage shines through.

Use cosy lighting

A simple way to create an atmosphere is to decorate with candles. Elin placed plain white candles inside two minimalist lanterns that can also be used as vases. If natural light in the room is low hang up a ceiling lamp with a dimmer to adjust the light. “Make sure everyone around the table can see each other and their food properly. There should be enough light so that you don’t have to strain your eyes.”

Select tableware and napkins

Pick tableware according to the type of food you’re planning to cook. “If you have basic china use that mixed with other sets, such as in another colour. Bring the style together with some napkins. Use ordinary wooden chopping boards as placemats, they provide an interesting contrast to all of the pale shades.”

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by
Interior designer: Elin Stierna
Photographer: Micke Persson
Writer: Anna Blom