All it takes is a stop at the farmers’ market or a grocery store to get this bountiful look. Pile on the produce—a mix of colors, shapes, and sizes—in a loosely undulating line. Pair with any mismatched patterned dishes you have on hand for an easygoing vibe. Elevate the arrangement by using serving pieces with different heights. Weave in a few flowers, too. Choose items that you can reuse—say, for an outdoor display (gourds) or as a snack (grapes).
To buy: Acacia plate, $12, muji.com. Tobacco-leaf tin plate, $18, furbishstudio.com. Timber flatware set, $115 for five pieces, farmhousepottery.com. Wildflower Study napkin, $12, anthropologie.com. Variegated cotton napkin, $12, abchome.com. Marta light pink double old-fashioned glass, $3, cb2.com. Juxtaposed Bauci porcelain bowl, $82, michelevarian.com. Eusapia porcelain dinner plate, $78, michelevarian.com. Wildflower Series rectangle platter, $248, shopterrain.com.
Clean and Green
A structured setup of sculptural succulents—one per place setting—is the star of this sleek, restrained display. Bring in some warmth with metallic (or wood) accents. For a shot of color, sprinkle pink himalayan salt around each succulent. A minimalist arrangement is ideal for a family-style meal, leaving plenty of room for dishes and platters.
To buy: Hammered-copper charger, $30, williams-sonoma.com. Jars Tourron black dinner plate, $30, crateandbarrel.com. Enamel spoon, $19, brookfarmgeneralstore.com. KÃ¸benler Palace saucer, $6, shopterrain.com. Four-inch rosette succulents, $3.40 each, thesucculentsource.com. Kobenstyle white six-quart casserole, $150, schoolhouseelectric.com.
Create a “runner” by lining up various potted herbs and nestling in a few bread boards, etc. (You don’t have to be too perfect with the placement.) Stick with neutral pots—gray, white, terra-cotta—if you’re planning on colorful place settings. Fresh herbs are a bang-for-your-buck pick: they lend a table a lush, leafy look along with a subtle scent.This display does double duty: the potted plants can turn into parting gifts when your guests are ready to go home.
To buy: American Modern dinner plate in white, $36, schoolhouseelectric.com. Matte black flatware set, $39 for five pieces, westelm.com. Cape recycled glassware, $40 for four, westelm.com. Marble and wood cutting board in paddle, $39, westelm.com. Bread knife, $34, brookfarmgeneralstore.com. Small plate in check pattern, $20, ovoceramics.etsy.com. Square brushed-wire fruit bowl, $12, anthropologie.com.
Light and Luxe
For a fresh take on the traditional table, play up a classic monochromatic palette: white. Accent the dishes with a sprinkling of chunky white candles and smaller votives, nestling the bigger ones in metallic dishes (we used garden saucers here), with a few lush magnolia leaves layered underneath each.
To buy: Scribe platter, $40, crateandbarrel.com. Habit + Form tart plant tray in brass, $10, shopterrain.com. Enamel coffee pot, $145, brookfarmgeneralstore.com. Pantry mug, $46, farmhousepottery.com. American Modern dinnerware in cream, $36, schoolhouseelectric.com. Milk bottle match striker, $38, farmhousepottery.com. Milkmaid 5-piece flatware set, $115, farmhousepottery.com.