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An Indoor Summertime Alfresco Tablescape

Yes, you read that ~ an indoor summertime alfresco tablescape. I know that alfresco means outside and I had the best intentions of creating this beautiful summer tablescape on our new patio coffee table on our new outdoor rug with my new DIY tabletop end tables. It was a great plan. But mother nature stepped in and out the window went my plan.

No, it wasn’t rain, although we always need rain. I would have gladly sacrificed my alfresco tablescape vision for some rain. It was heat, heat, and more heat. Yes, I live in Texas and we are born, weaned, and raised in heat. I love heat ~ to a point. Our temperatures the past several weeks have hit 100˚+ almost everyday. I can handle 90˚, but 100˚? Not so much. Creating a summertime alfresco tablescape in 105˚ heat did not sound like fun. My plants would wilt, my candles would melt, the ice in our cocktails would melt, and my food would wither.

So where could I set a summertime alfresco tablescape? I would just pretend that it was a lovely warm summer evening and create this summertime alfresco tablescape indoors in our living room. Where my plants wouldn’t wilt, my candles wouldn’t melt, our cocktails would stay cold and my food fresh and delicious. And Sweet Shark and I could enjoy the tablescape, the cocktails and the food ~ in the air~conditioning.

An Indoor Summertime Alfresco Tablescape

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Before I show you the details of my alfresco tablescape, I have to share 2 things ~ both totally unplanned ~ that happened at Haven Conference that had an impact on my tablescape.

Serendipitous Beginning to My Alfresco Tablescape Number 1

My original idea was to use a beach towel or Turkish towel as my tablecloth. Since our patio cushions are a deep sky blue color, I wanted to use blues with pops of pinks. I had searched online for Turkish towels, but they were so expensive I gave up. Then at Haven, early on Saturday morning, I saw a new vendor setting up a table with the most beautiful colors of Turkish towels and handmade yarn blankets and throws. No one else was around and I talked to the owners, Diane and Keith, about the product and their company, Artizen Home. I was blown away by the quality and price of their inventory ~ it was amazing.


I couldn’t stop thinking that one of the Turkish towels would be the perfect tablecloth for my upcoming summertime alfresco tablescape ~ at this time I fully planned to have it outdoors. In the afternoon I went back to their booth and told Diane about this upcoming tablescape hop. Rather than take a chance that a Turkish towel wouldn’t arrive in time, she graciously gave me the one of my choice!

As soon as I got home, I went to their website, thoroughly viewed all their beautiful products and how the company began ~ it’s a cool story. They had a lovely line of Turkish towels and Merino wool, hand~made blankets and throws. Unfortunately, they are not producing their products right now.

Serendipitous Beginning to My Alfresco Tablescape Number 2

On the first night of Haven, I was invited to a wonderful dinner hosted by Lamps Plus. On the tables were these really cool candle holders. And guess which color was on my table? Hot Pink! Our Lamps Plus hostess explained that this was a new product, it came in 100 amazing colors and would be a colorful addition to any home decor. I immediately thought of my alfresco tablescape vision. I thought the tall pink candle holders would be awesome on my patio table.

Lamps Plus candleholders

The next day, Lamps Plus ~ they are the nicest people ~ hosted lunch and said anyone whoever wanted a pair of the candleholders could them sent to them. Wow! I was so on it. And again, guess which color was on the table where I was sitting? The Hot Pink ones! When Sweet Shark and I arrived home, the box with my pretty Hot Pink candle holders were already there.

The Big Reveal

I took so many pictures that I thought I would show you the actual tablescape today and the “behind the tablescape” on Friday. Once I settled on doing the tablescape  in the living room on our coffee table instead of outside on the patio table, I realized I could almost create the same design. I wanted a soft, tropical, very relaxed vibe.

You already know that the alfresco tablescape begins with the Turkish towel and continues with the Lamps Plus candleholders. I had Sweet Shark bring in some banana leaves from our banana tree (never thought of using them before.) I pulled over a couple of large plants from the fireplace hearth.

potted plants

I only had 1 table size plant for the table so I made a quick run to Trader’s Joe and bought 2 pots of succulents in white round planters. (A year later, I painted those pots for our patio.)

alfresco tablescape

I added a few small votive candle holders and sprinkled some of my bottled sand (I bought 1 jar at Joann over a year ago and I keep using it and putting it back in the jar). Here’s a similar product.

alfresco tablesetting

Pink napkins and pink plastic utensils complimented the pink of the candleholders. The plastic wine glasses with the jeweled embellishment were a wedding gift. We started out with 6 and we’re down to 3. Wish I had more.

table setting

Rather than sit on the sofa and lean over to eat, I decided that we would pretend we were sitting on the beach. I pulled my apple green pillows off the sofa and brought in the pillows that I made for my dining room makeover. I was pleasantly surprised how the green pillows picked up the color from the banana leaves. And the small pillows provide some pattern and whimsy to the scene.

green pillow ad patterned pillows

green pillows and patterned pillows

Alfresco Dinner

Now it was time for our dinner. I knew this would be a no~cook night. When it’s so hot outside, sometimes a cool, fresh, light meal is just the thing. I made a caprese salad with fresh local tomatoes and locally made mozzarella cheese. Last weekend I made a big batch of pesto with some of our basil and sprinkled some shredded basil on top. Sweet Shark made some cocktail sauce for dipping fresh chilled shrimp.

caprese salad with chilled shrimp

I thought we could share one big plate.

caprese salad with chilled shrimp

I placed the caprese salad on our tropical tablescape and lit the candles.

alfresco table with dinner

It was after 8:00 so the sun was starting to set.

lit Lamp Plus candle holders

You can’t have a summertime alfresco dinner without a refreshing cocktail and Sweet Shark makes the best. I requested a Mojito and he delivered. Yummy. Umbrellas at no extra charge.

mojitos in glass with umbrellas and straws

You have to chin~chin. We were ready to sit down and enjoy our meal at my alfresco tablescape.

toasting with mojitos

I love how the Lamps Plus candle holders stand above the greenery and elevate the candlelight.

candlelight alfresco dinner

alfresco dinner with candlelight

For dessert, I thought something cold and creamy was in order. I served lemon ice cream with a sprig of mint from our backyard. It’s so refreshing and light.

lemon ice cream with mint

Even my pink plastic spoons add to the decor.

lemon ice cream with mint


Turkish Towel ~ Artizen Home
Glass Candle Holders ~ Lamps Plus
Candles ~ Joann
Potted succulents ~ Trader Joe’s
White Plate ~ World Market

Wish you were here!




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  1. I am so with you on the weather! It’s hard to enjoy a nice dinner when it is that hot! I love the gorgeous Turkish towel and the lovely candle holders in hot pink! What a beautiful Tablescape! So happy I was able to say hello at Haven!

  2. Carol, I totally understand the inside alfresco table. We were having some triple digit days in Oklahoma too! The extreme heat is miserable! Luckily, we are back into the 90s. Your table is beautiful. The candle holders are gorgeous. I adore the pink pop of color! Stay cool, and enjoy your week!!!

    1. Shannon, I don’t think I knew you were in Oklahoma. Where? Yes, it’s been so hot, but this morning we go a little rain and it was actually pleasant this afternoon in the high 80’s. Felt great.

  3. Creative table! I know first hand why none of us are dining alfresco this month! Alfresco dining is my favorite, but not possible with temps like we are experiencing. Beautiful table, and just looking at your photos has a cooling effect.

  4. Carol,
    It was such a pleasure to meet you at Haven. And I learned so much.. my head is still spinning. I’m glad you brought your tablescape indoors, because your set up was so imaginative and fun and even romantic. Looks like you two had a wonderful evening! Love, love love the hot pink touches!

  5. Carol, I don’t blame you for seeking the inside with those temps. Your table is creative, pretty, and colorful with natural succulents and greenery. Your food and cocktails look so inviting and the candlelight added a lovely ambience. I enjoyed the progression of your table plans and your story in photos.
    Your homemade ice cream served in crystal sherbets was the perfect finale on a very hot day.

  6. hi carol! What a fun tablescape and theme! We are getting some much-needed rain in Denver area! I was already following you and Lamps Plus! Yay! Happy Hump Day! laura

  7. Carol, as beautiful and inviting as all your photos were, the post was such a great read! I love how you made lemonade out of lemons by moving your table inside out of the heat! I’m in Iceland and would send you cooler temperatures if I could! Today I had my ski thermal underwear on to go whale watching!

    1. Debbee, I appreciate your comments. Iceland! I’ve never known anyone from Iceland. Is it always cold or do you have warmer weather?

  8. Good Afternoon Carol,
    Good decision on moving the meal inside and enjoying it all in the comfort of your lovely home. Everything looks fabulous and the entire meal sounds and looks scrumptious.

  9. Hello beautiful indoor picnic! I love the way this all turned out. It’s a little bit tropical and reminds me of a vacation dinner. How lucky for you and the vendors to cross paths. 🙂

  10. So pretty Carol and going inside was definitely a better option dealing with the heat. You scored bigtime with your pink candle holders and turkish towels. A lovely tablescape for two. I think most of were thinking shrimp cocktail…it is always a good choice.

  11. Carol, what a lovely table. You thought of everything, right down to dessert. Sometimes it is way too hot to eat outdoors. You have created a lovely table indoors. The pink candle holders are lovely. Gotta love Lampsplus. It looks so tropical. I know you and your hubby enjoyed this pretty alfresco table, especially with the mojitos. Cheers!

    1. Linda, the mojitos were delicious and are a real thirst~quencher. Those candle holders are special. I can’t believe how many colors that come in.

  12. What a lovely table and a lovely meal. I love how you used the Lamps Plus candle holders, I have one pink one and have no idea how and where I will use it! My favorite thing is that you used greenery on your table and especially the banana leaves. Real greenery always grounds a space or a table! Thank you so much for being a part of another tablescape blog hop! HUGS! Chloe

    1. Chloe, you only have one!I’ve already moved mine to my dining room and they look fantastic. I can’t believe we’ve had that banana tree for 4 years and this is the first time I’ve thought of using the banana leaves. Won’t be the last. Thank you for once again hosting such a fun event.

  13. Your table makes me feel like I am at a tropical oasis enjoying some wonderful food and drinks!
    It is all photographed so beautifully, I am sure you never would have gotten a shot of that lemon ice cream that looks so wonderful in your heat conditions! Your whole setting and menu sure is a perfect way to celebrate a heat wave of epic proportions!

  14. Carol, I think the majority of folks on this blog tour have had similar sentiments with dealing with the heat, but the flexibility demonstrated has been an added bonus to this tour. You delivered in utmost styling with all the details you put together for this simulated alfresco dining. I love serendipity and you really hit the jackpot with your turkish towel and candlelights. The outdoor plants really complement it, and your meal looked fabulous! That’s my kind of summer dining – cool, calm, and collected!
    I appreciate your candor in telling it like it really is!

  15. now this is how you host an indoor picnic! I also love the Lamps Plus candleholders – V CUTE! looks like you and the hubby had a blast, so well done!

    1. Ariel, I remember having a picnic with my kids when it snowed unexpectedly. We just made an adventure of it. It just worked out well.

  16. Oh, I am so hungry now, your shrimp and caprese plate looks delicious!! Great idea for a tablescape, lovely to have just dinner for two inside. You are right, it has been too hot to go outside for us as well, until just this past week when we got a bit of a cool front and some rain.

  17. This is simply stunning, love the idea. We too have been having a heat wave of epic proportions. Now this week we have finally received the first rain of summer and I am not sure it is going to stop. Oh well. Great Table and great idea. Plus I am heading over to Instagram to enter just as soon as I check out those linens
    ( PS I do so love your email newsletter I have to get cracking on one)

  18. I love your creative al fresco table Carol, and I certainly understand why you chose not to be outside! I love the succulents, just a great tropical touch! The candle holders are so unique, when I first saw them I thought they were large pilsner glasses turned upside down! I enjoyed reading about your Haven experience, you scored some cool stuff! Sitting on the floor at your cozy table for 2 is so romantic and the food looks divine!

  19. Carol, I don’t blame you for taking outside inside. My 90 degree heat and humidity were oppressive, but 105 would run me indoors for sure. You created a beautiful table! I love the towel and the candle stands are gorgeous, their color just pops. Your menu is perfect for hot summer nights, caprese salad is a favorite of mine. Thank you for sharing your fun stories as background for your Tablescape. It is always fun blog hopping with you!