First Barbecue of the Summer

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Yesterday for lunch, we barbecued for the first time this year. It was so good we grilled again for dinner! This was the scene.

Ah, those leaf plates. I’ve had them for years and I still love them. It was Brandon’s idea to add them to the table, and a good one at that, though somewhat surprising (because he hates them!).

We need to get out there and clean up the garden. I ignored it last year (excuse: I had a baby and a toddler), and this year things are bad out there. It is, however, much easier to overlook the garden being overgrown and overtaken by weeds if your peonies are in bloom.

A patterned tablecloth probably helps too. This is the same one I used for Eleanor’s birthday party, but I think I like it outside even better.

My family always used paper plates and plastic cups and cutlery outside, but I like to use our regular dishware. We do use plastic/melamine plates and cups sometimes (we did for dinner yesterday), but I still like those better than disposables. Plus the wind doesn’t toss a real plate like it does a paper one.

How do you set the table outside? I like to set out stacks of plates too, and let everyone help themselves, buffet-style.

Eleanor was so excited about being able to eat outside. I think we all were.

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  • Ashley {GirlyObsessions}
    May 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I think the tablecloth looks great outside! And your peonies look so pretty in bloom! We tend to use a lot of “grown-up” plastic ware outside. Melamine plates, plastic glasses, etc. Our friends tend to break things when we have BBQs, so we keep it child-proof! The children being 30+ :)

  • annie
    May 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm


    Where did you get those white plates? I like their proportions. Also, how comfortable are those white chairs (IKEA, right?).

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      The chairs (yes, from IKEA) are great! And the white plates are from west elm. I like that they aren’t perfectly round.

  • Beth C
    May 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I love eating outside! We don’t get as fancy as you do, though. We usually just use our regular dishes and our “outdoors” placemats.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      These are our regular dishes! The tablecloth makes it seem a little more special, I think. What kind of placemats do you use outdoors?

  • casacaudill
    May 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    What a lovely setup. And your peonies are amazingly beautiful! So jealous. (I can’t grow a peony to save my life.)

    We just bought a table & chair setup yesterday after years of saying we should do it. We didn’t go with the most beautiful set, but the most economical since we came to the decision at 3 p.m. and purchased it at 4 p.m.

  • Kim @ Yellow Brick Home
    May 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Love those peonies! And the whole table set up, too.

    Where are those white chairs from? Every outdoor chair we seem to fall in love goes out of stock the minute we’re ready to buy!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      The chairs are from IKEA. They used to come in other colors too, but I think now its just white and light blue.

  • Julie
    May 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I love grilling out! You make it much more pretty than we do though!

    Can I ask where your drinking glasses are from? I’ve been on the lookout for that style.

  • WES
    May 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I love the look except for the silverware, the placement of all the utensils on one side, takes the polish off the look.

    Love the the flowers and hear you on the gardening efforts babies and toddlers can slow things down.

  • Jacklyn (Ohbygolly)
    May 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Wo, yes the tablecloth looks fantastic outside.

  • Natalie
    May 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Love the table settings! And wow, your peonies are GORGEOUS!! We plan on buying a house next Spring and those darling flowers are definitely at the top of my landscaping list! Any tips on planting/caring for them?

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      No tips here. They were already out front when we bought the house, but they didn’t get enough sun there. We dug them up a few years ago, but peony roots are deep, and we ended up accidentally splitting four peonies into twelve by not digging deep enough to get under them. We figured we’d still plant them to see if they’d live, and I think we now have seven or eight peony plants in the backyard. They’re thriving, in spite of our neglect.

      • meredith
        May 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm

        we have beautiful peonies that came with our house we bought a couple years ago. we want to move them but i’m nervous that they won’t survive the transplant. what time of year did you do it? any other tips?

  • Meredith
    May 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Where is the tablecloth from? Your table setting is gorgeous! I love it for a nice patio party!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      I bought it on eBay. It’s a Marimekko design.

  • Lily from Birch + Bird
    May 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Pretty pretty! I love those leaf plates and peonies are my all time favourite flower :)

  • kelly
    May 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    oh where is your table from? we are looking for a good patio table for our new deck. any suggestions that aren’t an arm and a leg?

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      The table is this one from IKEA. Super cheap, especially considering how long it is, but ours isn’t looking so great these days. (Hence the tablecloth.)

  • Julie
    May 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Where do I get those chairs? I looked all over the IKEA website!

  • Jennifer
    May 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Lovely!! Where is the tablecloth from? I’m smitten!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      It’s a Marimekko fabric. I originally wrote about it here, but I only recently bought it (on eBay).

  • Raluca | WhatWouldGwynethDo
    May 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    We use “real plastic” and I love them. They look chic but are lightweight enough to carry in and out but sturdy enough to resist a breeze. Crate and Barrel has an outlet near us where we stocked up in a yellow and white color scheme that I love.

  • the domestic fringe
    May 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Your table looks gorgeous! Glad you and your family enjoy the nice weather.

  • Michelle L.
    May 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I have those green plates too! I feel so cool now ;)

  • ohsogirly
    May 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    That table looks gorgeous! loving the matching green plates and tablecloth.. and matching greenery around :D – ahh I’m so glad to toast the start of summer and barbecuing season!

  • Bianca
    May 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    You’re so lucky to have such beautiful flowers in your garden. I wish I could grow them, but they don’t seem to have such tenacity when I try!

  • Michael - Innkeeper
    May 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I really love this set up. So fun and colorful. Especially love the chairs and that tablecloth!

  • Emily
    May 22, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Just curious, but do you store your garden furniture in the winter? We are thinking of getting a table and chairs for our small backyard, but unfortunately don’t have a garage or anywhere else to store them in the winter months (rains a LOT in my city!) I’m afraid anything I buy will get totally wrecked in a year… any advice?

  • Amie
    May 22, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Ahh, it just makes me wish we had an outdoor seating area. We are already scrounging for a space to put our BBQ.
    I love the tablecloth, chairs and your table. And IKEA visit is what I need to satisfy my outdoor decorating cravings.

  • Samantha Penner
    May 22, 2012 at 9:55 am

    The entire tablescape is so beautiful! Green is one of my favorite colors, and I love that you incorporated it. I also love that the chairs are from Ikea- what a great find! I just stumbled upon your blog and I am in love! It’s pure gorgeousness. Excited to be following you along.

    XOXO, Sam

  • Andrea Howe
    May 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I am unbelievably, ridiculously jealous that you have peonies in bloom. in. your. backyard. I would kill for those. Are they hard to maintain?

  • Lisa
    May 23, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Where is your flatware from?! I’ve been on the hunt for modern flatware for months and haven’t found anything I loved!

  • Lettie
    May 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Beautiful! This makes me want to plan some bbq parties soon!

  • Frank
    May 23, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I love the placement and choice of colours. I really like the use of dark green plates, it works well with the outdoor theme. the plates got my attention, they have a earthy feel to them, where is it from? and would you consider of adding a pop of colour?

  • Anna
    May 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    You have a picture perfect place! Love the table setting

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  • Erin
    May 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Uh, I died a little; this is a scene from a dream, heavenly!

  • Jessie
    May 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Your flowers and yard are so beautiful!

  • Missy
    May 31, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Okay, you just inspired me to spruce up my outside space a little bit today. Today is my day off – I was going to focus on cleaning my house, but…screw that!

    Those chairs are AWESOME! I’ve always had my eye on them at IKEA, but never thought to use them outside.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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