Hosting Tips

The Best Outdoor Dining Décor—and It’s All Under $100

Vibe check.

By Michelle Nash

We all know the best summer days stretch long past sunset and end gathered around a table with all of our favorite people (forgetting our bedtimes). It’s outdoor dinner party season, and this year we’ve got the hots for hosting more than ever. As you gear up for the many gatherings to come, a reminder: Entertaining doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. To prove our point, we sourced the best outdoor dining table décor ideas that are both chic and affordable. Because when it comes to a summer dinner party, it’s all about keeping it simple and fun.

After all, stocking up on a few basic outdoor dinner party essentials paves the way to kick back and enjoy a delicious meal and good company. Whether you’ve had it on the books for weeks or decide to throw together an impromptu feast with your crew, we’ve got everything you need to pull off the perfect outdoor dining situation in style. Instead of fussing over the details, you’ll soak up the good conversation, laughs, and magical energy that makes a summer dinner party so special. So throw on your go-to dress, whip up a pitcher of margaritas, and scroll on for our favorite affordable items to get you through outdoor entertaining season without breaking a sweat.

Feature image by Sara Prince.

Olivia Muniak outdoor summer table dinner party_outdoor dining table décor ideas
Image by Michelle Nash

23 Outdoor Dining Table Décor Ideas for the Perfect Summer Tablescape

Zara Home Hemstitched Tablecloth

A good tablecloth is ideal for setting the stage for a pretty tabletop. We love Zara Home’s selection of basic solid textiles with subtle details to keep the set-up simple and let the food steal the show.

Zara Home Hemstitched Tablecloth, $49.90

H&M Linen Tablecloth

Versatile and neutral, you’ll use this earthy tablecloth time and time again. Sometimes just a few tried-and-true pieces like this one are all it takes to throw together a great outdoor tablescape. Plus, you can score this beauty for under $50.

H&M Linen Tablecloth, $49.99

Hawkins New York Essential Cotton Tablecloth

There’s no better blank canvas than a classic white linen table cloth. If you don’t have one in your arsenal yet, now’s the time!

Hawkins New York Essential Cotton Tablecloth, $98

Terrain Mesh Food Cover

One frequently overlooked item when it comes to outdoor dining is a good food cover. Especially during the summer when the bugs are having a rager, preserve those pretty plates of food you worked so hard to create with a chic bamboo dome like this one.

Terrain Mesh Food Cover, $36

Murphy’s Naturals Premium Backyard Bundle


I’m a mosquito magnet, and there’s nothing worse than bug bites to cramp your style while dining outside. I cannot tell you how relieving it is when a host remembers to have mosquito repellent at the ready. That being said, they’re not all created equal, and Murphy’s Naturals is the best I’ve tried. Their bundles are perfect to protect your patio during mosquito season.

Murphy’s Naturals Premium Backyard Bundle, $71.99

Olivia Muniak outdoor summer table dinner party_outdoor dining table décor ideas
Image by Michelle Nash

West Elm Glass + Wood Drink Dispenser

One major entertaining hack is whipping up a big-batch cocktail (I prefer margaritas) so that you don’t have to play bartender all night. Invest in a beverage dispenser like this one so that guests can help themselves, and you can even drop in some citrus wedges and herbs to add to your summer tabletop aesthetic.

West Elm Glass + Wood Drink Dispenser, $69.50

H&M Metal Wire Basket With Handle

Yet another item that you’ll use time and time again. Stock up on handy baskets and trays to carry all of your items back and forth to the table. A basket like this is perfect for loading up all of your tabletop accessories so that you can take everything outside in one trip for a breezy set-up.

H&M Metal Wire Basket With Handle, $14.99

Fable Home The Carafe

When you’re so focused on the food and the wine, it’s easy to forget to have water handy throughout the night. Having a pretty pitcher like this one around makes it easy to fill up before your guests arrive so you have water at the ready.

Fable Home The Carafe, $50

Anthropologie Moroccan Raffia Glass Jug

Nothing says summer like this raffia glass pitcher. This one is the perfect vessel for water or, even better, another batch cocktail. Camille loves this one for mixing up margaritas.

Anthropologie Moroccan Raffia Glass Jug, $98

H&M Round Jute Placemat

We’re all about a simple tabletop, but sometimes a placemat is all you need to elevate the scene. These round jute placemats from H&M home will give you a fancier look for under $10 apiece. Now that’s a steal!

H&M Round Jute Placemat, $9.99

Valerie Rice Santa Barbara Dinner Party_outdoor dining table décor ideas
Image by Sara Prince

H&M Large Stoneware Serving Dish

When it comes to summer dining, family-style is the way to go. Skip the fancy plating and instead prepare a great main and some solid sides, because food is best enjoyed when passed around the table and shared. All you need are a couple of great serving dishes that will get the job done, and we love this large stoneware serving dish from H&M home.

H&M Large Stoneware Serving Dish, $29.99

Crate & Barrel Mercer Dinner Plates, (Set of 8)

Stoneware dinner plates never get old. They look gorgeous against a white linen tablecloth, especially when flanked by pale napkins and pretty utensils. Plus, they’re super versatile and can be used both during summer and winter. Score!

Crate & Barrel Mercer Dinner Plates, (Set of 8), $35.96 (reg. $44.95)

West Elm Kaloh Dinner Plate (Set of 4)

When it comes to investing in good stoneware, the options are endless (and affordable!). West Elm has a great selection of colorful stoneware plates that will be great basics to add to your collection.

West Elm Kaloh Dinner Plate (Set of 4), $52

CB2 Axel Modern Caramel Dinner Plate

We love these dinner plates from CB2, and the deep caramel hue is an unexpected twist on summer colors. I’m itching to serve every warm-weather meal on these stunners.

CB2 Axel Modern Caramel Dinner Plate, $9.95

SIN Wyn Candelabra

Finish off the scene with a couple of pretty candlesticks. We love these ceramic taper holders from West Elm.

SIN Wyn Candelabra, $64

Helene Henderson dinner party Malibu_outdoor dining table décor ideas
Image by Michelle Nash

Our Place Drinking Glasses (Set of 4)

Having a simple set of tumblers on hand is key. We love these handmade glasses from Our Place (home to the famed favorite Always Pan) to add a neutral touch to the table.

Our Place Drinking Glasses (Set of 4), $50

H&M Linen-Blend Napkins (Set of 2)

Disposable napkins or paper towels can be some of the biggest sources of waste after a dinner party. Invest in a couple of great washable napkins that work for every season. These linen-blend napkins from H&M home go with everything!

H&M Linen-Blend Napkins (Set of 2), $12.99

Zara Home Gold Flatware

I’m normally a fan of more understated flatware, but I’ve had my eye on this hammered gold set from Zara Home. I love how sleek and slender these utensils are, and they instantly upgrade any tablescape.

Zara Home Gold Flatware, from $6.90

H&M Round Rattan Tray

Hosting should be as easy as possible because it’s no fun to make endless trips to the kitchen all night. A tray or basket is ideal for carrying dishes and glasses back and forth, and I love that this one is equipped with handles for ease.

H&M Round Rattan Tray, $34.99

Blomus Colora Matte Porcelain Vase

Sometimes, when it comes to casual summer entertaining, food is the ideal centerpiece. That being said, I love a classic porcelain vase with a few flowers or stems at the center to pull the scene together.

Blomus Colora Matte Porcelain Vase, $46

Smith & Hawken™ LED Outdoor String Lights

Don’t wait for a special occasion to hang up those string lights! They are one of the best ways to bring instant vibes to any outdoor space.

Smith & Hawken™ LED Outdoor String Lights, $32 (reg. $40)

Hearth & Hand™ x Magnolia Striped Gauze Throw Blanket

We can’t relate down here in Texas, but I’m aware that some places around the country do get a little chilly at night. Pull out a couple of throw blankets and pillows to add cozy vibes to your table.

Hearth & Hand™ x Magnolia Striped Gauze Throw Blanket, $29.99

Crate & Barrel French Kitchen Marble Wine Cooler

I love a wine bottle holder that’s cute but also keeps your bottle chilled. This one can be pre-chilled in the freezer so it’ll keep your rosé crisp all night long.

Crate & Barrel French Kitchen Marble Wine Cooler, $31.96 (reg. $39.95)

This post was originally published on May 19, 2021 and has since been updated.