Summer Table Styling at Skygate Home & Life

With bargain hunter Samantha Tolley from Addicted to Bargains

This beautiful weather is just right for entertaining guests with formal sit down dinners, lavish feasting, outdoor soirees and social barbecues. Whether it’s a summer get together or a more festive event, here are some top tips from bargain hunter Samantha Tolley (Addicted to Bargains) when it comes to styling your table to really impress your guests.

Presentation and food

When styling your table, less is often more. While a crowded table setting with florals, candles, napery, crockery, vases, glassware, guest favours and place cards may look spectacular, it’s often extremely overwhelming and impractical when it comes to sitting down to enjoy your meal. Most importantly, leave plenty of room on the table for your food to take centre stage. TK Maxx have the most incredible range of timber and marble serving platters, cheeseboards and chopping boards which are perfect for presenting cheese and fruit, desserts or sweet treats (pile high with fruit mince pies, bite sized pieces of rocky road and rumballs for Christmas), or use as a resting spot for hot, out-of-the-oven casserole dishes or pans to protect the table underneath.

TK Maxx Cheeseboards

Assorted timber cheeseboards from TK Maxx.

Practical dining

Functional tableware can also form a part of the styling so keep in mind to incorporate the must-haves like salt and pepper grinders, a gravy boat, butter dish and even your serving ware.

This bowl (below), with matching salad servers, from Early Settler isn’t just nice to look at, it’s super practical too.

Early Settler salad bowl and servers

Right to left: Eco Sole Round Australian Native Bowl at Early Settler, $69, Eco Sole Byron Bay Salad Servers at Early Settler, $18

Layer up

When setting your dining table, don’t be too concerned if you don’t have enough matching place settings to go around. Mix and match items at each table setting stacking different placemats, charger plates, dinner plates, bread plates, napkins, bowls and cups or glassware in matching, complementary or clashing colours, textures and prints. To tie the look together, add some faux green to each setting or into a bowl or vase in the centre of the table.

Pillow Talk tableware summer table styling

1 Grass spray, $12.95; 2 Havana navy bamboo placemat, $12.95 each; 3 Succulent rosette pick, $4.95; 4 Small coco bowl, $39.95; 5 Raffles Palm Bamboo Kitchenware, from $2-$16 (blue & white); 6 Barbados placement (navy), available in assorted colours, $4.95 each; 7 Succulent jelly bean sedum large stem, $14.95; Cuba Bambooware, from $3.95-$24.95 (green & cream); 9 Succulent aloe pick, $6.95; 10 Raffles dark blue bamboo small plate, $2 - all items from Pillow Talk


Like music, lighting can really set the mood for your event. Whether you’re dining inside or outside, consider smaller plug-in lights or lanterns, or even LED candles, to avoid wax stains on your brand new tablecloth. Hurricane lamps can also add to the ambience of your evening. If you’re dining outside, swap out your favourite scented candles for citronella pillars to help keep the mozzies at bay.

Table lighting from Lighting Illusions, Pillow Talk and Oz Design

Right to left; Glass hurricane lamps from Oz Design Furniture; Flicker LED Candle & remote from Pillow Talk, $6.95-$24.95; Eglo Lisburn Lantern Style Table Lamp from Lighting Illusions, $79.90

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*Prices correct and product in stock at time of publishing. Products may vary.