You don't have to live near the beach to have a beach picnic. Just set your dining room table with natural and “beach-y” elements and you're good to go.
I have loved the elements of the sea from early on. I have no idea where this love came from, but it has been with me since my youth. When other kids had comic book characters on their sheets, I had fish and sea life. I miss those sheets. I raised live fish from my high school days until I married and had children (who, it turns out, took a lot more care than a fifty-five gallon tank of fish!). This love, naturally, gravitated toward tableware, and I have been collecting various forms of sea life dinner and serve wear since the seventies.
The linens, from Pottery Barn, are favorites of mine. They always make me feel as if I'm at a clam bake. I can almost smell the smoke from the wood fire and the salty air.
The placemats from Pier One seemed the perfect choice here, reminiscent of fences along the grassy dunes.
Flatware came from a Crate and Barrel picnic basket received as a wedding gift. It's not every table that can successfully support plastic utensils, but it works here, providing a casual, outdoor feel, not to mention a touch of whimsy.
The salmon (natch!) rimmed chargers are from Fitz & Floyd's “Coquilles” pattern.
Nubby white plates from Old Time Pottery seem at home in any table setting.
The blue fish plates were an eBay find. I love how the blue picks up the same color in the linens, and how the plates frame the word “Menu” on the napkins. How perfect is that?
Starfish candle holders were an impulse buy at Pier One. I bought them to cluster as a part of a centerpiece, but far prefer having one at each place setting. It is so cozy.
The runner and sea urchins are from Pottery Barn (the urchins are vase fillers), the driftwood fish from One King's Lane. Sea glass vase filler from World Market adds a bit of sparkle.
As I was setting the table I noticed how perfectly the throw and pillow went with this setting.
The pillow is one of a large number of clever and well-made items from Heather at ElliotHeathDesigns on Etsy. You can find this exact pillow here, or check out her shop here. No matter what your decorating style she has a gorgeous pillow to match.
Now, how about joining me for some Piña Colladas and crab cakes?