The long, lazy nights of summer call for unfussy dinners gathered among friends, family, or just yourself and the stars and nothing brings a picnic or patio table to life quite like vividly colored dinnerware, shatter-proof glasses and delicate string lights that dangle from above. Whether it's a cookout, picnic, or just a night dining al fresco, I've rounded up the prettiest crop of outdoor dining essentials for the summer season.
Lulie Wallace Melamine Dinner Plate at Anthropologie, $10
Like little works of art (that can take a beating).
Galvanized Utensil Caddy at Terrain, $38
Perfect for organizing utensils, napkins and the likes.
Food Tent at Crate & Barrel, $5.95
Keep away those pesky flies with a mesh food tent.
Outdoor Acrylic Floral Highball Glass, $1.96/each
Cheers to never worrying about shattered glass on your pool deck.
Fez Tassel Placement in Hot Pink at Furbish Studio, $10 each
Tassels and pom poms are the decor detail of the summer! Add them to your outdoor table via placements (or a table runner!).
Two Wick Citronella Candle at T.J. Maxx, $7.99
Pretty and functional: Add a touch of brass to your balcony while shooing away the mosquitos.
Assorted African Utensils at Leif Shop, Starting at $12
A little worldly flair keeps a peppy table sophisticated and interesting.
Block Print Flower Napkin at The Little Market, $8
Cotton napkins greatly outweigh the benefits of paper napkins. Just throw them in the wash after dining, and you're all set for the next go around.
Personalized Melamine Platter at Swoozies, $32.95
A customized platter like this one from Swoozies would be an excellent hostess gift.
Watermelon Tumbler Set with Pitcher at Draper James, $48
If you want a touch of nostalgia added to your summer BBQ, consider a retro-looking watermelon set like this one from Draper James.
Watermelon Keg Tapping Kit at Urban Outfitters, $20
Who needs a pitcher when you have a watermelon with a keg tap?
Lulie Wallace Melamine Serving Set at Anthropologie, $12
Serve up an extra helping of summer fun with this playful set.
"Bamboo" Plastic 20-Piece Flatware Set at Wayfair, $26.99
Kate Spade New York Set of 4 Sayings Melamine Tidbit Plates at Macy's, $30
Don't like small talk? Let these cheeky melamine plates do all the chatting.
Every meal is made that much better when it's enjoyed under market lights.
Cuisinart BBQ Tool Set at Williams-Sonoma, $39.96
Everything you need to fire up that grill and be ready for any meal.
Memphis Dinner Plate at Zak, $5.99
Unbreakable plates in the style of the moment.
1.5 Quart Confetti Mixing Bowl with Lid at Bed Bath & Beyond, $13.99
Whip up that potato salad and serve it in style.