Home & Garden

Summer Tablescape with Citrus and Peonies

Learn how to create a stunning summer tablescape peppered with robust flowers and full of vibrant citrus.

A citrus and peony summer tablescape is decked out in yellow and pink.

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Summer is just around the corner and I’ve got just the tablescape for you! I’ve been playing with the idea of hosting a summer brunch once we get our kitchen renovation completed. Of course, this meant experimenting with a gorgeous new summer tablescape!

I absolutely love using citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and even grapefruit in homemade decor during the summers. Combining these with some neutral layers and striking, blooming peonies made it the perfect combo. 

I have to admit, this is one of my favorite tablescapes so far. 

I will say, our newest color addition to the kitchen walls (you can read more about how we installed the beadboard HERE) really provided a beautiful background to the vibrant colors in this tablescape. Something about the blue color before just clashed whenever I used lots of color in my table settings. No longer a problem in this kitchen, though.

This tablescape is easy to emulate, requiring just a few key pieces, and can transform a plain tabletop space in mere minutes. 

A bird's eye shot of a gorgeous summer tablescape is shown with lots of citrus and peonies.

I don’t know about you, but I love decorating and any excuse to add a little something extra special to my home during pretty much any season of the year makes me happy. I love the festive feeling when I add pieces here and there. The joy I feel when I walk into the room later and then again when guests or even just my husband and I sit down for dinner. Even the character it adds to a simple party when I’m hosting a get together. I live for it. 

Creating elegant, simple tablescapes is one of my favorite creative activities. 

When you’re creating something so thoughtful like this, it really shows. It turns dining and socializing into an entire experience for the senses. Ambiance helps set the tone for the entire evening (or day!). 

Today, let me walk you through exactly how I created this beautiful little space in just about no time at all. Here’s how I make a stunning summer tablescape you’ll love.

A summer tablescape is filled with lemons, grapefruit, and peonies.

Summer Tablescape with Citrus  and Peonies

Can I use other types of citrus fruits I have on hand?

You can use any type of citrus you have available to you. Just be sure the colors coordinate with your flowers, linens, and dinnerware. I just happen to be a fan of lemons and grapefruit because of the vibrant yellow and pink that remind me of summertime.

What flowers are recommended for a summer tablescape?

You do not have to use peonies if they aren’t your favorite or if they’re too hard to come by. 

Here are some other great summer flowers:

  • Sunflowers
  • Hydrangeas
  • Dahlias
  • Roses
  • Daisies
  • Ranunculus

Do I need a tablecloth or table runner?

If you have enough other pieces and your table is in good shape, you can always skip this one. 

However, I will point out that this provides an excellent foundation for your summer tablescape. This initial layer is great for creating a simple base for all the vibrant pieces you’ll be adding in later. It can also act as a guide for placement of pieces (specifically if you’re using a table runner). 

Large flowers are placed in glass jars in the center of a summer table setting.

Supplies | summer tablescape 

Neutral table runner or table cloth

Glass jars

Peonies (Trader Joe’s sells a bouquet for $9.99 that I split into two)



Plates, silverware & glass drinkware

Serving platters and saucers

Glass pitcher of fresh lemonade 

Round rattan placemats

How to Make a Citrus and Peony Summer Tablescape

Start with a base tablecloth or table runner, linen napkins, and placemats.

Add the table runner first since everything else goes on top of this layer. I usually opt for a neutral, especially in a tablescape like this with vibrant summer flowers and fruits. I prefer to save dark, bold colors for colder months when I decorate tabletops with more dried flowers and less bright embellishments. Pastels can work great too, just be sure they coordinate with the other colors you’re adding in. 

Placemats and a table runner are layered into a summer tablescape.

Add in plates, silverware, and drinking glasses.

You can’t forget these! (Okay, well actually I did, in fact, forget to add silverware to this summer tablescape before photographing… luckily I didn’t have guests over at the time!) These are essential components to any dinner table. You and your guests will need these practical pieces to eat and drink from during the meal. You can break out the fine china or go with your simple everyday dinnerware. 

I almost always match all the plates, all the silverware, etc. However, I have seen dinnerware styled very cleverly using mismatched pieces that still coordinated well. If you’re experienced at this sort of thing, I say go for it. Just be sure to either match the style if you’re mixing colors or match the colors if each piece is a different style for a streamlined mismatched look.

Drinking glasses serve guests the finest fresh lemonade with a lemon garnish.

Create height with flowers along the center.

Adding some height to your tablescape is important. You want to create interest and depth. Flowers not only do this, but add color, texture, and a light fragrance in the air, too. I love big, showy flowers like peonies broken into smaller bouquets in plain glass jars or vases rather than one huge bouquet in the center. But use what you have and get creative. Rules were made to be broken.

Peonies are added to a tabletop.

Add dried or fresh citrus embellishments wherever you please.

You can always take the time to dry citrus slices and carefully place them over linen napkins and even make name cards if you practice calligraphy and have the time to spare. Today, I chose to stick with slicing the citrus fruits fresh and simply placing them on plates for a burst of freshness and color. Simply remove before it’s time to dine and add them to water or cocktails for some added flavor. How fun is that? 

Fresh citrus slices are added to dinner plates.

Don’t forget to add a pitcher of a summer classic like fresh lemonade for a final touch.

Summer isn’t summer without freshly squeezed lemonade. Lemonade is best enjoyed on sweltering hot days with lots of sugar and ice. You won’t catch me trying to healthify such a traditional classic like this, but I do swear by only serving freshly squeezed lemonade. It will require a little extra effort, but adding fresh juice from real lemons creates the absolute best lemonade. Add a pitcher to the table and fill some cocktail glasses just before guests arrive for the ultimate summer experience. Now that is service!

A fresh pitcher of lemonade is placed on a summer table.

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