Southern Lady Magazine

Mix and Match: Settings to Celebrate the Stars and Stripes

Oh, how we Southern ladies love to celebrate birthdays—especially when we aren’t the ones getting older! America turns 239 this weekend, and we think that’s a perfect reason to throw a party. Plan an outdoor gathering with an all-American menu—hot dogs, hamburgers, and lots of ice cream—and turn the table into a tribute to the red, white, and blue.

This Fourth of July, step up your table setting, and show off your American spirit while entertaining friends and family. If you’re familiar with our Mix & Match stories, you know we show you one inspiration plate two ways—one casual, one elegant—but today we’re also throwing in a festive and fun third look just for the occasion!

Although these settings are perfect for the weekend’s patriotic celebration, their appeal will last throughout the season. Mix and match pieces with your own creative twists in the summer months that follow the Fourth to create more understated but distinctly summer red-white-and-blue color schemes. From sweet and easygoing to subtly stunning, reflect the many sides of summer with your choice of tablescapes.

The Inspiration: Scenic Spectrum
Brilliant blue pigment makes this dinner plate the perfect piece for adding a pop of color to table settings all summer long. Each of these plates are made and painted by hand in a former produce warehouse in Athens, Georgia.

Wood Studio Dinner Plate in Summer Sky, $48; R. Wood Studio Ceramics,

Casual Possibilities
For a table that exudes simple Southern charm, combine the artistry of sky-blue plates with delightful homespun details. Tomato red serves as the perfect accent color, drawing the eye about the scene from old-fashioned straws to vintage-look napkins.

Elegant Options
Transport guests seaside with a polished arrangement that plays off sandy shores and shimmering waters. Anchor the scene with plenty of white, layer varying shades of blue, and offer subtle nods to the sea, such as oceanic textures and plates bearing rippled edges.

The Inspiration: Festive Fourth

This look starts with a clean slate—a crisp white charger and a dinner plate with simple red edging that provides the only pop of color. The holiday theme is incorporated almost entirely through accessories. A chic burlap place mat brings the stars, and a casual cloth napkin and a simple bow stringing the silverware together add the stripes—completing the all-American motif.

The DIY components of this tablescape make it a fun activity for the holiday weekend! Create your very own star-spangled settings with plain woven place mats, a star stencil, and blue latex paint. (Use spray adhesive to keep the stencil from slipping as you paint.) Pick out pretty striped bakers twine, and practice tying techniques for beautifully bundled flatware.

For more ideas, check out this video from our publisher Phyllis Hoffman DePiano—Fourth of July: A Tablescape How-To. Experiment with all of these looks at your holiday gatherings this weekend, and let us know which become your favorites!