Bring the Outdoors In With This Alfresco Tablescape

  • Bring the Outdoors In With This Alfresco Tablescape

    FROM THE Summer 2016 ISSUE
  • Bring the Outdoors In With This Alfresco Tablescape

    FROM THE Summer 2016 ISSUE
  • Bring the Outdoors In With This Alfresco Tablescape

    FROM THE Summer 2016 ISSUE


The teal color of the hand-blown Murano Glass in the chandelier.

The Details

Designer Marlene Freeman designed this table for an earlysummer meeting planner luncheon which took place in the Rittenhouse Home Showroom in Newtown. To give her guests the light and airy feeling of being outside, she kept the basic theme of the table neutral complemented by a pop of color—teal. The other colors on the table come from nature: the weathered wood coaster accented with nickel handles that appear to be branches; the porcelain peony wine stoppers and the glycerin-preserved hydrangea centerpiece.

Mixing vintage pieces from her personal collection with new, contemporary pieces, you’ll see that some settings feature soup bowls adorned with peacock illustrations upon a white beaded plate, while others are set in the reverse. Freeman chose the chargers because they reminded her of peacock feathers, and the vintage Christofle silver is decorated with a Marly flower pattern on both sides of the flatware.

Crystal candlesticks, the crystal decanter and even the cut on the teal water pitcher reflect light, carrying on the light and airy feeling of being outdoors.

Despite the fact that this table was set for a luncheon, you’ll find lit candles. Freeman warns that you shouldn’t hesitate to use lit candles in the daytime, as they shouldn’t only be reserved for a darkened room or nighttime use.

Freeman combines myriad elements ranging from color to style, yet skillfully keeps the overall look cohesive so that it doesn’t overshadow the star of the show—the food.

Design Tip

“Dress your table the way you accessorize your outfits to give your guests the feeling of being pampered versus sitting down to eat pizza out of the box,” Freeman says.

This creation is one of the distillery’s most requested drinks and perfectly refreshing in the summertime.

— 1.5 oz. Bluecoat American Dry Gin
— .25 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
— .5 oz. fresh lemon juice
— .75 oz. Penn’s Woods Syrup*

*Combine 40g fresh dill, 20g fresh basil and 10g dried coriander into one quart of simple syrup. Blend mixture, strain, and store in an airtight container and refrigerate.


PCMA’s flagship event, Convening Leaders, brought industry professionals from 36 countries to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 6-9 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. “We built this conference around the theme Disrupt + Deliver because that’s what the industry needs and wants,’’ says PCMA President and CEO Sherriff Karamat. “We leave here with a greater commitment and better understanding of how business events can and must drive economic and social progress.’’