Al Fresco Dining on the Porch

Dining al fresco is alway one of my favorite things to do and it’s almost like food tastes better in the great outdoors.  Having a porch with a table is one of those small pleasures in life for me and I have eaten many meals on my porch since I moved in this house.  It’s a great place to relax and enjoy dinner!

Today, I’m joining a fun group of bloggers and we are sharing some tablescape ideas for outdoor dining.  My small round table on the porch seats 4 and is the perfect spot to decorate with pretty dishes.

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I’ve got enough dishes to play with and one set that I haven’t shared with you all in ages is my green Bordallo bunny dishes.  In fact, the very first post on my blog in 2007 highlighted these bunny dishes at a church women’s social when I lived in Birmingham.  Looking back at that table, I really thought it was pretty, but now I think it’s a bit overdone and sort of cheesey and I like to think that I’ve evolved in almost 10 years of blogging and decorating!  Click over and see those pics to see all those bunny dishes put together with centerpieces and more.  You can click the pics to enlarge!  Please don’t laugh and then come on back here.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know that I have had a thing for bunnies for a few years.  I still have several bunnies in my collection, but I’ve pared down over the years and only kept my favorite ones.  They have to have a certain look for me to want to collect them. I like them indoors and outdoors.

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You can see I have loved green for a very long time.  My blog design even incorporates green.  Green just seems to go so well on an al fresco table, giving a nod to the grass and trees outside.

The green tablecloth is leftover fabric I had and I just stitched the edges on the sewing machine.

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I used some of my dried hydrangeas from my yard in a big white Southern Living at Home vase.  I have 2 of these beauties and treasure them.  They make great centerpieces and hold a lot of flowers.  It’s too bad that company is no longer around.

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I have collected these bunny dishes for close to 20 years now and I found most of them at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Homegoods.  They are made in Portugal and I still love them, even if I don’t get them out all the time.  I have dinner and several types of salad plates, along with some other pieces that came out too, like the little bunny on the leaf you see.  I haven’t seen these in the stores in years, so I am not sure they are still making them.  I know you can still find some on Ebay, but they are way more expensive than what I paid for mine.

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I also have some small bunnies and lots of seashells I’ve collected and those seemed to be a good mix to this cake plate and my centerpiece. It’s girly and fun!

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I added a couple of feathers to my dried hydrangeas for some extra texture.

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Setting a pretty seashell on each plate is a nice way to display.

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The white dishes are my everyday Mikasa Italian Countryside which I totally love and use all the time.  Glasses are from Mikasa too.

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These pretty flatware pieces and green scalloped napkins came from a long ago yardsale and the placemats are from Goodwill.  I didn’t set a formal table, but just a simple knife and fork at the place setting.

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We ate dinner out here one night and it was such a nice ambience and felt extra special with the place settings and other pieces.

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Shells make such a nice addition to a summer table.

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Those salt and pepper shakers are also Mikasa Italian Countryside.

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I love it when the curtains blow in the breeze out here on the porch and we certainly welcome them this time of year, in the heat of the summer.  I spend a lot of time out here as often as possible, but spring and  early Fall are probably my favorite.  It’s so nice when there’s a chill in the air making it a comfortable spot to be.

Thanks for stopping by my summer tablescape today!  I hope you enjoyed it, it sure was fun to get my dishes out again.

alfresco tablescape blog hop summer 2016 (1)-2

A fabulous group of bloggers is joining this Alfresco Tablescape blog hop this week, so you are sure to be inspired as you hop from blog to blog, soaking in all the inspiration! Most of these are new to me bloggers, so you might find some new ones to read!

Starfish Cottage | Knock it Off Kim | Life and Linda  | Everyday Living

My Kentucky Living | DesignThusiasm | Simple Nature Decor | Rowhouse Blog
Living With Thanksgiving


Red Cottage Chronicles | The Little Yellow Corner Store | Ramblings of a Southern Girl
CoziNest | Love of Home

Panoply | B. Lovely Events | Flourish & Knot | The Painted Apron | Dining Delight |
Celebrate & Decorate

Lolly Jane | A Toile Tale | Bluesky Kitchen | Rattlebridge Farm


- Rhoda


  1. So pretty! I have a similar spot in our screen porch and love to enjoy our breakfasts there on the weekend! You have created such an inviting dinner table, it makes me want to sit down and enjoy that breeze!

  2. Love Bordallo plates, Rhoda, and I’ve not seen those with the bunnies ever before. Your tablescape is really nice out on your porch, and I bet that breeze feels great when you’re out there. I always get so chilled with air conditioning – that’s a welcome change for me. HAve a great week at Haven!

  3. Rhoda, such a pretty table on your porch! I have always liked bunnies and the salad plates are perfect for your table! I like that you mixed the shells in! Just a beautiful and peaceful spot to dine alfresco! Wishing you a Happy Monday! Pam @ Everyday Living

  4. I really enjoy seeing your Bordallo dishes again. Your table looks so inviting. I would love to know how you dry your hydrangeas, yours are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your table setting.

    • Kathy, they dry well at the end of summer, so these were already feeling papery when I cut them. I went ahead and put them in water and then you just let the water evaporate and they should stay like this for a long time, with those soft colors. You just have to wait til later in the season to dry when the petals feel papery. You can also hang them upside down and let them dry, like in the basement or garage. I’ve done that too.

  5. I love your Bordallo dinnerware!!….Beautiful tablescape of those wonderful shades of green set in that fabulous porch of yours!

  6. What a lovely tablescape! The plates are truly gorgeous, especially the bunny one! It’s just such a nice mid-summer table setting. I just love it. Thank you for the inspiration!

  7. Rhoda, Your photography looks great. My favorite elements on your table are the classy scolloped appliquéd napkins, the multi patterned stemware, and your choice of placemats. The placemats add a hint of blue that is just right. Of course, I love your Pinhero Bordello bunny plates with shell accents and fresh hydrangeas too.

  8. Oh my goodness, Rhoda! So pretty! I can see myself sitting down to a lovely brunch at that table. So fun hopping with you this week!

  9. Your tablescape is absolutley stunning with the coastal inspired theme! ITs amazing how magical it is to dine outdoors with nature, if I had my way I would do it every day and I almost do! See you soon.
    Hugs Maria

  10. Your bunny plates are wonderful Rhoda, and this green and white setting is so calming and serene! I would have never thought to pair bunnies with seashells, but you’ve brought summer and garden together in such a unique way! So pretty!

  11. Rhoda- your alfresco table is gorgeous! I am loving your soft greens mixed with the seashells for summer- I am so inspired!!

  12. I LOVE those dishes! I have never seen them before, but you can bet I will have my eye out for them in the future. I went and checked out your other tablescape back from 2007, and maybe I just like things fussier than you, but I loved it, too. That big white rabbit leaping over the table was beautiful. Your alfresco table is perfect for a summer dinner on the back porch. I think one of the reasons I love alfresco dining so much is because of the green. The green of nature makes everything else look lovely, even if it is a different color scheme. It is just like how a room looks better if you add a green plant in a room, it just makes everything look better. Thank you so much for participating in my First Annual Alfresco Tablescape Blog Hop.

  13. Such a beautiful setting and I do love your bordallo dishes. I have collected some over the years too. The bunnies are darling and I love that touch of whimsy. Mixing the greens with seashells is lovely. A perfect welcoming Alfresco table for all to enjoy.

  14. I love your bunnies! They make me want to hop on over to Georgia and sit a spell with you! I hopped over to your other post from 2007 and I thought it was lovely! I didn’t laugh, but I did come back! Always a pleasure to read your blog, Rhoda! Hope all is well with the fam!

  15. Rattlebridge Farm says:

    Rhoda, I love your beautiful and classic Bordallo dishes, and your centerpiece is perfect. The colors and shells are pure magic.

  16. I love your back porch and tablesetting. What a wonderful spot you have for your alfresco dining. Also…I love greens!

  17. Rhoda it’s lovely! I love green and your light is so pretty!!

  18. Rhonda, I would never have thought of combining bunnies and sea shells, but it works beautifully together here. I love green too because it adds a soft, calming feel to everything.

  19. Rhonda –
    As a fellow Atlanta girl, I know how wonderful it is to have such a long season to be able to dine alfresco, however, we’ve become sort of selective when we are outside because of the heat. Your porch looks so cool and welcoming, and there’s no color like green to add a little freshness to the table. I have those plates, too, and they always are a hit when I use them.

  20. What a beautiful spot for alfresco dining! Love the pretty, simple green and white color scheme! Great plates, too! ~Rhonda

  21. Susan B. Jones says:

    So, so pretty! I was a consultant for Southern Living at HOME and miss it like you do, but I do LOVE seeing pieces on your blog! I also have some of those same bunny dishes and usually just pull them out at Easter, but now will have to pull them out more often! And your dried hydrangeas are gorgeous!

  22. Rhoda, Your table is so fresh and lovely! I love the green and white and the bunnies are so sweet… 🙂 Nice touch using the seashells, as well. I love the single ones placed on the plates and also like the touch of feather in the centerpiece.

    And btw, I actually really like the old tablescape! But then again, I’m not exactly known for restraint… 😉

  23. Dear Friend,
    I found you in 2008, and vowed never to let you out of my circle.
    Still loving your blog and most especially, your heart.
    This table is a knock out !!
    Kudos on remembering my beloved Southern Living at HOME.
    The passion for the classics it produced still touches my heart.
    Blessings on you and yours always.

  24. I enjoy sitting on the porch and dining on these summer evening! Your table is very inviting! And I love those bunny plates with the soft colors of the sea shells!

  25. How lucky you are to have that perfect spot on your porch for al fresco dining! Your tablescape looks so pretty with the green and white colour combo and I love that vase that the hydrangeas are in. The bunnies are a fun touch! The Alfresco Tablescape Blog Hop is off to a great start with contributions like yours!

  26. I am so fond of your beautiful green Bordallo plates. I have only one large serving plate, but absolutely love it and there is so much you can do with them. Your use of natural elements like sea shells make it a tranquil tablescape. I am always a fan of hydrangreas. They always make a wonderful centerpiece. Your unique clear flatware goes so well and the whimsical bunnies bring a smile to everyone. So adorable.

  27. We can’t believe the hydrangeas are from your yard, they’re perfect!! XO

  28. I love the seashells on the plates. SO cute. Plus that hydrangea centerpiece is darling!

  29. Beautiful table! I love how you use the color green, so cool and refreshing on a muggy day like today. It gives me the thought, that we could sit for hours without even feeling the heat.

  30. Love the cool tones of green and white you used! And the shells are just a perfect touch. Lovely!


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