Beach-Themed Table Setting

“Gather a shell…And listen at its lips:  they sigh…The echo of the whole sea’s speech.” Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The sea for me is rejuvenating and its majesty always awe-inspiring. This table setting recalls the breathtaking beauty of the beach and conjures up favorite seashore vacations.  I started designing this tablescape with a piece of driftwood recently found on a windswept beach and our family collection of shells. I kept the table setting casual and carefree.   An irridescent scarf in many shades of ocean blues shimmers across the table.

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image  Turquoise glass beads in 2 sizes (Dollar Tree) are strewn in wave-like patterns across the table.  Shells are added here and there, as if drifted in with the tide.  A shell centerpiece was created by mounding dozens of shells and coral on top of a turquoise ceramic pedestal urn(Anthropologie). To add a bit of greenery, I tucked in some lime green succulents to cascade down, imitating sea life.  The  place settings introduce layers of texture and are organic in feel:  rattan chargers topped with everyday ivory plates and ocean blue ceramic bowls on woven straw placements.  Sand-colored linen napkins are simply tied in rope and topped with a shell.  Silverware is casually tied with the same rope.  At each place setting is a salt cellar created by pouring sea salt in a clean oyster shell.  Stemware in several shades of blue and green sparkles like sea glass catching sunlight on a beach.  Candlelight is provided by 2 glass hurricanes filled with blue and brown pillar candles(Home Goods)  surrounded by more glass beads and shells.  Inverted shells become candle holders to add more ambiance.  Whether you are entertaining seaside this summer or just dreaming of a beach vacation at home, I hope this table setting inspires you to bring the beauty of the beach to your table.

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“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”
― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

16 thoughts on “Beach-Themed Table Setting

    • Thank you! LIghtbulb moment…I have 2 of them with topiaries in my dining room. They were a color match for the bowls, so I popped out the topiary and mounded the shells on top. My favorite part of the table too🐚

    • Hi Bonnie! Thank you! Adding that painting was Chris’ suggestion since I was setting this table at home in PA and not at the beach. It is actually the very first abstract painting I did and was inspired by a terrifying electric storm over the Atlantic I witnessed in Rehoboth Beach, alone. I painted it for my first born son whose favorite color is blue and is a lover of the sea. Until he has a place for it, it resides with me! By the way, I am going to study encaustic abstract art in the fall….I still think of that beautiful encaustic painting I admired in your NC home! Hope you and Bob are both well. xo

      Johanne Lamarche


  1. Wow, so pretty and tranquil. And I loved your closing quote from Lindbergh. Your canvas worked very well as a backdrop too. Those glass beads worked so well to smooth and I have a scarf made by Marlene in that ribbon where you made tendrils. So imaginative. That’s YOU!

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    • That scarf was a gift but I know it was handmade. Marlene is so talented! I could have extended the table to seat 8 with the addition of your scarf too😄! Gift of the Sea is one of my favorite books. So full of wisdom. So glad you liked the table setting! I wonder if Marlene will recognize the scarf?

      Johanne Lamarche


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    • Thanks Diane! I always think of you when I write a table setting ever since you told me those are the posts you love best. 💕 Hope to see you at the spring social. xo

      Johanne Lamarche


  3. Johanne you have quite the flair for tablescapes! This is beautiful, love those glass beads, the gorgeous shades of turquoise is striking. Your canvas painting sets the mood pretty well, it all comes together so beautifully. Well done!

    • Thank you Loretta. I do enjoy coming up with tablescapes and thinking of ways to use what I already have in a different way. I am getting ready to make your ice cream. Stay tuned!

      Johanne Lamarche


  4. First let me say that this is just beautiful and so fun! Secondly I am crazy for that blue ceramic vase that the shells are piled in! What a great shape and color. Johanne you have once again taken the idea of the tablescape to new heights and this one is particularly lovely. It makes me smile and recall my own beach days with my family.

    • Thank you so much Teresa! I got those vases(I have a second one) years ago and this is the first time I thought of using it in a table setting. It was my favorite part of the table too. I kept it up for 4 days I liked it so much, but hélas, life had to go on! I can only imagine to what interesting use you could put that vase in your staging work! I guess you are home again. Your trip looked interesting and wonderful. I hope you had a smooth reentry!

      Johanne Lamarche


  5. Just gorgeous Johanne! I love every single detail, from the twine tied flatware to the artistic way you filled the vase, and especially the addition of the blue abstract painting…your table is an instant trip to the sea- and the final quote about patience is just icing on top!

    • From a woman who knows the sea, I am thrilled you liked the table Jenna! I wish I could have set it seaside but this was a landlocked effort. My husband was the one who suggested I bring in one of my abstracts of a Rehoboth Beach storm. I just love all the wisdom on life imparted from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift of the Sea. Have a great week, Jenna!

      Johanne Lamarche


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