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How to Use Linens in Vintage Outdoor Decor

How to Use Linens in Vintage Outdoor Decor

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Warm summer days with glasses of fresh lemonade offer a myriad of ways to enjoy your flea market treasures and vintage outdoor decor. Arrange vintage wicker chairs around a glass-topped pedestal table, and don’t shy away from using a handwoven napkin.

As you prepare to entertain, build your tablescape around one treasured piece in your collection that displays your personal style. Combine various style elements creating an outdoor vision of beauty. Clothe a small table with vintage linens, choosing one that adds both texture and color for a little surprise. An intimate tea for two needs only two chairs, serving accessories of varying eights and a bouquet of seasonal flowers tucked into a whitewear pitcher.

To show off your vintage outdoor decor, host a gathering—whether for a whimsical garden tea in the shade or a more formal al fresco dinner, sharing your vintage treasures is sure to bring a smile.

Who wouldn’t love to be welcomed to this table with the words, “Take off your Wellies and join us for a spot of tea”? Adding something unexpected to your tableau—such as these galoshes—creates an element of surprise; try a large bouquet of summer blossoms in a galvanized feed pail or an old pair of Wellingtons next to your vintage fringed linens.

Air Out Your Linens

How to prepare your pre-loved linens for use in vintage outdoor decor all summer long.

• Simple stains come out with a little lemon juice, salt and sunshine.

• After washing linens, air-dry them flat on the grass to avoid creasing.

• Store linens with lavender sachets to keep them smelling fresh and to keep away unwanted pests. Refresh occasionally with a few drops of essential oil applied directly to the lavender buds.

Layer your table. Start with a vintage tablecloth, chargers, more linens as napkins, then the dinner plate topped by a salad bowl. The charm of a vintage tableau is the mixing and matching of found treasures with some of your own items. Fresh roses and lavender from the garden provide a peaceful, calming scent and a unifying pastel color palette.

• Keep linens on open shelving in order to see what you have available.

• Discard what you don’t use to make room for your best treasures.

• Most vintage linens stand up very well to regular use.

• Using vintage linens for outdoor summer entertaining provides a sense of timeless beauty and luxury.

Written by Kathleen Birmingham

Styled by Jickie Torres and Lidy Baars

Photography by Mark Mendez

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