3 Tricks for Summery Side Tables

When I decorate my home for summer, I like to give my side tables a fresh, seasonal look. It just takes a few minutes to craft a summery display on these strategically important spots, and the payoff is huge.  Your home looks renewed and refreshed. This summer, I’m using three simple decorating tools to trick up my side tables…. 

My short list of gotta-have accents for summer table displays is (drum roll, please!): blossoms and plants, beautiful vases and pots, and trays.  These perennial Nell Hill’s favorites are versatile, come in every style, color, price range imaginable, and are super easy to design with. As you craft sensational summer looks on your side tables, the Nell Hill’s visual team created some tableaux using these three tools to inspire you:


Blossoms and Greens

Chances are you already love many of the displays that dot your living spaces. I do too. So I don’t always completely redo the tableaux on my tables with each new season. I just add a seasonal element or two to the existing displays so they look fresh and new.  All we did in the display above was pop in two petite ferns for a bit of summer color. Clock it … done in five seconds. Perfect!

Here’s a variation of the same idea. These super cute faux ferns are just the right size to tuck in here and there for a great summery touch. I am dreamy about glass cloches because when you put anything under a cloche, it looks regal. This dainty fern, under a cloche, gives just a bit of energy to this stately scene.

Life is more fun when you laugh a little, right? So I like to sneak in a surprise or two when I decorate my home, like this whimsical glass ball hiding among these plants. Figurines are also a great pick to beguile the careful observer.


Vases and Pots

It’s almost like a law of nature: If you have a great vase or pot, anything you put in it will look amazing. So my summer end tables always feature delightful little vases I can leave empty or spark up with blooms from the garden or a bouquet snatched on the way home from work.  To replicate the simple but stunning look we created above, cluster five or six similar, yet unique, vases together on a tray. I like vases with narrow necks because you don’t need floral arranging skills to make them look sensational – stick in a flower or two and they are good to go. Pick vases that feature different shapes and heights for a more interesting display.

During the winter months, I like big, bold, layered displays on buffets or console tables. But in the summer, the lighter the look, the better. These delicate clear glass bud vases, grouped on a silver tray, are tall enough to hold their own between the pair of beefy lamps, but are still light and lovely. Best yet, the display can be styled in minutes.

Most of you know I’m crazy about birds and flock toward any kind of accent that features these happy creatures. So it’s no wonder I fell hard for these unique bud vases. Doll them up with tiny flowers, then cluster them on a tray, like we did here. Or, work them into existing displays on your mantel or bookcase, an interesting little eye-catching detail in the foreground.



I just blogged about how to use trays all over your home to make your décor more lovely, so you know I’m over the moon about these essential decorating tools. When it comes to staging displays on a side table or ottoman, trays are an absolute must. They pull the pieces together and make them a cohesive visual unit.  Remember those cute bird bud vases and the clear glass vases? Just arrange them together on a tray, using a few books as risers, and you have a show-stopper on your coffee table!

At Nell Hill’s we are having more fun creating summer scenes on top of these crazy cute melamine trays. The trays come in lots of bright colors and are just the right size to slip onto a smaller side table or to work into larger displays.

Can you ever have too many trays in your décor? No!  We double dipped to create this layered summer coffee table display. The tableaux on the black tray is there to stay. The unique blue and green melamine tray, holding a snack or drink, is a great seasonal addition.

Next Week … Green is the color of spring and summer. I’ll show you how to feature this all-important color in your décor.