Coastal entertaining trends feature beachy colors and imagery to enhance the experience without going overboard.

Dec. 12, 2023

Bold, beautiful and simple. Those are just some words that describe the way coastal themes are being incorporated into celebrations and get-togethers in seaside locations these days. Busy is becoming passe, while minimalism is getting invited to the party. But while less may be more, the items being used for these events are definitely making a powerful statement.

Colleen Hall, vice president of marketing for C&F Enterprises, which represents several houseware brands, including C&F Home, Rightside Design and Beachcombers Coastal Life, says 2024 is going to bring a change back to bright, bold colors for entertaining.

“C&F Home and Beachcombers Coastal Life have linens, serveware, and barware that run a full gamut of fun coastal and nautical hues,” she says.

And less is more where decor is concerned. “Minimalism is also making its way in as an entertaining trend in 2024,” Hall adds. “Where previously, events had lots of decorations, and ‘stuff’ around the home or venue, the trend is heading toward quality over quantity.”

Between C&F Home, Beachcombers Coastal Life and Rightside Design, C&F Enterprises offers a comprehensive range of products to create an enjoyable entertainment space and experience,” she says.

Rightside Design tabletop collections feature 100% cotton material, embroidered with coastal icons. “Their fringed edges lend a casually elegant look and create the perfect setting for dining rooms and patios. Complete the look with a corresponding handmade napkin ring made from wooden beads and twisted metal,” describes Hall.

For outdoor entertaining, Rightside Design offers luxury heavily embroidered, weather- and stain-resistant pillows, and coming for 2024, table linens.

C&F collections are designed with layering and coordination in mind, notes Hall. “C&F Home offers quilted and woven table linens made to layer together providing a base for a beautiful tablescape,” she says. “You will also find coastal-themed dishes, serveware and table decor from both C&F Home and Beachcombers Coastal Life that coordinate with the linens to complete the look.”

C&F Home also offers outdoor pillows, throws and table linen options “to set the scene for your next pool or porch party,” according to Hall.

C&F Enterprises predicts that bright and bold colors and embracing minimalism with decor will be popular entertaining trends in 2024.

Custom designs

Rustic Marlin offers everything from serving trays and bottle openers to cornhole game sets. All items handcrafted in coastal Massachusetts, and are personalized specifically for your local town and customer.

“Everything is made in coastal Massachusetts and our products exude the coastal lifestyle we all love to live,” says Melanie O’Neil, founder and president. “The handcrafted feel with our personalized coastal designs elevate any hosting experience.”

Town Pride carries engraved glassware with custom etching. “Wine-themed goods are still very strong, and we are seeing an uptick in all things gameday including entertaining,” says Tamara Moran, president.

She adds, while traditionally gameday items have been more popular in the South, demand is increasing across the U.S. “We predict ‘gameday’ to be on the rise and something to keep your eye on.”

Artwork on display

At Kim Rody Creations LLC, it’s all about the artwork, whether it is a serving platter, a travel mug, a bowl, cocktail napkins or notecard set, featuring vibrant sea life images painted by Rody. The dinnerware line applies Rody’s art to bright porcelain, which is fired in Rody’s Palm City, Florida, kilns.

“They are definitely one of a kind,” says Rody of her creations. “They portray baby turtles, big sea turtles, fish, palm trees and all the things people want to surround themselves with during the vacation time that they have.”

She adds that the prints are popular on both the East and West coasts, the Hawaiian Islands and the Caribbean.

And for 2024, Rody sees tridishes as popular entertaining accoutrements. “They are really catching on much better than before.”

Town Pride has seen an uptick in all things gameday, including entertaining products.

Rody says she plans on spending more time on the easel in the future so her dinnerware items will only be available for another year or two. But not to worry, her colorful art is also printed on canvas and ready to hang or display on an included easel. Now, that’s something dinner guests will be able to talk about!

Another brand known for its artful designs is Island Haus. “Our products are so special because they start out as a watercolor painting that we then transfer on a variety of different products so your customers won’t find a design like ours anywhere else,” says Renee Gutzwiller, owner and creator, Island Haus Co.

Coffee mugs and island tea towels are among Island Haus’ most popular entertaining items.

“Our products elevate the coastal entertaining experience because they are so unique in design and are a very well-made quality. They are also such a great item to treasure and a good conversation starter,” adds Gutzwiller.

She predicts 2024 entertaining offerings will include more products that are customizable, but also items that won’t break and can be easily transported.

Shard also offers artful coastal pattern in its mugs, tasting bowls, coasters, appetizer plates, wine crocks, pitchers, kitchen towels, placements and napkins. Shard’s pieces use natural colors that founder Anne Pecora says “translate beautifully in our earthen pieces.”

“Consumers, especially in coastal areas enjoy a more casual dining experience with less fuss, but still impactful tablescapes,” she says.

Eco-friendly entertaining

Eco-friendly entertainingFor the eco-conscious consumer looking for a way to show that fondness for conservation with the products they use to entertain guests, they are in luck.

Sea Stones salvages landfill-bound granite countertop remnants from local fabricators to create polished stonework.

Rightside Design tabletop collections feature embroidering and fringe.

“We hand-collect rounded beach stones, and to make sure there will always be a replacement for future gatherers, we purchase stones from a quarry. For each stone we harvest, we ‘plant’ a new stone in the water, so over the years the water tumbles the rough ‘seed’ into smooth, rounded stones,” explains Anne Johnson, Sea Stones’ co-founder. “Everything we make comes with a lifetime guarantee, which backs our commitment to durability.”

Products include granite serverware like lazy susans and chillable serving trays, candle-powered hot plates, chillable granite coaster sets and stemless wine glasses and touchstone wine glasses and wine glass holders.

“Our work has an aesthetic appeal,” says Johnson. “Granite and stone products feature natural textures, colors and patterns that harmonize with the coastal landscape.”

And it’s not just the aesthetic. Johnson explains that due to their durability and resilience, they can withstand harsh coastal environments, “so are ideal for outdoor use, and they can tolerate both heat and freezing temperatures, which is ideal for offering hot and cold appetizers, as well as keeping our coaster sets chilled for slow sippers.”

So help your customers dig in, relax and enjoy their nibbles and sips in coastal style, from the serverware to the glasses and mugs and the table accents, pillows and artwork.