I don't like fussy. I like everything to look very clean, very simple. White china in a plain design that doesn't compete with the food. Handblown glassware. Classic, almost utilitarian silver. I don't hide the oak table with a cloth. The napkins are white or natural coarse linen that I leave unpressed because I like how the weave catches the light. The palette is like any of my gardens — white, green, gray. Bright colors, I find jarring. I'll allow some pinks, yellows, or blues, but they must be pale. That goes for flowers I use on the table as well — en masse and all one color.
I wanted to make it beautiful, deer or not. In fact, even though I attached wire to the cedar diamonds, fawns did sometimes jump through. So I ended up putting standard mesh deer fencing around the perimeter of the property. Which lets me leave these gates partway open to tempt people in. You can't really see this from the house, and it's almost a five-minute walk across a stone terrace, the lawn, and a circular fern garden. I love the sense of surprise. Guests can't believe they're sitting down to dinner or breakfast in a vegetable garden.
Copy and photos from House Beautiful.