How to Easily Style Your Dough Bowl for Summer

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I love seasonal decorating.  Not that I need an excuse for rearranging and redecorating around our home, but if I did, changing for the seasons is the perfect opportunity!  Today, we are going to chat about how you can both use and decorate your dough bowl for summer.

I think summer sometimes gets overlooked.  We have bunnies and tulips for spring, pumpkins in the fall, a flurry of décor at Christmas and through the winter.

But what about summer?

Summer is the PERFECT time to have a little fun with your décor and especially to decorate your dough bowl for summer!  Unlike other seasons, there isn’t a “theme”, necessarily, other than a little patriotic fun for the Fourth of July!

Instead, summer décor is all about lightening things up, minimizing (just a bit), and refreshing with things that call for fun during the day, relaxing evenings, and as little maintenance as possible.  It is summer vacation, after all!

Especially since we live in Florida, I love to use the summer months as a time to bring a little vintage coastal into our décor…and the perfect way to incorporate all the shells the kids bring home from the beach!


I also focus on refreshing vignettes throughout our home, simplifying them a bit and adding light, bright pieces and a touch of that coastal vibe.  Dough bowls are a great way to build vignettes and I especially love them for the summer, because you can just slide it over to make room for that board game or puzzle!  They can be simple, easy to clean, easy to move, and still give you a great summer vibe!

What do you put in a summer dough bowl?

I’m going to share three simple dough bowl styling ideas that I love to use in the summer months!  If you don’t have a dough bowl (or are like me and need more than one), I’m linking up some fabulous ones at the end of this post!.

Don’t have a dough bowl?  No worries!  You can recreate these vignettes (or similar looks) with baskets, trays, crates, and bread boards.  So I’ll link a few of those for you as well, both vintage and also some new ones that have a great summer aesthetic!

What decorations can you put in a dough bowl?

Summer décor, for me, is all about these essentials:

  • Light and bright colors, white, light gray, light blue (rolling some of that spring décor right into summer!)
  • Light textures
  • Sea shells and coral
  • Driftwood
  • Old books
  • Vases or jars with greenery
  • Palm branches
  • Simple styling (you can leave a pretty dough bowl with NOTHING in it at all!)
  • Mix of woods and whites
  • Green plants
  • White ironstone
  • Light wood tones
  • Natural textures, such as baskets and jute
  • Function: Pool towels, sunscreen, healthy snacks are all quick and easy to reach


So, let’s get to styling those dough bowls!

How to Easily Style Your Dough Bowl for Summer


How to Style a Round Dough Bowl

What do you put in a decorative bowl?

This is such a fun bowl that brings back great memories!  This was the first dough bowl I ever purchased and I found it at a little shop in Rome, Italy.  It was my first time to visit Europe and I think I got this on the first day of our trip.  We lugged it through Italy and Switzerland, but it was well worth it and I’ve been decorating with it for 18 years!

There are some great pieces out right now that have this large, round, wooden shape.  You can find a gorgeous one HERE very inexpensively!

Round dough bowls are a little harder to come by, especially large ones, but I love that they provide an opportunity for great function or can be purely for décor.  I styled this dough bowl a couple of different ways to give you some ideas!


What do you put in a summer dough bowl?

Functional Dough Bowl:

You can use great décor pieces for wonderfully functional purposes!  I like to keep poolside essentials out and ready for the kids, as the pool is our go-to for Florida summers.  (Sometimes it is literally too hot to play outside unless you’re in the water!).

I styled my round dough bowl with pool essentials, including snacks, ready for a great summer vacation day.

Parenting Tip: I find that when I have snacks readily available…and the kids know that when they are gone, they are gone…I get a few less “Mom, can I have a snack?” moments in my day!  Who can relate???

I love being able to use pretty items for these functional purposes.  Dough bowls are great because they are super durable and I’m not working about a kiddo breaking, scratching, or damaging it!  Win-win for all of us!

What is the best material for a dough bowl?

Dough bowls are usually wooden and depending on their origin, can be made of a variety of woods.  In general, dough bowls are made with very hard, durable kinds of wood.  This makes them able to last for many years (think of all of the big antique bowls out there!) and used both indoors and outdoors.

Decorative Dough Bowl:


A round dough bowl is the perfect opportunity for a simple vignette.  Since this bowl is quite large, I can create a trio of items (remember that décor triangle!) using things that are a bit bigger.  You can create your vignette based on the size and scale of your bowl, basket, or tray.

I used a European pickling jar (similar found HERE) filled with fresh areca palm fronds from our yard.  Free décor for the win!  Any green branches from around your yard will be perfect in a pretty jar. If you don’t have fresh branches available, THESE are very realistic and only $9.99!

Next, I added a large coral piece that I picked up from an antique shop and a couple of vintage books.  I love that the book titles themselves add to the décor!  When shopping for vintage books, pay attention to the details of the titles!  Sometimes you can really add a thoughtful detail that way.

THIS coral is inexpensive, as it is faux, but it is also incredibly realistic.  It even feels realistic!

Create the look:


How to Decorate a Small Dough Bowl for Summer


Large dough bowls can be fun to style, but sometimes, they just aren’t as practical, depending on the space in your home.

A small dough bowl can be a great accent on a side table, entry table, or even by the kitchen sink!  I picked up this small dough bowl at a streetside flea market in Paris many years ago.  It was a great size to fit in my suitcase…and a great size to use for years to come!

Vintage dough bowls can be pricey, so a small one is a great chance to get a vintage piece that doesn’t cost quite as much.

There are also good reproduction bowls out there that look nice and are a bit more budget-friendly.

Here are some great options:

Functional Dough Bowl:


I switched things up a little and added this small dough bowl to my kitchen sink area.  I refreshed my soap to a summertime scent, put out a fresh sponge and my dish brush.

To make it feel pretty, I added a miniature, vintage lab glass with a simple fern stem!  Simple, super functional, and pretty too!

Create the Look:

Decorative Dough Bowl:


Using that same lab glass, combined with a couple others, I created a little arrangement with my dough bowl as the base.  I cut a few fern stems from my bushes outside (more free décor!) and added them to these vintage lab glass pieces.

You could use miniature vases for a similar look!  I love the lab glass because it is just a little way to add more character to the arrangement!

How to Decorate a Large Dough Bowl for Summer


My large dough bowl is such a fun one to decorate with.  You can find some styling ideas HERE and tweak them for summertime!

For me, this bowl is really more decorative.  Since it has a rounded bottom, it limits the use in some ways.

However, a large dough bowl is a fun way to set things up for a summertime BBQ!

Functional Dough Bowl:


Toss in individual bags of chips, or line with saran wrap and add watermelon slices and fruit skewers!

You can even use it to hold the hamburger and hotdog buns, making those a statement instead of sticky plastic bags everywhere!

If you have a group of friends coming for some poolside fun, consider rolling up your pool towels in the large dough bowl and placing it on the outdoor table for quick and easy access!

We love these beach towels…neutral, inexpensive, and soft!  I love pieces like this dough bowl, because getting splashed with water isn’t going to ruin it and you can keep a pretty aesthetic for even the essentials!


Decorative Dough Bowl:


There are so many fun ways to style up a big bowl.  One of my favorites is to fill it with a coastal collection!

Living on the east side of Florida, we don’t tend to find large shells on our beaches.  However, there is a GREAT seashell tourist shop just down the road and over the years,

I’ve collected quite a stash of starfish for various events and parties.  I love to toss them all in my big dough bowl and use it on the TV console.

Create the Look:

Collections make great decorative statements!

What do you fill a dough bowl with?


A few starfish incorporated into a vignette here and there look pretty and add a touch of coastal.  An entire dough bowl filled with starfish?  That makes a big statement!

If you want to add a quick, simple coastal statement, grab some starfish and toss them into a bowl or basket.  I love the organic shape, white color, and pretty texture!

If you don’t have a seashell shop near you, you can find some HERE and HERE.

No matter what your summer plans, remember that home should be your first retreat.  With a little refreshing, restyling, and imagination, you can create a summertime haven…one vignette at a time!

Where to get a dough bowl?

I have linked several favorites HERE for your convenience!  It is great to have a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles so you can decorate your dough bowl for summer or any other season in a lot of fun ways!

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  











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