Hot Tropical Tablescape

It reached a hot, humid 93 degrees yesterday in the Kansas City area. 93!!!! June JUST started!!! It feels like we’re in the tropics, but there are no banana trees, beach huts, or hot, shirtless cabana boys bringing me frosty cold fruit drinks with little umbrellas. Where’s the justice???!?!?!?

Since it’s feeling like the Seychelles outside, might as well enjoy a summertime meal with a casual, colorful tropical tablescape full of hot color! (But again, I have to ask….where are the hot cabana boys??!?!?!!)
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.) 

One of the most striking colors around for a tropical tablescape is sexy, sultry, steamy hot pink! A lap-length plain linen is finished off with a rush of color and pattern with this monstera leaf/bird of paradise/hot pink plumeria-laden fabric from Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores.

Place settings here are kept simple with clean lines that don’t duke it out with the linen. Hot pink melamine dinner plates (also used here) rimmed with a bit of orange are complemented with faux bamboo flatware. No salad plate is present even though a coconut laced fruit salad is on the menu. When dining outside in summer, consider chilling your salad plates or bowls to keep the contents crisper and cooler longer. Also consider presenting the salad fork to each guest in a bowl of ice (shown here or here, Tip #3). It looks cool, makes a grand presentation, and the cool fork won’t wilt your salad greens! (For a tropical setting like this, consider presenting the salad fork in a half shell coconut filled with ice and decorated with a tropical bloom!)

A small orange glass vase from Hobby Lobby is filled with plumeria blooms and placed in the center of each plate. The fabric topper features images of plumeria, lilies, and bird of paradise, so any of those (or a combination!) works well.

 A black poly-cotton napkin from Bed Bath & Beyond is tucked into simple clear glass stemware. (There actually is a bird of paradise napkin fold that  – if you have the patience & skill to create it – would look great if you wanted to place the napkin on the plate.)

The centerpiece used here is one of my favorite parts of the tablescape with its dramatic size, bold color, and asymmetrical design. I have used this oversized ginger jar from Home Goods for a couple of different Oriental tablescapes in the past. It is equally at home here decked with highly textural painted orange bamboo. I decided to place a few of the bamboo sticks in a perpendicular fashion to balance the width with the height of the centerpiece and lend fun modern flair.

A trio of black iron candlesticks outfitted with sleek black tapers is placed on each side of the centerpiece to further extend the length of the centerpiece on the 6-ft. table. Using black tapers rather than pink or orange keeps a sleek, continuous line going.

It’s always a good idea to dress serving tables to complement – although they needn’t necessarily match – the dining table. Here I used a full-length hot pink linen on a round table to serve icy cold “adult beverages” with tropical flair. Notice the plumeria cascading from the fruit bowl to draw from the tiny bouquets at each guest setting.

That’s it for this week! Go slip into a sassy little sarong (or a thong if you can still rock that! ;-)), get something fruity fresh going in the blender, and stay cool! (If you find those cabana boys, though, you have my permission to go from cool & collected to all hot & bothered!!! Can I get an amen? ;-))

Visit more summertime tablescapes on this site by clicking on the “Summer tab and on these individual posts:
Lemonade From Bill
Under a Paper Moon
Oopsy Daisy
Purple & Pastel
Give Peace A Chance Retro Tablescape
“Old Navy Seafood Cruise”

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen this week for “Let’s Dish!” (anytime after 6:00 p.m. Central Time on Wednesday) and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. on Thursday).

61 thoughts on “Hot Tropical Tablescape

  1. Thought I was in Tahiti….Pour the drinks…saw your post yesterday about wine bottles instead of milk cartons….hilarious.


  2. This one should win a prize…every single element works together perfectly. The orange bamboo is marvelous above the great hot pink plates….all meld together just right on that dynamic floral table topper. Thanks for inviting us for an inspiring peak. Cherry Kay


  3. Boo-hoo 😦 I don’t have 6 candle sticks, and that adds sooo much to your table! But what about that centerpiece, with the horizontal bamboo??? Is that genius, or what?! It’s things like this (oh, and the orange flip-flops??? too cute 🙂 ) that show your talent and experience. Wowzee wowzeee…I just love it all. I feel like I keep saying the same thing with each of your posts, and yet they’re all so different. Wow…. Happy to have this feast for my eyes today, Alycia. Thanks! ~Zuni


  4. Sweet Mother of Pearl you’re sending me over the edge girl!!! This is so flipping pretty!!! My doctor told me to cease with high impact aerobics so I can’t jump up and down. Oh but how I want to, this is gorgeois!!


  5. Now this tablescape takes me back…back to the days when we lived in South Florida…always having great BBQ’s by the pool, by the lake…with the palm tree fronds swaying in the wind….the table is “PLUM GORGEOUS” My eyes went directly to the drink station….thinking about sipping on the drink and enjoying the breeze…Love the tablecloth and the dishes are so striking against the pattern….great job as usual Alycia…Got to go now and find those cabana boys!…


  6. Oh my Alycia, what a delectable table you’ve set here…..I’m in heaven:) Love love love the colors….just plain gorgeous! The plumeria in those little vases is looking so pretty. And I love how you used bamboo flatware for the tropical flair. Feels like I’m in the Caribbeans albeit the cabana boys;) Enjoyed taking the trip with you. Hugs,Poppy


  7. Just incredible! I am trying to do hot pink this week, too, but now that I have seen this, I might just go have another Margarita instead, cause there ain’t no way I am topping this! You certainly do know how to throw a party.

    One Shirtless Cabana Boy, coming up! Oops — silly me, I thought that was a drink!


  8. You are BAD, BAD, BAD! Now I have to go digging for my thong.
    Uh… I shouldn’t phrased it quite like that.

    Anyhoo, I am coming right over.
    This table is gorgeous! I love the fabric on the table and the centerpiece is tops. Did you paint the bamboo? It really added the right pop of color and the lateral bamboo qualifies you as a master floral designer.

    You are the max!


  9. Love it! So impressed that you pulled all of this together in 93 degree humidity. You remind me that I had best get a couple of scapes under my belt for when I’m so hot I just don’t feel like doing it!

    The hot pink is so sultry.Love how you just used material down the middle to pull it all together. I just wish I had one of those drinks! LOL!

    – The Tablescaper


  10. Alycia, This is another winner. I will have to show this to my MIL, since she loves bright colors and she might even have that same fabric. I hope you get to enjoy the cooler temps that we are getting in TN, but if not, I’ll shut up about it. Love the flip flop accent too. Dianne


  11. Wow that is hot indeed! Love the contrast of pink with the black tropical print tablecloth! Those plates are great- love the orange edge on them. The large. Lack vase makes a stunning accent as well as the flowers on each plate! The bamboo flatware is perfect! 93- too hot too fast! Hope it cools down for you!


  12. I think I need to put a sassy sarong over my sassy thong. It would be better for all spectators that way.

    This is just festive and colorful all the way around. I love HOT pink in any application, but with the tropical print and black to anchor it, it has an even prettier pop than usual. The centerpiece is really cool too!

    I love the idea about the fork in the ice. You always think of the best stuff.
    (You didn’t put a bucket of ice on your head to imagine that up, did ya?)


  13. No hot cabana boys, hmmmm, you have everything else. I love the hot pink and the orange together. They make a striking contrast. You have rocked this look as usual. I will take one of those yummy drinks to start with. Yikes, where’s my throng? I can’t imagine it being 93 already. I had every intention on doing a tropical tablescape this week, then it rained and chilly.


  14. Great idea about the iced down forks.. Wonderful choice of fabric to cools things down a bit. The centerpiece is simple, stunning and totally effective. Love those plates a whole lot! Another great table. stay cool, and when you find those hot cabana boys, send one my way… please.. have a great week, xo marlis


  15. This is awesome! And guess what…this time next week I WILL be sitting among the coconut trees, beach huts and cabana boys!! We leave for Hawaii next week and this table is setting the mood for our tropical getaway!
    I love the hot pink and black and that cute little bamboo flatware set is on my wish list.
    I agree with you that this weather is WAY to HOT…WAY too soon! I had a few days last week where they already were reporting the heat index and it was close to 100…what is the world are July and August going to be like??

    Well, I’m off to pack my thong…NOT! Trust me…everyone on the beach will appreciate it if I left that at home! Have a great weekend!


  16. Alycia~ I think the title of your post should be “Where are the Hot Cabana Boys?”

    We’ve had 90 degrees temps too~ in April if you can believe that. It’s in the mid 60’s today, but 90’s this early has me quaking in fear of what July and August has in store for us~

    I love your iced down fork tip~ I remember seeing that and had forgotten! And your plumeria blooms served at each place setting is the perfect tropical touch! Your drink station looks so inviting too, cabana boy or not! Love the coordinated tangerine flip flops 🙂


  17. The cloth is an amazing backdrop for your gorgeous table, Alycia.

    I love the flipflops. J often asks how many pairs of flipflops do I need anyway. I wear them from the first warm day until the first flurries. When I spent the summer in Cali, during my 14th year, I bought my first pair…only they were called thongs then.:-) My Missouri friends had not seen anything like them around here. I was quite popular for awhile.

    I have a new recipe for something tropical. Picked up the ingredients today.


  18. I am a big fan of tropical tables and this one is great. As usual, you put together the perfect elements in color and scale. Your tables always say “party!”. I had to go buy some bamboo today after seeing your centerpiece. I never know what to expect from you each week but it is always a pleasant surprise!

    Robin Flies South


  19. Hi Alycia, I put on the thong and the cabana boys ran. I’ll get out the sarong and see how far I get with that! I always learn something on your posts. The table is beautiful and I can just feel the heat with all those hot colors! The forks in ice is a great idea and I will definitely do that when it warms up here. It’s only in the 50s today and pouring rain. Linda


  20. I like the centerpiece. I see what you mean by using black tapers instead of pink. My brain didn’t see that until you explained that. LOL. I love the pink and black. I’m working on my “tropical” table for next. I hope I get to post it.


  21. Alycia, can’t decide where my eye is wanting to look first, I am taking in the tablecloth, oh so festive in the black and pink. Then the hot pink plates with orange edges, then the black ginger jar with the orange bamboo, WOW, my eyes were dancing fast trying to take it all in. What a tropical table you have created! Love the color combination, and the drink table is too cool in hot pink. I had a few adult beverages this week sitting by the pool (had to use plastic glasses but the drink was very tasty. Love your tropical table and the black tapers too.


  22. If it is going to be that hot – we better cool it down with your bright tropical colors! What a pretty table. I just love your little flower “pots”. They are the perfect find and the tablecloth is wonderful. Of course you always wow us with something huge and dramatic like the bamboo – it is breathtaking. Hope it cools off a bit. It was actually cold here the last two days, but back up to 90 for Friday we think. I didn’t enjoy 60 degrees!


  23. Drama for sure! It looks amazing, and very tropical! The centerpiece is fabulous, and your hints are wonderful! It has been chilly here, 40 the other night. But the hot and humid will come!
    Thanks so much for linking to Let’s Dish.
    Did you look up Pottery Barn and William Sonoma Outlets to see if there is one near you?


  24. Hi Are you back home yet? what a hot table. wish you were here the temp is still not hot but pleasant. I don’t think there is old cabana boys so will skip


  25. That table made me HOT just looking at it! We’ve been a little cool this week, and it’s going to hit 90 on Monday. The centerpiece is fabulous, and tips are always helpful. I’d like to slip my feet into those pretty orange flip flops!


  26. Wow! Just stunning! But all of your tablescapes are and your dramatic content is equally impressive. You can put the words together perfectly. Really, it is a lovely tablescape that is soo fun!


  27. WooHoo, I love this, everything from the flip-flops to the orange/pink dishes. Just seeing the table would have to put your guests in a just right mood to have nothing but fun. You are amazing week after week.


  28. Gorgeous and festive as always. I love how each of your tablescapes is so different and yet always so welcoming and wonderful. Sheesh, you make me feel bad that I think a nice tablescape is when the paperplates match the paper towels I am using as napkins!


  29. alicia, this is gorgeous! Love the black background on the fabric – it really pops the pink plates! so festive- wish i could be there to enjoy those “adult drinks”! Love the way you piled those fruits and the orchid into the bowl on that table.


  30. Two words come to mind–lush and luscious! Ever since I got married in Hawaii, I LOVE all things tropical. That fabric is gorgeous! You could put white paper plates and dixie cups on that and it would still look great. The black really keeps it elegant, and the hot accent colors you used are just popping! I’ll grab a pair of flipflops and be right over!


  31. Oh goodness me, this IS OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!!!!! I’m loving this theme, YOU ROCK MY FRIEND, YOU GET BETTER AND MORE AND MORE TALENTED AS THE DAYS GO BY!!! The tabletopper is TDF, with those hot pink plates popping up like a explotion of color in each place. Thanks for your wonderful visit.
    Luv ya,


  32. Dear Lady A,
    How are you and How’s everybody? Wow! What a grand setting. Love the black scheme blending in the neon colors. FAB.

    OMG, you have an orange flipflop? I have too, from Brazil §;-) I was just waiting to post that with a similar thoughts of your round table bar*wink.

    Hope you had a great w/end and a blissful week to come.

    Hugs from Stockholm,


  33. Hi Alycia!

    Love all the HOT colors and your tablescape tips are great! Now if I use this same tablescape will you promise that the cabana boys will show up? But I guess there’s as much chance as that as my getting into a thong!

    xoxo Bunny Jean


  34. Oh no! I was late again as there are lot of comments here! But anyway, I did really enjoy your table today. The table is very inspiring and the colors are so vivid! I also support Bunny Jean that you promise us to show up the cabana boys. So excited to see them.


  35. Ah! I was out of town and almost missed this one! Wow! Very cool! Very daring and it all works so well. Your drink table looks soooo refreshing!
    Hope you are staying cool.


  36. OMG…look at the amazing table my talented friend came up with !!! I’ve never been close to something like this, never mind eat on something awesome like this!!!!!!!!!! Amazing sweetie, I’m loving the tablecloth, colors, dishes and all the cool colors you’ve used for staging such FABULOUS TABLESCAPE!! Great drinking table too, just simply wow, this table and hostess ROCKS! Have a great weekend. Thanks for your lovely visit and good wishes. Giancarlo is great and I am taking a breather back home really, I just miss my princesses, though.


  37. I agree with Cherry Kay….this should win a prize!@!!!!!! SO MARVELOUSLY VIVID….ELEGANT AND SASSY ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!! But your weather…..WOW! Sorry about that…..those temps in June sound like Alabama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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