Cinco de Mayo 2013 – Livin’ la Vida Loca


INSPIRATION: Gorgeous “Serape” dishes in so many brilliant colors from Tuesday Morning

I can’t believe Cinco de Mayo is less than a week away!!! Where did January – April go??!?!?! If you’re planning a Cinco de Mayo party and want to create a table that has a lot of color, here’s your inspiration! This is one that would look great indoors or out!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance it and see all the little details!)


Table, linen pleat collageWhenever I want brilliant color to really stand out, black is a good choice. It’s very much like when you visit the jeweler. He or she presents to you jewelry on a black velvet cloth or tray. Why? Black is the best color to show off the true color, depth and shine. The same applies to brightly colored tables. A black linen, like this full-length one from, showcases the brilliant melange of color at its best. Look at the photo on the right…how the linen so gracefully drapes like the train of an evening gown. THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is the way color is shown!


IFI bought these multi-colored “Serape” dishes at Tuesday Morning many years ago. They have traveled with me from house to house and (knock on wood!) have all survived. The rims are all the same and trimmed in black, but the faces boast different colors borrowed from the rim design. The ruffly acrylic chargers from Crate & Barrel are seen here in fun fuchsia pink, brilliant turquoise, and a delicious margarita lime greenTIP: When working with lots of bright color, don’t be afraid to showcase them all through other table elements!

Flatware, rim shot collageWhen it comes to flatware, I’m more of a metal girl. For a fun table like this, though, I really like this fun hot pink flatware from Burlington. It really stands out against that fabulous black background and looks great alongside all three charger colors!

Napkin, stemware, lime collageJuicy orange is the mouth-watering napkin color. I specifically chose this color to not only pick up on the orange in the dishes, but to provide a color bond between the dining table and the florals on the buffet behind it. Clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery holds its own against all the color on the table. TIP: Always place a water glass on the table, even if you’re serving another beverage like margaritas. Many guests – especially when eating spicy food – appreciate the opportunity to take a sip between spicy bites!



Succulents collageThe centerpiece here is relatively simple and includes a variety of dessert succulents in various colored pots and vases that complement the colors in the dishes. Sticking with the good ol’ Rule of 3, I placed one high and 2 low to form a trinity of non-prickly cacti.

Center table tray collageWhen all else fails, food makes a glorious centerpiece! A colorful bowl of key limes flanked by 2 black bowls for salsa on a coordinating “Serape” serving tray are the nucleus of this centerpiece. The tray adds color AND corrals the 3 separate pieces to bring a sense of cohesiveness to the centerpiece.


IFA couple of huge stems of shocking orange (faux) medinilla is all it takes to make a grand statement in this fabulous oversized aquamarine vase from Z Gallerie. If you live in a climate where this gorgeous bloom is a natural and plentiful grower, go for the real stuff, baby!!!


Tea cart collageSome folks like to do tequila shots. Why not set up a “shot bar” on a tray that looks as pretty as it is fun! The tiny shot glasses in turquoise, hot pink, and yellow are from Old Time Pottery. (They were VERY reasonably priced at just 15¢ apiece.) The flowers on the cart are an array of colorful ranunculus mixed with a few stemmed succulents. TIP: Rim the shot glasses in a bit of lime juice and margarita salt as you set them up. Saves all that unsavory hand licking stuff!

Flowers on china cabinet collageAcross the room on top of the china cabinet is a lone “Serape” pitcher filled with the same floral design as that of the shot bar. A couple of years ago I wrapped a length of twine around this pitcher for my post “Serape High Style”, and I liked the look so much I decided to keep it that way!

Other posts on this site great for/adaptable to a Cinco de Mayo celebration:
“Serape High Style”
“Sunflower Simple”
“Brilliant Italian” (SUMMER page w/9 other posts – scroll down ’til you see it)
“Summer Breeze” (SUMMER page w/9 other posts – scroll down ’til you see it)
Cinco de Mayo Simply Done

Many thanks to all who visited my blog last week via The Home Girl’s “Festive Friday Fiesta” upon which I was once again a featured blogger for my “French Poodle” post. It’s always so nice to feel that sense of recognition!

I’m joining The Home Girl again this week as she and many other bloggers will no doubt have lots of tips and photos for the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. On Wednesday I’ll be joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!”, and on Thursday I’ll link up with Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday”. I hope you’ll join me at these fun blog parties! Check me out over at, too!

Que tengas un buen celebracion de Cinco de Mayo!

52 thoughts on “Cinco de Mayo 2013 – Livin’ la Vida Loca

  1. While I do love the whole table as I can imagine having a wonderful Mexican feast, I especially love the succulents as a centerpiece. Clever and beautiful as always.

  2. When I saw this at FB I said to myself…Alycia is celebrating already!:-) Gorgeous celebration!
    I love the Serape…you are tempting me to buy more dishes! You are such an enabler!

  3. WOW! What a burst of color! I almost need sunglasses just to look at this! And using that black tablecloth as a base made those colors 100 times more vivid! You certainly used the whole color spectrum for this tablescape, a fully chromatic display done elegantly. This would be a GREAT table for a bright and sunny day spent partying!

  4. Margaritas, tequila shots and oodles of color! What time do the festivities begin? Love the point you made about using black to highlight the colors. On my to-do list for today I have written, “start pulling items for Cinco de Mayo table”. Thanks for the extra kick in the pants I needed.

  5. OMG Alycia, those ‘serape’ plates are gorgeous and full with color, like a rainbow!! I wouldn’t know how to go about making a 5 de Mayo tablescape, as a NYorker I was never familiar with such a festivity, or Mexico for that matter. The table is a luminous spot, I totally adore this and the cheerfulness it brings!… with the suculents in the middle-centerpiece, to give it the Mexican feel to it all. Amazing! I love the decor with Mexican feel in the adorable cart! Wish I was there to have a glass of Jose Cuervo with you! Have a great week.

  6. Alycia, I love this table! So colorful and festive. The orange accents are really nice, too, especially with the pink. I don’t blame you for leaving the twine on the pitcher. It’s great! Happy Monday, Tablescape Pro! 🙂

  7. You nailed it.. I’m sure my invite is in the mail, right? Love the colors. I am delighted that this traveled and packed and survived! I remember seeing it at TM, but since I have Talavera, I passed. Stupid me. Love your wonderful table. The colors are fabulously pulled together and the plants are the perfect accessory. Love love the vase and the fauxs in it!!! Just a fabulous table to celebrate the 5th! Viva Cinco de Mayo!!!

  8. Girl,

    Those dishes are beeeeyooooteeful! A sistah may have to steal those…..:)

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    *Berishia Wilson-Chamberlain, MA*

  9. Awesome Alycia! I love color and this really punches you with a lot! I love those dishes and especially your big platter! If you couldn’t afford the dishes that platter would speak volumes by itself! I like how you pulled colors in all the different ways. Now some music to go along with it and you are partying!

  10. So gorgeous and festive!! I can almost taste the Mexican food and margaritas! Thanks for the great tip on the contrast with black and bright colors. I’m hoping to get a blingy table with some bright pink going for an upcoming bridal shower and I think I definitely need a black tablecloth for this one. Thanks for the inspiration to have a South of the Border celebration…like I need an excuse for a nice cold margarita in this heat!

  11. What an explosion of color – love, love it. That pink flatware on the black tablecloth is stunning, along with all of the other colorful pieces. I am with Jessica – just looking at this makes me crave a Margarita. Wish we could all have one together – lol!!

  12. OMG, LOVE IT!!!!! I found myself smiling from ear to ear looking at everything you had on this table. You best put those dishes in a safe…..I’m just warning you now! I haven’t dressed my table since the holidays and I really miss it. This is the inspiration to begin again. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  13. Alycia, This is so festive, bright, and perfect for Cinco de Mayo. It’s bound to make anybody smile even without the tequila! I know you are REALLY fun after a few shots! I just love it all. Dianne

  14. A perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The colors are fun and flirty. having shot glasses handy is fun, fun, fun. I always jello shooters in different jello flavors. Love those dishes! Tuesday morning is the best.
    How fun is that hot pink flatware. you have it going on girl! I could use a very large margarita with what’s going on with me right now.

  15. Wonderful table. I love this color kaleidoscope, it is beautiful with that black cloth. I love every element but the dishes are to die for. I am so glad that they have survived your moves. I really like the pink flatware and would love to have more options for flatware. I don’t see me shopping for any but I can just look at yours. Love Ya Lady, Ginger

  16. Su mesa de Cinco de Mayo es una fiesta! Muy hermosa mi amiga. Por favor, pasar la tortillia y salsa. ¿Qué pasa con el Kentucky Derby en tres de Mayo?

  17. Perfect setting for Cinco de Mayo, lots of bright color!. I’m passing through quickly trying to catch up with posts while I’ve been dancing the nights away here in what we lovingly call “Northern Mexico”!

  18. So much festive fun Alycia! You know I love that black table cloth, and boy does it ever make the dishware pop, much more exciting than a white cloth. Your succulents are a clever addition to the decor and the rainbow of shot glasses is wonderful! Hot pink flatware, how fabulous is that! This is going to be quite a party! Pass the tequila!

  19. Oh my this is just so colorful and fun! Those dishes are the best and set on the black is wonderful. I especially loved seeing those glasses all lined up. They looked like a colorful rainbow!! The flowers were the perfect touch, and I loved the succulents scattered down the table. You never fail to amaze me, Alycia!

  20. Olé! Your serape dishes and color palette are oh so festive Alycia! Love how the black tablecloth makes all your colors pop and your pink flatware is muy bueno! Your succulents and limes make the perfect centerpiece additions for your Cinco de Mayo table 🙂

  21. Such drama and excitement. I love it all! The Serape dishes are positively fabulous. I love the rainbow of shot glasses. Just great fun all the way around.

    – Alma, The Tablescaper

  22. That table is dazzling…I love all the bright colors…even all the pink! Glad to see you invited Jose!
    Do you really think we will get snow…my lilacs are just starting to really blossom…I am going out to cut a big bouquet before it is too late…

  23. Your table is so colorful, so cheerful, so festive and so beautiful, Alycia. Those plates are really pretty and so perfect for Cinco de Mayo. Iyt’s like Fiesta in your dining room….Christine

  24. You could not have found more perfect dishes than these!! I love them. The colors are gorgeous! You certainly set the mood wonderfully for Cinco de mayo. This feels like a party I would want to be invited to!

  25. I like the idea of the black linens to help the dishes pop! And speaking of dishes, those serape dishes are so much fun! We love all things Mexican–food and decor so I’ll be thinking of your table the next time I need inspiration. Linda

  26. Wow Alycia, I love the power punch of color! And thanks for the hint about using black as a background. Your table is so bright and makes the whole room sparkle.

  27. Only YOU would have pink flatware! So fun! Love the sarape dishes! I had never seen these before! How perfect can you get for Cinco de Mayo!

  28. Good morning, Alycia,

    Been having a delightful time perusing your many lovely posts and seeing so many pretty things 🙂 Loving the gorgeous colors featured here today!

  29. Hey Alycia! You’ve inspired me to make my first 5 de Mayo table setting. Come over and check…sorry, I’m not as great as you cause I haven’t hardly any Mexican elements around my house! Lots of hugs, sweetie and thank you for coming again.

  30. Wow!! This is one impressive table!! I especially love the use of succulents in your tablescaping. The rainbow of colors is fabulous. Always perfectly done, Alycia. You ARE extraordinary … and inspirational. Thanks!!
    Just wondering….have you used the dishes for other settings? They are very fun!

    • Hi, Diane! Thank you!!! I really enjoy working with color. There’s always so much you can do with it!!!

      So far I’ve never used the dishes for other settings. They just have such a strong Southwestern/South-of-the-Border vibe that I use them for serving that kind of food only. That’s OK…I have plenty of other dishes to use for other stuff![?]

      It looks like a January night outside right now. This is SO crazy! Who ever heard of snow in May??!?!?! SO many things had to be cancelled tonight (professional baseball game included!) because of it. It took my husband twice as long to get home from the clinic as usual. He said the overpasses and bridges were super slick….IN MAY!!!![?]

      Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you have a much better weekend than what we’re in for with all this cold and snow![?] Alycia

  31. This is just FUN FUN FUN Alycia! (if someone didn’t have succulents, they could buy pineapples and use the cut off leafy tops as centerpieces and the sweet pineapple fruit works well with this theme. ) 🙂 xoxo

  32. Fabulous! The colors are wonderful (Those plates! I want them!) Your centerpiece looks positively succulent (Yes, I am being a smarty pants), and I love those colorful glasses lined up to make stripes.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. The weird thing next to the fish in the picture is a stack of Razor Clams. They gave me the creeps too.

  33. This one literally made my mouth water! No, not just the tequila (or Ta kill ya as we call it in our house) but the whole setting made me crave a yummy meal. The succulents as an accent were perfect, too.

  34. Oh my goodness, I am SO GLAD I didn’t miss this one! It’s just bursting with color and fun, and I love it. I am having a big old “DUH” moment because I have never, not a single time, used a black tablecloth, and it really does make the colors pop. I think my favorite part of all is the hot pink flatware. That’s just plain fun. As usual, I leave here smiling. Maybe feeling a little like a Mexican hat dance, too.

  35. Magnifico!!…I can hear the marachi band now!…those serape dishes are the best…how perfect are they!…and only you would have a “tequila shot bar”….and the bar set up is as colorful and festive as the table…the desert succulents are the perfect greenery for the table…I tip my sombrero to you for a mucho, mucho bueno Cinco de Mayo table…Ole! Ole!! Senorita Alycia!!

  36. I love your dishes for Cinco de Mayo. Yes, we had to make Mexican food on Sunday and my daughter in law said she always love my Mexican meals the best – what? Better than pizza in the pizza oven or smoked meats in the smoker? I love it too and could eat it almost every day. These dishes would be a treat just to eat on. Your tea cart is always so fun. You just make everything a fiesta!

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