Caribbean Queen – One Table, Three Looks

The good people at were so kind as to send me some great linens – including a fabulous summertime color called Caribbean – to create a tablescape. I have been an avid shopper since discovering them two years ago. They have a vast selection of colors and sizes that are priced just right. (Why rent when you can buy outright for about the same price or less, right?) Thanks to their generosity, here’s one table going from budget-friendly ($) to mid-priced ($$) to extravagant ($$$) using the same linens & place setting. All of these tablescapes would be great for an Asian-inspired or tropical-themed wedding reception, rehearsal dinner, birthday, bon voyage party, or any summer soirée.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it and see details.)

Three Table collage

Upper right: The Extravagant ($$$)
Lower right: The Budget-Friendly ($)
Left: Meeting in the Middle ($$)

The brilliant Caribbean blue tablecloth was my inspiration for this table that can boast great decor ranging from a relative little to a lot of $$$.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Budget-friendly tropical theme tablescapeLet’s start with the most modestly-priced of our three tablescapes.

Linen & placemat collageEach of the three tablescapes begin with a 48″ table (seats up to 6 depending on the chair and charger size you select), covered in a full-length white (108″) round tablecloth that is topped with an 85″ square Caribbean blue linen and fuchsia satin table runner (14″ x 108″), all from I like to use white with brilliant tropical colors to offer a little balance. The deep green of the monstera leaf placemat from Z Gallerie is a neat contrast to the brighter colors, and it adds visual depth and texture. The placemat could be eliminated if you’re looking to cut your budget a little bit deeper. (TIP: Another linen look to consider is to eliminate the runner, add a 90″ round fuchsia linen on top of the white, and keep the 85″ square Caribbean top. This look is a little more pricey, but is a lush layered look as seen HERE.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Place setting for tropical-themed tablescapeThe place setting is the same for each of our three tables. It starts with a white faux crocodile charger from Bed Bath & Beyond, topped with a bright orange dinner plate from the Dollar Tree (a.k.a. Deal$ is some areas) and a beautiful tropical print melamine salad plate from Pier 1.

Flatware & rim shot collageFaux bamboo flatware from JC Penney Outlet lends more tropical flair. In these photos you can really see the texture of the flatware and the faux crocodile charger. Bamboo trees and crocodiles are found throughout the tropics, so I thought these to be good choices for this theme. Of course, a smooth white charger and unembellished flatware would work as well. (Have you seen that reusable bamboo cutlery sold at places like Target, World Market, and on Perfect for this setting!) TIP: Having trouble finding white chargers? Spray paint inexpensive acrylic chargers from places like Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

Napkin collageVivid fuchsia napkins from pick up colors in the salad plate and complement the table runner. The fun parrot napkin rings from Z Gallerie are a bright white which, again, adds contrast.

Mini martini glassesNever think for one moment that you have to always use the “correct” glass for casual table settings. Go for glassware that looks great and complements the overall table design. Here, a juicy orange squatty martini glass from Old Time Pottery sits alongside a mini with a clear bowl and Caribbean blue base from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One:Budget-friendly tropical centerpiece using white coral, dyed blue starfish with bright pink plumeria

Coral & starfish collageThe budget-friendly centerpiece is comprised of large white sea coral from Pottery Barn dotted with large and small blue-dyed starfish from Hobby Lobby. Small Caribbean blue glass vases from Hobby Lobby hold clusters of fuchsia-colored plumeria. This easy-to-make, inexpensive centerpiece offers lots of color and texture, and it sits low for easy dinner conversation among guests. (You can find large seashells of all kinds at craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. TIP: If the color isn’t to your liking, follow instructions from my blog buddy, Babs, at Upstairs-Downstairs for painting great-looking seashells.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Medium budget tropical-themed tablescapeMoving on to our mid-priced tablescape where the linens and place settings remain the same.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Mid-priced tropical-themed centerpiece with white parrots from Z Gallerie, white coral, blue starfish and fuchsia plumeria

Fuchsia plumeria blossoms in Caribbean blue glass vase

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Tropical-themed tablescape with white Z Gallerie parrots as part of the centerpieceThe primary difference in our mid-priced tablescape is the centerpiece. The large white sea coral, starfish, and plumeria blossoms all remain, but a lofty pair of white parrots from Z Gallerie are added to the mix. The parrots (previously used HERE) bring more white into the centerpiece as well as adding height and an exquisite textural element.

IFOur third and final tablescape is a lot more dramatic. Drama, of course, often = $$$


Floral collageThe nearly 5-ft. tall floral centerpiece is in a slender white bamboo vase from Z Gallerie. The vase is slender enough for guests to still carry on unencumbered conversation. The girth is dispatched to the top of the arrangement using large monstera leaves, sword fern, philodendron, spikes, orange medinilla, and fuchsia-colored plumeria.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Tropical tablescapeThe up side to tall, top-heavy centerpieces is that they look fantastic and add more drama than an episode of “Scandal”. 😉 The down side, however, is that they can be very sensitive to motion. Wind and inadvertent bumps against the table are a tall centerpiece’s nastiest foes. Opt for a lower or more bottom-heavy centerpiece if your event is to be held outdoors where wind is always a possibility. TIP: ALWAYS weight down your vase with sand, stones, or some other medium that will help to steady it since you can’t have a cute Wind Watcher at every table like I did for this photo shoot! 🙂 (See that breeze whipping those linens around??!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Three Tropical-themed Centerpieces collageSo there you have it! One table, same linens and place settings, different centerpieces ranging from $ – $$$. If the centerpiece or place setting elements used in these tablescapes is still beyond your budget parameters, consider other wallet-friendly or DIY project alternatives.

NOTE TO BRIDES: This is a good example of how you might do 3 different designs in your reception room that all complement one another. Consider doing 1/3 high, 1/3 mid-size, and 1/3 modest. That way, your room has drama up high but doesn’t look like a forest!

Other tropical-themed tablescapes on this site:
Flamingos in Paradise
Hot Tropical
Summer Breeze
Surf & Turf Dinner
Love & Orchids
“Old Navy Seafood Cruise”

I am so happy to once again join The Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday”, Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!”, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday”, and The Home Girl for Festive Friday Fiesta. Check them out!

65 thoughts on “Caribbean Queen – One Table, Three Looks

  1. I sure am glad you mentioned that SMILING wind-watcher, or spotter!! He looks like he does his job with a happy heart, which is a huge bonus! I read every word of your three tables–what a lot of work to share all your tips and knowledge, but it’s really helpful, and what makes your blog so useful and popular–it’s a great resource! Love these tables, and how lucky you are to have that Caribbean color to work with! Nice (and smart) of the to send those over to you! Thanks for a fun feast for the eyes, Alycia!


  2. WOW! This just screams “tropical”! So festive and vivid and bright! I love all the bright colors, you managed to use so much color and find a balance. You are truly a tablescape artist. The monstera leaf placemats are genius.
    This is such a fun tablescape theme, thank you so much for sharing. We are proud to see our linens used to make such wonderful decor.


  3. Wow, Alycia, this tablescape makes me feel like I am on vacation. I love these colors, and the parrots are so coool! I see the Tablescloth folks are impressed. 😉 Ramon is such a cutie! xo


  4. All three tables are shouting “PARTY”! Love the hot tropical colors and the huge Monstera leaves… I can almost hear the steel drum band playing. Thanks so much for showing amazing looks for any budget. They all are beautiful. LOVE the parrots and your cute “wind catcher”. Thanks so much for mentioning my painted seashells. I’m thrilled that you thought they were worthy of a tablescape. Hugs.


  5. Tropical paradise on your deck! What a fun tablescape tutorial to demonstrate how to create the look in several budget based ways. I love the oversized leaf place mats especially and the parrots with matching napkin rings. The flower arrangement is stunning, but I like the parrots the best! Wonderful colors and tips on putting a variety of things together. The sun finally came out for you! It’s all beautiful!


  6. I was already running out to purchase that vase until you told me hottie holding the vase didn’t come with it. He is so sweet and smart man. If mama’s happy everyone is happy!
    I love this table and I am so glad that you got outside to take the pics. I love your outdoor tables.
    The colors are so beautiful and each element leads toward the goal…you feel you are at a fancy hotel in the tropics.
    I guess I am gonna go down the street and wrestle me some alligators cuz I just love those chargers.
    Love to you and that cute vase holder,


  7. Ahhh…Calgon take me away. I feel the ocean breezes. You even provided the ‘Cabana boy’! ;)…not exactly what I had pictured him wearing…buuut, handsome just the same. I choose the mid-range table please. Oh, and I’d like one of those cute lil’ umbrellas in my beverage please. In all seriousness you’ve once again done a fabulous tablescape(s)! I really like the use of the leaf place mats. And the color pallet is perfection!! xx


  8. This table just screams carribean, it is so vibrant and fun. Love everything including the parrots and the centerpiece and the palm leaves are just beauitful. You are so right on the money with the dishes, oh, just everything. I just need a drink and I am ready to PARTY & EAT!!!


  9. I love your dramatically beautiful tropical table. Nice to know about I like learning how you can step things up or down with your budget with basic elements. The large monstera leaves ( didn’t know their name, Thx.) add that lovely natural element. So clever.

    You earned an a+ if I were grading your tablescape.


  10. They are all very pretty, very colorful, cheerful and yes, very Caribbean! I am imagining myself lounging on the beach of St. Maarten while occasionally getting up to get food on this beautiful table….Christine


  11. My daughter has a doll from the Bahamas and it looks like your table! The colors, design and feathers are perfect. Now if this weather says warm, we will feel like we are in the islands……


  12. So much gorgeous detail to the tables….Love it!!! Makes me want to wear shorts and have lots of drinks with rum in it. The monster leaf placemats have inspired me….I will have to see what I can find and do a Mothers Day thing. Lady, you rock!!!


  13. This entire assemblage needs to come visit my porch — the colors will work perfectly if I ever get my furniture painted! That will only happen if the rain stops. We are beginning to think we might have to build an ark next. Love the parrots! Tell Ramon that he looks really cute holding up the flowers!


  14. Does your spotter hire out? He looks so happy in his profession! Love that you showed 3 different tables and different price ranges. Love those leaf placemats. Cool. No Z gallery around here.. so my budget is safe! Your table is wonderful and a great lesson in what can be done to make an impact regardless of the budget. Love that. Love the dishes and the Caribbean blue cloth!!! That is such a great color. Even for Cinco de Mayo! ps.. don’t tell… my poppies were fabulous fauxs… xo marlis


  15. What a fantastic idea – you know how I struggle with centerpieces! I think the one with the parrots is my favorite. The white against all of that fabulous explosion of color is gorgeous – and, yep, that Wind Watcher is pretty cute!!


  16. WOW! This is TROPICAL at it’s best, Alycia! I love the table toppers’s color combo, it is just perfect, I feel like going on a cruise in the Caribean right this minute!!! I love those white parrot centerpieces and the tall arrangement as well. Takes you to do such exotic tables to perfection! The large leaves are genious! Have a wonderful Mom’s Day sweetie!


  17. I was just thinking how wonderful a vacation to the Caribbean would be and you just transported me!! Thank you, Alycia, you did it again. I love the tables… all three of them. However, I do love the drama of that tall centerpiece, but I can see how it could be precarious in the wind. The parrot is great, too. You think of all the fun things!


  18. Love your cute Wind Watcher Alycia, where did you find him, Z Gallerie? 🙂 He is such a good sport! Your tropical table variations are just what I needed after 12 inches of rain in 3 days and have me longing for sand between my toes instead of mud! Love your Carribean layers of color, leaves as chargers and dramatic centerpiece! Thanks for my trip to the tropics!


  19. First of all, love your cute “wind watcher”…and chose the perfect person to show how you can create a beautiful table at all levels of price points…I must say that one is as beautiful as the other…I love how you used those huge “leaves” … the large vase sure does make a magnificent statement and just love how you paired it with the those wonderful parrots…Beautiful, beautiful showcase of tablescapes!!!


  20. Wow, this is a fabulously colorful table! Makes you want to have a party!
    I haven’t had a pina colada in years but this makes me want one! Those linens are great and you laid them out beauitfully. I love all three designs but of course the third one has the most wow factor! I think those monstera placemats really pull this together and the white parrots too!
    Well now I have Billie Ocean’s Carribean Queen beating away in my head!
    Beautiful job!


  21. I think your handsome model is definitely going to sell everyone on your most $$$ table! Gee, I never thought about the problem of wind toppling the centerpieces! Thanks for the tip! I’m ready to dive into a cool Caribbean pool and then sit at one of your lovely tables. Linda


  22. I do like each table setting – the turquoise table cloth is stunning. The second and third table settings are my too favorites. The parrots are fabulous in both…love the drama they create…they make the theme. The large leaves are incredible additions and really give the tropical flair.
    How nice to have a handsome assistant come to your rescue. Maybe he enjoyed a Caribbean dinner later? 😉 [wink]


  23. Alycia, This is so great. I love the colors and that tablecloth is an real eye catcher color isn’t it? I love the parrots and have eyeballed them several times both at Z and at Target of all places. Love your Wind Catcher by the way! Dianne


  24. Alycia, this is absolutely gorgeous. It takes me right to the clear blue waters of the Caribbean. I can feel the sea breeze and salty air and the sand between my toes. Wow! This is a tropical paradise in its own right. Thanks for giving us a mini escaper to Caribbean.


  25. Wow!! How fun!! I felt as I was taking a wonderful vacation while exploring your table!! The colors are so vibrant! Love those parrots!! Fabulous!! Ramon looks good too! I like how you showed three different looks using the same basics. Thanks for all your wonderful tips.


  26. Not sure which one I like the best Alycia. They are all three stunning! The hot juicy colours make me feel like I am on a Caribbean Cruise.
    The parrots … they did it for me 🙂
    Hugs, Gee


  27. Alycia, I love how you used the monstera leaf placemat Love the vibrant colors of the cloths and the parrots too! The wind spotter looks like he is more than happy to help. You make a great team! Thanks for letting us know about a while back. They are a great resource for those of us that entertain. xo Debbie


  28. The colors on this/these tables is just amazing! I loved the parrot one until that fabulous floral centerpiece came into the picture. It’s amazing with so much presence! I’m glad you said that about the glassware. I’m of the opinion that in casual dining, the glass’s job description is just a suggestion. You can use the shapes for all kinds of things. One of my favorite things you did here was the way you draped the palm leaves to the side of the table. That looks just fabulous.


  29. WooHoo! That’s some hot stuff, mama! As much as I love the caribbean blue as the more predominant pop of color, that hot pink and orange combo in the place settings and florals, draws me in every time.

    Thought you’d like to know that my highly stressed daughter just purchased her table linens from Linen, thanks to the awesome tip you gave me a couple of weeks ago! It saved her some cash and it saved some of her sanity, too! Many, many thanks from both of us, my friend! XOXO M.


  30. Alycia..this is so pretty..I especially love those huge leaves used under the place settings..what a great idea for a tropical theme…I just love the way you put things together with such creativity and thoughtfulness to detail…
    Love, Mona


  31. Boy, you’ve hit me where I live with your colors which are so vibrant and alive. Like us, right? Using the big leaf philodendron is genius. I have an abundant supply and will copy that idea for sure! Ramon is doing a great job holding those flowers in place. Isn’t it amazing how helpful hubbys can be? Happy Mothers Day to you, my friend.


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  33. This was great-three tables for the price of one visit – and all of them spectacular! Loved all of your tips – especially about using the “correct” glass. I frequently use stems that aren’t correct for what I’m serving – it’s all about how they look on the table! You are so talented. laurie


  34. With all the shout-outs you give that was the least they could do. When you have a love for tablescaping (like we do) it’s good to see multiple uses from the same goods. Ye old hoarders bin can only hold so much. After looking at these beautiful tables I feel the need for a Margarita!


  35. Oh you know I’ve got Billy Ocean on the brain now! I can imagine sitting outside on your deck with a fruity drink in hand and enjoying the sunshine with good company. You always make em so pretty. I love the all the bright colors. The large leaf place mats are really neat too.


  36. This is exquisite…all three of them! I’m loving the colors and the great pieces…all put together with precision and perfection! Thanks so much for sharing this at the FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA! Love it! =D


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