Hot Fun In the Summertime!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! -

INSPIRATION: Paper parasols in sizzling hot tropical colors and a new way for me to hang them outdoors!

The 4th of July has come and gone, but there are many more parties to come in the hot summer months. Hot days match up with abundant hot tropical colors like hot pink, outrageous orange, and yummy yellow. So pull out all the stops…but don’t break the bank! Shop end-of-season clearance sales like I do to stock up for next summer!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Full deckI am just head over heels with these stretch tablecloths from They don’t pay me to say that…I just love these tablecloths! Who wants to mess around with a lot of unnecessary ironing in the hot summer? Not me! That’s why these have become my tablecloth of choice. Just stretch them on, and all the wrinkles go bye-bye. (Oh, how I wish it worked that way with my face and neck!!! 😉 ) They come in 7 different colors and 2 sizes. For me, these are a summer (and anytime!) must-have! (Students and freshman tablescapers: I used white to ground the setting and to play up all the color on the table. Students, you’ll remember we talked about wanting to avoid color saturation.)


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - full table (2 6-ft kissed horizontally)Two 6-ft. folding tables are kissed together horizontally create a “square.” Depending on what all you have on the table, this arrangement can comfortably seat up to 10 guests.




Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Place setting





Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Mesh food covering collage


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Napkin


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - hot pink acrylic tumbler


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - orange acrylic flatwareI used the trio of hot pink, orange and yellow placemats from Bed, Bath & Beyond to give each place setting a distinctive look. Each guest can pick his or her favorite! Orange-rimmed hot pink melamine plates from Burlington sit atop plain white Corelle dishes at each place setting. A bright yellow napkin folded into a simple triangle is a constant around the table, as are the brilliant orange acrylic flatware and hot pink acrylic tumblers, also from Burlington. (Students, you can successfully mix one or two elements, but be sure to have plenty of “constants” that visually tie the tablescape together.) The fun mesh food covers to keep the pests away are from Z Gallerie. I bought them several years ago but have just this summer had occasion to use them.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - full centerpiece


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Centerpiece collage with lanterns, votives, and placemat runnerThis centerpiece relies solely upon color and candlelight. The “runner” is an overlapping repeat of the colorful placemats used at each place setting. Metal lanterns in the theme colors are from Hobby Lobby. (Students, notice the odd number – 5 – used, and recall our discussion about “the Rule of 3” and how odd numbers are easy on the eye.) The rest of the table is sporadically dotted with votives, again using all three colors.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - colorful paper parasolsOver the years I have collected a number of paper parasols. These from Hobby Lobby are just plain fun to add color and motion to the space. Notice they are not completely extended as they might otherwise be for other uses. Also notice how they extend the color from the dining table to the perimeter of the dining environment. (I recently spent 2 hours carefully measuring and drilling holes to insert a number of small rubber-coated cup hooks in the overhangs on our back deck. They can stay up year round for displaying whatever I wish out there on a whim! The hooks are the same color as the house, so they just “disappear”!)


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Buffet tableI always like the buffet table to complement the dining table in some way. Here, a 90″ x 132″ white tablecloth drops full-length (to stash catering stuff underneath!) and is topped with an 85-in. square fuchsia and a 70-in. square yellow, both from (Sorry, folks…the yellow has been recently discontinued. They do, however, have a great new color called “cantaloupe” that would be fabulous in this setting!)


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - tropical "palm tree" floral pieceTo add to the tropical feel of the space, I created a “palm tree” on the buffet table using a white lacquered bamboo vase purchased at Z Gallerie a few years back. (I weighted it down with pea gravel to keep it from tipping over.) Palm fronds from Michael’s are artfully arranged to create the “tree.” The centerpiece is placed off-center.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Ice bucket, fruits collageWhen I put a tablescape together, I look through my computerized catalog (read about it HERE) and just type in keywords to find things in various categories in the color(s) I need. Without that catalog, I might have forgotten about this fun orange metal ice bucket. The yellow metal shabby chic bowl adds a little visual texture with its wavy lines. A white melamine chip ‘n dip tray takes on new life to display various tropical fruits on ice.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - beverage center



Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Martini glasses with parasols, fruit tray collage


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - plastic pitchers


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Beverage center collageThe beverage center is set up on one end of the buffet table. This display is proof positive that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a fun look. The orange and pink plastic tubs from Old Time Pottery were about $3 each. Just fill with ice and insert beverages! The plastic pitchers were about $3 each, too, and are a great way to serve large quantities of your signature cocktail. Put drink garnishments like cherries and lemon slices on a cute melamine tray like this one from my friend, Monica, who recently gifted me with a bunch of these babies. 🙂 Finally, cocktail parasols in a colorful martini glass could make even your daily Metamucil go down easy! (Yes, I speak from experience!) The cocktail parasols mimic those used in the decor as well as dress up the drinks.

So there you have it…a tropical, fun-in-the-sun, casual, easy, budget-friendly dining environment in hot colors that will keep your guests in the partying mood long after the lightning bugs have said goodnight! This tablescape would be perfect for a summertime birthday, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, bon voyage party, beach party, or just any occasion that calls for f-u-n!

Other tablescapes on this site using paper parasols:
Oopsy Daisy!
Daisy Crazy
Flamingos in Paradise
Under a Paper Moon

Other tablescapes on this site with a tropical theme:
Hot Tropical
Caribbean Queen
Ocean Blue Tablescape
Raining Orchids

Two of my favorite blog parties for you to check out this week: Christine’s “Table It!” over at Rustic & Refined, and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” at Between Naps on the Porch.







49 thoughts on “Hot Fun In the Summertime!

  1. Simply Gorgeous. Makes me want to book a Cruise right Now, however, those Cruise ships don’t seem to be so safe now.  

      Respectfully,   Senator Yvonne S. Wilson  (Retired)


  2. Now I have Sly and the Family Stone running in my mind. You and those musical selections!! Your tables are always so much fun and these colors are fun and sassy. I love non floral centerpieces and the lanterns are perfect. Hats off to you for drilling holes to hang the parasols. Power tools and I haven’t been on the best of terms lately. I also think that it is time for me to check out those stretch tablecloths. Beautiful work my dear!


  3. You always remind me of how smart you are — remember the conversation about how everyone needs 24 plain white plates? For outdoors, Corelle is perfect and I’m replacing all my plastic junk with Corelle. It follows my dishwasher rule and is unlikely to chip or break unless there’s a real disaster. I love the bold colors in this setting; it just screams summer!


  4. What fun summery colors you’ve use, Alycia. The parasols are just so cute and such an show stopper!!! The lanterns in all the colors look pretty parading down the center and that palm tree is super fabulous!
    Your comment about the stretch tablecloths and the wrinkles on your face just gave me a chuckle. I want to party at your deck this summer. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us wannabes!!


  5. I never thought I could pick a favorite in your astounding array of tablescapes, Alycia, but his one is pretty close. Combining orange and fuchsia is one of my favorite and it always makes me happy. LOVE the parasols both hanging and the mini ones in the drinks. The table runner created from connected placemats is genius. And that bamboo palm tree! Where do you get these magnificent ideas???? When is your BOOK coming out??? Love the adorable food domes. Where would they go once guests started eating? Keep the inspirations coming!


  6. I love those colors together, Alycia! Everything looks so tropical and fruity…summer all the way! Your palm tree is genius, and I love how you placed the place mats lined up for your center collection. Yes, odds attract the eye best, don’t they? I always love seeing your stretch table cloths, which are wonderful for outdoor winds. I love the parasols hanging the way you have them. What a fun party! 🙂


  7. What? Stretch no iron tablecloths!? Now you are talking. Your summertime choices are “hot”. Love the color combinations, reminds me of sherbet ice cream flavors. You are a tablescaping master!


  8. And your table certainly is “HOT” !!…Love the colors and the way you included placemats in the centerpiece…I must say that those parasols are a show stopper!…Love the way you layered the fabric over the buffet table…you truly amaze me every time you set a table…each one is so very creative and breathtaking!


  9. Oh, Alycia, I absolutely LOVE this tablescape !! You really had me at the placemat centerpiece, but the colors are extraordinary!! That palm tree is to die for and all your choices reflect exactly what you want to achieve: a festive, colorful atmosphere that is sure to make any celebration extra special from the minute guests arrive. Bravo!!! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch


  10. I think I hate you.
    I know I’ve said before I love you but all is a roller coaster with you.
    And the most interesting ride, if I may say so myself… 😉
    I love how you play with items and more important WITH COLORS and not mess a single detail.
    So in love – mesmerized was the word by the second picture 😀 – with those tablecloths. They don’t pay but they should! To have your product praised and used in a Alycia’s creation – what better advertise they need?
    Before you I didn’t like pink. I’m in a risk of becoming a Summer Lover thanks to YOU!
    Thank you for sharing,
    Teresa (sent you an email)


  11. Another winner Alycia! The color, the parasols, the palm tree; WOW! If you are hanging hooks around your house, your shoulders must be all the way better, which is wonderful. I love how you used the placemats to create a runner too. Dianne


  12. I was able to spent some time this evening looking at some of your past posts. It occurred to me that decorating for events is no less an accomplishment than decorating one’s own house. Except that what takes the usual person a year to do, you are doing in a matter of days. And, you do it over and over and over again and do it differently every time. That is an extra-ordinarily deep well of creativity within one person! Amazing.


  13. Colorful and pleasing to the eye. Fun use of parasols. Alycia, you do find some clever and colorful items for ice buckets. But my favorite thing here is the palm tree! Okay, forgive me, but I gotta ask, those stretchy tableclothes…how does one scoot up to the table without bouncing back off the cloth?


  14. You know I LOVE this Alycia! The upside down parasols are too fabulous, Mary Poppins on cocktails!! I love the hot pink, yellow and orange everything, and the plate covers from Z gallerie are too wonderful! All the details, the iced beverages in the bright tubs, what a party!


  15. Alycia, I will be pinning lots of these ideas to my tabletop board. This is one of my favorite parties you’ve shared. Love the hot pink and orange for a tropical summer alfresco dinner. Your added details from the parasols to the the cute plate screens are perfection. Fun, fun, fun!


  16. It’s just YUMMY and JUICY and WARM and SPARKLING, Alycia!! As I (thoroughly) enjoyed this ‘scape I felt like I was seeing fresh tropical fruit in all its lusciousness! The tablecloths are so neat too, because they give the table an artsy shape that is very unique, and actually goes very well with the Z Gallerie vase. That you created a palm tree from that vase is nothing short of genius, and “having an eye.” What a great idea!! Love it all as usual! 🙂 ~Zuni


  17. Well, I see you found my parasols and orange bucket! I looked all over for them! At my house of course! lol Your table is stunning. Love all the color!
    You always do such a fabulous job! Palm tree and all!
    I have to organize a little better so I can find my stuff when I need it!
    Blessings My Friend,


  18. Alycia, What party panache!! I love the pop of summery color and party you’re ready for on your deck! The hanging parasols are such a fun and festive detail and I adore your blooming mesh covers combined with your colorful placemats & lanterns! I’m still in awe over those stretch tablecovers, I’m a no-iron girl so they’re right up my alley 🙂


  19. Oh!! I almost missed all the fun!! I am just catching up on my reading and now I am so glad I did! Your party setting is fabulous!!! So vibrant and festive! You have so many great elements together that compliment each other and yet don’t overwhelm. All the attention to details right down to the color of the ice tubs was not missed by this girl!! I want to party with Alycia!!


  20. Alycia,
    Stunning!!! Hot, vibrant colors in such a fashionable display, dear friend!!!
    I love, LOVE, L O V E the parasols hanging upside down!!!
    The choice of hues against the white tablecloths is magnificent!!!
    Adorable, classy drink bar!
    Great functional use of accessories you already have available!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!


  21. What a BLAST your guests will have!! The colors, that palm arrangement and ALL the parasols – Hanging above and the tiny ones in the drinks!!! lol! Wish I was on your side of the state. Looks like you throw the COOLEST parties!!!


  22. First of all this is one of the best colorful summer tables out there in blog land (past and present) Just adorable! Yellow and orange and fuchsia, WOW!! Those hanging parasols are definitely the bomb!! Secondly – a stretch tablecloth? I need a couple of those. And lastly – a computer catalog of all of your tablescape goodies – double WOW!! I need one of those too. I am so overwhelmed with all of this stuff that I rented a huge storage unit so that I can sort through my stuff easier (also, unlike my garage, the storage building is high and dry). So I will be checking out your system of cataloging and see if I can copy your methods. Thanks for all of the incredible inspiration today….. Candy


  23. Yay!… look at all the fun in this table dear Alycia, I wish I could just go to your house and watch how you create tables like this one and where do you keep all those and many of the fabulous elements you always use in your amazing settings! I totally love the fuchsia and ALL the other colour combos here!
    Have a fun Summer weekend.


  24. Nobody layers a table like you! It reminded me of being in the Bahamas in florida…all the wonderful colors…all the wonderful Bahama Mama Drinks! Those adorable food covers are to darn cute! I have seen something similar at Old Time Pottery but they weren’t as cute as those.


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