Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings

INSPIRATION: Fun summertime melamine dishes found at Tuesday Morning.

INSPIRATION: Fun summertime melamine dishes found at Tuesday Morning.

I am all about the bright colors and melamine this summer! What a great selection there is out there, and the prices are so reasonable! For any casual summertime tablescape, melamine is a fun and inexpensive way to go, and if you go bright that just kicks it up a notch!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings -  Dining & lounge areas



Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Lounge area & baker's rack



Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Full table



Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Tabletop

 Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Place setting This table begins with a brilliant “Caribbean” blue 108″ round poly tablecloth from


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Placemat, napkin, watermelon napkin ring collage There are so many juicy, bright colors in the plates & bowls (grounded with bits of black & white), and I wanted to pick up on as many of them as possible. A trio of round woven placemats in orange, aqua blue and yellow from Bed, Bath & Beyond anchor the place setting. The square melamine dishes have lots of fun stripes topped with images of watermelon, oranges, limes & lemons. That motif is repeated in the napkins gathered with a wooden watermelon slice napkin ring (both purchased eons ago at BB&B).



Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - flatware in bowl Orange acrylic flatware from Burlington is casually placed inside the salad bowl.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Aqua tumbler, Perrier bottle, lemon finger dish collage Aqua blue plastic tumblers from Old Time Pottery are easy care and the perfect match for the dishes. The lemon slice finger bowl blends with the theme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - penny-farthing & fruit centerpiece

  Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Centerpiece collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - penny-farthing with green plant The centerpiece is simple and fun, made up of a bowl of citrus fruits, playful watermelon wedge salt & pepper shakers and an iron tricycle found in the floral department at our local grocer’s. According to Wikipedia, the penny-farthing – also known as a high wheeler and a spinoff of the French “boneshaker”  in the 1800s – was the first machine to be dubbed a “bicycle” and was a symbol of the late Victorian era.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - lounge area

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Side table collage I created a lounge area in one corner of the deck which is nice for enjoying pre-dinner cocktails or dessert. The side table is dressed in a 90″ round LinenTablecloth “Caribbean” blue tablecloth to complement the covering on the dining table. A distressed neon green finial piece from the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby is joined by another iron penny-farthing and potted geraniums.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - coffee table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - drink tray on outdoor coffee table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Coffee table collage   Our Martha Stewart Living coffee table was purchased in pristine condition from our local Goodwill thrift store. A can of spray paint morphed it from black to white in just a couple of hours time. The rest of the deck furniture was spruced up, too, and then treated to seat cushions from Lowe’s and brightly colored toss pillows from Pier 1. A lime green metal tray from Target holds frosted glasses with a lemon & lime slice motif. The orange and lemon slice dessert plates were purchased at Hobby Lobby years ago. (See these plates used in another tablescape HERE.)


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - red metal lanternAlong with lots of potted plants, a couple of cheery red metal lanterns from Pier 1 add a little extra punch to the surrounding decor and are great for lighting the way after the sun sets.



Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - baker's rack



Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Baker's rack collageThe old rusted wrought iron baker’s rack gets in on the act with a tricycle and more penny-farthings. I love the 3-D wood slab with the penny-farthing and names of fun summertime vacation destinations. I picked it up along with the planter tricycles at the grocery store floral department. Notice how nature yielded a shot of a kamikaze bumblebee zooming in toward the gazing ball! (Students, notice the 2nd green finial piece used here and recall our conversation about representing “like elements” throughout the space. The same goes for the use of the penny-farthings & tricycles in each key area of the entertainment space.)

There are lots more summertime tablescapes on this site. Here are links to a few of them:
Oopsy Daisy!
Ants in My Pants Picnic
Daisy Crazy

Picnic Ants
Lemonade From Bill
Hot Fun in the Summertime

Summer Orange Tablescape
All-American Seafood Boil
4th of July, Coastal Style
Flamingos in Paradise
Grill It Up!
Caribbean Queen
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Ocean Blue Tablescape
Hot Tropical
Old Navy Seafood Cruise
and don’t forget the Summer page with TEN posts on it!

I’ll be partying again this week with Christine at Rustic & Refined for “Table It!” and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Swing on by both of these fun blog parties for lots of summertime entertaining ideas!

41 thoughts on “Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings

  1. Love all the wonderful colors in this tablescape! Interesting info about the penny farthing and I love how you have woven this collection in with the fruits! You always amaze me!!!

  2. This is such a fun table, Alyssa. You are right about those melamine plates, so many pretty and colorful designs and what’s nice about them is they are not heavy to transport. I like using them by the pool Nd I even found colors similar to my polish pottery that I can mix them with too. I love your bicycle planter, so cute, and all the other bike accessories around….Christine.

  3. Very well put together as always. Your porch furniture looks fantastic! I did not know about the penny-farthing — I have one on my screen porch I got for $2 in an estate sale. I just thought it was a funny tricycle!

  4. Such a fun tablescape and porch setting, Alycia. If I close my eyes and keep those color images in my mind, it takes me back to the paradise I left seemingly ages ago, even though it’s only been 10 days. I love how you freshened up your items already on hand with paint and cushions.

  5. Wow!! What a beautiful entertainment space. All your coordinating elements are colorful, festive and fun! Plates, gorgeous blue tablecloths, lively plates and accents: I could go on and on—you’ve nailed a wonderful summer tablescape, Alycia! Thanks for sharing…………Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  6. Melamine has sure taken a turn for the better. Sometimes I’m fooled into thinking it’s the real stuff! I bet you can guess that I love the porch so filled with color that gives special energy to the space as well as making it very playful. That’s how I see you, too.

  7. I wouldn’t have guessed the dishes were Melamine…love them. The tri-colored placemats are great. I want to come sit on your deck and sip lemonade!
    Have a great week, Alycia.

  8. Hi Alycia – I love this table and the turquoise blue tablecloths are divine! Thank you for the history lesson as well. I think my favorite thing I love about all of your tables is that they are always set so beautifully, but I can totally see myself just hanging out enjoying your company and being very casual and relaxed. It’s a hard note to hit and you always hit it out of the park. Thanks for sharing! Hugs, Holly

  9. Love the colors and I agree the melamine selections are fantastic! Your table says summer all over it! The triple placemat arrangement looks fabulous and I love those napkins with the watermelon ring. The penny farthing high wheeled bicycle is so cute! I love the baker’s rack and how you decorated it. The lanterns are awesome- love how tall they are. I like how your broke the deck into different areas- makes for an attractive design!

  10. Another fun outdoor scape! Everything looks so summery and refreshing. I would never have guessed that a Penny Farthing was a high wheeler. The name is not a giveaway for sure!

  11. All those bright citrus colors are a sight for sore eyes or back as I’m recovering from a sprain incurred lifting my bicycle on the weekend! :(((( love all the nestled bicycles and penny-farthings( who knew?) in your colorful deck setting. The bright tropical blue is perfect to compliment the bright citrus. Very inviting! Once again Alycia, when is the book coming out???? You never cease to thrill and inspire with your creativity. Love it!

  12. Oh Alicia, your whole deck looks fabulous!!! I definitely have serious deck envy:) Ours is so tiny it is making me crazy but…. I love all the bright colors. I have been looking for a coffee table for our patio but they all come in a set of furniture:( I will have to search garage sales and thrift stores! You always create the most beautiful tables and spaces.

  13. I love your wrought iron furniture and the way the ivy designs swirl around like lace. And, I always wondered what those bikes were called. So, that’s where the term “He’s a high-wheeler” came from! I enlarged the pictures (wish I knew how you did that) and your yard is absolutely beautiful. What a pretty setting. Absolutely, “the party is on” pretty. Fabulous!

  14. What an awesome setting, Alycia! The citrus colors are so cheery and festive…perfect for a summer outing. Your deck looks great! I love how you tied all of the colors together and added the touches of whimsy from the penny farthings. They are adorable.

  15. First of all, we kids thought that melamine was exquisite dinnerware, until we got older and realized we were eating on “the kids china”…I love, love the gorgeous summer colors you used…such a fun, fun table..and also am amazed on your creative ways you use placements…love how you layered them….and then there is that gorgeous deck with the awesome patio furniture…such a wonderful place to gather on a balmy summer evening. Oh, and great find at the GW store…love the table!!

  16. I just keep jumping from one pic to another taking in all the yummy and fun colors. LOVE how you layered the place mats and the colors. Cute penny-farthings, and I can’t believe you found the coffee table at GW. What a find! If I’d been there I’d have had to arm wrestle you for it. 🙂

  17. Love the bright cheerful colors in the melamine dishes and straw placemats and aqua tablecloth. Your deck looks so inviting and welcoming. Really fun table. Of course, you are the life of the party with your enthusiasm and fun personality.

  18. What fun, cheerful colors, Alycia! The setting just makes me happy. Your deck is so pretty and such a great place to hang out. I love your white wrought iron furniture with the lime green cushions. The pillows add such a brightness, too. Your newly sprayed coffee table looks great! What a find. All your guests must smile when they walk out on your deck.

  19. Alycia: You don’t just create a tablescape, you create the environment to let your table shine! Wow! Everything is just beautiful! Love those darling finger bowls. And, seriously, orange flatware? Only you have orange flatware!!! Those blue goblets are so pretty. I just love it all!

  20. Oh! After a long work day today – I just want to sit on you porch and sip cool drinks with you!! As Kitty described your patio -Cheerful – I have to agree!
    Very cute and fun!!

  21. I love the seating area you created, Alycia. You scored huge on that coffee table. Love it painted white, especially with your furniture. I love the items you bought at Pier 1 – so colorful and fun. Now, about your table, you amaze me with your place mat creativity! I love the fun summer colors you’ve used, your plates and napkin rings, plus the added focus on bicycles. The way you carried the bikes over to the baker’s rack is a great way to make a larger statement with it all. You rocked your entire deck, and it’s all very fun and party-ready! 🙂

  22. Alycia,
    Love the vibrant hues in your tablescape and on your deck, dear friend!!!
    This is a perfect spot for lounging and an intimate dinner party.
    Although we had a few days of H O T weather,
    our “cool” evenings for this coming week would make this dinner invitation so~o~o refreshing in the midst of Summer Eves!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  23. I am loving your patio all decked out for a fabulous afternoon of summer entertaining. I love the place mat idea too, the colors just pop on the tablecloth, and are the perfect backdrop for the citrus plates. The bakers rack adds so much character to your deck, I love the height of it. The summer vignettes are super charming.

  24. Gorgeous table my friend! I am going to have to scour my house for space to start buying outdoor dishes! I am loving the adorable little touches, those napkin rings and the little side plates are too darn cute!

  25. I don’t know where you find all of these thematic accessories — the board with the bicycle was just the final touch! I first looked at this post on my phone, but the details get lost in the tiny pictures. Fun, fun, fun, my friend!

  26. Well, I am commenting here again, since my comments didn’t show up I sometimes use my ipad and leave comments and they just disappear.

    Love the melamine dishes. So practical and pretty for outside use. I love how they have added beautiful patterns and colors. your table is so bright, full of summer and fun. The bicycle is so sweet. You have managed to gather fun accessories to create these special tables outdoors. Always a treat to visit. Happy Tuesday.

  27. Well color me happy! I’m digging this colorful vibe Ms. Alycia. Love the greenery, it brings an organic feel to the table. I also like the term anchor in regards to setting. Have to let you know I’m adding it to my tablescaping vocabulary. Thanks teacher, I’ll bring you an apple martini! !

  28. LOVE all of these colors!! Yes, melamine is looking good this year and so great for outdoor entertaining. Your deck is absolutely gorgeous!! You mixed all of these colors together beautifully! You’re the best, girl!!! Thanks for the inspiration! Have a great week!

  29. Fruit filled fun in the sun Alycia! Your watermelon stuff is adorable! We are definitely thinking along the same lines these days~I have an iron tricycle planter too! I love that you have more of them on your baker’s rack, you always carry your theme thoroughly through out your space~ I love the drinks and citrus set up in the “lounge” area. It looks like a wonderful place to be for food and summer fun!

  30. Love the bright colors in this setting! And your deck looks so bright and cheery. The napkin rings are so cute and I love the tall red lantern!! You can certainly make an inviting setting – OH, wait, did I miss my invite 🙂

  31. Alycia, this is the most fun. colorful, and gorgeous Summer setting I’ve ever seen! I love the melamine dishes, they are fabulous, great pattern to them! I usually don’t like them, but yours is gorgeous with the napkins to match in the wonderful deck and garden. Wish I could be there with you, my friend!
    The red lanterns give the table a touch of freshness. You always rock as a table designer, pal!
    Have a great weekend there, in that fun deck!

  32. Thank you for your visit and comments sweet lady.I think it is season of teeth.Just before my dental problem my husband had to visit the dentist and got rid of three of his teeth like your sister.All is fine here now.well Your out door looks so beautiful with your beautiful arrangement.You can spend any amount of time there.Very colourful indeed.i wonder how you remove all the things inside.Hell a lot of work.Hats off to you.Inspiring.Love and hugs sujatha…:):)

  33. Pingback: Casablanca Cool | Tablescapes at Table 21

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