Chinese Takeout

I’ve been MIA thanks to aggravating the herniated discs in my lower back. If you’ve never experienced lying in bed in a brace for days on end, believe me….you have been spared a living hell!!!!!!!! Anyhoooo…I’m able to at least sit at my desk for short periods now, so I wanted to hit you with this sort of transitional summer-to-fall tablescape I created about a month ago. No traditionally autumnal elements involved, but the rich colors march in time with late summer/early fall. This tablescape would also be great for Chinese New Year, a casual birthday gathering, or even an Asian-inspired rehearsal dinner.

This time of year starts to get really busy, so what’s a girl to do when faced with a dinner party for which she only has the time and energy to either cook OR decorate? If you’re THIS girl, you decorate and order Chinese takeout!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

INSPIRATION: Beautiful floral toss pillows from Home Goods that usually hang out in our living room. The design worked well with the Asian theme.

INSPIRATION: Beautiful floral toss pillows from Home Goods that usually hang out in our living room. The fabric design worked well with the Asian theme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Full deck

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Multiple place settings

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Single place settingThis table for 6 starts with a full-length ivory tablecloth from A raw silk runner adorned with bamboo images is centered on the table. The place settings are made up of stone-colored dishes purchased years ago at Tuesday Morning. The rice bowl and plate are separated by a simply-folded ivory napkin from

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Flatware, Chopsticks, Miso Spoons, Teacup collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Black stemware from Dollar TreeThe “Cambridge”faux bamboo flatware is from Home Goods. It is set to the right of the dishes to make room for the intricately carved chopsticks and a red miso spoon from Pier 1 Imports. Each place setting has a traditionally-shaped teacup (World Market) and a very American water glass in a smoky black (Dollar Tree).

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Buddha, orchid, candle arrangement with stones collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Black Asian-inspired votive holdersI enjoyed creating this soothing centerpiece. I had all of these items already in my inventory and have used some of them in various other centerpiece designs. For instance, the rectangular vessels lined with smooth river stones, filled with water and then topped with floating candles were used in a very different way in Hooray for Vodka! The gold Buddha figurines at each end of the table were used at each place setting for the post Peaceful Peonies nearly 3 years ago. I bought the votive holders – used here to visually connect the mirror image elements at each end at a wholesale clearance sale many years ago. The pieces of bamboo laid on the table also act as visual connectors and tie in with the images on the runner.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Seating areaI like to create an inviting outdoor lounge space for guests to hang out before and after dinner that works with the theme of the dining table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Coffee Table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Tea tray

 Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Teapot, teacups, miso spoons collageThe coffee table – or tea table as it were – is set up with a tray holding a beautiful red teapot and the same black teacups found on the dining table from World Market. Another of the black votive holders is here, too, for added ambience. The miso spoons set upon black slabs of slate are for serving cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres. I set up miso spoons in a similar fashion for my stepdaughter’s 30th birthday celebration buffet, Blue & White 30th Birthday.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Side table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Side table collageThe side table in the corner is set with items that coordinate with elements on the dining table. The bright red orchid makes the area stand out a bit more and visually connects with the single orchid blooms used on the dining table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chinese Takeout: Paper lantern collageI bought these lighted paper lanterns with a bamboo design in the clearance section at Target many years ago and have never used them. They really add to the overall ambience and look great against the night sky. They were very easy to put up with the permanent hangers I installed earlier this year.

Other Asian-inspired tablescapes on this site:
Mandarin Bling
Copper Zen
Float Like A Butterfly
Mikasa Daylight (Design #2)
Year of the Rabbit
Zen Garden
Mum’s the Word
Peaceful Peonies
Blue & White 30th Birthday

I am linking up this week with:
Christine at Rustic & Refined for “Table It!”
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

52 thoughts on “Chinese Takeout

  1. It’s been such fun seeing all that you have created for your porch. As always you have the just right stuff to create the perfect theme. Iit wouldn’t matter what you served here, everyone would be so awed ny the table,master wouldn’t matter! Take care of that back.


  2. You have brought in the Asian touch with all your beautiful elements.Love the tea pot and the hanging paper lamps are so pretty. Pebbles and candles go hand in hand. The garden set looks lovely with those pretty floral cushions.Have a beautiful day. Love sujatha:)


  3. I don’t know why but I’m always stunned at all the dishes and accessories you have (I should know by now you have everything)! Love the centerpiece and the Buddhas. That tea set and those miso spoons are so sharp. You even have paper lanterns!! Love it and there is nothing wrong with ordering Chinese takeout!


  4. Alycia, this entire layout appeals to my Asian attraction very much. Best of all? That photo with the sunset as backdrop for the table – truly the best! Sometimes even when you have the inventory like you have, it’s hard to assemble the “just right” combination (even with the great catalog system like yours). That’s where your flair for style serves you so well. Very nice.


  5. Yay so happy to see another beautiful table from you! Your talents have been missed my dear. Sorry to hear about the pain that is no fun, but I know Ramon is taking great care of you. I’m doing my best not to buy any new pieces but those smoky goblets are calling me and I must heed the call. All of the elements flow so smoothly I love the feeling. The red quietly sizzles without being overpowering. A Happy Meal would seem like gourmet in this setting. Beautiful!


  6. I know you had a big gig coming up and then your back went out? Oh, boy, when it rains it pours. I know what it is like to have back problems and be down on the floor (the bed is too soft for me) for three days. I can barely imagine what it would be like to be in a brace for a long time. It isn’t like taking a vacation! I lay there and think about what I need to be getting done…oh, my friend, I hope it is resolved soon.


  7. Sorry to hear that you had to suffer such pain and misery with that brace. Can’t even imagine lying in bed with that on. You came out with a bang though. Great job, love all the details and I will be there for my dinner, LOL.



  8. Oh My, glad you are back up. I well understand your pain. Sometimes I think I’m still 17…My mind says “yes” and my body says “Oh no you won’t”. Been there. Glad you are feeling better. …Love the tablescape. I know what we are having for dinner tonight. I have to pass this along to my friend. She has Mandarin Chinese dinner parties all the time. She’ll love it. The pictures 7, 8 and 9 showcasing the vessels and Buddha are absolutely beautiful, belongs in a high end designer magazine; As do all of your designs!


  9. I love your fun colors! You’re so right about the dual use of these colors in your them and the timing of Fall. I love everything you have here, and the transition from table to seating is wonderful! I’m not a huge fan of oriental style in decorating, but I love your table decor and all the elements on your deck! As always, I am amazed and in awe, oh super-talented one. I hope your back keeps improving. So sorry you’ve been down.


  10. i may have said it before, but you know the saying, “Whoever dies with the most fabric wins?” Well, in our tablescape world YOU win, hands down, as having the largest, most interesting variety of “tools” to work wonders in any tablecscape, Alycia! It boggles my mind–and then what you do with it all, and how eloquently you describe it…makes for a perfect post. Love it all, including the furniture–new? I don’t remember seeing it. And the pillows are fabulous, and the candleholders, and the…… Love it all (oh, and the runner too!!). 🙂 I’m sorry to read about your back…does not sound like fun at all, and I’m sorry that you’re dealing with it. I hope you’re back to your super active self again soon, Alycia. ~Zuni


  11. You created a very ‘Zen’ atmosphere. One could remove the long table, rearrange a few of the tchotchkes onto the small round table. Unroll the yoga mat, and have a peaceful meditation area as well. Sorry to hear you’ve been down and out in Beverly Hills. But hey…how about our Chiefs?! xx


  12. You’ve done it again dear girl. Set a fabulous themed table with so many great accents. I’m so sorry to hear about your back and the pain you’ve been in. Praying you get some good relief!


  13. I have no doubt that anyone would feel the calming influence of this deck. It’s not just the table, but the wonderful sitting area you created. Love the hanging lanterns. Hope your back is better soon, but you did manage to do a lot more than I would have with a bad back! Dianne


  14. I feel so bad about your back. I knew something was really holding you back and I am so sorry to learn about your misery to have to endure laying around locked into a miserable back brace. No fun at all. Having said that, You really are the master and we are the students. Everything just came together beautifully. I love the understated beauty of contrast. The black against the light background sparked with the golden Buddhas and the stunning beauty of the red orchids. Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!!


  15. I cannot imagine being sequestered to the bed with a brace for days!!…you are amazing…you are flat on your back and you still wow us with your magnificent tablescapes and vignettes…You always think of everything…from the amazing details on the table to the sitting area for your guests…..I vote for take out any day!!!…the guests will not notice the food as they will be in awe your table!


  16. So serene…after I realized that was a piece of bamboo and not a green snake! I have snakes on the mind…there was a 4′ one behind the house where we walk the dog, the other day…and I do not like snakes no matter the kind or size. I really like black and white with just a bit of red.
    Hope you get to feeling better…low back problems are not fun…I had mine taken care of back in 1978, one of the best things I ever did.
    Have a wonderful week, Alycia.


  17. Hope you are on the mend! How awful for you to be laid up at a time when I know you mentioned you were going to be busy! Love the Asian t’scape and surrounding décor! You always make the “living room” area of your deck coordinate so well with the table and it is fun to see what you come up with. Of course, we would rather “decorate” than “cook” so order in Chinese is perfect!


  18. I’m so sorry to hear about your herniated disk, Alycia! Oh the pain of it all!! I hope you have some relief by now. Does this involve surgery???
    Your Asian inspired outdoor setting is just perfect and I love your idea for the menu…take out! The Buddhas are the perfect touch along with your votives and all your dishes. The tea table is where I’d like to be sitting to view the whole party. I love the pic of the setting sun behind the trees.
    Take care, sweet friend. xo


  19. First of all, your tablescape is lovely and your deck and backyard is idyllic. Such a pretty space to unwind. Now about your back ~ I am so sorry to hear about your pain! I wish I could do something to help, so I am going to start praying for you every day. If I lived nearby I could bring you meals. Is someone helping you with that? I hope so. Take good care of yourself. Don’t rush things. I know it’s miserable being cooped up, but you will recover. God heals.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley


  20. Alycia,
    So~o~o sorry to hear that you are having so much pain, dear friend!!!
    This tablescape is gorgeous!!!
    The red accents in your lawn furniture is stunning!!!
    Take care of yourself, dear one!
    Happy Autumn!!!


  21. Alycia! I’m so sorry to hear about your herniated disk. I have a bulging disk that gives me pain on and off. That is bad enough so I can only imagine what you must be feeling right now! Your table is wonderful. I love that red teapot. Keep ordering takeout for a few more days until your back feels better. Hugs!


  22. My hubby would love this AND Chinese takeout! Joe grew up in NYC where there are many wonderful Chinese restaurants and every year he chose Chinese takeout for his birthday when he was a child. To this day, we do Chinese for his birthday celebration.

    I’m very sorry to hear about the herniated discs in your back. Sending healing thoughts your way. xo


  23. You did all of this with a herniated disc? You totally rock and are an example of that M. A. quote at the beginning. I just love everything about this from the setting (love your deck) to the use of the Chinese take out. The details that you were able to pull together for the table are just perfect and lovely at the same time. I actually have several of the elements here. I have the flatware (OK… the Duchess has it.) and the stemware from the DT. I want to copycat you in real life (not just invisible porch people life) and have some friends over for Chinese take out now.

    Hope you are feeling better. I am glad to see you back!


  24. Now there is a table that you don’t see everyday! I love the theme you used my friend! My sister is big on the asian theme in her home, so I am going to have to raid her goodies to do one like this. I’m loving the floating candles, silverware and that pillow. HomeGoods is fast becoming my second home!

    I hope you’re feeling better and not getting too stir crazy:-)


  25. I have been worried about you Alycia, so sorry for your painful episode, I hope it continues to improve~You certainly have the Asian accessories covered, wow, you could serve anything in that setting and your guests would think it fabulous! It’s amazing how one little ole pillow from HG can take you half way across the globe into a whole other culture! Great table, you really captured the feeling and style of an Asian meal!


  26. I am so sorry to hear you are not well. You have had a rough year. I can’t imagine doing any of this while in pain! You did an amazing job and didn’t skip any of the details! You have great Asian accessories, and have used the well. I mean you didn’t open the closet and put everything Asian on the table, lol! Beautiful job. Get better!


  27. Oh, Alycia, you really are a magician: imagine creating such a lovely space, feeling as much pain as you have been in. I am so sorry about your back; we certainly take that part of our body for granted until it knocks us down!! Please take care and don’t overdo. You’ve been missed, but your health is more important. I absolutely LOVE your table and entertaining space. It is welcoming and sophisticated, and sure to be appreciated by your guests. Bravo!! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch


  28. Hi There Alycia!

    You have such an eye for detail, my friend! This is all so pretty and festive. 🙂 I love the red orchid and the paper lanterns! This is a great theme for a tablescape and I love that you set up outside; it’s such a lovely time of year. Actually, it’s been cool and rainy here all day today and yesterday, too. But still, I love fall. 🙂

    I always think Chinese takeout looks like such fun on television. Not too many people order it around here because we’re a fairly small town. I’m sure the bigger cities in N.C. like Charlotte and Raleigh probably do though. Chinese takeout always reminds me of “Seinfeld” for some reason; I guess that’s why it seems like fun to me. 😀

    I love your creation, as always, Alycia. By the way, I’m really sorry about your back and I hope you’ll be totally recovered very soon. Back pain is just no fun! Thanks for visiting me; you were on my list to visit today, and you beat me to the punch. What a wonderful surprise to hear from you!

    Take care and enjoy the rest of your week!

    Big Hugs,



  29. This is a pretty and peaceful setting. I like the red, white and black Asian theme, but I REALLY like the suggestion of DIY decorating and then getting take-out for dinner!! Brilliant!

    I’m so sorry you’ve been in such pain! I’ll keep you in my prayers but am glad you’re feeling some better. Take it easy, my friend!


  30. Now this is a table setting is to die for…I have such a weakness for Oriental dishes and everything here is awesome, specially that gorgeous red teapot, I would steal it right from under you!!!
    This setting would be ready for any food, I just love, love it, dear Alycia.
    Your scapes are always exquisite and so very Alycia!
    Have a great weekend.


  31. I love absolutely everything about this table. First of all, the setting is just to die for, I would love to be sitting in such a lovely spot right now. Second, the colors are marvelous. The accessories, well, what can I say? That teapot, those cups, the RED Chinese soup spoons (where does one find red Chinese soup spoons?)! Fabulous. The flatware is so perfect, and the touches of bamboo really take it over the top. I am drooling literally and figuratively.


  32. Pulling this off when in perfect health would be a feat in and of itself, but having back pain and doing this is unbelievable! Every detail is perfect. The teapot, the flatware, even the flowers couldn’t be more appropriate. Your friends and family must love coming to your house Alycia 😍

    I hope the worst is over with your back. Although I’ve never experienced a herniated disk, I know when our backs hurt, it affects everything.



  33. Hi Alycia – So sorry to hear about your back. I hope you are feeling better and healing. I am obsessed with your centerpieces. The are so gorgeous in simplicity. Hope it was a fun party. Hugs, Holly


  34. Just fabulous! You have certainly created a zen atmosphere….love the traditionally Chinese pops of red, just perfect.

    I’ve been MIA too…..spent a little while unplugged, so sorry your reason was your back! I hope you have a good Orthopedist or Spine doc to help you along, and that you’ll be feeling better soon…..hugs.


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