Monkeying Around With Chinoiserie

If it’s as hot where you are as it is here in the Kansas City, MO area, please know I empathize. Gee WHIZ, it’s scorching!!!!!🥵 I can’t entertain the notion of setting up outdoors as even the mornings are intolerably muggy. This is not what June is supposed to feel like! So I’ve been “monkeying around” in the dining room with blue and white with a dash of orange.

The inspiration for this tablescape came from a pair of lumbar pillows I bought last year from Sew Gracious. (I’m not compensated in any way for mentioning this or any other site. I just love to share!) So perfect for our dining room!!!

I started each place setting with an orange glass Bormioli Rocco charger and Kate Spade for Lenox “Rutherford Circle – Navy” plates and bowls. The Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” salad plate brings visual texture to the setting.

I bought these monkey napkin rings years ago at Z Gallerie. He looks as if he’s holding on to that napkin for dear life!😆

Nell Hill’s. I mean…!!! I LOVE that place! The planters I happed upon while one of the showroom designers was setting a table there are perfect! (Yes, I took them right off her assembly cart…with her kind permission, of course!) I found the pots of spiky greenery there at Nell Hill’s on another shopping trip and added faux agapanthus.

Monkeys and gold-tone planters from The Painted Sofa in Kansas City, Missouri’s West Bottoms shopping district. (Visited there over this past weekend. They are TEEMING with product, y’all!) The blue and white biscuit jars are from Nell Hill’s.

On the vitrine sits a Nell Hill’s blue and white foot tub filled with juicy oranges. The tub is surrounded by a trio of finial jars, a miniature vase, and a couple of ginger jars, also from Nell Hill’s.

If you’re as much a lover of blue and white or chinoiserie as I am and would like to see more of it on this blog, check out the posts below. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Have a fabulous week!

Pink Magnolia Spring

Anyone else a big fan of pink magnolia trees?🙋🏽‍♀️ I’m finally getting one planted soon, and I’m so excited! Meanwhile, these faux branches do the trick!

This pink and green tablescape is perfectly suited to a relaxed girls’ night, a birthday celebration, or any celebration for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority!

The generously proportioned deep green glass vases were a Home Goods purchase years ago. Paired with the faux magnolia branches and a bit of Spring greenery, they make a huge impact at first sight. Should you have access to natural pink magnolia branches, this is a terrific way to add a lot of bang for no bucks!

The playful tone on tone design on the Montclair Collection plates is joyful and relaxed. Their modern square shape against the muted silver chargers keeps things light.

Pretty pink napkins, offset to the side, are cinched with pink “pearl” rings. The napkin ring beading takes its cue from the plate design. The flatware is sleek and simple.

Loose gazing balls and votive candlelight add shine and movement to the centerpiece.

The lovely pink stemware has a design very similar to that of the plates.

The vases on the dining table are purposely arranged to form a gentle arch that plays peekaboo with the buckets of tulips and ranunculus on the vitrine behind it.

To see the green vases paired with the green plates in a whole different way, check this out:

To see another post using these faux pink magnolia branches:

If you’d like to see more pink & green tablescapes on this site:

Kentucky Derby 2022 – Relaxed Formal Attire

KENTUCKY DERBY 2022

Last week’s post was the exuberant, quite colorful, more casual styling for celebrating the Kentucky Derby. Today, with only days to spare before the big race, I offer a more formal version that despite the gilding and crystal is still somewhat relaxed in its overall style.

An overhead shot of the centerpiece focuses on the sumptuous assembly of red roses and the gold-tone candle holders from Very Violet Boutique in downtown Lee’s Summit, MO. (Just a side note to those of you in shopping distance: Very Violet has now closed and sent all inventory next door to sister store Ivy & Sparrow.)

It is the run for the roses, so adding a few here and there (or a lot everywhere!) is quite appropriate . For demonstration purposes these are from my faux collection, but I urge you to incorporate fresh if at all possible.🌹 🌹 🌹

I found this fabulous horse head at The Painted Sofa in downtown Kansas City, MO.🐴 If you plan a visit to the KC area, The Painted Sofa is an exciting, expansive, must-see shopping destination! Three full floors of fabulous furniture and furnishings!

From the bottom up: “raggedy edge” gold glass charger and Ciroa black & white buffalo check from Home Goods intermingled with regal red & gold Royal Scotland pieces.

My sister (her given name is Berishia, but I’ve always lovingly called her Barf!) gifted me with several yards of Derby-themed fabric a few years back, but life got in the way and I never had anything done with it. This year my exceedingly talented and thoughtful neighbor, Barbara, fashioned these gorgeous napkins from some of it. See how she even thought to use red thread on the hem? Gorgeous detail!!! Thank you, Barbara!!!!!!!!

Need a little take-home gift for guests? Gold-painted horseshoes make a wonderful paperweight! I dressed these up with a simple mix of simply tied ribbons tucked into very fancy black card sleeves. (The sleeves are leftovers from my 60th birthday party invitations.)

Gold-rimmed iced beverage glasses from Nell Hill’s in Kansas City, MO paired with Cristal D’Arques -Durand “Ashville Gold” champagne flutes.

After dinner you simply must have a sliver of Derby Pie and/or Bourbon Butter cake! A generous host or hostess will wrap up an extra slice of each for you to enjoy with coffee next morning.😉

There is no Derby celebration complete without the requisite mint juleps served in traditional silver cups. Create an extra special ambience by transferring good bourbon into a fancy crystal decanter.

On the side I created a fun arrangement in a white Nell Hill’s chinoiserie pot with an ivy topiary, luscious red roses, and another gold horseshoe. The 2 miniature horse heads from Hobby Lobby complete the side table decor.

So that’s it for this year’s Kentucky Derby! These ideas can be easily used for any equestrian event with just a few tweaks.

Here are a few other Derby tablescapes on this site you might enjoy:

POST TIME FOR THE 148TH RUNNING OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY ON SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2022 IS AT 6:57 P.M. ET, 5:57 P.M. CT

¡Sip, Sip, Olé!

¡Bienvenidos!

I don’t know about you, but I always look forward to celebrating Cinco de Mayo. For us it is a time to gather with family and friends. And however we decide to celebrate, it’s ALWAYS colorful with a plentiful buffet! It’s time to sip, sip, olé!

Our whole dining room comes to life with an explosion of color to celebrate.🎉🎊💃🏽

The table setting starts with a colorful striped cotton runner and placemats.

Each place setting is outfitted with a turquoise blue Bormioli Rocco glass charger topped with 2 dinner service plates: one red and the other a bright pink rimmed with juicy orange.

Cambridge “Aspen” flatware is a nice natural and neutral flatware for the setting.

I found these vividly patterned acrylic taco holders at Home Goods early this Spring. I later discovered that one side is this marvelous design that holds 2 tacos, and the reverse side is plain red and ready for 3!

The generously proportioned fiesta napkins are actually tea towels from Hobby Lobby. There are just so many tea towels out there that seem to me better suited as napkins! (No worries that they’re white and that salsa stains. A little Oxi gets it right out!)

I found this wonderful red “Jane” round tray on clearance at Kirkland’s this Spring. I have BIG decorating plans for it for every season! Here it holds a variety of tequila shots, punctuated with succulents and plumeria blooms, for guests to take at will throughout the meal.

The curvy Z Gallerie vase holds a bouquet of bright pink (faux) plumeria (also known as frangipani) and trailing succulents. I chose these as they are both native to Mexico. Although quite beautiful, plumeria/frangipani is poisonous, so faux seemed the better choice near food. It is placed at the end of the table as part of the extended centerpiece.

Across the room a trio of brightly colored glass vases with faux ranunculus which was the closest I could get to ranunculus californicus which is also native to Mexico.

The vitrine serves as bar and salsa tasting station. This is a perfect time to test the mettle of guests on the Scoville scale.🥵🌶

A variety of pepper- and onion-shaped bowls from Pier 1 Imports are elevated above a cherry red Waechtersbach chip bowl by a versatile acacia wood riser from Home Goods.

Florals from the table decor are extended to the vitrine.

I found this fun little sign on clearance at Hobby Lobby. What a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo: ¡Sip, Sip, Olé!

I hope you’ve been able to find some ideas for your Cinco de Mayo or perhaps even a Día de Muertos tablescape. For more ideas on this site, take a look at these previous posts:

For more tablescapes using plumeria/frangipani:

Kentucky Derby In Living Color

Time once again for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, KY, where the horses will be lightning fast🐎, the Kentucky bourbon will freely flow🥃, the chapeaux will be grand👒🎩, and brilliant primary colors will take center stage for both jockeys and spectators. This relaxed tablescape reflects a bit of all that and more for those of us unable to join the revelers at Churchill Downs in person for that 1-1/2 mile thrill known as The Kentucky Derby.🏇

(P.S. If you got that reference to “in living color” in the title, you – like me – are o.l.d.!!!!!😄)

Inspiration for this tablescape the first of two I’ve created for this year) came about while browsing the showroom at Nell Hill’s in Kansas City, MO. The showy hues of the jockey silks reminded me of how colorful the Derby truly is even beyond the ladies’ hats in the stands.

With the energetic riot of color all around, I kept the centerpiece relatively simple using only the Derby’s signature red roses in a sleek trophy cup flanked by horse heads.

“And they’re off!” Here’s where the REAL show of color runs! Multicolored straw runners are the foundation for a cobalt blue charger, chartreuse and red plates, and tri-color stemware. Notice the unusual way in which I offset the stack to best show off the colors. The Pomegranate Derby-inspired napkins from Nell Hill’s depict the fabulous array of tones used for jockey silks.

A single horseshoe embellishes each end of the table runners.

The traditional drinking vessel of the Kentucky Derby: the silver mint julep cup!

I used two different Pomegranate cocktail napkins because I couldn’t decide on just one! The napkins are nestled into individual trophy cups from Michael’s at each place setting.

No race day fête is complete without an aromatic and calorie-free (😉) Derby pie!

I can’t believe I didn’t include Woodford Reserve here🤦🏽‍♀️, but a generous selection of Kentucky bourbons is always a nice touch as guests have their favorites.

A cavalcade of miniature julep cups for taste testing various brands!🥃🥃🥃

Absolutely no Kentucky Derby celebration properly comes together without a dashing chapeau for the gents (my late Dad’s straw Stetson is a winner!) and a wildly styled hat for the ladies…the bigger, broader, and bolder the better!!!

Whip up or order in some wonderful food, create a fun atmosphere, grab your hat, choose your favorite to wind up in the winner’s circle, and settle in for the greatest 2 minutes in sports!

I’ll post a more formal Kentucky Derby tablescape in a few days. Meanwhile, if you’d like to check out Derby tablescapes from previous years on this site:

Peaceful Cherry Blossoms

I have perhaps finally gotten the hang of adding a wee bit of voiceover to my videos. This is my first, so please grant me your kind mercy! (In my head I sound like the very Scottish Mrs. Hughes in “Downton Abbey” when I say that !🤣🤣🤣)

April is on its way out, and I’m getting this post up just by the skin of my teeth! While Missouri isn’t exactly the cherry blossom capital of the world, we have our fair share of beauties. Our orchard when I was a kid had several that always produced the most magnificent show of color! As for the fruit…well, the birds got the lion’s share of that.🙄

The centerpiece starts with a fountain of pink and white faux cherry blossom branches assembled in a simple white cylinder. To more closely tie in with the plates, I added a number of bare branches.

There is no discernible maker imprinted on the back of the plates, but I bought them at Home Goods. They have a bit of a lip all around which makes them great for any variety of entrées. The soft pink glass chargers are from Hobby Lobby.

I absolutely LOVE the gold tone stick-thin flatware and colored glassware, all from Home Goods.

I have no recollection where I may have bought these faux bonsai, but they’re a wonderment for Asian-inspired decorating.

This magnificent monogrammed lumbar pillow is from the supremely talented SewGracious Monograms.

The goldtone pagoda lanterns are from a decor boutique here in the city of Lee’s Summit where we live called Cameron’s Home Furnishings. I love to go there to browse, and I almost always find something I simply “can’t live without.”🙂 The sake set is from World Market.

I love to use fabric cocktail napkins even when I’m just having a glass of ice water, and I have quite an expansive collection. These were recently acquired fromThe Robin’s Nest on ETSY, and I can’t say enough great things about the design!

This tablescape works well for cherry blossom season celebrations, National Cherry Pie Day (already come and gone this year, but will make its return on Monday, February 20, 2023), George Washington’s birthday, ladies’ birthdays, bridal or baby showers, the promotion of breast cancer awareness, or for any Asian-inspired occasion.

Interested in seeing more Asian-inspired posts on this blog? Check these out:

Really into pink like I am? Take a look at these posts!

Like big, overreaching centerpieces? Here ya go!

And this post, Life Is Just A Chair of Bowlies, is great fun if you just love cherries!🍒🍒🍒

Thank you for stopping by to say hello! I always appreciate it!

Bunny Pink Easter Luncheon

Less than two short weeks and counting until Easter Sunday! I have a few ideas that I hope will serve to inspire as you prepare your table this year. First up, a lovely luncheon or brunch table sure to delight your guests.

I’m so thrilled to finally use these Kate Spade “Rutherford – Pink” dishes!!! They are a favorite in my collection! For a fabulous tribute to a Breast Cancer survivor or a sweet bridal or baby shower, just swap out the bunny, ears, and eggs!

Each guest treated to a pair of bunny ears from Dollar Tree. Great for selfies later!

Flatware from my Mom’s house that I thought would be fun with this setting.

The blush of just barely pink glassware from Home Goods doesn’t compete with the dishes.

The pink and white checked table runner is a fortuitous Hobby Lobby find from last year.

Who’s this handsome fellow? Why, it’s BARTON, of course! My year-round bunny who lives all over the house! Barton stands in a Home Goods basket surrounded by a lush menagerie of muted faux greenery, berries, and tulips. I added a trio of metal garden spheres from The Painted Sofa in Kansas City, MO, and a fabulous oversized bow tie from Nell Hills.

I’ve had all kinds of ideas for Spring and Easter tablescapes over the years. Some wild, some weird, some peacefully wonderful. If you’d like to check them out, here’s a sampling!

Stay tuned for a couple of new Spring/Easter tablescapes I hope you’ll enjoy!

Pink Cheetah Ladies Luncheon

Egads!😱 Has it really been nearly FOUR MONTHS since I last posted?!?!? That post-Christmas cleanup kinda wiped me out, so I took a step back. Apparently WAY back…off a cliff and into oblivion!😄 It’s springtime now, and I’m ready to jump back in feet first with this mix of pastel pink and moody black inspired by tableware bought at Hobby Lobby last year. (Yes, I know…I’m slow as molasses!)

With my 1st pastel tablescape of the 2022 Spring season, I made an easy transition with the use of black ceramic that played off the cheetah’s spots.

A setting ready to take on a soup, sandwich, and side entrée.

Black-handled “San Remo” flatware from Hampton Forge Silversmiths adds a touch of formality.

There’s always time for just “one more” cup!

My late Mother’s Mikasa “Elegance – Black” iced tea stemware paired with pretty silverplate goblets.

The black napkins are transformed into individual bread baskets at each place setting.

The sleek black lidded vases are a Tuesday Morning purchase from many years ago.

Tulips. A sure sign of Spring! These faux beauties in a range of pastel colors are from the famed Nell Hills boutique in Kansas City, MO.

As I generally prefer, the vitrine behind the dining table is laden with after-luncheon sweets and spirits.

Silver cordials from my Mom’s collection along with junior-sized snifters for a lovely Oatmeal Raisin brandy from my friend, Dixie, that despite its homespun cookie name will knock you on your keister!

A matching side floral. Tulips – real or fabulously faux like these from Nell Hills – are so easy to assemble to create gorgeous arrangements.

Champagne-Blackberry cake to finish!

I wish you the best Spring possible given the state of the world at present. Let’s all be kind.🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦

If you would like to visit a few more Spring-inspired tablescapes on this site, click on the links below. And please follow me on Instagram!

Home for the Thanksgiving Holiday 2021

Thanksgiving will once again this year be a sparsely attended event at our home. While I’m a firm believer in “the more, the merrier”, I know that’s not possible and can appreciate and embrace a smaller group. So “bountiful simplicity” will be the name of the game for 2021.

This tablescape concept began with the purchase of the white pumpkin-embossed runner from Home Goods I bought a few weeks ago. The pickings are slim this year, so I felt fortunate to find something I liked. The centerpiece is created with a long, narrow wooden “trough” from Nell Hill’s filled with a variety of pumpkins, gourds, fruits, faux acorns, greenery, and leaves topped off with a pair of antlers. A six-pack of 24″ metal case candles in clear glass holders runs along both sides. With such a low centerpiece, I felt it necessary to add height but still be mindful of being able to see across the table.

I was SO excited to find these great leather look chargers at Hobby Lobby this season!!! I used them once already this season for “Hey, Pumpkin!“, and they will come in handy for lots of future fall and winter tablescapes. The mustard yellow dinner plates, oak leaf/acorn plates, and plaid salad plates are all from Pier 1, purchased over the last 10+ years. The delicate cream soup bowl with saucer (having homemade mushroom soup for a starter!) is from Nell Hill’s in Kansas City, MO. Hampton Silversmith “Patriot” flatware, napkins from LinenTablecloth.com, and amber bubble glass stemware from TJ Maxx round out the place settings. Lithe seed pearl wreaths add texture, color, form, and a little fun.

I was determined this year to reuse, recycle and reduce waste when it came to decorating. While I bought LOTS of pumpkins and gourds at the start of the fall season, I’ve made sure to use them in various ways inside and out. A quick dip in a weak Clorox bath when I first brought them home has kept them going strong. See how I first used these pumpkins as the backdrop for my 2021 Halloween entry, “The Spider & the Fly“. Deep six the spiders and flies, do a little artful rearranging, add some wheat sheaves, and it’s all ready for Thanksgiving! (PSA: If you know someone nearby who has a farm, ask them if they’d like to have your pumpkins after the season to feed their livestock. If not, consider chopping them up and scattering them in an uninhabited wooded area for wildlife such as foxes, deer, squirrels, and other animals who often find it difficult to source food in the winter. Full circle use!)

The small china cabinet is all decked out with its usual aluminum wine and champagne coolers that are further embellished with berry branches, pumpkins, and a big moss ball.

If you would care to check out other Thanksgiving-inspired tablescapes on this blog:

I’m pleased as apple cider punch to be joining a talented group of ladies from across the globe in Blog Land for a Thanksgiving Tablescape Blog Hop! I hope you will click on their links to check out their Thanksgiving tables! (NOTE: Set to go live Tuesday, November 9 at 7 a.m. EST, although some posts may be up now.)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Berry Beautiful Autumn

Gimme ALL the colors of autumn!!! I LOVE this time of year when the leaves have turned, bushes are heavy with fall/winter berries, we’re baking more, and everything is sumptuous and plentiful! All these wonderful things played into the inspiration for this “dressy casual” dinner tablescape.

The moody amber stemware is a mix of World Market (flutes) and Z Gallerie (goblets).

The multicolor plaid table runner from Home Goods/TJ Maxx was the start of this tablescape. I like how versatile it is, and I’ve used it a couple of times before including the posts “Candy Color Autumn” and “Autumn Chinoiserie“. The monogrammed lumbar pillow is from Sew Gracious on Etsy.

The gold flatware is from Target, first used for my Mom’s 89th birthday celebration, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” in 2018.

The autumn leaf embossed charger that grounds the place setting is a pattern I picked up at Crate & Barrel some years ago. The mustard yellow dishes and oak leaf bowls were both Pier 1 finds at least a dozen years back. I’m always glad to see when my purchases stand the test of time. The multicolor leaf napkin rings were purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond.

I found this cool seagrass-covered demijohn at Tuesday Morning this past summer. The colorful berry branches used to create this outstretched centerpiece were found in the clearance section at Kirkland’s at 90% off. Yes…I bought every. single. one!

These little glass votive holders in 6 different colors were a terrific find at World Market back in 2012 and were first used for “Diwali, My Way“.

Find more ideas for tablescapes using bright multicolors on this blog: