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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Full deck

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Multiple place settings

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Single place settingThis table for 6 starts with a full-length ivory tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. 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 LinenTablecloth.com.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Flatware, Chopsticks, Miso Spoons, Teacup collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Buddha, orchid, candle arrangement with stones collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Coffee Table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Tea tray

 Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Side table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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

Christmas Fiesta

INSPIRATION: The multi-color, shiny, jingly little dudes purchased at Pier 1 several years ago.

INSPIRATION: The multi-color, shiny, jingly little dudes purchased at Pier 1 several years ago.

Tired of all this color yet? This is the third and final installment of my multi-color Christmas posts for this year. The first two, “Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas” and “Kaleidoscope Christmas – Multi-Color Kids’ Tablescape”, shared some of the same elements but in very different ways. Today’s offering does the same, returning to the basic red tablecloth and “wispy multi-color jingle bell thingies” that bring the room to life.
(Click on any photo and then click again to enlarge/enhance it and see more detail.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Full roomThe 90″ x 132″ bright red tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com anchors the table decor.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Full table, lengthwiseThe winter months always start up my cravings for traditional Mexican food. Maybe because it’s my go-to comfort food…so spicy and tummy-warming. Maybe because we have happily indulged in the traditional tamales and arroz con leche of the Christmas season for decades.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: double place setting

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Single place settingWith the multi-colored tree, the multi-colored inspiration pieces, and these fun “Serape” plates from Tuesday Morning in the cupboard, I knew I had one more opportunity to create a fun and inviting Christmas tablescape. These dishes were also used HERE and HERE.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Flatware, stemware, napkin drop collageFor a twist on the traditional green of Christmas, I opted to use a Bed, Bath & Beyond lime green napkin. Black “San Remo” stainless flatware from Hampton Silversmiths lends a little formality to the setting. The ruby red stemware is from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Sombrero, runner collageThe miniature sombreros at each place setting are embellished with colorful glass ornaments and a sprig of Christmas-y greenery. The colorful bamboo runner (also seen HERE for a tropical tablescape) works well with the theme and helps to pull the elements of the centerpiece together.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Centerpiece details

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Red hurricane sleeveI wanted the centerpiece to be kind of full and dramatic and reflective of the season, but I also felt the need to bring in other elements that would work with the Mexican theme. I started with 3 red hurricane sleeves from Old Time Pottery. Snow-flecked evergreens and the “multi-color jingly thingies” were added to the mix. The arrangement was topped off with various succulents.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Buffet arrangement

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Buffet vase and tray collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Glass ornaments in bowl, pitcher

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Greenery on buffetThe buffet borrows the same citrus green vases (Home Goods) used on the table for the kids’ “Kaleidoscope Christmas” setting. Rather than filling them with the just the jingly pieces, I opted to mix it up with snow-frosted evergreens and a single succulent. Another bamboo runner pulls together all of the buffet elements including a serving trays and a bowl of ornaments. More of the frosted greenery is brought down to the buffet level, front & center.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Tea cart

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Candy, cookie, gumball collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Tea cart lower shelf

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: "Bennington" the Butler with jingle bell candy cane

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Tea cart ribbon treatmentThe vintage tea cart is still decked out with the colorful flurry of ribbon from “Kaleidoscope Christmas” and Bennington the Butler still holds onto the jingle bell candy cane. Candy from last week’s post has been transferred into “Serape” bowls and cookies onto a plate.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Geoffrey, Christmas tree, gumballs collageGeoffrey, standing ready to serve by the Christmas tree, now offers a trio dish of colorful gumballs. Notice the tree is now teeming with sprigs of the jingly bling found in the centerpiece and buffet vases, a change from the last 2 weeks.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: China cabinet collageThe colorful mercury glass-lined votive holders (World Market) used first on the buffet for “Merry & Bright” and then on the china cabinet with fun glass ornaments rather than candles for “Kaleidoscope Christmas” are back once again with candles and surrounded by greenery and jingly bling.

So there you have it! Elements carried from one tablescape to another with very different results each time out. Proof positive that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, even if the old dog is jingly bling! 🙂

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen for her blog party, “Let’s Dish!”, this Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. CST and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” after 9:00 a.m. on Thursday. This will be one of your last chances to get some ideas for holiday decorating from lots of talented and enthusiastic decorators all around the world, so join me, won’t you?

More winter and Christmas posts on this site can be found at:
Kaleidoscope Christmas – Multi-Color Kids’ Tablescape

Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas
Christmas Through the Red Door
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape
Winter Dinner
Contemporary Christmas: Fire & Ice
Celebrating the Season
Sugar High Payback
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner 2011
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
Warm Metal Christmas
Winter Brunch
After the Hunt – Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat

plus NINE additional posts on a single page under the “WINTER” tab!!!

Tropicana

Acclaimed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami wisely wrote, “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain: When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

That’s how I can best sum up my feelings about what happened when we recently packed up our lives and moved to Georgia, only to move back within the week. And while we are still weathering that storm, trying to make sense of it all, trying to learn from its harsh, hurtful, and very expensive lessons…I know that storms are a mere hiccup and that sunny days will prevail.

That being said, I want to celebrate my return to Blogland after a two-month absence with a bright, colorful, cheerful summer tablescape.IMG_3315WM

 IMG_3330WM
We’re not quite completely settled back in yet and we probably won’t be entertaining guests for awhile, so I thought I’d share photos of a dinner party from last summer that I never published. (Believe me: In this record breaking heat, we would not be eating outside anyway!!!)

Summer is definitely a time for bright, tropical-flavored colors. This table for four started with a shockingly pink floor-length table linen from LinenTablecloth.com. (A word of caution about LinenTablecloth: In my experience, their customer service is just horrible at times, so choose wisely and read the fine print!) A pair of Pier 1 multi-colored matchstick table runners crisscross to anchor the setting.

A trio of paper parasols from Hobby Lobby extend the table colors across the deck.

These have got to be among my favorite summer dishes: ruffled melamine chargers in aqua (Crate & Barrel), topped with a simple white Corelle dinner plate to break up the color a little, finished off with a fun tropical-themed salad plate from Pier 1. The stainless “bamboo” flatware is from Target.

IMG_3327WM

Exotically swirled aqua in the Pier 1 stemware reminds me of the ocean. The butterfly-meets-flower straws are also from Pier 1.

I chose pure white cotton napkins to give the eye another little break from all the color. Each napkin, folded in a compact square, is topped with a seashell toting a fresh orchid bloom. (The great thing about fresh orchids – besides how insanely great they look – is that they can thrive without water for several hours!)

The towering white bamboo vase is from my favorite store….let’s all say it together….Z Gallerie! Mounds of seashells collected over the years add a little girth to the bottom of the centerpiece to balance it out with the top. Tucking a few orchid blooms and brightly hued cockscomb here and there amongst the seashells adds color and extends the floral theme. (I just love decorating with seashells!)

This lush profusion of fabulous orchids – courtesy of my dear friend Craig Sole of Craig Sole Designs – are arranged in an untamed fashion along with curly willow branches that lend height and texture.

I’ll end this post with one more quote (expletives redacted) from author Kelly Cutrone:  “This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a [$&!##%] year: Things will change. You won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache.” Amen, sister!

Other tablescapes on this site using paper parasols:
Daisy Crazy
Oopsy Daisy

More tablescapes on this site using seashells:
Summer Breeze
“Old Navy Seafood Cruise”

More tablescapes on this site using orchids:
Raining Orchids
Love & Orchids
Upscale Irish
Autumn Orchids
Happy Mother’s Day, Senator Mom
Happy Birthday, Barf

It’s great to be back! Thank you for stopping in, and please be sure to join me this Thursday for Tablescape Thursdays hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. You’ll be glad you did!