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

Quick & Casual Plaid & Paisley Fall Dinner Tablescape

I’m going to say it just this once, and then I’m going to leave it alone: dear, sweet, lovable husbands…get a clue!!!!!!!!! To be fair, this does not include all husbands, but I think the vast majority have no idea what kind of time, effort, and preparation goes into a dinner party. Even if it’s a casual dinner, there’s a measure of thought and toil necessary to pull it off. I’m not saying it was my husband who was the most recent offender…….but it was MY HUSBAND who was the most recent offender!!!

OK…enough bellyaching about something that is just as inherent on his end as it is incomprehensible on mine. Given only about 12 hours notice and already beyond knee-deep in other tasks, this is the quick & casual fall dinner tablescape I pulled out of my… I created (and photographed just minutes before everyone arrived!).
(Click on any photo to enlarge/enhance it.)

This is the way the table looked before I went into panic mode…my “regular centerpiece” just hangin’ out, mindin’ it’s own business, not hurtin’ anyone.

No time for ironing a table linen! No time for creating a fabulous centerpiece…use the one that’s already in there (you’ve been looking forward to pairing plaid with paisley anyway!), and just adjust it to make room for all the dishes.
RUN, Forrest…RUN!!!

Rust-colored metal chargers work well as the foundation to this beautiful 222 Fifth “Maharana” paisley patterned dinnerware. I used a plain white Corelle salad plate to break up the color a bit and work with the white of the bowl’s center. Using a bit of white or ivory helps to brighten your fall tablescape and prevent color saturation that can make darker tones seem to disappear into the table.

The burgundy brushed cotton napkins (Pier 1) are folded across the salad plate and “zhushed” on each side around the bowl just to make them look a bit more interesting.

Olive green stemware from Dollar Tree picks up on the olive tones in the centerpiece fabric and paisley dinnerware design.

A length of lightweight plaid fabric in fall shades of pumpkin, burgundy, olive and cream is carefully “zhushed” around a massive faux pumpkin. Faux bittersweet vine meanders around and across the pumpkin while a small smattering of votives provides ambient light.

The votive candles on the buffet behind the dining table were already assembled from my tablescaping class earlier in the week, so I just left them there and served everything from the kitchen. (If all else fails, just design your room with tons of candlelight. Everybody looks good in the glow of it, and it adds a lot of pizzazz without a lot of effort!!!) Pumpkins, also used in a classroom demonstration, are plopped down across the china cabinet and on the tea cart to add another touch of fall in the room.

Thank goodness for Costco!!! Dinner done, dining room decorated, dressed, and smiling like a Cheshire Cat for guests in under 12 hours. Feelin’ pretty good about myself right now. Hubby’s still wearing a steak over his eye! 😉

Check out more Fall tables on this site:
Autumn” page (10 fabulous fall posts on this page!)
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
September Harvest Breakfast
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Best Laid Plans
Serape High Style
Sunflower Simple
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Autumn Blues

You still have about a week to sign up for my “Tablescaping a Winter Wonderland” class through Longview Community College. Click HERE for more information, or contact the Community Education Department at 816-604-2030.

I am joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, the Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“, and Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” staring Thursday morning at 9:00 CDT. If you want to get an eyeful of great fall tablescaping ideas, join me!

Sunflower Simple

Before my tablescape, the winner of the silver pedestal bowl giveaway is……….

Linda at A Toile Tale!!!

Congratulations, Linda! We all look forward to seeing how you use this beautiful piece in an upcoming tablescape! (Ramon pulled your name and – typical husband – had no idea how to pronounce the word “toile.” I just gleefully watched him struggle with it for a few seconds before I finally came to his rescue! 🙂

Thanks to everyone who entered, and don’t despair….there will be another chance to win another silver lovely in the near future. Watch for details! It’s going to be a biggie!!! Meanwhile…

I have finally given in to autumn with this simple, casual, budget-friendly fall tablescape. As the evenings get cooler, meals like chili, beef stew, soup, and corn chowder become the entrée du jour!

We live about 15 minutes from the border of Kansas, The Sunflower State. How could I own an umbrella like this and not do something that pays tribute to our next-door-neighbor? 🙂

These Maxcera “Terra Cotta Sunflower” dishes purchased from TJ Maxx a couple of years ago are very popular for an autumn tablescape, but I’ve only recently had a chance to use them. I like the ruffly edges, the fun design, and the bold color. An open-weave square Pier 1 placemat anchors the place setting. Off-centering the bowl lets the plate design show in full.

A bold mustard-colored napkin from Bed Bath & Beyond lies beneath the non-traditional placement of stainless flatware. You may have noticed that the dessert fork is placed off-center at the top of the plate.

I think I bought these dark green stems at Pier 1 several years ago. Hard to remember…my mind is failing me. Anyway, they nicely pick up the green in the dishes and keep the table from getting too monochromatic yellow. Whenever a beverage bottle is nice enough, like these S. Pellegrino classics, I like to make it a part of the tablescape.

Two towering centerpieces are made up of mustard yellow ceramic pots topped with garden obelisks from Hobby Lobby. Simple, slow-growing “Teddy Bear” arborvitae from the nursery are plopped in for color and texture. (Click HERE to see another tablescape using wrought iron obelisks.)

Although sunflowers would have been the obvious choice here, I often like to pull for the underdog which in this case is something smaller but complementary: simple yellow alstroemeria in tiny green glass vases.

Tiny yellow glass votive holders add a little atmospheric light.

A sunflower bowl from T.J. Maxx holds crackers for the evening meal.


Please join me and lots of very talented tablescapers from around the globe for Susan’s weekly blog party, Tablescape Thursday. Have a happy week, and congrats once again to Linda at A Toile Tale!