Butterfly Bleu – The Grand Resurgence of Melamine

In a recent segment of “Better Kansas City” (my first appearance back on the show after a 7-month absence for my stupid spine surgery) I talked about the joys of the new melamine dishware that has flooded the market in recent years. One thing for certain: this ain’t your mama’s melamine!

Our back deck sets the scene for this sweet little table for four decked in a 108-inch round ivory tablecloth and surrounded by banquet chairs with ivory Spandex covers from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

 

Each place setting starts with a double layer of chargers that picks up key colors in the salad plate including a sapphire blue metal from Pier 1 (first used in the post “Simply Peacock Garden” in 2014) topped with a chocolate brown Baroque-style (also used in “Pheasants & Pumpkins” back in 2014) from Hobby Lobby. I’ve discussed in prior posts how using more than one charger can add interest to the place setting via design, texture, shape and color. The dinner plate is Home Essentials Antique White, a popular staple around the tablescaping blog world.

 

 

I found the blue compotes at Old Time Pottery way back in 2010 and have only used them a couple of times. Shame on me! The salad plate – my inspiration for this tablescape – is a sweet melamine by TarHong with impressive blue butterflies and an additional carte postale design. A far cry from the drab melamine of the 1960s! The faux mother of pearl flatware is from Target.

 

 

 

I recently picked up this beautiful Aurora Blue stemware by Qualia at Home Goods. It perfectly complements the clear glass stemware I purchased at a moving sale some years ago (also seen in “Something Blue Bridal Luncheon“). Ivory cloth napkins are cinched with a blue acrylic napkin ring, tucked into the stemware, and embellished with a blue butterfly to further complement the salad plates.

 

 

The hefty centerpiece, heightened by a rosewood Chinese pot stand, is made up of a tangle of greenery mixed with blue hydrangea, ivory roses, alstroemeria and hypericum berries finished off with eryngium blue thistle.

I’m not around as much these days as I’m taking LOTS of time out of each day getting healthy: walking 5-7 miles a day, spinning on my recumbent bike, working out with small weights, preparing fresh meals from scratch…all the things that will help my spine get (and hopefully stay!) strong and lose the “surgery weight.” I’m peeking in on you, and I’m so glad you peeked in on me today. Have a great week ahead!

Other posts on this site with butterflies include:
Float Like A Butterfly
Grazin’ In the Grass
Spring Into Easter
Patisserie de Paris
Butterfly Kaleidoscope
Spring Has Sprung
Mother’s Day Brunch
Purple For Spring
Showered In Pink
Going Green For Spring

If you’d like to see other posts on this site using double chargers, check these out:
Proud As A Peacock!
Fete Noir et Gris
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Year of the Rabbit
Copper Zen
Cranberry Christmas
Christmas Progressive Dinner
Get Me To the Church on Time
Let It Snow!
Winter Cardinal
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Mardi Gras Lite
French Poodle
Hooray For Vodka!
Clematis & Hyacinth
Rhapsody In Blue

Oranges & Blossoms

ORANGES & BLOSSOMS
(a re-post from September 2010)
Folks, I’m revamping my blog a bit and getting rid of “pages” from my early days of blogging that featured multiple posts. I don’t want to lose the posts altogether, though, so I’m re-posting them. Makes no sense, huh? Believe me, if there was an easier way…!!! So, if you’ve never seen this one before it’s all new to you. If you have seen it, I apologize for the rerun but hope you can enjoy it all over again! There will be additional reruns coming into your box every couple of days until I’ve emptied these pages from the early days. Who knows…maybe what’s old can be new again with ideas. Let’s hope! Meanwhile, all new posts are on the way, too!!!
Some get-togethers are just a little more relaxed than others, but that doesn’t mean the tablescape has to suffer!
 
 Bright colors can go a long, long way to bring a summer tablescape to life!
 
With about 24 hours notice, I was able to construct this casual but inviting tablescape. Atop a white cotton linen, the brilliant orange matchstick placemat really stands out. The next layers are a simple white Corelle dinner plate, a bright pink & orange melamine salad plate from Burlington, and a fun little orange slice plate for the appetizer. The place setting is finished off with a folded white napkin and fun white handled flatware from TJ Maxx. Nothing fancy…just pure fun!
 
 When it comes to centerpieces in a hurry, let your imagination kick in. A couple of white cake stands (Ralph Lauren “Pavillion”) did the trick in this case, stacked high with oranges from the fridge (tomorrow morning’s orange juice!), and dotted with waxflower and brilliantly hued plumeria blossoms. Any small flowers will do that match or complement your tablescape colors. (See the cake stands used for other displays at “88 Years & 88 Keys” and “Blushing Bridal Shower“.
 Tiny orange glass vases from Hobby Lobby repeat the floral theme of waxflower and plumeria from the main centerpiece with impatiens from the side yard landscape tossed in for good measure.
Simply using items from around the house, the fridge, and the yard, a jaunty little tablescape is born!
This easy, breezy tablescape was quick to assemble and, thankfully, quick to take down as we were chased in just before dessert by a rain storm!

Orange You Glad You Came To Dinner?

ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU CAME TO DINNER?
(a re-post from August of 2010)

Folks, I’m revamping my blog a bit and getting rid of “pages” that featured multiple posts in an effort to make it easier to find things. I don’t want to lose the posts altogether, though, so I’m re-posting them. Makes no sense, huh? Believe me, if there was an easier way…!!! So, if you’ve never seen this one before it’s all new to you. If you have seen it, I apologize for the rerun but hope you can enjoy it all over again! There will be additional reruns coming into your box every couple of days until I’ve emptied these pages from the early days of blogging. Who knows…maybe what’s old can be new again with ideas. Let’s hope!

 Sigh! As the kids reluctantly prepare to head back to class, we try to squeeze in just a few more outdoor family dinners.

 I’ve been itching to use these creamsicle colored dishes all summer! Orange is “the new red” when it comes to stimulating the appetite and lifting spirits. For my tablescapes indoors and out, I am totally on board!

 

Rather than my usual (and beloved!) long, narrow table, I kissed two 6-ft. tables horizontally to create more of a square shape. Doing so allows for a more generous centerpiece as well as plenty of elbow room for each guest. (With the trays, this seats 8; without trays, however, this table configuration comfortably seats 10.)

 

 

Each of this tablescape’s place settings consists of a bamboo tray (looked good, and sure made clean up a lot easier!) from Old Time Pottery. The orange & white melamine dishes are from Target. The square shape lends a contemporary feel, while the floral design gives them a timeless look without being stuffy. (See these same dishes used for another summer tablescape HERE.) I fell in love with the icy orange flatware from Burlington and the flower & butterfly napkin rings from Hobby Lobby. Even the Costco stemware is plastic, but the design gives it an “authentic” look. The cool cube place card holders from Crate & Barrel finish the place setting. Off to the side, a small table holds snacks in complementary colors.

 
I mulled over centerpiece options for this tablescape for several days. Sure, the weatherman is predicting a drastic cool down from the upper 90s to the mid 80s, but how can I be sure? Fresh flowers will wilt as soon as I walk them out the door if he’s wrong. So…I went against everything I know and bowed to decorating with FAUX flowers!!! Somehow, though, with the cool orange color and the unrealistically large heads, it looks kind of 1960s mod instead of flat out weird. I may need to find more uses for faux flowers! Stay tuned!!!
 
This is my Dad, Jim. I love him very much!!!
(postscript: Daddy died in May of 2013.
I’m so glad we had this quality time together.)
Other tablescapes with lots of orange (other than autumn and Halloween):
Mandarin Bling
Summer Orange
Oranges & Blossoms
Hot Tropical

     

Popsicle Party!

We’re just about midway through the summer swelter, and every day calls for something cooling and refreshing to beat the heat. Here’s an idea for a popsicle party where after dinner it’s all about popsicles for the over-21 set! (There are numerous recipes on Pinterest for “adult” popsicles that will put a little pep in your step!)

When the temperatures are soaring but you still want to get outside to entertain, make it something special with treats that will visually AND literally cool your guests.

 

Bright colors abound across this table for four. The tablescape begins with a pure white tablecloth to show off the brilliant hues on top.

 

Each place setting starts with a fabulous natural round “Water Hyacinth” placemat from Pier 1. These are so incredibly versatile! I’ve used them in various tablescapes including “Barton’s Easter Brunch“.  Next up are woven round placemats in a glorious “Peacock Blue” from Bed Bath & Beyond also seen on “Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings” and “Give Peace A Chance” on this site. White melamine dinner plates from Target are topped with dazzling orange-rimmed pink melamines from Burlington that I first introduced in the post “Oranges & Blossoms” back in September of 2010 and then reintroduced in “Hot Tropical“!

 

Cheerful Gerbera daisies in juicy orange gourd-shaped ceramic vases decorate each place setting.

 

When I break out the melamine plates, it’s time to scrounge up color coordinated flatware from TJ Maxx like this  in snowy white that really stands out against the deeper color of the top placemat.

 

I found this terrific plastic stemware at Old Time Pottery a few years back. I wish I could use it more often. It’s the safest way to go for summer outdoor entertaining! I used the same style in a creamy yellow back in 2014 for a post called “Cupcake Colors“.

 

The inspiration for this tablescape came not only from the heat and my affinity for adult popsicles, but from these super cute Dollar Tree dish towels! I like to use them as napkins for their super powers of absorbency as well as the colorful themes! I’ve used dish towels as napkins for several warm weather posts including “Grill It Up!“, “Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast“, “Italian Honeysuckle“, “Picnic Ants“, and “Black & White Barnyard Breakfast“.

 

Well, don’t say you didn’t see THIS coming!!! Popsicle-shaped menus created on my desktop computer!!!

 

The centerpiece is a simple one: curvy plastic bowls in vibrant turquoise and pink placed together so both colors show. Fill with fragrant summer fruits like the oranges, mangoes, lemons, peaches and limes shown here, and voila!

 

I get a LOT of mileage out of the hooks I installed beneath the overhang on the deck! On this day a few vividly colored metal lanterns from Hobby Lobby swing in the gentle breeze and add ambience when the shadows fall. (I first used these lanterns as a part of the centerpiece for “Hot Fun In the Summertime” back in 2014.)

I hope you’re finding a way to stay cool this summer! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Other warm weather posts using lots of dramatically juicy colors on this site:
Carousel Colors
Tulips In the IHOP Hour
Caribbean Queen
Hot Tropical
Flamingos in Paradise
Casablanca Cool
Hot Fun In the Summertime
Brilliant Italian
Tropicana
Daisy Crazy
Cupcake Colors
Summer Fruits & Penny-Farthings
Give Peace A Chance

 

 

 

 

 

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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings -  Dining & lounge areas

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Lounge area & baker's rack

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Full table

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Tabletop

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

 

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

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - penny-farthing & fruit centerpiece

  Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - Centerpiece collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - lounge area

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - coffee table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - drink tray on outdoor coffee table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings - baker's rack

 

 

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

Tropicana
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
Casablanca Cool
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!

Hot Fun In the Summertime!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! -

INSPIRATION: Paper parasols in sizzling hot tropical colors and a new way for me to hang them outdoors!

The 4th of July has come and gone, but there are many more parties to come in the hot summer months. Hot days match up with abundant hot tropical colors like hot pink, outrageous orange, and yummy yellow. So pull out all the stops…but don’t break the bank! Shop end-of-season clearance sales like I do to stock up for next summer!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Full deckI am just head over heels with these stretch tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com. They don’t pay me to say that…I just love these tablecloths! Who wants to mess around with a lot of unnecessary ironing in the hot summer? Not me! That’s why these have become my tablecloth of choice. Just stretch them on, and all the wrinkles go bye-bye. (Oh, how I wish it worked that way with my face and neck!!! 😉 ) They come in 7 different colors and 2 sizes. For me, these are a summer (and anytime!) must-have! (Students and freshman tablescapers: I used white to ground the setting and to play up all the color on the table. Students, you’ll remember we talked about wanting to avoid color saturation.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - full table (2 6-ft kissed horizontally)Two 6-ft. folding tables are kissed together horizontally create a “square.” Depending on what all you have on the table, this arrangement can comfortably seat up to 10 guests.

 

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Place setting

 

 

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Mesh food covering collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Napkin

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - hot pink acrylic tumbler

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - orange acrylic flatwareI used the trio of hot pink, orange and yellow placemats from Bed, Bath & Beyond to give each place setting a distinctive look. Each guest can pick his or her favorite! Orange-rimmed hot pink melamine plates from Burlington sit atop plain white Corelle dishes at each place setting. A bright yellow napkin folded into a simple triangle is a constant around the table, as are the brilliant orange acrylic flatware and hot pink acrylic tumblers, also from Burlington. (Students, you can successfully mix one or two elements, but be sure to have plenty of “constants” that visually tie the tablescape together.) The fun mesh food covers to keep the pests away are from Z Gallerie. I bought them several years ago but have just this summer had occasion to use them.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Centerpiece collage with lanterns, votives, and placemat runnerThis centerpiece relies solely upon color and candlelight. The “runner” is an overlapping repeat of the colorful placemats used at each place setting. Metal lanterns in the theme colors are from Hobby Lobby. (Students, notice the odd number – 5 – used, and recall our discussion about “the Rule of 3” and how odd numbers are easy on the eye.) The rest of the table is sporadically dotted with votives, again using all three colors.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - colorful paper parasolsOver the years I have collected a number of paper parasols. These from Hobby Lobby are just plain fun to add color and motion to the space. Notice they are not completely extended as they might otherwise be for other uses. Also notice how they extend the color from the dining table to the perimeter of the dining environment. (I recently spent 2 hours carefully measuring and drilling holes to insert a number of small rubber-coated cup hooks in the overhangs on our back deck. They can stay up year round for displaying whatever I wish out there on a whim! The hooks are the same color as the house, so they just “disappear”!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Buffet tableI always like the buffet table to complement the dining table in some way. Here, a 90″ x 132″ white tablecloth drops full-length (to stash catering stuff underneath!) and is topped with an 85-in. square fuchsia and a 70-in. square yellow, both from LinenTablecloth.com. (Sorry, folks…the yellow has been recently discontinued. They do, however, have a great new color called “cantaloupe” that would be fabulous in this setting!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - tropical "palm tree" floral pieceTo add to the tropical feel of the space, I created a “palm tree” on the buffet table using a white lacquered bamboo vase purchased at Z Gallerie a few years back. (I weighted it down with pea gravel to keep it from tipping over.) Palm fronds from Michael’s are artfully arranged to create the “tree.” The centerpiece is placed off-center.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Ice bucket, fruits collageWhen I put a tablescape together, I look through my computerized catalog (read about it HERE) and just type in keywords to find things in various categories in the color(s) I need. Without that catalog, I might have forgotten about this fun orange metal ice bucket. The yellow metal shabby chic bowl adds a little visual texture with its wavy lines. A white melamine chip ‘n dip tray takes on new life to display various tropical fruits on ice.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - beverage center

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Martini glasses with parasols, fruit tray collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - plastic pitchers

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Beverage center collageThe beverage center is set up on one end of the buffet table. This display is proof positive that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a fun look. The orange and pink plastic tubs from Old Time Pottery were about $3 each. Just fill with ice and insert beverages! The plastic pitchers were about $3 each, too, and are a great way to serve large quantities of your signature cocktail. Put drink garnishments like cherries and lemon slices on a cute melamine tray like this one from my friend, Monica, who recently gifted me with a bunch of these babies. 🙂 Finally, cocktail parasols in a colorful martini glass could make even your daily Metamucil go down easy! (Yes, I speak from experience!) The cocktail parasols mimic those used in the decor as well as dress up the drinks.

So there you have it…a tropical, fun-in-the-sun, casual, easy, budget-friendly dining environment in hot colors that will keep your guests in the partying mood long after the lightning bugs have said goodnight! This tablescape would be perfect for a summertime birthday, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, bon voyage party, beach party, or just any occasion that calls for f-u-n!

Other tablescapes on this site using paper parasols:
Oopsy Daisy!
Daisy Crazy
Flamingos in Paradise
Tropicana
Under a Paper Moon

Other tablescapes on this site with a tropical theme:
Hot Tropical
Caribbean Queen
Ocean Blue Tablescape
Raining Orchids

Two of my favorite blog parties for you to check out this week: Christine’s “Table It!” over at Rustic & Refined, and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” at Between Naps on the Porch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4th of July Coastal Style

I’m linking this week to Cuisine Kathleen‘s “Summer Whimsy” tablescape challenge!

What says summer more than the 4th of July? While this is a photo-intensive post, I hope each of you will be able to get at least one idea for your own nautical-inspired or Independence Day, Flag Day, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day or other patriotic celebration.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Full deck   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: full table, partial buffetThis casual patriotic table for 8 is set on our back deck.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: linentablecloth.com white stretch tablecloth The table begins with a white stretch tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. If you’re new to this blog, please allow me to introduce you to one of the most fabulous inventions for casual dining ever!!! These babies just slip right over the table top and down to be secured by the legs. Voila! Done! And what’s best of all…I honestly just scrunch these up and stuff them in a drawer for storage. Pull them out and put them on the table with NO IRONING necessary. A true wonder! They come in a variety of colors in 4-, 5-, and 8′ x 30″ sizes at LinenTablecloth.com.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: multiple place settings   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: single place setting   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: nautical melamine salad plate collage     Square white melamine plates from Target are topped with these mix-and-matched nautical-inspired salad plates from Home Goods, one with a massive ship and the other with a compass. Melamine sure has come a long, long way since I was a child!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red napkin, navy & white striped placemat, flatware, stars & stripes tumbler collage I found the fun navy stars & stripes plastic tumblers on the clearance shelves at Target a few years ago. The navy & white striped cotton placemats are from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Contrasting against the navy blue is a solid red napkin from LinenTablecloth.com. The white flatware is from T.J. Maxx.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red, white & blue stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com These red, white and blue stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com are one of the most fun and unexpected elements of the tablescape. Like the tablecloths, they just slip right on and are secured beneath the feet in mere seconds. They, too, can be balled up and stored without worry of telltale wrinkles when you’re ready to use them. (Use them with coordinating or contrasting stretch sashes for a different look!)

  Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red geranium centerpiece   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red geranium   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: glass cylinder with LED candle and seashell candle ring collage   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Tall cylinder votive holdersThe centerpiece is a relatively simple one using a trio of potted red geraniums along with a series of clear glass cylinders for candles and votives. The larger cylinders hold a white LED (for safety!) pillar candle surrounded by a Z Gallerie seashell candle ring. The elevated cylinder votive holders are from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: buffet table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: buffet table   The buffet table on one end of the deck is laden with drinks and desserts for after the main feast.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: partial buffet table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: starfish-shaped ceramic plates, patriotic paper cocktail napkins The buffet line begins with a tower of creamy white starfish plates (Tuesday Morning) offset by a bright red striped cloth for making short order of spills. Patriotic paper cocktail napkins bring a little sizzle.

   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Red chicken wire bread basket, potato chip collage   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: strawberries & blueberries in red metal colandersI found this terrific red chicken wire basket at Home Goods earlier this year. Here it holds assorted breads, but it could be used for a variety of purposes. A heavy blue crockery bowl offers up potato chips while cheery red metal colanders are a fun way to serve up juicy strawberries and blueberries.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Patriotic melamine nautical trays and captain's bell collageMy good friend, Monica, recently gifted me with 30+ melamine trays. When I saw these 2, I just about went bonkers with glee. I knew they would be perfect for this setting! The captain’s bell is from Home Goods.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Cupcakes on patriotic ceramic cake stand collageCupcakes with cherries on top (from the tree George Washington allegedly chopped down?) are displayed on a patriotic ceramic cake stand from Hobby Lobby.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: beverage boat, drink station

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Crab sign, wooden mallets, seafood cracker collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Silver ice scoop, blackberries, cherries collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: boat pulleyThe opposite end of the buffet has lots of goodies. This canoe was used just as a prop for my “All-American Seafood Boil” a couple of years ago. Today it is lined, filled with ice, and used to hold fruit and beverages. An old iron boat pulley hangs casually from the side on the end, its hook nestled among a throng of seashells. Wooden mallets and metal seafood crackers from World Market are displayed beneath a “Steamed Crabs” sign from Home Goods.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: drink tray

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Drink tray collageAnother of the wonderful nautical/patriotic melamine trays from Monica is used here to hold lemonade. The red stars & stripes plastic drinkware was purchased at Target and complements the tumblers used on the dining table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Grill area collageHere’s the kind of food we’d grill up. That lobster looks like he knows what’s comin’, and I think he’s trying to make a run for it! It’s already too late for the crab! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Outdoor living room in red, white & blue

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Patriotic pillows on settee, chairs, rug, wind sock collageIt’s nice to have a “living room” setting outdoors for guests to enjoy a cocktail before dinner or to linger after. Our wrought iron furniture is decked out in a variety of comfy red, white & blue pillows. A star-trimmed jute rug “connects” the settee and chairs. A patriotic wind sock softly billows from the overhang.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Occasional table set up on deck with patriotic sailboat

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Patriotic sailboat, wooden fish, cocktail, fishnet overlay collageThe side table is covered with a 108″ red tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. A fishnet overlay is a nod to the nautical theme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Outdoor wrought iron baker's rack

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Metal stars, fishing bobbers, patriotic tray, message in a bottle collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Old Glory wooden box, starfish in planter collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Iron crab, wooden nautical box, fish platter collage

The wrought iron baker’s rack in a corner of the deck is laden with fun nautical and patriotic elements, mostly from Hobby Lobby.  The metal stars are from Old Time Pottery.

Other tablescapes on this site with a nautical, patriotic, and/or seashell theme:
All-American Seafood Boil
Stars & Stripes
Lauren in the Library

Show Me State Dinner

Flamingos in Paradise

Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells
Caribbean Queen

Tropicana

Summer Breeze
Old Navy Seafood Cruise
Peacefully Patriotic

You’re bound to find lots of great summertime tablescapes if you join me at the following blog parties:
Christine’s Rustic & Refined “Table It!” (starting Monday)
Cuisine Kathleen‘s “Let’s Dish!” (Wednesday after 5:00 p.m. CDT)
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch‘s “Tablescape Thursday” (Thursday after 9:00 a.m. CDT)

Kaleidoscope Christmas – Multi-Color Kids’ Tablescape

wallpaper-kaleidoscope-colours-1280

INSPIRATION: Christmas kaleidoscope party favors purchased at Pier 1 several years ago.

Last week I posted “Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas“, a tablescape for six adults, as part of a three-part series on how to create multiple settings using many of the same basic elements. Today we have the kids’ version of that table, something that would be suitable for children probably 7+.
(Click on any photo and then click again to see fine details up close!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Full dining roomThe same bright 90″ x 132″ red tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com covers the table from head to foot.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: table lengthwise

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Place settingI always like to break up a profusion of bright color with a little white. Here I use white melamine dinner plates from Target. They are topped with small appetizer plates, also from Target, juxtaposed to show off their shape and color. The appetizer plates are great for serving child-size servings of certain foods.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Kaleidoscope party favorThe kaleidoscope party favor with its fun stripes and playful snowmen brings additional color to the setting.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Flatware & Christmas tree napkinWhite casual flatware rests atop fun Christmas tree napkins created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara. For a tutorial on how to make these, click HERE for the video version or HERE for the pictorial version, Tip #31. I first used these terrific napkins during the 2012 Christmas season for “Black Friday Luncheon”. Again…using the same element to create a totally different environment!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Molded plastic stemwareSometimes kids like to pretend they’re “eating fancy” like the adults, so I picked up these great molded plastic stems from Old Time Pottery.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Full centerpiece from overheadBarbara also created this beautiful quilted runner to complement the napkins! It’s the perfect piece to pull all the parts of the centerpiece together!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Candy and bubble gum collageWhat else do Grandmas do but fill the grandkids up with sugar and send them back home? 😉 I made bubble gum balls, Pixy Stix and old-fashioned hard candies a part of the tablescape using brightly colored bowls to display them.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Centerpiece vase collageI bought these cool, contemporary lime green vases a couple of years ago at Home Goods. For this kids’ tablescape, they take on a fun look when filled with handfuls of the same wispy multi-color jingle bell thingies used in a more formal setting last week. This time I added a multi-colored jingle bell candy cane to the vase to up its fun quotient. I first used these vases in a springtime tablescape that can be seen HERE.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Santa hats from Dollar Tree on dining chairsSanta hats on the dining chairs lend a more kid-friendly look to the dining room. I first used these fun chair cover hats from Dollar Tree during the 2011 Christmas season in “Sugar High Payback”, another kid-friendly tablescape. Just $1 each for these covers that really change the room up! If you don’t know Dollar Tree, you don’t know bargain shopping!!! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Buffet

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Bowl of colorful Christmas ornamentsI always like to extend the look of the table to the buffet behind it, so three smaller lime green vases are filled with the jingly thingies. (Honestly…I just don’t know what other name to assign them!) I used three to add balance to the room. For instance, if I use 1 vase on the table, I tend to use two or three on the buffet. Here I used 2 vases on the table, so the buffet gets three. It’s part of that “Rule of Three” when you work in odd numbers. It really does make a difference to the mind’s eye!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Tea cart collageThe vintage tea cart in the room becomes a bit more kid-friendly with the addition of goodies that no kid can possibly resist!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Bennington the ButlerBennington the Butler (one of my favorite Bombay Company purchases of all time!) loves to get into the spirit. Here he holds a jingle bell candy cane like the ones on the dining table vases. This helps to extend the theme to the outer parts of the room. Bennington’s Santa hat mimics those on the chairs.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Multi-color ribbon treatment on vintage tea cartThis idea came to me as I sorted through the scads of ribbon rolls in my ribbon room. It’s a very simple idea and can be done with fancy satin ribbons like this or with less expensive but equally fun lengths of curling ribbon. If you opt for the curling ribbon, be sure to curl some and leave some straight for a more 3-D look. Decorating with ribbon is a fast, inexpensive way to bring color, texture and movement to a room!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Geoffrey the ButlerNot to be outdone by his counterpart, Bennington, our faithful butler Geoffrey dons a fun Santa hat and offers treats to young guests as they arrive.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Christmas tree in dining room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Gold wire trees at base of Christmas tree in dining roomI didn’t post a photo of last week’s skinny Christmas tree in the corner of the dining room, but notice that the gold wire trees seen in last week’s post have now transferred from the buffet to the base of this tree with candles added for more shimmer at night. The addition of the tiny Nativity scene keeps it all within the reason for the season.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Tree ornament collage of Hallmark collectible ornamentsI added to the tree these beautiful Hallmark ornaments from over the years that are a treasured part of our collection.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Kaleidoscope Christmas - Multi-Color Kids' Tablescape: Ornament in mercury glass votive collageThese fun Pier 1 ornaments from several years ago rest beautifully in the same mercury glass-lined votive holders used on the buffet last week. Notice how they take on a much more playful look as assembled here.

In a few days I’ll post the 3rd and final tablescape from this series. I think you’ll like the new look it takes on! Meanwhile, please be sure to join Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” and Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” where there’s a fun “magazine copycat” challenge going on this week!

More winter and Christmas posts on this site can be found at:
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!!!

Butterfly Kaleidoscope

This week I’d like to share a casual summer tablescape with you that, with just a bit of tweaking, could work well both indoors or out.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Inspiration piece

INSPIRATION: Melamine dinner plate from Target’s 2010 collection in turquoise, citrus green, brown and white. See how it looks like a butterfly…and a kaleidoscope?

I couldn’t decided whether this reminded me more of a butterfly or an image you might see when looking into one of those old-fashioned kaleidoscopes. I also couldn’t decide whether I wanted to show this inside in the dining room or outside on the deck. So I’m going to show you both in a sort of side-by-side comparison! This might be helpful information as you come up with a Plan A for good weather and a “hope we don’t need it, but just in case we doPlan B to bring it all inside in case of inclement weather conditions.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it to see details up close.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Full room in and out collageBoth inside and out, I started with a full-length brown linen. Yes…ye olde brown linen is back in play! Seriously…brown is a great summer neutral. It all depends on how you pair it up!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Full table in and out collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Multiple place setting in and out collageTop photo – indoors, bottom photo – outdoors. Just look at all that color!!!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Single place setting in and out collageThe elements on the table are a balanced mix of all the colors found in the dinner plate. The charger is a white ceramic from Old Time Pottery. TIP: White chargers may be a little tough to come by, so you might consider buying inexpensive acrylic ones and spray painting them. Great look, great value!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Flatware, rim shot, napkin in and out collageBoth inside and out, a double dose of napkins cascade off the side of the table at each place setting. It’s nice to have two napkins for guests if you’re eating something extra messy like fried chicken or barbecue. One for the lap, one for mouth & fingers. They’ll love you for it! The flatware is a faux bamboo from Home Goods. Notice on the outdoor setting how a butterfly has innocently landed on each salad fork.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Turquoise stemware from Pier 1I LOVE this super chunky turquoise stemware from Pier 1!!! It feels really substantial and holds a lot of whatever beverage is being served.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Full centerpiece in and out collageThe centerpiece indoors is a mix of turned white wood candlesticks from Z Gallerie topped with fun turquoise, green and white striped candles from Pier 1, a trio of florals, and pots of rye grass standing as sentry at each end. The outdoor table loses the rye grass and adds votives to the mix.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Candle collageI get a lot of mileage out of these Z Gallerie candlesticks. Each end of the centerpiece holds a pair in two sizes. Notice the bling on the candle wick. If your dinner party starts early in the evening when the sun is still out, keep the bling on as an added point of interest. When it’s time to light the candles, just snip the wick to about 1/2 inch, pocket the bling, and put it aside for use on something else later.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Floral trio collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Butterfly collageThe fun floral element comes in a trio of white ceramic canisters filled with acid green roses and rye grass. Fun little turquoise hand-painted butterflies from Beau-coup.com flit about, landing here and there at will.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Deep turquoise square glass votive holder

The outdoor table has an added twist of intermittent votives in deep turquoise blue glass holders.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Buffet table indoors collageThe buffet behind the dining table indoors is smothered with turquoise and citrus green paper lanterns. It’s a simple but effective backdrop to the busy design on the table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Buffet table outdoors

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Outdoor buffet table element collageThe outdoor buffet table is covered from head to toe in a smart fitted white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. The pots of rye grass used on the dining table and around the room indoors have moved to the buffet table to add color there.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Turquoise and citrus green paper lanternsThe sides of the buffet table are festooned with paper lantern “towers” tied to the deck posts. Just loop ribbon through the lanterns to create this fun and colorful look!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Paper lanternsMore paper lantern singles are tied to individual posts around the deck to surround guests in color and movement. If you add lights to the lanterns, just think how pretty that would be at night!!!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Tea cart collageBack inside, a vintage tea cart holds pitchers of ice cold water and lemonade on the bottom and a Ralph Lauren pedestal filled with Granny Smith apples on top.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: China cabinet and sconce collageFinally indoors the china cabinet has a complementary treatment of paper lanterns, rye grass and roses. The sconces that flank the buffet are outfitted with pots of rye grass visited by butterflies.

Are ya dizzy now? Sorry ’bout that! My point is that you can use the same elements either indoors or out and achieve a great look that is appropriate to the space. Plan A or Plan B…you decide! 🙂

Other posts on this site using turquoise or blue, green & white:
“Under a Paper Moon”
“Summer Blues & Greens”

Another post on this site using paper lanterns:
“Blue & White 30th Birthday”
“Cupcake Colors”
“Under a Paper Moon”
“Easter Brunch”

I’m joining lots of other talented tablescapers again this week at Cuisine Kathleen’s blog party, “Let’s Dish!” (anytime after 6:00 p.m. CDT Wednesday) and Susan’s party, “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT Thursday).

Summer Orange Tablescape

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where the mid-summer heat and humidity doesn’t rob you of all your energy and drench you from head to toe, this saucy orange tablescape might work well for your next casual dinner party. As for me, I’m campin’ out in the big produce cooler at Costco! 😉
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it!)

If your outdoor tables are unsightly like ours (average Joe folding tables), just add a full-length linen to cover up the scene of the crime. It masks the ugly and adds a touch of class a la Carolyne Roehm! LinenTablecloth.com is a good place to start your search for linens that fully cover all sizes in white, ivory or black. (Their customer service re: returns/exchanges is not the best from my experience, so choose carefully!)

I skipped chargers this go round. Instead, each place is set with just an orange dinner plate with a meandering white floral design and a salad plate with a reversed color palette. These melamine plates from Target’s 2010 summer collection are just one of so many great patterns available these days at very affordable prices.

The sheer simplicity of Hampton Silversmiths’ “Patriot” flatware works well with so many settings!

Simple clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery is both inexpensive and functional, and the austere design won’t clash with even the busiest dinnerware pattern.

There are so many great reasons to opt for a long Tuscan-style table for your entertaining needs. Many tend to think that round tables allow for conversation with more guests, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you measure the distance between 6 guests seated at a 72″ round table and compare it to that of 6 guests seated at an 72″ oblong, you’ll see what I mean! The decorating possibilities are extended, too, both literally and figuratively because you can create wonderfully lush centerpieces in the spirit of fabled King Arthur’s era!!!

I used a number of elements to fill out the center of this table. The central component that lends height and allows for candlelight at an elevated level is a pair of white metal hurricane lanterns from Z Gallerie. Flanking 2 sides of each lantern are pots of grass that add both color and texture to the tablescape. Note that the votive holders used are the same shape of the cylinder in the hurricane. Similarly shaped decorative pieces create a subtle sense of order and uniformity.

Whenever possible, I like to place multiple small floral arrangements across the table. Grouping some and leaving some as singles adds visual interest and forms a kind of “link” between elements down the entire length. Here clusters of inexpensive white alstroemeria are displayed in fun pear-shaped orange ceramic vases from Old Time Pottery.

When we dine in the yard, I like to create an outdoor lounge area for guests to chill out before and after the meal. Here I arranged our wrought iron set much as you would in a living room with silk pillows and a “sofa table” (actually just an ugly old 4′ folding table from the garage!) behind the settee. (Cushions are MIA due to a sudden hailstorm of bird poo that had to be vigorously scrubbed off! :-()

The sofa table is covered with a full-length white linen to better show off the orange accessories on top including an actual lamp brought out from our dining room. (Just run the cord to the nearest outdoor outlet! No outlet? Consider creating a cordless lamp using a shade on a glass vase with a battery-operated candle or uplight as seen HERE.) Use a “bug light” rather than a white bulb. It will not only ward off pesky insects, but the amber shade is very flattering and adds to the ambience! Cocktails – in this case, fuzzy navels made with peach schnapps, a splash of triple sec, and fresh-squeezed orange juice – are served from the table.

I’ll be really glad when I can fold up my tent and vacate the Costco produce cooler. Meanwhile, I hope you’re finding a way to stay cool and enjoy your outdoor entertaining!

Other summery tablescapes on this site using orange to jazz it up:
Orange You Glad You Came to Dinner?
Mandarin Bling
Oranges & Blossoms
Raining Orchids
Hot Tropical

I’m pleased to once again join Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish! starting Wednesday anytime after 6:00 CDT and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” starting anytime after 9:00 a.m. on Thursday.