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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daisy Crazy

Casual outdoor spring tablescapes needn’t cost an arm and a leg to make an impression! If your money is funny or you’re in a pinch for time, here are a few ideas to still put on a good show! With Mother’s Day just a blink away, you can still create a cheerful and pretty table to let Mom know she’s always in your heart!

Gerbera daisy paper products from Costco infuse lots of bright, energetic color into this tablescape. The colors are magnified when laid against a pure white table linen.

Grass in containerReal Gerbera daisies are cheap and plentiful in spring and summer at your local flower market or nursery. Just insert the tip into a floral pick filled with water, and insert the pick into the grass. Rye grass can be grown indoors in 2-3 weeks time using whatever containers you have on hand. (Really strapped for cash? Try using tin cans like those that green beans and Spaghettios come in. Wash them thoroughly, strip off the label, and plant the grass seeds. Cut a strip of colorful paper to fit the can and secure with double-sided tape or a fun sticker. Voila! Fabulous floral containers for next-to-nothing! See instructions for growing rye grass by clicking HERE and scrolling to Tip #15.) If time in growing your own grass is an issue, buy an inexpensive slab of sod and chop it up to fit your containers. Be sure to water!!!!!

Flatware & cup collageIf the wind is kicking up, use a weighted salad plate to keep the paper dinner plate intact. The clear glass used here allows the pattern beneath to still be seen. The dinner plates, cups and napkins are all from Costco. The bright pink Bed Bath & Beyond placemats (about $2 each) could be replaced by patterned paper from a stationery store (about $.59 each) or pieces of wrapping paper or wallpaper (averaging around $.25 each) cut into rounds, squares or rectangles.

The fun white-handled flatware is from Burlington. It, of course, could be replaced with less expensive plastic cutlery, or you could use stainless you already have.


The napkin ring is a strip of patterned paper with the guests’ name imprinted by hand or on the computer and then secured with a piece of tape in back.

 These colorful paper parasols were a steal (about $2 each) at Hobby Lobby’s end-of-season sale last year. They add a whole new dimension to the overall look and are a fun and fashionable way for guests to ward of the midday sun.

Total cost of paper goods, placemats, flowers, grass, and parasols as shown for this table for 12: about $48. With homemade placemats, the overall total drops to about $35. Fabric tablecloths used here to make the table a little extra special. My preferred linen provider is LinenTablecloth.com for inexpensive, easy-to-launder linens in an array of colors, patterns and sizes.

Great places to buy fun & festive paper dining products appropriate for just about any occasion include:
Tuesday Morning
Target
Dollar Tree
Walmart
Home Goods
Big Lots
Old Time Pottery
Hobby Lobby
Michael’s

While this would make a fun and fast Mother’s Day dinner or brunch tablescape, it would also work great for a birthday, wedding shower, or any fun Spring or Summer get-together.

Other tablescapes on this post using parasols:
“Oopsy Daisy!”
“Tropicana”
“Sunflower Simple”
“Hot Fun In the Summertime”
“Flamingos In Paradise”

 More Spring tablescapes:
Rolling Fields of Green
The Bluebird Special
Moss & Manzanitas
Easter Floral
Easter Bloom

Peony Power!”
Springtime in Paris
Mothers Day Luncheon in Pink
Carousel Colors
Daffodillyicious
Spring Has Sprung
Easter Brunch
Barton’s Easter Brunch
Apple Green Luncheon
Pinky Peter Cottontail
Welcome Back, Joel
Mikasa Daylight Giveaway

 “Taste of Wine Buffet

Flamingos in Paradise

If the thermometer on my car is right, it is currently 96 degrees outside. I’d say summer is h-e-r-e!!!

While living in the great Midwest doesn’t afford much of a true beach experience, we can always dream! This poppin’ pink tropical tablescape for 10 is great for a gathering of friends celebrating any casual summer occasion. I know my good friend/cake stylist, Patrick “the-Flamingo-Lover” Snuffer, would never leave!
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

I used two 6-ft. oblong tables pushed together horizontally to create an “almost square.” This shape provides more decorating space in the center with room left over if necessary for bread baskets, wine carafes, condiments and such.

A canvas of crisp white linen allows all the brilliant tropical colors to shine. Hot pink Bormioli Rocca “Inca” glass chargers recently purchased for a song at Gordman’s anchor the place settings. I blogged about it (here), and the pricing on these chargers was so hot that my friend Cherry Kay from Entertaining Women could barely finish her dinner before scooting out the door to snatch some up. I imagined us in that “Run, Forrest! Run!!!!” scene with me cheering her on! 🙂

The melamine dinner plate is a fun and inexpensive 2012 purchase from Old Time Pottery costing just $2.49 apiece. The napkins are actually bandanas purchased at Hobby Lobby. At just $.99 each, you don’t freak out so much about teriyaki sauce stains!

I used faux bamboo flatware from JC Penny Outlet to keep the tropical theme going.

This gorgeous and substantially-weighted turquoise blue stemware from Pier 1 is a perfect match to the cool blues in the dinner plate.

Clear glass cylinders are the workhorse of my centerpiece inventory. You can find them at places like Old Time Pottery, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Home Goods. Here a mix of high, medium and low cylinders displays some of the hundreds of seashells gathered or received as gifts over the years. Chalky white starfish from Z Gallerie sit atop the cylinders to add a little more height and form.

The cylinders are flanked by jaunty pink flamingos from Hobby Lobby wading in a sea of still more shells that run the length of the table. I used to confuse flamingos and storks…and then baby made three, and it became crystal clear which was which! 🙂

Snippets of hot pink and cream-colored plumeria are tucked here and there among the shells along with clear cylindrical votives. Even more color and texture is introduced by way of deep green hostas and tropical-looking ferns pillaged from our yard.

These brightly colored paper parasols from Hobby Lobby get a real workout at our house! I like to casually plunk them down around the perimeter of the deck to add color and a little bit of a “Wow!” factor. They’re cheaper and less back-breaking than bringing in a bunch of potted palms. Here they’re kind of like umbrellas in the sand at the beach!

A small oblong drink and hors d’oeuvres table is set up at one end of the deck, flanked by still more of the pretty paper parasols. Another, resting atop another glass cylinder, shades the food & drink from the unforgiving glare of the early evening sun. Tiny parasols garnish each glass.

These oh-so-fun-and-fabulous ceramic flamingo appetizer/salad/dessert plates are making their debut here serving up delicious crab cakes, but look for them again soon taking center stage in another tropical-themed post. My dear blog friend, Mona, sent them to me last summer when I was feeling very blue. Their arrival on my doorstep gave me a surge of energy to the nth power!!! Thank you, sweet Mona!!!♄♄♄

And this, dear friends, is what goes into the creation of a fun, colorful, casual beach/tropical-themed tablescape!

Other posts with a tropical theme on this site:
“Hot Tropical”
“Tropicana”
“Oranges & Blossoms”
“Old Navy Seafood Cruise”

Other posts using paper parasols on this site:
“Daisy Crazy”
 “Oopsy Daisy!”

I will join Cuisine Kathleen for her 14th “Let’s Dish!” this week. Be sure to tune in anytime after 6:00 p.m. CDT on Wednesday. This week is her “At the Beach” tablescape challenge, so it will be lots of fun! C’mon and go surfin’ safari with us! Looking for great centerpiece ideas? Join me at the Style Sisters’ blog for “Centerpiece Wednesday“. I’ll also join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday“, available anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT on Thursday. Come on over! And check me out on BeBetsy.com!

Oopsy Daisy!

Planning a summer luncheon? Hey…summer is NOT over yet! I’m hanging onto it for dear life! The proof is in this sunny yellow, green and white table that is perfect for a birthday luncheon, the girls getting together, or even a casual bridal luncheon or shower with a Gerbera daisy theme!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneEven with the hot August sun blazing overhead, a summer picnic on the deck is a perfect time to gather with friends.

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comGot ugly or very generic outdoor tables like I do? Your most important table decor friend is a full-length white cloth that covers the top and legs with grace and style!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

There are no fresh flowers used on this table, but you don’t miss them at all with the profusion of Gerbera daisies peeking out from underneath clear glass plates! A triple stack of colorful placemats makes each place setting really stand out. Clear stemware goes great with the plates. All placemats and the plates are from Bed Bath & Beyond.

A maverick place setting like this calls for a fun twist on the flatware placement! The flatware is from TJ Maxx.

A fun napkin fold mimics the petals of the daisy. The napkins are from & Bed Bath Beyond.

Grass in rustic pots brings color, texture and movement to the table.

No money for fresh flowers and too early in the day for candles? Well, something has to make that centerpiece pop! I used my trusty 31″H clear glass cylinders paired with colorful paper parasols from  Hobby Lobby. Just plop ’em in! They look great and provide much-needed shade on a warm afternoon!

If you missed “Candle in the Wind” – my tribute table in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales – you can see it here. Beautiful fuchsia flowers, lots of silver…simple, but befitting the memory of a princess!

Other tablescapes on this site using paper parasols:

Tropicana
Daisy Crazy

Thanks for stopping in, and please join me as I visit Susan and the other tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday!!!

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!