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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caribbean Queen – One Table, Three Looks

The good people at LinenTablecloth.com were so kind as to send me some great linens – including a fabulous summertime color called Caribbean – to create a tablescape. I have been an avid LinenTablecloth.com shopper since discovering them two years ago. They have a vast selection of colors and sizes that are priced just right. (Why rent when you can buy outright for about the same price or less, right?) Thanks to their generosity, here’s one table going from budget-friendly ($) to mid-priced ($$) to extravagant ($$$) using the same linens & place setting. All of these tablescapes would be great for an Asian-inspired or tropical-themed wedding reception, rehearsal dinner, birthday, bon voyage party, or any summer soirĂ©e.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it and see details.)

Three Table collage

Upper right: The Extravagant ($$$)
Lower right: The Budget-Friendly ($)
Left: Meeting in the Middle ($$)

The brilliant Caribbean blue tablecloth was my inspiration for this table that can boast great decor ranging from a relative little to a lot of $$$.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Budget-friendly tropical theme tablescapeLet’s start with the most modestly-priced of our three tablescapes.

Linen & placemat collageEach of the three tablescapes begin with a 48″ table (seats up to 6 depending on the chair and charger size you select), covered in a full-length white (108″) round tablecloth that is topped with an 85″ square Caribbean blue linen and fuchsia satin table runner (14″ x 108″), all from LinenTablecloth.com. I like to use white with brilliant tropical colors to offer a little balance. The deep green of the monstera leaf placemat from Z Gallerie is a neat contrast to the brighter colors, and it adds visual depth and texture. The placemat could be eliminated if you’re looking to cut your budget a little bit deeper. (TIP: Another linen look to consider is to eliminate the runner, add a 90″ round fuchsia linen on top of the white, and keep the 85″ square Caribbean top. This look is a little more pricey, but is a lush layered look as seen HERE.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Place setting for tropical-themed tablescapeThe place setting is the same for each of our three tables. It starts with a white faux crocodile charger from Bed Bath & Beyond, topped with a bright orange dinner plate from the Dollar Tree (a.k.a. Deal$ is some areas) and a beautiful tropical print melamine salad plate from Pier 1.

Flatware & rim shot collageFaux bamboo flatware from JC Penney Outlet lends more tropical flair. In these photos you can really see the texture of the flatware and the faux crocodile charger. Bamboo trees and crocodiles are found throughout the tropics, so I thought these to be good choices for this theme. Of course, a smooth white charger and unembellished flatware would work as well. (Have you seen that reusable bamboo cutlery sold at places like Target, World Market, and on Amazon.com? Perfect for this setting!) TIP: Having trouble finding white chargers? Spray paint inexpensive acrylic chargers from places like Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

Napkin collageVivid fuchsia napkins from LinenTablecloth.com pick up colors in the salad plate and complement the table runner. The fun parrot napkin rings from Z Gallerie are a bright white which, again, adds contrast.

Mini martini glassesNever think for one moment that you have to always use the “correct” glass for casual table settings. Go for glassware that looks great and complements the overall table design. Here, a juicy orange squatty martini glass from Old Time Pottery sits alongside a mini with a clear bowl and Caribbean blue base from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One:Budget-friendly tropical centerpiece using white coral, dyed blue starfish with bright pink plumeria

Coral & starfish collageThe budget-friendly centerpiece is comprised of large white sea coral from Pottery Barn dotted with large and small blue-dyed starfish from Hobby Lobby. Small Caribbean blue glass vases from Hobby Lobby hold clusters of fuchsia-colored plumeria. This easy-to-make, inexpensive centerpiece offers lots of color and texture, and it sits low for easy dinner conversation among guests. (You can find large seashells of all kinds at craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. TIP: If the color isn’t to your liking, follow instructions from my blog buddy, Babs, at Upstairs-Downstairs for painting great-looking seashells.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Medium budget tropical-themed tablescapeMoving on to our mid-priced tablescape where the linens and place settings remain the same.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Mid-priced tropical-themed centerpiece with white parrots from Z Gallerie, white coral, blue starfish and fuchsia plumeria

Fuchsia plumeria blossoms in Caribbean blue glass vase

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Tropical-themed tablescape with white Z Gallerie parrots as part of the centerpieceThe primary difference in our mid-priced tablescape is the centerpiece. The large white sea coral, starfish, and plumeria blossoms all remain, but a lofty pair of white parrots from Z Gallerie are added to the mix. The parrots (previously used HERE) bring more white into the centerpiece as well as adding height and an exquisite textural element.

IFOur third and final tablescape is a lot more dramatic. Drama, of course, often = $$$

IF

Floral collageThe nearly 5-ft. tall floral centerpiece is in a slender white bamboo vase from Z Gallerie. The vase is slender enough for guests to still carry on unencumbered conversation. The girth is dispatched to the top of the arrangement using large monstera leaves, sword fern, philodendron, spikes, orange medinilla, and fuchsia-colored plumeria.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Tropical tablescapeThe up side to tall, top-heavy centerpieces is that they look fantastic and add more drama than an episode of “Scandal”. 😉 The down side, however, is that they can be very sensitive to motion. Wind and inadvertent bumps against the table are a tall centerpiece’s nastiest foes. Opt for a lower or more bottom-heavy centerpiece if your event is to be held outdoors where wind is always a possibility. TIP: ALWAYS weight down your vase with sand, stones, or some other medium that will help to steady it since you can’t have a cute Wind Watcher at every table like I did for this photo shoot! 🙂 (See that breeze whipping those linens around??!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Three Tropical-themed Centerpieces collageSo there you have it! One table, same linens and place settings, different centerpieces ranging from $ – $$$. If the centerpiece or place setting elements used in these tablescapes is still beyond your budget parameters, consider other wallet-friendly or DIY project alternatives.

NOTE TO BRIDES: This is a good example of how you might do 3 different designs in your reception room that all complement one another. Consider doing 1/3 high, 1/3 mid-size, and 1/3 modest. That way, your room has drama up high but doesn’t look like a forest!

Other tropical-themed tablescapes on this site:
Tropicana
Flamingos in Paradise
Hot Tropical
Summer Breeze
Surf & Turf Dinner
Love & Orchids
“Old Navy Seafood Cruise”

I am so happy to once again join The Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday”, Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!”, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday”, and The Home Girl for Festive Friday Fiesta. Check them out!

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

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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.

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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!