Lunch at the Pagoda

Tablescape for Lymphoma Research Foundation Fundraiser

The “Canvas”

If you didn’t already know it, I love to do a dramatic tablescape! Here use my latest tablescape design which I donated for the Lymphoma Research Foundation on their Second Annual Kitchen and Tasting Tour, held Feb 22, 2014. This walks you through my creative journey to the end result. I instantly feel in love with the sculptural quality of the chairs and as I investigated further, I discovered the home owner’s extensive collection of art and sculpture collected from China, Japan and Korea. Here are a few close-ups.

Contemporary Village

This painting was the focal point of the dining room and introduced some accent colors to my imagination…       A large hunk of jade which was brilliantly carved with a traditional village scene sat under the painting on the server. I could have explored it for hours and hours without ever getting bored. It set the tone for the level of detail that I wanted to incorporate into the tablescape.

Tantalizing Teal!
Carved Jade
Carved Jade

While there were tiny bits of blues and greens in the dining wall art, this vertical painting that hung on an adjacent wall, gave me my color palette. I LOVE teal with any red or orange, so it was a no-brainer for me on what to bring into the tablescape. Now to just find the perfect fabric that brought it all together…

Perfect Palette!

I buy almost all of my fabrics for special events at a discount warehouse store called SAS- now you know my secret. You never know what you might find at SAS, but you can always be guaranteed that the experience is a lot like a treasure hunt! I try to get there with a completely open mind and only look for colors, but this setting also required contemporary and Asian, so I was starting to get nervous. About 10 minutes into the hunt, I found this remnant almost buried in a huge pile of other fabrics. It was $3.99/yrd and will make an amazing scarf after the table scape!

Chair Decoration

A little further into the store, I found a traditional Asian brocade that had all the same colors, so I bought a couple of yards of that, knowing I could use it as an accent of some sorts. It turned out to be the perfect outfit to soften the backs of the slatted chairs. I added a simple teal tie to secure it and voila! It turned out to be one of everyone’s favorite details that we accomplished for only $12.

Now for the finished product and I’ll share some bits about those finds.


Teal runners helped settle the table cloth’s busy pattern and draw the eye across the table from chair to chair. As luck would have it, I already owned that fabric as it was left over from a table I did two years ago.  We added the teal vase with greenery (Pier One) in the corner to balance the height of the tree in the left corner. 1656115_10203105026057081_1951680407_n

A birds-eye view of the table shows the linear layout of all of the centerpiece components- Three Pagodas and two Bonsai Trees.


Each place setting seemed to float off the table, adding height and drama. How’d I do that, you ask? Trays in Teal Faux Croc were placed upside down and a battery operated strand of LED lights were adhered to the inside of the tray. The home owner said the table was stupendous at night… only wish I had a picture of that! An orchid floats in a conical cup that was lined with red rocks. The square hammered charger is from Z Gallerie and the Chirp China by Lennox is from Macy’s. I have been wanting to use it for seven years! Add a red napkin with chrome bangle napkin rings, an angular wine glass (Crate & Barrel) with angle cut flatware (Bed, Bath & Beyond) and the place setting is complete.

The centerpiece featured two chrome hammered tissue box holders as the base of the “Pagoda”, with three tiered serving plates from Pier One as the Pagoda’s implied roof line. An LED spot-light was place inside the tissue box holder to shine up onto teal rocks and orange-red tiger lilies. The center Pagoda was raised higher by being placed atop a stainless wine rack. The final piece de resistance were the silver leafed Bonsai trees that I found at Z Gallerie!  They added the edge I was looking for while still allowing guests to have a conversation with each other.


A clever angle taken by my friend Charlene Kingston through the foyer mirror captures even more of the home owner’s collection.

I want to thank Gina Mathis for her loyal assistance and my husband Gary, for adding his usual suggestions and encouragement. A huge thanks to Sherry Baker for putting on such a great event for Lymphoma Research Foundation to raise awareness and funds to completely eradicate it. To the Jarreds for donating their home for hundreds of strangers to trek through and judge their kitchen, as well as my tablecape and I’m sure much more. And finally, thanks to my mom for the hours of sewing she always donates to my tablescape causes, but most importantly for the creative DNA she passed along to me!

Great news! Our tablescape won People’s Choice Award for Best Tablescape Design!

KTT Winners
Best Kitchen Design- Homeowner Janet Sims Best Tablescape Design- Adrienne Hart Best Culinary Tasting- Chef Tony Rea

2 thoughts on “Tablescape for Lymphoma Research Foundation Fundraiser

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