Lately, Jen has been droning on and on about doing a Chinoiserie table. Chinoiserie this, chinoiserie that. I think she just likes using big words. But I finally had to ask – what the hell is chinoiserie and how do you spell it!?!
I swear I had never heard that word before, but as soon as she started describing the Chinese designs featuring branches, birds, flowers and nature I knew EXACTLY what she was talking about.
WHAT THE F*** IS CHINOISERIE!?!
The most well-known Chinoiserie pieces feature a blue and white pattern when seen on plates and pottery and extravagant red, black and gold when painted on furniture. However, Chinoiserie designs are varied, colorful and timeless. They’ve been a design go-to since the 17th century.
Until now, I never knew that this pattern had a formal name! So, if this is new to you, no judgement here.
I was leaning towards the blue and white motif, perhaps with some mandarins since blue and orange are amazing together. However, when I began my search for the perfect Chinoiserie pieces, I came across the Chelsea Salad and Dinner Plates at CB2 and fell in love.
A PINK AND ORANGE COLOR SCHEME FOR A LITTLE SOUTHERN CHARM
I decided these delicate Chinoiserie plates could easily take on a bit of southern charm if I played up the blush pinks and oranges. Then I anchored this soft, sexy palate with a Nutmeg Buffet Napkin from World Market and scattered some mandarins around for some Asian pops of color.
MAGNOLIAS AND MANDARINS AND SO MANY LAYERS
With all that southern design magic, I just couldn’t resist shooting this table under a Magnolia tree. True, featuring a table under a Magnolia is a bit of styled-shoot cheating, but you can’t argue that it doesn’t looks fabulous – so definitely take this dinner party outside if you have the opportunity
Even though I love fancy things, I wanted to make sure this table still felt relaxed. So, I used a Soft Pink Linen Tablecloth from Hearth and Hand. Then I put my charming little salad plates on top of Visto Matte Blush Dinner Plates and Seagrass Chargers from Crate and Barrel. Fancy and fun – a little bit like me, when I put in the effort, ha!
A FLORAL ARRANGEMENT SWEET ENOUGH TO EAT
I am always guilty of buying way too many flowers for my arrangements. I believe in a more is more approach, so you will often notice that I design a lot of tight, textured florals. This one in particular features dahlias, peonies and even a few mandarins.
I could not be more in love!
However, I understand you may not want to spend this week’s paycheck on flowers. To get this look, simply buy a single bouquet of big showstopper blooms, then fill the rest in with greens – even if they are from your own back yard. Pop a few skewers into mandarins to add to the mix, and voilà – pure dinner table magic.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER?
So, if you want to really to take this table theme to the next level, we recommend a menu that compliments this sweet southern vibe. Start your evening with a Mandarin Muddler. This bitter sweet classic cocktail is not only refreshing, but its vibrant color and orange garnish also make it too appealing to pass up.
For dinner, wow your guests with beautiful Orange Glazed Pork Chops over Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes. Pair it with a summertime classic like a Grilled Hearts of Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing. Then follow with Banana Cream Whoopie Pies for a sweet southern finish. Are you hungry yet? I know I am.