I’ve set a waning days of summer jungle table outside, on the covered porch.
With Labor Day not until September 7th this year, and temperatures still in the eighties to nineties, it still feels rather tropical here in Pittsburgh. How about in your neck of the woods?
Inspiration for the tablescape came from a set of plates decorated with an exotic animal print.
Yeah, I know; I need more tableware like a hole in the head lol! I had seen the plates months before, and resisted the urge to splurge. But by late August last year, they were on super duper clearance! Besides the plates are heavy-duty melamine, making them great for dining outdoors and dishwasher safe.
So come on outside on the porch with me for one last, fun jungle table of the summer season.
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Dining at Home
I’ve set the jungle table beneath a paddle fan to keep cool and comfortable while dining.
My elderly mom has been visiting all month from Charleston, SC. Sistah B and I met halfway via car, in order to safely transport mom. With the pandemic, we’ve been pretty much home bound — including no dining out at restaurants. So, I’ve been setting some summer theme tables to create a pleasant atmosphere for meals.
Where the Wild Things Are
But, I was drawn to the beautiful color pallette and animal motif of the plates below. It was only after I purchased them (Target), that I noticed something odd about the design. Do you see it?
All the animals are depicted on the outer edge of the scalloped plate. There’s no real central image. Weirder still, is that only the panther and leopard back ends and tails appear. Why not include their magnificent heads instead? And, the pattern isn’t random on each plate; all six are exactly the same.
You might remember them from last year’s Parrots & Paradise Tropical Table?
I had found the margarita style glasses the previous summer on clearance (Home Goods). Since they are made of lightweight plastic, the stemware is easy to store off-season in a bin — rather than taking up cabinet shelf space.
Back then, I used them for their original purpose; serving icy cold, frozen margaritas.
This year’s menu will feature grilled salmon with a mango chutney relish as the main dish. And, I’ll be using the parrot stems on the jungle table to serve shrimp cocktail over ice.
Styling a New Look
If you recall, I had trouble finding the linens and plates I envisioned in designing last summer Palms, Parrots & Paradise Tropical Tablescape.
Frustrated after coming up empty on flamingo-decorated salad plates, a palm print tablecloth and tangerine napkins, the design plan changed several times.
Due to the pandemic, I haven’t been out shopping at any favorite stores for new linens or tableware since March. Good for the wallet and storage limitations, but oh how I miss the fun of the hunt and making new discoveries! Sigh.
So, for this summer’s jungle table styling, I used what I already had around the house.
Since I had never used the animal plates before, it felt like designing a new table setting. In fact, the last styled tablescape I posted was way back in May! Usually, I share one about every month. But, there hasn’t really been much entertaining or visitors this summer of Covid.
Reimaging Table Linens
Underlying each place setting are round, scalloped-edged placemats.
Normally, I don’t pull out the golden placemats until fall. They also go beautifully with my everyday rooster dishes. But, I liked how the placemats brought out the brighter shades in the animal plates and provided a little contrast.
To tie into the jungle table theme, palm leaf placemats were placed between each setting. Another larger leaf is positioned in the center.
Palm Leaf Shape Napkin Fold
To go with last year’s table, I folded napkins in the shape of a Bird of Paradise. They mirrored the large flower in the centerpiece.
Regular followers know that I’ve been on a napkin folding binge to compliment theme tablescapes.
This past spring, I shared, 12 Napkin Folds for All Seasons, Holidays & Occasions. Most are quick and easy to do. Napkins folded into interesting shapes can really elevate a table setting. They also don’t cost anything extra to create.
For the jungle table, a palm leaf napkin fold is lucky number 13!
I used napkins I already had, which coordinate with the gorgeous turquoise shades in the plates.
Because of my passion for peacocks, the color goes well with my peacock theme tableware and decor. In the Exotic Peacock Tablescape the same napkins were folded into the shape of tail feathers. Later, I created my own large bloom fold for a Tweet Turquoise Spring Table. See it in a Pretty Flower Napkin Fold Tutorial.
Folding a napkin into a palm leaf shape is to do. Just be sure to use an iron to press the folds in place. Because the napkins I used are oversized, my palm leaf napkins are rather large.
To hold the leaf folds in place, I had planned to use yellow wicker rings (they match the placemats). After looking high and low for them, I realized the rings must be packed away. Rather than heading up into the hot attic to retrieve them, I elected to simply tie the napkins with green ribbon.
Turquoise Swirl Glasses
Also complementing the turquoise color in the plates and napkin fabric are swirl-decorated glasses.
Like the napkins, the glasses have been used in a number of peacock themed table settings. I also served “peacocktails” and other beverages in them at the Peacock Theme My Favorite Things Party.
Simple Parrot Candle Centerpiece
Not wanting to block the conversation on the jungle table, I “shopped” my home decor for items that would work as a centerpiece.
I found what I was seeking in the corner cabinet of my Monkey Decor Powder Room. Centered on the jungle table is a ceramic parrot candlestick.
I chose it to coordinate with the parrot-stemmed margarita glasses.
Next to the parrot candlestick in the cabinet is a leaf plate. It’s decorated with a monkey and bunch of bananas.
I’m going to use it to hold fresh lemon wedges to go with the meal.
It’s a Jungle Out There
Looking ahead to nice weather this evening on the deck to enjoy our intimate little dinner.
After all, it’s not like we feel comfortable taking my elderly mom out to a restaurant. Have you been able to dine out much this summer?
Spending so much time at home and out on the porch, I added and replaced several seat cushions. On the iron scrollwork chairs around the table are new black and cream stripe cushions (Ballard).
They and the replacements for the black wicker chairs are made of Sunbrella fabric. It’s the same material as the matching drape panels framing the porch bump out.
Not only decorative, the curtains serve a practical purpose. Depending on the time of year and day, the sun’s rays can be blinding while sitting at the table. When needed, I simply remove the tiebacks and spread open the panels.
Crafting Alfresco Too
Here is my mom sitting at the table making repairs to my dearly loved Raggedy Ann doll.
Decades ago, mom made a pair of oversized Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls as Christmas gifts for Sistah B and I.
We had several of the books, which were passed on to my niece when she was born. The only girl grandchild on my side of the family.
But, having two boys, they grew up unfamiliar with the character. I realized years later, that I never read them any of the stories.
Raggedy Ann spent years in an antique stagecoach trunk, along with other keepsakes from my childhood. Later, I moved her into our cedar-lined storage closet.
For the past several Christmases, however, I’ve brought her out to sit in an antique high chair (a family heirloom). The toll of the years and lots of childhood loving, made her look more raggedy than she should. Let’s just say, neither of us had aged well, lol!
Mom cleaned her face, made repairs and laundered her clothes, and then filled in bald spots with new yarn. Now, Raggedy Ann has a lovely, but vintage appearance.
Did you have a Raggedy Ann doll growing up?
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