partytips_table_tops_nov10

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{ Botanical bounty }

The annual spring orchid show at the New York Botanical Garden served as the source of inspiration for Gala Cloths owner Dulany Noble. Having long admired the orchids raised locally in the showroom of Flowers & Fancies, Noble turned to owner Stanton Wingrat to provide the blossoms for her Japanese-inspired tabletop design. For the centerpiece, an exotic mix of vines and green Dendrobium orchids were woven around an Amish iron obelisk. The green pin-tucked tablecloth from Gala Cloths mirrored the lush greenery. At each place setting was a potted orchid, and miniature copper garden accessories provided by Flowers & Fancies added a dose of whimsical charm. Tiny copper watering pots strung with ribbon to each orchid were complemented by copper wheelbarrows perched on the tabletop. As a final touch, menu cards, created by Write Style, were printed on Japanese hemp paper and sealed with a Japanese floral design.  —Laurie Legum

(Gala Cloths, 888-747-1144, http://www.galacloths.com; Flowers & Fancies, 410-653-0600, http://www.flowersandfancies.com; Write Style, 410-585-1411, http://www.writestyleinvites.com)

{ Getting ‘Mad’ }

For their “Mad Men”-inspired tabletop, Linwoods catering directors Taliya Adelstein and Sherri Levin envisioned a sleek Art Deco-style cityscape constructed of commonly found elements. Silver, black and white with subtle pops of neon were used to re-create the clean lines of the era. The dark metallic table linens were festooned with silver confetti to mimic the mica-flecked asphalt streets of New York City. Glass containers of varying shapes and heights simulated the skyline. Tall glass canisters filled with silver-foiled chocolate coins created shimmer while LED lights placed inside glass blocks lit the table. Scrapbook paper from Jo-Ann Fabrics was used to add texture and unexpected pops of color to the glass containers. “It was integral to provide a centerpiece that would make an impact without blocking the fun of the table and interaction between the diners,” say the designers. Clearly the duo achieved their goal, winning the award for the “Most Stylish” table.  —Laurie Legum

(Linwoods, 410-356-3030, http://www.linwoods.com; Jo-Ann Fabrics, http://www.joann.com)

{ Plaza perfect }

When tapping into his personal “New York State of Mind” for the themed dinner, Randy Woods of Wicked Willow Floral envisioned the opulent elegance of The Plaza Hotel. “I wanted to achieve a clean, modern chic design that presents an update on an old, traditional look,” he says. A classic candelabra received a contemporary twist with a white barrel lampshade and draped clear and black glass crystals. A sheer overlay embroidered with sequins and crystals topped a rose-toned tablecloth to add “sparkle and pizazz” and complement the glint of the centerpiece. A base covered with pink and white roses, white azaleas and clematis vines added a soft touch to the tall focal piece, while black and rose linens on gold Chiavari chairs pick up the black crystals in the lampshade. —Marissa Gainsburg

(Wicked Willow, 410-925-7990, wickedwillow.com. Linens, chargers and plates by Select Event Rentals, 410-653-6851)

{ Hamptons harmony }

Summer in the Hamptons was the source of inspiration for Wesley Finnerty, owner of the Antique Exchange in Hampden. Using a color palette of soft creams and fiery oranges to re-create the warm tones of the sand and the sun, Finnerty strove to create an atmosphere of easy elegance. “I wanted to make sure that it was a real table that I would have in my own house where people could sit down and have a conversation,” says Finnerty. A large hurricane glass filled with sand, shells and large stalks of faux dune grass and branches served as the centerpiece. Antique silver vases from Antique Exchange were filled with white hydrangea from Pennock Co. Finnerty selected Dransfield & Ross silver sea urchin napkin rings and silver chargers to add a touch of ocean shimmer to the tabletop. Scallop shells filled with orange M&M’s added a playful touch to the elegant place settings. The chairs, provided by Select Event Rentals, were covered in white chiffon and accented with orange lilies and blades of dune grass.  —Laurie Legum

(Antique Exchange, 410-532-7000, http://www.antique-exchange.com; Select Event Rentals, 410-653-6851, http://www.weparty.com; Pennock Co., 410-466-6600, http://www.pennock.com)

{ Rich reality }

Inspired by the hit Bravo reality television show “The Real Housewives of New York,” artist Carol Grillo of Carol Grillo Designs created a youthful garden party-themed tabletop. The tablecloth’s vibrant shades of blue, yellow and green served as the basis for the color palette. Grillo hand-painted the votives, water glasses and napkins with delicate green swirls to create the perfect complement to the tablecloth. Aqua blue place mats topped with green chargers added additional pops of color. Three longneck vases in aqua and white milk glass were filled with orange and yellow Gerbera daisies, compliments of Rutland Beard Florist.  A circle of potted plants surrounded the trio of vases, creating an additional level of color and texture. And as a final whimsical touch, the name of each cast member from “The Real Housewives of New York” was printed on individual place cards.  —Laurie Legum

(Carol Grillo Designs, 410-382-9112; Rutland Beard Florist, 410-747-6440, http://www.rutlandbeardflorist.com)

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