How To Create A Festive Island Tablescape

It’s always fun to share travel stories with friends and one of our favorite ways to do this is by hosting a “Sip and See Party.” The key to bringing this experience to life for your guests is by creating a festive, island style tablescape!



Over the summer I partnered with Carnival Cruise Line to write several lifestyle articles surrounding entertaining and home decor. This Island-style tablescape is inspired by my recent article, How to Use Textiles as Travel Souvenirs. I chose two of these vibrant mudcloth patterns as a tablecloth and the jumping off point for the tablescape design.


Use Chargers To Connect The Dots

Because the tablecloth consists of two fabrics, it was best that I used the same charger throughout the tablescape to keep it from feeling too cluttered. I was excited to find that these wood chargers were accented with black metal studs! Reminds you of a ship’s porthole window, right?


Add Island Inspired Motifs

Bamboo is quite prevalent in island homes and I couldn’t think of something more perfect than this bamboo-stamped flatware! The shiny metal also helped to make my place setting feel more formal than casual.


Add Layers For a Formal Touch

When hosting a small group, I enjoy creating a formal tablescape. One way you can achieve this is by layering your dinnerware. First the charger, then add the dinner plate, and finally top it off with an appetizer or a dessert plate. You could go further and add a printed menu, bowl, or even a party favor if you really want to get fancy.


Play with Pattern

Your dinner guests, along with a great combination of patterns, bring tons of festive energy to your tablescape. First, when selecting patterns, stick with shades of the same color. Here, the feature color is a dark navy blue. The blue exists in the tablecloth pattern, both the dinner and appetizer plates, as well as the napkins. Next, select a pattern with a large scale (the tablecloth), then one of medium scale (the plate), and last choose a small scale pattern (the napkin).



When you host your next dinner party, consider using an unusual container for your centerpiece. A woven chest added warmth and texture to our tabletop.


Here, a rustic vase wrapped in tree bark suddenly became refined thanks to an inexpensive bouquet of flowers.


Candlelight, especially for an evening event, will set the tone for the a night of relaxation, laughter, and long conversations! The candleholder is a nod to British exploration of the islands with its handsome leather strapping.


Nightly meals in the formal dining room aboard the Carnival Conquest felt like a date night, every night. My husband and I are still talking about the molten chocolate cake. Many of our friends, like us, could also use a night out to toast good times with friends. While our dining room may not overlook the deep blue sea, our island-style tablescape and Caribbean flavor just may be the thing to tide us over.

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.