entertaining, party ideas, tabletop inspiration

A Modern Tiki Tabletop With Minimalist Tropical Vibes

Somewhat a minimalist at heart, I can honestly say that Tiki themed parties and decorations have never been a favorite. Sure, they're fun, but grass skirted tables and loud patterns aren't really my thing. But, tropical vibes? Those I can do! So, I decided to create my own kind of Tiki tabletop...

modern tiki tabletop | coco kelleymodern tiki tabletop | coco kelleymodern tiki tabletop | coco kelley

Mixing prints is a Tiki signature move, but I kept mine contained to these tiny settings where the layering included texture and pattern! I loved using the dried palm fronds to prop up these small wood plates that just happen to be perfect for pupus! To keep the placemat from overwhelming the setting, we simply folded in in half. Easy!

modern tiki tabletop | coco kelleymodern tiki tabletop | coco kelley

I collaborated with Bleedfoot Florals on the centerpieces for the table, and oh my lord did Carey deliver! We wanted a more sculptural style that still felt lush and tropical and she introduced me to these charcoal toned Bird of Paradise that open to a pale blue and white - I had never seen them before and they are just amazing!!

modern tiki tabletop | coco kelleymodern tiki tabletop | coco kelley

I especially loved that pale chartreuse green, and our decision not to go overly tropical (or predictable!) with a green and white setting. Instead, I think keeping all the place settings in warm tones, with a hint of that blue, made it feel more original and unique.

Originally, I had thought about doing some fun modern print for the place settings, but ultimately I loved the idea bringing a little formality to the dishes with classic calligraphy from my studio mate Lauren of Blue Eye Brown Eye. (She does amazing work, and she's got a calligraphy workshop coming up in our beautiful studio soon!!)

modern tiki tabletop | coco kelleymodern tiki tabletop | coco kelleymodern tiki tabletop | coco kelley

And what would a Tiki tabletop be without its Tiki cocktails!?? We couldn't not include a nod to these crazy concoctions. And, in fact, a major piece of inspiration for this entire table were these gorgeous HiBall glasses from Light & Ladder that captured the theme so effortlessly. See how good they look with a little cocktail in them!?

modern tiki tabletop | coco kelleymodern tiki tabletop | coco kelleymodern tiki tabletop | coco kelley

But we didn't stop there. I was also inspired by some other fun containers I found at West Elm that are 'meant' to be used as terrariums, but honestly make way more fun drink options!

modern tiki tabletop | coco kelley

Especially this one!! Curious about the recipes? We'll have those for you tomorrow in a separate post! I did some major hunting for modern twists on classic Tiki cocktails and I think you'll like what we came up with.

modern tiki tabletop | coco kelley

modern tiki tabletop | coco kelley

My favorite part about this style? These elements can easily be used for everyday informal settings. In fact, those wood plates have been in my styling arsenal for quite a while! And the napkins are keepers for sure! I think it's nice when you can create 'themed' dinner parties that don't have to feel so overly obvious... and then get to use the pieces again and again.

So what do you think of this new genre I'm calling Modern Tiki? If you want to give it a try, here's where to score all the elements you'll need to pull it together:

1. natural placemat | 2. wood appetizer plate | 3. wood & glass terrarium (medium) | 4. cross base terrarium (extra small) | 5. bamboo flatware | 6. patterned napkin | 7. hiball ceramic cups | 8. dried palm fronds