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See The Best of New York Tabletop Show Designs: Tablescape Couture You Can Create

Fiesta Dinnerware

For a dedicated tablescape designer and hospitality enthusiast – the New York Tabletop ShowⓇ is a bit religious…

Add to that devotion is my passion for Garnish – my soon to be released book about Finishing Touches and the Art of the Garnish for cocktails – and well, you can understand I was really looking forward to this show.

I noted a few trends: bold colors and patterns inspired by nature and classic, couture, hand-crafted and artisanal pieces.

Danielle from Fiesta invited me to view their line and it was my first stop.

Stepping into the Fiesta showroom was not unlike jumping into a box of crayons!

The 15 colors in their riot of color spectrum are bold, happy; the pieces crafted as performance products.
I know I must’ve experienced these dinnerware ensembles at different points over the years – after all, Fiesta is a West Virginia family-run business since 1936. But I never knew the company’s history and the all the Fiesta fan culture!

According to the company: Fiesta® Dinnerware, was designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead in 1936 and today, Fiesta Dinnerware is among the most collected dinnerware in the world.

“With more than 50 pieces in the line, consumers have come to rely on Fiesta Dinnerware for its unmatched durability, distinctive design and superior heat retention. Fiesta Dinnerware is made in the U.S. and is lead free, microwave and dishwasher safe, oven proof, and offers a five year chip replacement warranty.”

With color clearly the brand’s forte – it was surprising to learn that the colors are chosen by one person – Rich Brinkman, VP of Sales & Marketing at Homer Laughlin, Fiesta’s parent company Brinkman is a color god who divines what the next color intro will be; revered as the “Color Whisperer” who bestows harmonic visual experiences to its very loyal fans. 

Not quite a cult, however Fiesta Fans are exceptionally devoted. And the fact that Fiesta “retires” a color with each year’s color “introduction” foments a sense of passionate fervor that exceeds Collecting. Therein is the group’s robust and active social media platforms. Be sure to check them out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Presale for 2019’s Meadow starts May 1 – today. “Meadow is a soothing hue that complements a wide range of colors in the Fiesta color family,” says Brinkman. “It is a color that’s incredibly earthy and easy to live with.”

I like the way Fiesta suggests how to mix and match the pieces for an exciting and ever-changing table-top look.

For example, the brand provides this design chart showing how Meadow lends itself to a wide assortment of color combinations, including:

Theme                      Primary Colors                      Accent Colors

Nautical                     Meadow, Cobalt, White            Poppy

City Sophistication     Meadow, Slate, Ivory               Mulberry

Farmhouse Chic        White,Sunflower, Turquoise      Mulberry

Vintage Charm          Scarlet, Meadow                         White

Cool Breeze        Meadow, Turquoise, Lapis, Cobalt   Ivory

“Fiesta’s new color, aptly called ‘Meadow’ reminds us, in fact, of a fresh, fragrant meadow, a subtle shade of green that is an appropriate and tastefully appealing background to every color found in food and beverages,” says color expert Leatrice Eiseman,​ and​ and author of ​”The Complete Color Harmony,” Pantone edition.

At any given time, Fiesta Dinnerware has 14 or 15 colors in its spectrum. With the addition of Meadow, Sage is retiring. Sage was in production since 2015.

Fiesta’s 2019 colors include: Ivory, Slate, Scarlet, Poppy, Daffodil, Sunflower, Lemongrass, Shamrock, Meadow, Turquoise, Lapis, Cobalt, Mulberry, and White. The lineup also includes Foundry, a cast-iron like finish that has the ease of use of ceramic dinnerware.

Fiesta® Dinnerware launched a series of new pieces this year, including: Americana Stars, Fall Fantasy in Blue, Flower Pots, and Scatter Print Paws for dogs and cats.

Americana Stars
Fiesta writes that “Patriotism is always in season. Whether you’re celebrating July 4th, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, or just your love of the USA, this red, white and blue star studded design”  honors America.

Fall Fantasy in Blue they say “is a timeless everyday design that brings nature to the tabletop with an assortment of leaves, pinecones and acorns. It features Fiesta signature colors: Sunflower, Lapis, Mulberry, Turquoise, and their new color, Meadow.

Holiday is a spirited pattern of colorful tree lights that wrap joyfully around the plate’s rim.

Flower Pots

Fiesta also introduced a tidy, cute Flower Pot. At 3 ½” diameter and 3 ½” tall, it’s perfect for showing off your favorite indoor and outdoor plants. The Flower Pot will be available in variety of color schemes, sold in sets of three: Bright (Lemongrass, Poppy, Daffodil), Bold (Lapis, Mulberry,Scarlet) and Cool (Turquoise, White, Meadow).

Scatter Print Paws
Fiesta says it is is “never one to forget its furry friends. Dogs and Cats can rejoice in new designs featuring dog and cat paw prints:”

I loved the spooky Halloween designs of black cat, witch, and skeletons:

Besides owning more than a few sets of Fiesta to coordinate for the different seasons or moods, I can see how items such as mugs or pitchers or platters, for example, will make an outstanding Hostess Gift!

Next stop was Artland
I was seduced by the flamingos.

I saw them through the showroom window and stepped inside.

This company was a discovery for me. Regardless, Artland has been making glassware, home accent items, and housewares for more than 20 years. I had not previously known of their many brands – from barware, kitchen, partyware, glassware and more.

I liked their whimsical approach to design. Many of their offerings are clearly created for utility – with a nod to lifestyle — outdoor dining and drinking, snack glassware, beverage chillers/dispensers – but there are also playful pieces, including a skull glasses, perforated aluminum shot glasses that look like little firecrackers,

glassware with shells, dots, lemons, and a kaleidoscope of colors, and the herb-infusers and keepers.

And I liked their very reasonable price points even more! You can shop online via their website too. I’ll be adding artful Artland pieces to my tablescapes and entertaining.

Whisky and Water unique glassware design 

. .
From the value-added to the premium. Next stop was Hermès. Ahh, the high life. (In fact, the brand was on such a high floor at 41 Madison that the chandeliers were swaying in the showroom!)

I am over the moon for their “A Walk in the Garden” Collection – the lattice-like graphics and poppy-looking buds are fanciful and elegant at the same time.

According to the company, “The flowers are sketched freehand by the Irish illustrator Nigel Peake. They flourish on plates and the tea service. Bright orange, leaf green, buttercup and Prussian blue: the palette of colours gives form to twigs, leaves and grasses and an interplay of grid, herringbone and chequer patterns.”

The Hermès crystal glassware is simply the epitome of elegance.

These glasses and decanters surely elevate the spirits as well as add that glamour to the special time of day marked for conversation and drinks: The cocktail hour. Indulge.

And while I’m by no means advocating a return to smoking, the crystal lighter and ashtray brought back memories… Whose grandparents didn’t showcase these items on the end tables? What nostalgia; what heft. (Recreational marijuana, perhaps?!)

On to Villeroy & Bosch. This well-known brand offers a plethora of products — end to end – from flatware to glassware and dinnerware to home decor and table accents.

Up front they had a fresh pink-ish salmon and green collection accented with green bamboo linens and plants in black vases, and their clean, fresh-looking flatware.

This tablescape caught my eye – filled as it was with a green and yellow color palette; dinnerware sporting lemon and cherry trees and fruits. The brand layered solid green chargers underneath the plates, clear and green glassware, their Medina flatware with its clean lines. The tablescape was accessorized with yellow and green and blue linens; faux topiary in terracotta pots, and happy yellow tulips in the collection’s vases. A sophisticated twist on a Mediterranean look.

A few of the other new introductions were graphics and solids – all of which yielded a refined, well-bred sense of style.

And this classic, Samarkand, is enduring for a very good reason — it’s gorgeous!

With its cobalt blue and mandarin-orange – the very colors of our garden room – inspired by the sunrise over the bay – the lion as symbol of strength and the “pride of the desert:” camel, along with shimmering gold, the collection is said to “bring the magic of the Silk Road to your dining table.”

And then, finally, I arrived at Lenox – truly one of my favorite table decor brands. A few years ago I was enchanted by their Peacock by Marchesa collection at DIFFA – and bid on the auction — and won!
The Lenox peacocks have inspired a variety of no small amount of my favorite table designs and tablescape stories – and continue to delight our guests. The crisp blue and white pairs so beautifully with peony pinks and ranunculus and roses and more..

So it was pure harmony to find out that Lenox was celebrating a milestone.

Getting off the elevator to enter the Lenox showroom, I was impressed with their display – the Art Deco and classic, gold encrusted, rather ancient Grecian looking plates, were breathtaking. Turns out, these are vintage designs Lenox is showcasing to celebrate their 130th Anniversary. Congratulations are in order.

The Lenox showroom features the company’s portfolio of brands, including,: Kate Spade Home, Dansk,and Reed & Barton,

The designs are displayed in living and dining compositions as well as on shelves — the barware and glasses and accessories shimmering with Gotham’s skyline just beyond.

I walked through each of the brand displays – the Lenox team was abuzz with buyers and preparations for their own cocktail party that was to start soon. As I neared the end of my little tour, the Lenox public relations team introduced herself and took me on an informed tour. I has happy to take another loop around. I learned so much. Thank you.

Kate Spade’s line remains chic and sassy. (At the same time, it’s difficult not to think of the designer’s tragic end…)
Here’s a rundown of Spade’s dinnerware:

Tribeca – available in four colors: Rose Tea, Platinum, Clover, and Cream. It’s sold in four-piece place settings, with bowls and canisters sold separately.

I adore the trademarked, Spade Flower. It’s a kind of “sock it to me,” groovy, petal power in rose tea and noir. You can mix and match the pieces. The collection was shown with a clever group of glass vases overflowing with florals.

You can’t help but feel lucky when holding these irrepressible Spade Clover, European crystal.
Love these “heartwarming” bar accessories: the soft colors, ghosted lucite and is tres chic. I ca see this on the bar, kitchen island, bar cart – or in the office!

The Lenox dinnerware introductions included Textured Neutrals. They note the collection is “inspired by hand woven fabrics, soft neutral shades, organic shapes, and botanicals.”

While somewhat muscular as compared to classic china or dinnerware, the collection is soft and artisanal – well, yes, pretty. The soft colors lend themselves to the mix and matching of pattern and texture. I’d accessorize with wood, copper, silver and a lots of green plants – not too many blooms, as the collection’s patterns take center stage.

Here there are place settings, bowls, and platters.

And while Lenox suggests mixing and matching their textured Neutrals with their Trianna collection, I mixed the Trianna – that I initially purchased for a romantic Valentine’s Day tablescape –

Photo courtesy of Angie Lambert Photography 

I later transitioned to a St. Patrick’s Day, then on to a Spring Green theme look, mixing the ever-cosmopolitan pink Trianna with vintage green glass plates and green glasses and cache pots filled with clover and sprinkled with green glitter and “emeralds” and more…. It was a pivot for me to use a tablecloth on the antique table but this seasonal design just called out for an emerald green linen. Love the versatile Trianna!


The Blue Bay Collection porcelain dessert collection is as crisp and invigorating as a day of Newport sailing. With blue-on-white graphics, squiggles, teardrops (or are those leaves?), dots and dashes – you’ll be telegraphing a very happy tea time or ending to your guest’s dining experience. The collection boasts mugs, plates, trays, teapot and creamer set, hors d’oeuvre tray, dipping bowls — even a dessert server. I love the gold rim around the edges.
I think I would also use elements of the Blue Bay collection with other of my dinnerware collections — strategically placed on the tabletop as useful accessories to add to the tablescape story. I’d also use some pieces on a bar cart – the dipping bowls can hold nuts and small chocolates or fruits. Add a blue hydrangea or two in a gold vase and you have a Dutch Masters composition.

The Echo Ridge & Butterfly Meadow collections are just perfect for a garden-inspired tablescape and dining experience.

I was equally smitten with Lenox’s classic collection that feature buds, blooms, and butterflies – not to mention ladybugs.

In fact, there are any number of the Lenox classics that are so timeless they are irresistible.

Just look at that intricate blue design, blushing, with a bit of tangerine. And gold..

The Echo Ridge line features a spare, modern look – with a kind of rope edging on the plates and mug surfaces. Its pure white, soothing palette was paired with black and bold yellow. It’s impactful!

I love this Persian-looking Global Tapestry collection boasting bold jeweled colors of blue, pink aqua – and patterns:

This gets my tablescape imagination dreaming — I see jewel-toned silks, and poufs, and colored glasses and tea cups and candles of varying sizes. Add succulents and lotus blossoms to accessorize…

Reed and Barton displayed sophisticated barware: gleaming silver and faceted crystal.
New is the Thomas O’Brien collection of crystal trumpet flutes. I just adore all the bar tools and accessories. If you live a cocktail culture lifestyle, this collection is for you.


Happy Anniversary!

And thank you for the sweet swag.

Then, it was ultimately on to a few more classics:


I use my version of this iced vodka hospitality server when friends and family gather — it’s perfect to complement hors d’oeuvres of caviar and oysters.


This was a very memorable tablescape display — note the hunting look of plaid, trompe l’oeil Parkland Wedgwood dinnerware, silver, Waterford crystal glasses and decanter, gold flatware, a be-still-my-heart “bone” charger, and deer head salt and pepper shakers (which is the only place deer should be near a home!). Set off by glorious, rich, red roses.

Other colorful Wedgewood pieces that caught my eye are here:

I have a green-hued tiered dessert server of the version here – and I can’t tell you how much use I get from it — on the table – in the entry hall when offering drinks and candy, or in the garden room for after dinner when serving espresso and dessert wine. Plus it’s just so pretty.

Look at this art accenting the Fiskars Living bar cart. Very sexy. And thank goodness – the designer who created this “Multifaceted” barcart for Waterford – reached out to me today.  My apologies Patrick — as I wrote on Instagram – I couldn’t put my finger on your contact. 
Readers, full attribution and a bow to the creator and curator, Patrick J Hamilton Designs (Mr. Hamilton is also on Facebook and Instagram – there he is @patrickjhamiltondesigns)
On Instagram, Mr. Hamilton described his barcart design as Multifacted for the “brilliant facets of hand-cut crystal, of course, but also for the brilliant mix of old and new – Irish handcraft and modern innovation embodied by Waterford – and how that also defines the Renaissance man – or woman – who appreciates that very mix- because like a good cocktail party guest list or interior design, it’s always the mix that matters.” 
Brilliant description!  Thank you, sir.  (and I see great minds think alike – we have the same theme background style for our blogs.  Cheers to us!)
For details on the products used in Hamilton’s design – check out his Instagram. All the crystal and barware are Waterford, of course.

I urge you to pursue your tablescape dreams. Build your tablescape stories with these outstanding brands and artisanal pieces. They are surely a glamorous investment in your artful hospitality designs.


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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

Join me to celebrate a romantic, garden-infused, entertaining lifestyle filled with artful design, sparkling dinner parties, peerless martinis, and copious magnums of champagne!





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