Chocolate Dinner – Tabletop Decor

When planning a party, I like to really coordinate every detail.  I want the theme to be loud and clear, without being overdone, and I want it to flow throughout every aspect of the party.  The theme for this party is obviously chocolate and since it’s also a nod to Valentine’s Day I’ve worked in some pink colors as well. 

I have a contemporary design style, so my plates are usually simple and architectural.  This does not mean that yours have to be the same.  If you have a funky style or a country style, I’m sure you have something around the house that could work for this dinner.  Just work with what you have.  The more budget-friendly a party turns out, the more often you can throw them! 

I will start out with my centerpieces.  For dinner parties I like to make sure all guests at the table can see each other, so I tend to use smaller centerpieces.  I decided to use pink roses because I love them all clumped together.  I am also pretending not to notice that roses have doubled in price this month due to the impending holiday.  Feel free to use whatever flowers you like though.  Tulips are beautiful right now and should be fairly inexpensive.  If you don’t want to use flowers, just fill vases with Valentine candy or chocolates.  It will still fit the theme and add a punch of color to the table.  Here are the details for my arrangements in case you want to follow along.  If not, skip down to the exciting section on napkin folding!  Oh yeah, we’re going there!

Um, please excuse the crappy lighting and the smudgy fingerprints on the table in my photos.  Yikes, I’ll make sure to clean my table before the party!  Anyhoo…I chose five bud vases for these arrangements.  I can put between 6-7 roses in each vase for a nice round bouquet.  First, fill your vases with the appropriate amount of Floralife (or other flower food) and fill them ¾ full with cool water.  Lay all of your roses out and strip them of any leaves and thorns. 

Take one rose and hold it up to your vase leaving about an inch between the vase line and the base of your rose head.  Now clip off the extra stem and line it up with its sisters to trim them all to the same size.  Place the first layer of roses into your vase forming one circle.  Since we’re using a bud vase you’ll really only get one full circle. 

Add one or two more roses to the center of the vase filling out the dome.  This technique can be used for any sized vase, so just continue adding layers of roses if you’re using a larger vase.

Now, let’s talk napkins.  I had this idea way back when I designed the invitations.  I’ve seen the menu technique at weddings and I always love the way it looks on the place setting.  If you’re not planning to print menus, you could just fold the napkin neatly, place it under the utensils, and add a pretty wrapped chocolate to the plate instead.  With a chocolate theme, the possibilities are endless!

On my placesettings I am using brown cotton napkins that I found at Crate and Barrel, but I’ve seen them many other places as well.  Start with a clean, ironed napkin and lay it face down on a smooth surface.  Fold one side in a third of the way.

 Then take the other side and fold it in as well, leaving about two inches at one end.  This is the start of your pocket. 

Now flip the napkin over.  Starting with one end, fold in one quarter then fold that quarter in towards the center of the napkin. 

Taking the other end, do the same thing.  Now you are looking at the back of your pocket napkin. 

Flip it over and slip the menu into the pocket. 

My place setting contains a charger, dinner plate, salad plate, and napkin.  With the five flower arrangements running down the center of the table, the place settings really look great!

If any of you are planning to throw your own chocolate inspired dinner, please take pictures of your event and email them to me at Natalie{at}thecitysisters{dot}com.  I would love to post them next week so we can all see how your dinner party turned out.  Good luck and happy hosting!!

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