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My Asian-inspired Tablescape

My latest Dinner-by-Design was inspired by my food selection. I had made this beautiful Sticky Pineapple Chicken before, and my friends had requested that I serve it again. So naturally, if you’re going to serve such a beautiful main course out of a pineapple half, you need to dress the table to match! So I rummaged around my tableware stash and came up with this Asian-inspired table design.

I don’t pretend that this Asian tablescape is in any way authentic. That’s why I chose to call it “Asian-inspired.” My attempts to implement Asian style and design are crudely American, I realize. But I do appreciate the clean lines, rich hues, and natural elements that I attempted to borrow from Japanese and Asian art.

small red teapot with three handleless teacups

Now really, you could also lean Polynesian with this Sticky Pineapple recipe, but my some of my dishware looked Japanese. I love this red tea set, and I had been wanting to use these bamboo-like placemats so here’s how it all went together.


Pulling a little of this-and-that out of closets and drawers, I quickly found napkins to match my red tea pot. No joke, I made these by cutting up a bed sheet that I bought at Goodwill. It’s hard to find patterned napkins without spending upwards of $5 apiece. And that’s more than I want to spend. This sweet napkin pattern flowed stylistically with my Asian tablescape color palette.

folded Double Star napkin on square white plate

And why not add a little wow by folding the napkins? I had recently come across this napkin-folding video tutorial, and knew that I needed to try one of these designs. I tested a couple and found that the Double Star pattern worked best with my napkin size and texture. If you are unable to view the Pinterest video link, this YouTube link also teaches the Double Star design. I folded my napkins the day before and ironed them so that they were nice and crisp. I set my table in the afternoon, and I think this pattern would have held it’s shape forever.


I still had price tags on the bamboo-ish placemats. 88ยข a piece at Goodwill! I laid these out at each place setting.


Black chargers added some contrast and sophistication against the placemats.


I love the versatility of white plates! Square white plates are masculine and bold and made a great base for both the whimsical napkin and chopstick combo and the creative, earthy pineapple bowl.

For dessert, I pulled out some smaller plates from a dinnerware set of Empress China Japan Royalty 110 that I recently inherited. Love the beautiful gold edging design on these! Even when my cake’s all gone, the dishes still look lovely!

empty China plate


I love to serve tea! There are so many wonderful and warming varieties!

I filled the red pot with some Genmaicha (brown rice tea), and the clear glass teapot with Oolong. I realize the clear glass pot wasn’t very Japanese, but I wanted to serve both kinds of tea. So I did. Whoops, it doesn’t quite match. It’s still very pretty, especially when it was filled with tea.

I have these sweet little bamboo cutting boards that make a great base for my teapots


For the centerpiece, I pulled out this narrow wood tray that I often use with my gold-etched votives. And I was able to find tiny red flower sprigs in my stash of artificial flowers. I’m sure it would look great filled in a little more, but I was using what I had on hand.

narrow dark wood tray topped with votives and red flowers


We all seriously love this Sticky Pineapple Chicken from Just a Taste. Besides the sweet pineapple bits carved out of the fresh pineapple base, the chicken is also accompanied by some crunchy cashews. The homemade teriyaki sauce is amazing!

pineapple boat filled with teriyaki chicken and rice

I knew I had a tight schedule the day of my dinner event, so I planned for some quick side dishes. I like to make homemade whenever I can, but this time I resorted to some frozen vegetable potstickers and chicken cilantro wontons.

And Dessert!

slice of three layer yellow pineapple cake on table next to a folding Double Star napkin

I have to agree that The Salted Sweets’, The Best Coconut Cake really is the best I’ve tasted! Here’s the thing, if you want to make a fancy cake without being a cake-baking expert, start with a cake mix. Recipes that start with a cake mix are almost always a guaranteed success for the novice and me. This one is so delicious! It has coconut in the cake and the topping, and coconut milk in both as well. And then, of course, it is also topped with toasted coconut. The cream cheesy frosting is so rich, but there’s just enough to satisy your sweet tooth without going over the top to sugary overload.

I hope that you will be inspired by my take on Asian tablescape decor to piece together your own beautiful table design!

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