Momma Told Me: How To Design #SeductiveTables w/ Moll Anderson's New Book

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How To Design #SeductiveTables w/ Moll Anderson's New Book

Eastern tablesetting
Momma Told Me: A table for two, me and you.

I know Valentine's Day is just around the corner, but no single month or date can limit the amount of romance in my life. It's a family tradition of mine that my father and I get together for an intimate lunch every Valentine's Day; a simple illustration that love and it's connections are not dates and holidays, but memories made with connections cherished. I've sung the praise of 'environment setting,' or the treatment of plate to ear mood-setting with previous posts about lighting integration and aromatherapy. As humans we truly use all of our senses to create a memory, and everything from background noise to fabric textures play a role in inciting romance and inspiring treasured moments. Of course, I'll be the first to admit, more often than not, the other half and I end up scarfing down a painstakingly home-cooked meal on the couch, precious plates balanced on cushions. It's not for lack of inspiration, but a lack of time that causes me to overlook our table for this much less glamorous rendezvous. So, when I recently discovered interior designer Moll Anderson's new Seductive Tables for Two table-scape guide I was captivated by the simple concepts even I could execute with things found around the home.
Seductive Tables
As the third publication released by her self titled production company, Moll Anderson's Seductive Tables for Two is much more than a coffee table book with pretty pictures. While you're certain to find professionally styled tablescapes and  well illustrated guides to linen and decor, the book reads much more like a treasure hunt. Explore page after page of inspiring details intended to spark unique table settings in your own home. Nothing is meant to be taken literal; use these images and inspirational thoughts as fuel to ignite your own creativity and unleash the interior designer within you. Like the use of color blocking on page 137? Find inspiration with your favorite hue and pull foliage, fabrics, and food from the entire palette of shades within it. I was particularly inspired by the Sushi Sensation styling concept, where the decadent details cite the rich colors of Eastern inspiration, amid dark backdrops intended to incite passion by candlelight. Warm colors such as Gold and Mandarin Orange amid Mahogany and Cherry Oak set the tone for my own inspired table-scape.
With Moll Anderson's book in hand I first set off around my own home to find inspiration for my Eastern inspired tablescape. I had to look no further than my mantle, which was already adorned with heirloom china and miniature scenescape of Pandas amid tiny Bonzais. The majority of our kitchenware and diningware easily ties into this theme with a heavy black and red motif. As Chinese New Year had just passed I was especially inspired by local images of thanks giving alters and the practice of what is known as a 'Reunion Dinner.' This time of year, in particular is intended to give thanks for good fortune, and show appreciation for those closest to us. Fresh fruit is often piled throughout the house at thanks giving alters, to express a family's good fortune, and hopes for the coming year. With a palette of Gold, Black, and Red, I began with a few beloved baubles from around my home, thoughtful Buddha, and a Gold Leafed Candleholder.
Table Setting
At my local WalMart, where I had initially come across Moll Anderson's book, it was easy to take a small budget and create a rich table-setting. I knew the quickest way to bring emotion and life to my table-scape was to incorporate fresh fruit and greenery. The pomegranate, a believed aphrodisiac, already matched my core colors, and added a sensual element of texture and flavor, great for breaking the ice before a meal. Some baby golden pears were the perfect pop of color to compliment my gold hued table-runner and accents; wax or 'fake' fruit can also pull of a very believable atmosphere, while remaining ready for use the next time. While there was certainly no shortage of fresh flowers to choose from, this time of year, I wandered into the lawn and garden department where I could select a living plant to enhance my table-scape. Not only was this significantly cheaper than bundles of flowers on stems, but offered a more masculine touch the other half appreciated, and provided a plant we could continue to nurture year-round.
Seductive Tables
#SeductiveTables don't have to feature elaborate 5 course meals; they can offer the most unrefined finger foods, and still be impressively intimate. There's an entire chapter in Moll's book about refining a picnic for man and woman, because the biggest key to intimacy is personalization. When you consider your partner's favorites textures, sights, and sounds, you're sure to insight romance! I especially love the concept of adding small 'finger' foods that can be hand fed to your significant other. Smaller bites are certainly much more intimate and allow for the delicate touch of varied flavors and textures. Which is why Seductive Tables for Two also includes complimentary recipes, from cocktails to Broccolini and an entire break-down of essential spices. Because what you put on those plates is just as important as how you display them!
For our romantic table setting I solicited the glow of evening sunset, alongside a Mandarin Orange potted candle and Cranberry Currant Pillar, with adorned golden lace ribbon. While I chose to go sparingly with textiles, the fabric and accents you choose can dramatically dress up a table with minimal effort. The right table runner or cloth can instantly transform a table, especially when you label colors, prints, and textures. Here you'll see I loosely wrapped a cherry red ribbon with a faux diamond tassel to symbolize generosity and romance in the new year. Inside my centerpiece is a simple succulent, potted, plant  that brings fresh life to my tablescape.
Easter tablesetting
For our meal we indulged in a 3 part Seafood Dim Sum of Shrimp Hacao, Shrimp Shaomai, and Crab Dumplings, alongside Pork and Vegetable Potstickers with Fresh Pomegranate. These small bite sized treats enabled us to pick up the chopsticks and share the flavors in an intimate and romantic manner. For our main course I chose the succulent profile of Garlic and Ginger Glazed Chicken on Steamed Jasmine Rice, with a plate of 1 Bite Red Velvet Cupcakes for dessert. Of course we had a rich Plum Sake on hand to help cleanse the palette and transition between flavors. As seductive as the setting was, it wouldn't not have been complete without the mellow background noise of our favorite music, completing the sights, tastes, and smells for a well rounded immersive experience.
Our Seductive Table for Two was beyond anything I could have prior imagined; little old me having previously been intimidated at the mere thought of interior design. The result of Moll Anderson's inspiring tips and recipes, along with the vivid visual cues that fill the pages of Seductive Tables for Two has truly brought new life to my dining room, and the possibility of romance year-round. I must admit, it was incredibly liberating to take a few key elements and turn them into an entire evening of memorable sights, tastes, and conversation. The proper table-setting can really create a mood for romance! Follow my journey from book to table with a sneak peak behind my shopping trip for this inspired table-setting, in my Google+ album. Pick up this engaging and inspiring book at WalMart retailers nationwide, and online at

What Daughter Says: Don't be overwhelmed, you don't have to be an interior designer to solicit a romantic tablescape, simply look around!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®.  #CBias #SeductiveTables #SocialFabric.


Sandy a la Mode said...

this is soo nice! i wish i had time to cook a homemade meal! :)

Sandy a la Mode

Jenn Mitchell said...

Really lovely table setting. Can I come over?

Tiffany Cruz said...

I love what you've created. I should do something like this for my husband. Everything looks so good. Yum. and YUMMM!

Someday I'll Learn said...

This is absolutely stunning! I love the theme you chose.

Cinny Bbs said...

Looks nice! Love how you have so many eastern inspired items in your home.

Cheap Is The *New* Classy said...

That table is GORGEOUS! I especially love the candle holder!


Paula Robinson said...

where is my invite :) Beautiful

Kristyn said...

I am loving all of these great table settings!

MommaWannabe said...

That's very inviting!

Lena B said...

You totally seduced me - I love your table

Yona Williams said...

I love the color of the setting and truly makes an inviting spread for diners. Now I really want to eat a pear.

Carrie Phelps said...

What a beautiful idea and I love those plates!

Amy B said...

that's gorgeous! love how classy and simple it is

Bee said...

This looks like a great idea--perfect for being romantic but saving some $.

Darlene ysaguirre said...

This is nice makes the meal more intimate when theres a backdrop to the table decor

lilyk said...

This book looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing!