When Life Gives Lemons: My Amalfi Tablescape With West Elm
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When Life Gives Lemons: My Amalfi Tablescape With West Elm

When Life Gives Lemons: My Amalfi Tablescape With West Elm

Business & Career | August 25, 2022
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Taking inspiration from the picturesque coastlines of Amalfi, Pinky Tobiano designs a refreshing tablescape together with West Elm.

Today’s tablescape is extra special since it’s the centerpiece of my exclusive shopping party with William-Sonoma Brands, Philippines. As most of you know, I get a lot of my tablescaping essentials and furniture from WSI Brands like Pottery Barn and West Elm.

As a huge fan of their tablewares, I always love collaborating with them since they have new collections every season. It’s every a tablescape artist’s dream!

The Inspiration Behind it All

With my ever-supportive family and friends in mind, I believe that the best theme for today’s tablescape should revolve around what I’d imagine would be the perfect vacation spot for my favorite people… the Amalfi Coast.

Located in Italy’s Sorrento Peninsula, Amalfi is known for its stunning coastline—beautifully set along the cobalt blue Tyrrhenian Sea. It is definitely one of the most picturesque areas in the world! Plus, it has a mild climate that’s perfect for get-togethers.

Aside from its natural and cultural sights, Amalfi is also known for its own variant of lemons. Amalfi Lemons are developed as a cross between the local lemon and bitter orange, which makes them sweeter, juicier, and more aromatic than regular lemons. Inspired by how the Amalfi Lemon satisfies the senses, this gave me my big idea for today’s extra special table.

A Refreshing Italian Tablescape

When life gives you lemons, make a tablescape. In fact, take it up another level and also use them in a suspended tablescape. Yes, you read that right—we used fresh lemons for this!

The citrusy aroma instantly filled the area—getting us all refreshed and excited to move on to the table underneath. We also used local lemons since Amalfi lemons are hard to find here in the Philippines. After all, as tablescape artists, it is necessary to be resourceful and adaptable. On a side note, the outcome came out a bit hefty, so we advise everyone who aims to do the same to be extra careful and make sure your ceilings or beams can handle the weight.

For our base, I picked West Elm’s beautiful Keira Expandable Dining Table because the cool walnut finish will definitely make the centerpiece and flowers pop. And did I mention that this table is also very durable since it’s made of solid, kiln-dried acacia wood? Amazing!

I then paired this with their Outdoor Slope Woven Dining Chairs to give the set a bit of a fresh and al fresco feel. These chairs are made of All-Weather wicker which is weather-resistant meaning they can be used both outdoors and indoors.

The Center of Attention

Moving on to our centerpiece. I used bouquets of baby blue hydrangeas, which towered over bright yellow lemons, which I used as the glass vase fillers. Using West Elm’s Pure Foundation Slim Vase, I also included small branches—filled with olives—to add an Italian feel. And in true TableLove by Pinky fashion, where we try to use the most unlikely things as tablescape elements, we filled Aaron Probyn Jiggers with baby’s breath as an element of surprise.

What’s more, I made use of a wooden divided tray—full of hearty grains—to add more earthiness to this setup. And to top it all off, I added lemons that were cut in half and squeezed one across the whole table for that extra olfactory treat.

Back to Nature With West Elm

West Elm is known for its unique, modern tabletop items and it’s always a delight to have a lot to play with. We picked the Silver Metallic Woven Placemat to provide a stark contrast with the warm wood finish of the dining table. Above it, we used the Kaloh Stoneware Dinner Plates which have an organic, modern, earthy feel, and paired these with Aaron Probyn Melamine Plates on top just for that pop of color.

To complete the dining unit, we chose the Horizon Flute and Red Wine Glasses, which have modern angles, and are resistant to breakage and chipping. Below these glasses are Stone Coasters in Chartreuse Onyx, which really elevate the whole look and remind me of Amalfi’s rocky shores.

Needless to say, my family and friends once again loved this themed tablescape I created for them. Having known me all these years, they understand that tablescaping is how I express my love and gratitude for all of them. Most of the feedback definitely centered around the use of the lemons—especially the ones suspended. What can I say? TableLove by Pinky always loves working on tablescape ideas that surprise everyone.

We all truly enjoyed being together in my special event at West Elm, Central Square Mall, BGC. I am so grateful to the Williams Sonoma Brands team and SSI for letting TableLove by Pinky host their first physical shopping party in three years. It is truly an honor.

From L to R: Juancho Robles with wife, Ms. Pinky Tobiano; Gina Bonoan—Merchandise Group Manager; Kingston Tan—Senior Designer of Williams Sonoma Brands Philippines

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Pinky is the President and CEO of Progressive Laboratories, Qualibet Testing Services Corp. and KPP Powers Commodities. A chemist by profession, she is also the President of the Association of the Bureau of Animal Industry Registered Companies and Recognized Testing Laboratories (ABAIL). A humanitarian at heart, Pinky hosts a weekly online show called Grateful Tuesdays. On top of all this, she is also a wife and a mother of two.
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