Celebrating The Chinese New Year Outdoors

WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh

PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson

Is there a more striking colour combination other than vibrant reds and blacks? I think not. This Chinese New Year table setting keeps it traditional but with a fun sense of quirkiness.

Red and black is the obvious colour combination for celebrating Chinese New Year. So it will be no surprise that this is the stunning palette I have chosen for setting up a table setting inspired by the celebration of the New Year. This year it is the year of the Rooster, is it your year? Click here to find out your own Chinese Zodiac. What is special about this time of year is that it’s a celebration of the cultures that exist within our community.  We live in such a multicultural city, and it’s a special time for so many in our community, so why not join in the fun and celebrate?

Chinese New Year is just another excuse to get together with friends and celebrate. I loved decorating this table, working with such a strong colour such as red, one can’t help but feel festive. This with the combination of patterns and textures, as well as the addition of those beautiful gold statues - can you tell how much fun I had?

This is a theme where you can go all out, have fun and get creative. Chinese grocery stores are a goldmine of fun trinkets and products that you can use; from the cushions to red lacquer plates, chopsticks to waving lucky cats. I covered the table with a collection of Chinese newspaper that acted as a table cloth. This is so simple to do and so effective, setting the table with black and white serviettes from Country Road that serves as a placemat. Using red fans from the $2 shop and red lanterns from the local Chinese supermarket as the centrepieces for the table. By using monochrome colours as the base layer on the table, it allows all the red hues to pop! And boy does it ever!

Last but not least, there are two things I always add to my tables - a fun place setting and some flowers. These cute fortune cookies are such a fun talking point for the table as we all love getting hints on our fortunes, whether it comes to fruition or not it's always a bit of fun. Using Singapore orchids as my touch of floral softened the hard lines and strong colours on this table setting. They are dainty, and the purple tones of the petals work in so well. 

And my final tip - set up your table somewhere that isn't necessarily where you usually eat. A nook in the garden or hidden corner is fun to use. Add in a Chinese tea set, a collection of chopsticks and off you go.