The brilliant Spanish architect and artist, Antoni Gaudi, is still an inspiration a century later to modern society to encourage us all to dream without limitations or parameters. He most certainly did. Use his modern mosaic and stained glass style as inspiration for a colorful party!
Gaudi turned traditional architecture on it’s head, and took mosaic tile work and stained glass into a whimsical, modern realm no one had ever imagined before. Gaudi’s modern style of mosaic tiling is characterized by irregularly-shaped pieces of materials placed together to create a unified whole. Broken ceramic pottery, glass, stone tiles and natural elements like shells and pebbles are used in his modern mosaic work. Your ‘Thoroughly Modern Gaudi’ inspiration will give your entertaining decor punch and excitement by creating a whimsical, but modern mosaic of colors and patterns in ceramic serving pieces, dishes, fabrics and colorful party food.
Several weeks before your party date, work out your ‘mosaic’ table displays. Use white linens on your food tables and then imitate mosaic tiling work with the mixing of either solid and patterned ceramic serving pieces or only solid colored, modern-styled serving pieces placed fairly close together on the table. In this case, use anything but white serving pieces. As you can see in several of the pictures above, the white grout and white ceramic tiling makes whatever it surrounds POP and brings cohesiveness to the whole piece. The white space between your serving pieces will imitate the grout lines of a mosaic and all the colors will play off each other.
Use serving pieces with florals, geometric borders and maybe a solid or two to create an interesting mix. Play around a good bit with adding, taking away and rearranging until you’re satisfied. Then, snap a picture of your finished arrangements so you can quickly replicate it on the day of the party. You may already own a good mix of colors or you might need one or two filler pieces to round things out, hence why it’s a good idea to do a dry run before the party.
Miss Party will throw out there one ‘crazy party lady’ idea for your central food table IF you have a jig saw available to you. Gaudi was ALL about the curved line in his architecture. Purchase a piece of plywood that is 2 feet larger by length and width than your actual tabletop. With help, and a protective cloth covering your actual tabletop, center the plywood over the top of your dining table (the plywood should extend 1 foot on each side). Freehand draw an outline template of a wavy, curvaceous, curved corners shape that is essentially the same dimensions as your tabletop underneath (just be sure your waves are NEVER less than your actual tabletop). This plywood will become your new temporary table top. Remove the plywood and jig saw along the pencilled outline. Carefully replace the new tabletop on the table and cover with the white tablecloth(s) you plan to use. Check to be sure you don’t want to make any changes or exaggerate the waves then carefully remove. Sand the edges a bit so you don’t snag your tablecloth. A ‘Thoroughly Modern Gaudi’ table the old Architect would have enjoyed!
Continue the glass and ceramic materials theme by using colorful cloth napkins wrapped with eclectic, multi-color beaded napkins rings. Beaded napkins rings are relatively easy to find. Crate & Barrel comes to mind as a likely possibility for finding contemporary versions. However, it’s also an easy DIY project to custom make your own napkin rings. One idea of many, is to string multi-colored or single colored glass and ceramic beads onto 12-15″of stiff jewelry wire (secure both ends by turning the wire back onto the last bead and pinching tight) and then wrap the wire in a tight coil around a cardboard paper tube to give it shape.
In addition to Gaudi’s mosaic work, the stained glass windows in his incredible temple, Sagrada Familia, are colorful and modern, run an internet search for images. Imitate his very unique style of stained glass with your own simple version of it. This is another super-easy DIY project along the lines of the Gaudi-style stained glass glassware pictured above. Cover the outer side of inexpensive, clear glass serving pieces or dishes with randomly-sized, tiny pieces of tissue paper (cut not torn) using thinned white glue. 1) Paint on a thin layer of glue, 2) cover with tissue pieces in a similar way as what you see pictured, 3) paint a second thin layer of Mod Podge over all the tissue pieces to seal them, and 4) let the dish dry.
Play along with the colorful table and serve equally colorful food and drink. For example, make a multi-colored corn and black bean salad with red peppers to put in a ceramic bowl with a colorful floral border or maybe prepare an entree platter of stuffed green and red peppers with melted cheese on a cheery red fiesta ware platter. Put your thinking cap on for colorful ingredients you can work into recipes or are already colorful food dishes that fit the menu you want to serve.
Enjoy entertaining artistically and colorfully!