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Decorating A Luau with a Modern Twist

Let's Luau! It's time to celebrate the summer with a modern twist. Why not throw a backyard luau to kick-off the season?

I designed the party decor to resemble the beautiful contrast between the bright tropical vegetation and the peaceful surroundings that make up the scenery of Hawaii.


Inspired by the modern graphics and colors on Pear Tree Greeting's invitation, we created a fresh and upbeat look for our luau.

The orange and pink hibiscus on the invitation front were the impetus for using tropical flowers as a focal point on the table as well as throughout the party space.

We wanted to showcase the beauty of the flowers in a nature-inspired setting.


We relied on the natural elements in creating the place settings for our luau. Bamboo chargers, tropical flowers, lush greenery, seashells and starfish helped bring the look of Hawaii to the table top.


No luau is complete without a Hawaiian lei. A symbol of affection and friendship, this wreath of paper flowers was handmade and then placed at each guests setting, providing an extra splash of color on the table.


An exotic, hot pink bromeliad took center stage on this Hawaiian themed table. The tropical plant was placed in an old wooden box to keep the feeling natural and subdued.

Adhering a small metal fish emblem from the craft store to the side of the box gave the container its Hawaiian look.


Here, the holder for the brilliant orange candle was transformed to a Hawaiian look with the addition of small seashells and a pink tropical flower.


Bamboo chargers anchored the place settings on our luau dinner table. A floral print napkin layered with a solid orange napkin kept the tropical colors and patterns alive.

We tied the orange napkin in a knot to create the perfect place to tuck a few leaves and a flower blossom.


Suitable for a Mai Tai or other refreshing drink from the tropics, this painted glassware boasts some fun pineapple-topped stir sticks.

Stir sticks, drink umbrellas, or embellished straws are an easy way to add a little extra decoration and color to your party table.


Craft stores and dollar stores have lots of beach and seaside inspired items. An inexpensive glass vase wrapped in fish netting was the perfect place to tuck some extra greenery and enhance the feel of the tropics zone.


Dress your chairs up for the luau too! Swags of tropical silk flowers were tied to the backs of each of the chairs visually extending the party decor beyond the tabletop.


Clear cellophane bags filled with Tropical Trail Mix and topped with a graphic from the Hibiscus Fun invitation were a great party favor, and a nice way to say "mahalo" to our friends for joining us for a Hawaiian luau.


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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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