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Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner and it is the perfect excuse to invite your friends over for a vibrant, colorful dinner party to celebrate Mexican culture (respectfully!){ }and to indulge in flavorful dishes. Trust us, your guests will be begging for this to become a yearly tradition!(Image: Ashley Hafstead)

Create the perfect Cinco de Mayo tablescape in 5 steps

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner and it is the perfect excuse to invite your friends over for a vibrant, colorful dinner party to celebrate Mexican culture (respectfully!) and to indulge in flavorful dishes. Just follow my five simple tips below for the perfect tablescape and you will have your guests begging for this to become a yearly tradition!

Step 1: Choose your color theme

This table is all about BOLD color, pattern and texture. But because you will be incorporating lots of texture and mixing patterns, start by choosing two similar colors, to help you to elevate and refine your tablescape. Blues and greens come to mind and take me back to the jungles and cenotes from Tulum, so I used that as the primary color palette and then incorporated different shades of that color through glassware, linens, plates etc. Finally, pick an accent color to really make the table pop -- I chose pink.

Step 2: Linens and chargers

This is the base for your whole tablescape. Start by covering your table with a tablecloth that is a bold color but with minimal pattern. Next, layer on a Mexican blanket (or two) to add texture and pattern. With your napkins, try incorporating colorful stripes and fringe. Just remember repetition through color helps keep your table cohesive. Incorporate rattan chargers to add a natural textural element to the table -- the neutral colors will help ground the colorful tablescape.

Step 3: Plates, glassware, etc.

The plates and glasses are all about mixing with little to no matching -- the only rule is stick to the two primary colors. Start by layering a solid (or minimally patterned) dinner plate, then go wild with a fun salad plate -- this is where you can incorporate your “pop of color." For your glassware make sure to have a killer margarita glass at the ready and add a different toned water glass so your guests can stay hydrated. For the silverware, try and incorporate hammered silver or stainless steel knives, forks and spoons.

Step 4: The centerpiece

Head to your local florist (or even your local Ace Hardware) and pick up living miniature cacti. Grab a bunch of different varieties to add height and texture and then wrap the ugly plastic container in a colorful paper napkin with twine. Voila, you have an instant living centerpiece! It takes about 15 to properly fill a typical eight-foot table, but you can give them to your guests as party favors at the end of the night. To complete the centerpiece, add low votives and scatter them throughout the table.

Step 5: The wow factor

The thing that really takes this whole dinner table up a notch are the paper streamers. Hang different tones and sized streamers from the ceiling. I use command tape to hold them to the ceiling; when you’re done they won’t leave marks to your ceiling). Create festive seating by adding them to the back of each guests chair. Finally, glue streamers to drink stirrers for a fun addition to the margarita glasses!

Happy Cinco De Mayo and happy entertaining loves!