Known by some as the St. Louis spring event, Friends of St. Louis Children’s Hospital recently held its 10th annual Table Tops event at The Ritz-Carlton. A sell-out affair, this afternoon soiree features a display of elaborate tables designed by area businesses and taste-makers, complete with boutique shopping and lunch. Proceeds benefit St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Camp Rhythm, a free summer camp designed for area children with heart conditions. “We’re especially thrilled that proceeds from this event help fund a wonderful program like Camp Rhythm where—if only for a few days—seriously ill children and their families can forget about the trials of dealing with chronic illness and enjoy one of childhood’s simplest pleasures,” says Gene Diederich, CEO of presenting sponsor Moneta Group. While the tables might be large, it’s the little things that make each design stand out. LN spoke with three designers about their tables, and even snagged a few tips for home entertaining.

Cat’s Meow Personalized Gifts

Too bright to miss and too playful to ignore, the Cat’s Meow Personalized Gifts table houses enough monograms to make any prep weak in the knees. “We tried to give a good representation of our store overall—it’s bright and colorful with an emphasis on personalization,” says owner Catherine Bennett. “A lot of what we try to do is start with the basics and show how you can reuse the items by adding different colors.”

The table is grounded with a black-and-white color palette and features pink and lime accents, with pops of as many on-trend colors as possible, explains Cat’s Meow merchandiser Dori Nethero. Items such as monogrammed platters, decorative glass and boxes sit among the place settings to envelop attendees in color, pattern and personalization. “We always have Table Tops on the top of our mind,” says Nethero.

Warson Woods Antiques

Carol Fyhrie didn’t just take guests under the sea—they headed to the depths of an antique ocean to be engulfed in vintage shells at the Warson Woods Antiques table. “One of them is a conch shell that has a cameo on the front, so it is a real collector’s piece and would have been a souvenir, probably in the Victoria era,” explains store GM Fyhrie, noting the popularity of shells during that time.

This theme spreads from the table décor, across to the place settings and down to the scalloped-edge linens. The final look is “very airy, very light” and includes a color scheme focused on shell hues, like beige and off-white, with hints of color in butterscotch, rose and lavender. The centerpiece itself is an antique urn filled with vintage sea fans and orchids, surrounded by scattered shells.

Butler’s Pantry

Brian Blasingame, director of visual design, says that most years, Butler's Pantry has designed tables to represent venues. “Our goal every time is to come up with a fantasy way to have a little experience from the venue, as if they’d been there.” This year’s venue inspiration? The soon-to-open Piccione Pastry on the corner of Delmar Boulevard and Skinker Boulevard. “This one has been different for me than all our other years in that all the other locations already existed. We decided to focus on the interior design and finish of the space.”

Shades of caramel, gray and chocolate play nicely off the pop of bold red, and printed kraft paper creates placemats representing the material used to wrap purchased baked goods—an idea that works well for home entertaining, he says. The napkins are reminiscent of kitchen towels, which is an easy entertaining option to bring retro or rustic flair. For a centerpiece, “we are focused on an abundance of pastries,” Blasingame says, which translates into an artistic take on a bakery display case made to leave table guests feeling engulfed in the treats. Who can imagine eating lunch when dessert is so close by?

More Design articles.