Party hosts: To give your guests a taste of the tropics, I like to start with a bevy of exotic orchids in the hottest colors and then add a sprinkling of hot pink. The atmosphere will be heated up in no time.

In planning the look for my party with a South American theme, I knew I had to go bold. Which is why I love the look and intensity of orchids. They really create a striking presence in a room— and do attract attention. Another bonus is that you can buy plants instead of cut flowers,  and keep them way after the party has ended. To match their intensity, hot pink accents can’t be beat. Any tabletop accessories you add in that color will make the food shine. Plus, I found a permanent representation of orchids, for those who don’t have a green thumb. Read on.

[1] Flowers: Orchids, the jewels of the jungle undoubtedly bring an exotic look to the table, and thus are the ideal choice for this party. Lady slippers come in an intense purple, cymbidiums offer an orange glow, hot pink bicolor mokara have a spotted pattern that makes them even livelier. If you get cut flowers, right before the party, pinch off the flowers to add to plates, or even add to spot in your bathroom. They will last the party without water.

[2] Michael Devine Thomas Collection Set an exceptional table scene in hot pink abstract stripes with the Thomas collection by interior designer Michael Devine. Produced by Marie Daage, each 24K-gold accented piece is hand-painted by skilled artisans, using the finest Limoges porcelain. Oversized breakfast cup and saucer, $185. Dessert plate, $135. Dinner plate, $150. Available online at While you are at the website, check out ideas for entertaining from his new book on garden party ideas AN INVITATION TO THE GARDEN.

[3] Jeremy Cole Cymbidium Floor Vessel New Zealand master artisan Jeremy Cole pushes the boundaries of ceramics in his gorgeous minimalist lighting pieces. Both sculpture and light, the pieces add a serene, exotic mood to your space. Cymbidium Floor Vessel comes in matte white bone china with matte white aluminum base, offering halogen, LED, or fluorescent light source options. Signed by the artist. $3725.

In addition to these gorgeous, check out some tools in teak, that will coordinate nicely.