Fall Coffee Table Decor Ideas Using 8 Items

With just a handful of home decor accents and a few pumpkins and gourds, you can create 7 beautiful simple fall coffee table vignettes. Use what you have and these tips to have a season’s worth of fall coffee table decor for any flat surface in your home.

Beautiful fall is almost here! So let’s create fall coffee table decor for any flat surface in our homes. Today I’m using our family room coffee table as the flat surface to show you 7 simple ways to style any flat surface for fall.

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Last spring, I challenged myself to create simple and pretty coffee table vignettes using 10 items. It was so fun, so I am doing the same thing, but for fall. This season I chose 8 items and was able to make 7 easy vignettes.

I hope you will take up this challenge, too, and see how many simple fall vignettes you can make for your coffee tables.

8 Fall Decor Items

The secret to this challenge is choosing wisely. I could only use 8 items to create all the fall coffee table arrangements.

Some decor items that are very versatile will appear in almost every vignette. A handful of faux pumpkins and a few dried gourds are an example.

I wanted the vignettes I created using the items to…

  • be super simple
  • work with my color palette
  • look fall-like, and work through Thanksgiving
  • have an organic element
  • use lots of texture
  • have varied heights
  • not overcrowd the coffee table
  • be a low enough profile (for the most part) to look over them to watch tv
  • only be things I already had

So I looked around our house until I found these 10 items…

  • trio of candles
  • fall arrangement I made
  • metal tray
  • handful of faux white pumpkins and dried gourds
  • burlap-covered books- see how to make them Here
  • a wide, shallow-footed bowl
  • white candle
  • large dried Birdhouse gourd

Here are 7 simple and easy-to-create vignettes for fall…

Arrangement + Candles

I was looking forward to using the fall arrangement in the white vase on the coffee table this fall. I put this arrangement together in just a few minutes using some fall stems I had in the basement. Look for a DIY coming up soon.

This coffee table vignette is classic and very easy to put together. Did you know that honey is the fall color of 2023? So for the coffee table decor, I embraced a tight color palette featuring honey-colored items. You will love what will be trending for fall this year and read about them here in 8 Fall Decorating Trends For 2023.

One of my biggest designer secrets for creating a cohesive look is to use a tight color palette. You might like to read The Ultimate Guide For Using Color When You Decorate.

Bowl + Pumpkins And Gourds + Candles

For this arrangement, I kept the candles and replaced the fall arrangement with a stoneware bowl and filled it with pumpkins and gourds. This is a more modern and streamlined fall look. Right now, the pumpkins are faux. Hopefully, in the next week, pumpkins will begin popping up in the Amish greenhouses. I keep a few small faux mini baby boo pumpkins (my favs) just in case.

The Importance Of Accent Decor

I’ve learned that it is important to collect a variety of accent decor because it makes decorating so much easier. Acquiring a stash, even a small one, that you can mix and match when you decorate will give you lots of options. And we, home decorators, love options!

This bowl is a decorating chameleon! It works in so many areas of our home! Items like this bowl are decor gold. It can hold fruit on my kitchen counter or samples of body wash and hair products on the guest bathroom sink. I have put a small wreath in it and put a candle in the center of the wreath. It is a beautiful place to collect Christmas cards dressed up with a few sprigs of evergreen.

For fall, this bowl could hold mini Indian corn, dried sunflower heads, or even a couple dried hydrangeas for an interesting fall accent. I have two shallow bowls, both a little different, that I use all year long.

Accent Decor Every Home Needs is a very helpful post with the 13 different accent decor everyone should curate.

Tray+ Faux Pumpkins And Dried Gourds + Fall Arrangement

For the next fall coffee table decor idea, I corralled everything together on a metal tray. A tray or a basket instantly creates a feeling of cohesiveness in a vignette. When you decorate a flat surface, consider using a tray or basket!

Even though the pumpkins are faux, the gourds are real and are dried. The gourds have a beautiful matte honey color, so they were picked because of their color and their very interesting shape. I think pumpkins and gourds work so well together!

Gathering Items In A Tray Or Basket

Adding the tray helps this arrangement not get too scattered looking. The image below was taken last fall. See how I used the tray to keep the pumpkins together. You can see last year’s fall tours HERE and HERE.

Try to have a variety of different size trays as well as different materials and shapes. If you have them, you will use them! They add an interesting layer of decor to a room.

What To Do With Shelves

If your flat surface has a bottom shelf, pay attention to what you put on it. You want to add something to the shelf that does not draw attention away from the top of the coffee table or flat surface you are decorating. However, it should quietly support the overall design.

The coffee table in our family room has a bottom shelf, and for these coffee table ideas, I kept the decor on it the same.

A trio of decorating books was mostly picked for the way they coordinated with the rug and complemented the honey color in the coffee table decor, along with the books, I chose a medium size round basket. The basket is part of a set of baskets. If you have followed StoneGable for any length of time, I’m sure you have seen them. Right now, they are on a super sale. See them HERE.

Fall Arrangement + Burlap Books + Pumpkins And Gourds

This arrangement is probably the most balanced of all the simple fall coffee table decor. It has a tight color palette (well, all of them do) and is a study in texture!

This simple fall vignette is all about texture! The arrangement and the books have a rough texture, and the pumpkins and gourds are smooth. The juxtaposition of these textures is very interesting to our eyes!

Did you notice that dear little gourd sitting next to the white vase? That little gourd is what ties the whole vignette together. Our brilliant mind/eye connection picks the gourds right away and connects them together, hence connecting the whole coffee table arrangement together. This is a simple trick anyone can use.

Neutrals And Texture

There is a horrid myth that a neutral home is dull or not very interesting. Oh, how wrong! What a well-decorated neutral home lacks in color, it makes up for in texture. Burlap is one of my secret weapons. However, the trick for me was to introduce a little bit of burlap in a not-so-rustic way. One of the accents I use is covered books.

I started covering books with burlap years ago, and I have used them in my decor ever since. You can see how to Cover Books With Burlap Here.

Birdhouse Gourd + White Candle + Bowl Of Pumpkins And Gourds

This vignette is the most low-profile coffee table decor. If you have a TV that sits on a table in front of your sofa, this might be the best option for you.


When we downsized a few years ago, I remember going back and forth about keeping the birdhouse gourd in the vignette above. I’m so glad I did! Birdhouse gourds are common around here. Mostly the Amish grow them and dry them. They are dry when they turn brown and even a bit moldy, are hard to the touch, and rattle because the seeds inside them have dried up.

This is a little off-topic but fun info about these funny gourds.

The Amish drill about a two-inch hole in the birdhouse gourd, take out the dried inside of the gourd, paint it white (heat reflecting), and hang several together on a pole. These poles are placed near a garden and become homes for purple martins, a local swallow. Purple martins are the best bug catchers and do a great job keeping hungry bugs out of the garden.

I grew birdhouse gourds for several years in our large garden at StoneGable. They are amazing plants. We also had a Martin apartment house on a big pole at the end of our garden. All this to say, a birdhouse gourd is a one-of-a-kind object of art on a coffee table. You can get birdhouse gourds HERE. You can see the dried smaller gourds HERE and Tennessee Spinner (LOVE) HERE.

The birdhouse gourd on the left side of the table is balanced by the bowl of mini pumpkins and gourds on the right side. This is called visual weight. Although the items are not the same size or shape, our eyes look them over and weigh them. Knowing about visual weight will make decorating much easier! What You Should Know About Visual Weight is a very easy-to-understand post that will give you lots of aha moments.

The Rule Of Three

I added a small round white candle in a gold-flecked glass cylinder as a third item in this vignette. And there is magic in threes! In decorating, the rule of 3 is the golden rule! It is so simple, and it works magically to create beauty and balance! It can be used in something as small as a vignette, like the one above, or as large as the layout of a room! Make sure you read Using The Magical Rule Of Three In Your Home.

Candles + Bowl Of Pumpkins And Gourds + Arrangement

If you like a bigger statement, then you will probably like this arrangement. It uses the rule of three, has lots of texture, and uses another important designer secret for creating lots of interest. Just as the rule of three is interesting to us, so are items grouped together that have different or varying heights.

Things that are grouped together that are the same size and height seem to be either boring or confusing to us. That is why designers group things together that are different in size and height.

When I’m arranging items together and a couple of things are close in height, I pull out a couple of books and use them as a riser. Don’t overlook books as a decorating accent.

5 Designer Ways To Use Books will give you some creative ideas for using books to decorate your home.

Birdhouse Gourd + Trio Of Candles + Arrangement On Book

This vignette has a big presence. Our coffee table is small, so it makes the arrangement look even bigger. The birdhouse gourd is balanced by the arrangement, and the candles give the arrangement height in the middle.

Balance And Decorating

Balance is easy to do. Most of us can tell if decor on one side of something is visually equal to something on the other side. It’s like balancing a scale. And this fall coffee table decor uses the designer concept of balance to full advantage. We are wired to like beauty, and balance is beautiful!

We are also wired to one extent or another, to like a bit of visual tension. That’s when something seems just a little off. It’s exciting and has us wondering. This vignette doesn’t have any visual tension, but it is very balanced. Did you notice that I added a book and a small gourd to the arrangement side of the coffee table? I did this to bring a little color balance to both sides of the design too.

If I had to do the coffee table decor over again, I would probably take away the basket and just leave the trio of books in the middle of the shelf for a more balanced look and feel. You might like to read Why Balance Is Important When You Decorate.

I hope you will take the time to read over some of these important posts that will help demystify the secrets that designers have used for ages. They will be so helpful when you decorate your fall home.

Now, it’s your turn! Grab a handful of accent decor and create something simple and attractive for your coffee table or other flat surface.

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  1. I have a very large dark wood, square, rustic coffee table in front of my kitchen couch. Would these same tricks apply? Do I need to put a light colored linen down first? Just love your samples using simple, found around the house, early fall items! I am ready to experiment! I found you through Ann Sutton.

    1. Hi Shirl, I’m thrilled you found us! These arrangements work with any flat surface, no matter the color. If you want to add a light colored linen cloth, give it a try! Happy Decorating.

  2. Yvonne,
    Your coffee table designs are so refreshingly simple this year. Love the three candle sticks and candles with the fall arrangement . I don’t think I can use it in my family room coffee table because I have a large ornate wooden box that holds remotes, notebook and pen and other assorted things we use and a small square basket in front of it that holds our coasters. A large rectangular tray is where my seasonal vignette is placed and I use a glass cloche to hold a faux candle or maybe a pumpkin in the fall. Not alot of room for major change but will definitely use the arrangement and three candles sticks somewhere. Thinking of on a small cabinet I have in our foyer where it will be the first thing visitors see. Thankyou and have a good Labor Day holiday saying a bittersweet goodbye to this summer.

  3. Linda Smith says:

    I love all of your fall coffee table designs! Can you tell me where you got the honey colored candles that are in your black candle sticks?
    Thank you,
    Linda Smith

  4. Love all the fall coffee table vignettes,lovely as always.

      1. You and your beautiful home always inspires me !!

  5. These are great ideas. So beautiful. Happy Fall!

  6. Good morning, Yvonne!

    You are my inspiration and I appreciate your many tips, tricks, advice, and spiritual guidance. I have listened to your podcast and now follow you everywhere on the blog and through email. I feel we are kindred spirits, even though we have never met. My husband and I have been married for 40 years and I have six grandchildren. I am a retired elementary school teacher. We are in the phase of decorating a new house we moved into in 2019. I love your transitional style!

    We are going to purchase the buffet you have shown in your living room. You have included three different sites from which to purchase it…Wayfair, Amazon, and Walmart. I cannot find the link you shared for the Amazon purchase. Please share this with me again, so I can give you the percentage you earn through our purchase.

    Thank you for everything you do and may God Bless you every day!

      1. Thank you for the links to Wayfair and Walmart for the buffet. I have found the buffet on Amazon with a better shipping date. Do you have an Amazon shop where you can add the link and get credit for the purchase? You have helped me so much with decorating my home and I want to give back to you. Thank you for all the time you spend with your readers!

  7. Julie Briones says:

    So many wonderful options for decorating a fall coffee table! And with just 8 items! You are amazing!