Fall is such a fun time to decorate a table! And a fabulous time of year to entertain. Lots of abundances and delicious flavors to play with. In many areas fall is the perfect time to eat al fresco! Today we will be looking at some of the best autumnal elements to dress a table. I have tons of ideas and lots of petty pictures for you! Ready to set a beautiful fall table?
I think fall is my favorite time to style a table! And if I can get outside on a sunny fall day I’m just about in heaven!
Let’s talk fall tables!
One of the greatest little pleasures in life, for me, is setting a beautiful table! I love when I can take my time and set it in advance. It is a lovely creative endeavor! And setting a fall table should be on your fall bucket list.
Get those dishes and other tablewares out of the cupboards and mix them on a table with elements of fall!
Here are some of my favorite things to use on a fall table!
What could be prettier than using a tartan throw as a tablecloth for a fall table! A tartan will automatically set the mood and give you a beautiful color palette to work with.
If you don’t have a tartan throw in the colors you like how about a pashmina? What we really want to put down on our table is something rich and warm and filled with seasonal color. Creative, right?
You can see my Ancient Buchanan Car Rug (Throw) HERE.
How about using these things as a tablecloth or runner…
- fall colored scarf
- brown paper
- old curtains
- vintage linen
FALL INSPIRED DISHES
You don’t need a whole set of fall dishes to create a handsome fall table. Just a set of fall-inspired bowls or salad plates will work! That little nod to fall will set the mood for the entire table!
And you don’t have to spend a lot of $$$ on them either! My favorite haunts for finding great seasonal dishes are HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Pier 1 and Wayfair!
My one caution would be, don’t get too cutesy! So many plates with fall motifs look juvenile and quirky. Stay away from those if you want to set a more elegant, put together table.
If you have a great source for seasonal dishes please tell us about it in the comments.
My favorite fall-inspired dishes are…
- turkey plates
- leaf bowls
- acorn salad plates
- pumpkin dessert plates
- wooden dishes
- brown transferware
- big fall platters
STACK FALL COLORED DISHES
If collecting leaf dishes and acorn plates is not your thing then how about collecting dishes that lend themselves to fall colors.
Try using dishes in beautiful fall color combinations! Then use fall elements around them and you will have a luscious fall looking table.
I think mixing blue and white with orange can make a fall table look very sophisticated. Give it a try! That’s one of my best fall design tricks!
I have a set of square rust colored dinner plates I picked up at Pier 1 years ago and use them every fall!
Here are some other color ideas for getting a rich fall look…
- black and white check with green
- brown and cream
- all white with one burnt orange dish
- turquoise, brown and white
- mustard yellow, deep aqua, and black
- gold, olive green and gray
Natures perfect fall table element!!!!
Use them and use them liberally on a fall table!
I get a little bit heavy handed when it comes to fall tables and pumpkins! I adore pumpkins and this is the time of year I let them shine!
All shapes and sizes will work together on a table. As for color, most of the time I use the same color pumpkin on the fall tables I set.
Here are a few ways to use pumpkins on a table…
- at each place setting as name tags
- at each place setting on top of a stack of plates or in a bowl, cup or glass
- rolled across the length of the table as a centerpiece
- perched on top of candlesticks
- hollowed out and used as candleholders
- hollowed out with a small floral arrangement in them
FALL CHARGERS AND PLACEMATS
Oh yes, please! Fall chargers should be very textural and organic! This time of year is perfect for woven willow placemats or anything natural! What a gorgeous way to add layers of design and visual depth!
I get lots of email about chargers. Number one asked “charger question” is, “What do you do with them when dinner is served”.
Great question! I usually whisk away all the dinner plates after we sit and have a glass of wine at the table. Then put the dishes on the buffet when a meal is serve-yourself or use the dishes without the chargers when I serve my guest each course. If the charger is really a placemat I leave it on the table but if it acting as a true charger then it gets taken away with the plates.
Other fall chargers…
- log slices
- grapevine wreaths
- big faux fall leaves
- burlap placemats
- brown paper cut in rectangles with fall drawing going down one side
Fall elements should be the stars of a beautiful fall table! There is a bounty to pick from! From literally fall soup bowls to fall nuts!
The napkin rings above were made from a section of a toilet paper roll covered in burlap and the flower was made from the top of an acorn and pinecone arms. You can see this very easy DIY HERE.
One of my favorite ways to add a little bit of a brambly look (and you know I love a brambly look) is to use candle rings under things on my table. Not under candles though. Under a pumpkin or under tiny pedestal bowl! Instant bramble!
These blast-from-the-past table items can be used in really amazing new ways!
If you use real organics elements just know that some don’t last very long.
Leave look great for a few hours but then they start to roll and get dry looking. So cut them and bring them in just before you use them on your table! They should look pretty for the duration of your gathering.
Here’s a way to keep cut branches and leaves look nicer longer. Put them in a bathtub with cold water to cover them. Soak them for a few hours before using. EASY!
How about these beautiful fall elements for your table…
- flowering cabbage and kale
- pheasant feathers
- dried hydrangeas
- evergreen boughs
- candy corn
CANDLES AND LANTERNS
Load up on candles and lanterns when setting a fall table. The evenings are growing short and candleglow is always a better option than indoor lights!
I like to use different candlesticks and holders on my table but all the same color candles. Very important!!!! You can use different sizes of candles but make sure they are all the same color.
Also, don’t be afraid to add a few candlesticks to the table that don’t have candles in them. They become creative perches for mini pumpkins or a small nest filled with acorns. Empty lanterns can be filled with fall fluff too!
A big grouping of candles running down the center of a table creates an almost magical mood!
Try using these on your table…
- chunky wooden candlesticks
- glass hurricane covers
- mercury glass candlesticks
- old silverplate candlesticks
- all glass candlesticks
- lanterns with tiny battery operated strings of lights in them
- fairy lights
Talk about options! I think my very favorite centerpiece for a fall table are pumpkins! Really! The quintessential fall element!
They can certainly work all by themselves but gild the lily a little and add greens, acorns, pinecones and other fall things along with them!
For me, a dough bowl is a must for fall! It’s organic and oozing with texture and warmth!
Fill it up cornucopia style and it pays homage to the bounty of the season! What could be prettier?
I know there are all kinds of “rules” about centerpieces and many are very practical. I mostly follow them for the comfort of my guests. Just make sure your guests can either see over or see through your centerpieces.
OR create a beauty just for fun and replace it with a smaller one once everyone is at the table.
Wouldn’t these make a smashing harvest centerpiece…
- dough bowl filled with seasonal items
- pumpkins and candles down the center of the table
- wood toolbox filled with fall bounty
- wood slices with fall elements perched on them
- mum in white pottery
- large carved out pumpkin with flowers in it
- crock of any fall flower
- whitewashed terracotta pots with white pumpkins and seeded eucalyptus
- long wooden breadboard with pumpkins and other fall things
- glass cylinders filled with nuts or popcorn kernels topped with candles
- cake plates with candles and fall elements
- fall inspired vignette in a basket
- burlap runner with bowls of pears or apples or mini pumpkins
- chippy vintage shutter in the center of the table topped with pumpkins
Is it just me or do many magazines and blogs shy away from using mums on a table? Are there mum haters out there? I think mums are not very photogenic. And here’s why… they don’t photograph well on their own. They usually need a supporting cast to work along with them!
When thinking about using mums as a centerpiece (and I hope you do) take them out of those dreadful black plastic pots and put them in something else!!!!! Add ornamental peppers or flowering cabbage or even asparagus ferns along with them.
And wedge in a few tiny pumpkins, acorns, pinecones or faux leaves around the soil level. Ah, then your mum will be centerpiece ready!
Another mum option I use often is to cut the mums right off the plant and stick them in tiny containers to be used at each place setting. So sweet!
Many gardens are still producing lots of flowers in the fall. Zinnias, marigolds, salvia, and mums are just a few! Cut them and bring them in to grace tables and to put them on nightstands, bathroom sinks and more.
I also love using my heartier herbs like sage and rosemary and parsley in little vases or bottles on a fall table. They smell heavenly!
A sprig of rosemary is simplistic beauty when it is placed on top of a napkin and it is all tied together with twine!
Other flowers and live greens to use…
- flowering kale
- chinese lanterns
- seeded eucalyptus (from the florist)
- ornamental peppers
- russian sage
- flowering cabbage
Use everything from everyday stainless steel to silver on a fall table! I’ve been picking up amber handled flatware wherever I can find it for several years not just to use on fall table!
Simple and so so autumnal!
SET A FALL TABLE!!!!!
Make sure you put setting a beautiful fall table on your must-do list for fall this year! Get inspired and be creative!
What do you use on a fall table?