Autumn In Cactus Country

My good friend (since 6th grade!), Monica, was recently swept away from the Kansas City area to Arizona. Arizona??!?!??!? We’re Midwestern girls! We don’t know anything about ARIZONA!!! We’re used to perceptible changes of seasons, with autumn (next to Christmas, of course) being at the top of our decorating list! We know that spring means pastels, summer means ice cream colors, winter means Chiefs red, and fall means russet, burgundy, deep greens and orange. Lots and lots of orange! What in heaven’s name is a Missouri transplant to do for fall in Arizona??!???!

Asked and answered on a recent “Better Kansas City” segment! This 2-1/2 minute clip includes four different autumn tablescaping palettes I think you’ll enjoy!

One way to bring the season to your table in climes where warm colors can overpower and autumn leaves simply don’t exist is to use white and pastel pumpkins along with lots of succulents.







While the palette is predominantly white, it’s the accompanying elements that lend to the fall feeling. Notice the use of translucent stemware and votive holders that keep the table light. The Home Essentials Antique White dishes, faux mother of pearl flatware, napkins…all in the white family but not the exact tone to add subtle variety.








Tucked among the varied sizes of white pumpkins are chicks & hens, jelly bean plants, echeveria, agave and seeded eucalyptus. The greens and burgundy in the succulents are a deliberate nod to the season and keep the tablescape from becoming too austere.


While standard votives would look perfectly fine with this vignette, I chose these cylindrical ones from Pier 1 to add just a teensy bit of height. It’s already hot in Arizona, so just a few for ambience!


The dining table is loaded with decor, so I elected to keep the buffet behind it sparse. The clay pots I chose for these flowing succulents remind me of a weathered adobe home with its pinkish tones.

The elements used in this tablescape could be applied all around the house for light, airy, fresh fall decorating in southwestern U.S. states like Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Oklahoma, and in parts of California, Utah, Texas, and Colorado as well as in Mexico.

Without question this was one of the most fun challenges ever! Monica, I hope this helps! Michael, I still don’t forgive you for taking Monica away! 😉

Other tablescapes on this site from this
“Better Kansas City” show clip:

Autumn Chinoiserie
(others soon to come!)

Other tablescapes on this site
using white pumpkins for fall:

Thanksgiving 2010
Autumn White Wedding
Finally Fall
Over the River and Through the Woods

Another tablescape suitable for fall
using succulents (and sunflowers!):

Cinco de Mayo Simply Done

I’m linking up this week for the first time to “Dishing It & Digging It” and the “Share Your Style” blog party where you can see all kinds of talent in the blog world!

27 thoughts on “Autumn In Cactus Country

  1. I love the combo of white pumpkins and succulents! This works well for South Texas too where are temps and still in the 90’s and the trees stay green. Clever, clever, and talented girl you are. Can I be your second best girl friend???

    Loads of Love,
    Susan and Bentley


  2. Succulents and white pumpkins should work well for Monica in Arizona, that is if she can find the white pumpkins! BTW, Texans vs. Chiefs tonight. Guess who I’m pulling for!


  3. Alycia, what a beautiful table for any location. White pumpkins and succulents look so elegant. It is so sad when friends move away, but at least you can visit in the winter when it isn’t so hot in the desert! Stunning Tablescape!


  4. Hi Alycia! How great to see you blogging again!! I’m sorry I’m just now coming around to visit and comment; life has been very crazy in our family lately. I watched your TV segment; you’re so used to doing these now that you always seem quite relaxed and confident. 😉 You’re short like me, and I bet you wanted to tell that host to wear flats and not heels, right? 😀

    This table looks beautiful, and what a great idea. It looks just perfect for the west in autumn. Poor Monica — I don’t think I could stand living in Arizona. But sometimes we do what we have to do. Thanks for sharing this, and I hope you have a great week!

    Big hugs,



  5. Alycia, Your table is so elegant! Adding the succulents to the white pumpkins was a great idea to include more texture and variety.
    I love your plates with the raised pattern along the edges. Again, great texture. Your votives provide a romantic ambience.
    You looked great in the video. So good to see you blogging again.


  6. Yay you’re allowing comments again! I really love how you incorporated the succulents with the pumpkins- what a fantastic look. I like those cylinder shaped votives- light and simple. This color choice makes a lot of sense in an area that is so hot- keeping this light and cool is the way to go!


  7. Alycia, this is such an elegant and stunning table setting. I love the white pumpkins mixed with succulents for the centerpiece. The china, flatware and stems are beautiful and I love the simple buffet with blooming succulents. I know you must miss your friend but you wil love Arizona with you visit! Thanks for this most inspiring post. Happy week sweet friend…….


  8. Alycia, I tried tomato cages on a witch one time and it was ok, but I didn’t love it! I had to do a lot of wiring and messing around and she wasn’t that stable. You probably have more skill than I do!


  9. Oh I am sorry that your best friend moved away! I see lots of trips to Arizona in your future!…you knocked this table out of the park…over the fence and over the state lines! I so love the muted colors and the way you used the clear glass in the glassware and the votives…just gives it the perfect sparkle. Then you gave us a pleasant surprise of using the succulents for that perfect punch of Fall color and resemblance of cactus…super idea!….As always, i love, love the video! You are a natural and I just love hearing your voice and seeing you smile!!!


  10. This is beautiful Alycia, and so perfect for warmer climates as well as all the homes that are decorated in all white tones. I use white pumpkins with pops of turquoise and orange for our coastal fall home, and love it! I really like the succulents and seeded eucalyptus you used, very brilliant touch!


  11. I’m so sorry your best friend moved away. I hate when that happens! Hopefully you will be able to have many wonderful visits together. Your table is beautiful, and just right for fall in hot, sunny states. Loved the video, you are adorable! Thank you for all your inspiration, Alycia.


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