Autumn

There are 10 distinctive autumn tablescape posts on this page alone…PLUS
Scroll to the bottom of the page for a list of great accessories
to add Fall flair to your next autumn tablescape!
Other Autumn tablescapes (click to go to post):
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
September Harvest Breakfast
Pumpkins & Peacocks

THANKSGIVING 2010
 
The “grownups” table for 12 set up in our living room has a little glitz and glam going for it. A seasonal rich chocolate brown table linen anchors the setting.
To offset the deep brown and add sparkle, I used lots of cut crystal that was sure to reflect the tiniest bit of light. Two crystal epergnes with gold trim are the crown jewels of the table. (Scroll further down this page to “Shake Your Tail Feather” to see this epergne used in a different tablescape, or click HERE to see it in a Christmas tablescape.)
The flowers in each of epergne include scads of seeded eucalyptus mixed with orange carnations and deep burgundy leucadendron. I opted for ivory metal case candles to avoid drips on the linens.
The smaller arrangements on this table are in cut crystal rose bowls with a pattern similar to that of the epergnes. Added to these arrangements are sprigs of russet-colored alstroemeria.
A patterned gold charger and ivory dinner plate are topped with rich chocolate napkins in a traditional fold. I gilded a handful of leaves (Lord knows there are plenty around to pick up!) and added an ivory mini pumpkin to plop on top. The leaves and pumpkins are repeated at intervals down the length of the table.
Longchamps crystal stemware again mimics the pattern of the floral vessels. Faux mother-of-pearl handled flatware completes the place setting.
I scaled back a bit on the amount of food this year, but I don’t think the menu disappoints. There’s a little something for everyone! The quote on each menu is from a book my husband received as a gift called “Gratitude”.
 
 
The fireplace mantel receives a lightweight treatment of Longchamps crystal mini vases filled with the same flowers as I used on the table. An array of shiny gold-colored candlesticks with ivory candles (watching them like a hawk!!!) fills out the arrangement.
The children’s table is not so fancy. It’s mostly about utility here, with a shot of “ooh wee!” tossed in by way of the centerpiece. A simple ivory linen is topped with a fun runner.
Each child’s place setting consists of a pumpkin-colored melamine dinner plate topped with a colorful floral paper napkin. Everyday stemware and flatware round it out. (I want the kids to learn to use stemware as opposed to regular glasses. I don’t worry so much about breakage when I use these relatively inexpensive everyday stems.)
 
 
The centerpiece has all the same flowers as on the adults’ dining table presented in a wooden & metal planter. The floral arrangement is flanked by two metal treasure chests spilling over with apples and grapes. The framed menu is for the benefit of the lucky adult who draws the short straw and gets babysitting duty! 🙂
 
MOROCCO FOR TWO
The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. I decided to slow things down a bit and spend a quiet evening with my husband without all the distractions of the outside world with a much needed at-home respite! I wanted to convey romance, peace and calm, so this setting did us both a world of good!
When called in for dinner, my husband was met with a bevy of candlelight on the stairway adjacent to the library.
We have dined in the library only one other time with other people. Tonight, it was just the two of us in our big leather club chairs. (To see more tablescapes in the library, click HERE, HERE, HERE , HERE , HERE, HERE and HERE.)
I’ve grown a bit weary of strictly autumnal decor. I kept the fall color palette but spiced it up with this fabulous Moroccan-style throw for the table topper with a solid black skirt. The beading on this throw is magnificent, and I really like the design. (That big ol’ reproduction Louis XVI vitrine in the background is slowly but surely becoming our home’s 3rd bar!)
  
It’s a little tough to discern in the photos, but the chargers are actually a rich bronze color. The dinner and salad plates are solid black. The classically folded silk napkins – a splurge for sure! – mimic one of the colors of the throw. My beautiful Hampton Silversmiths “San Remo” flatware and Godinger “Chelsea” collection crystal stemware rounds out the place settings.
With such a tiny table and so much pattern, it was hard to imagine candlesticks along with the intentionally very slender black centerpiece vase. (Notice I used a single orchid stem to keep it streamlined. Smooth black river stones anchor the orchid in the vase and keep the monochromatic black illusion alive so as not to take away from the throw’s design.) I opted for these cool copper jeweled boxes from Pier 1 into which I just dropped a clear votive candle. Just the perfect amount of romantic illumination!
AUTUMN BY THE EMBERS
There is nothing that speaks of a chilly night’s relief like the warmth of a crackling fire. I wish we had a fireplace in every room of the house! But since we don’t, I tuck furniture away in Ramon’s office (thanks, honey!) and set up intimate dining in our casual, cozy family room.
On any given night, especially in the cool weather months, I’m a firm believer that you can never have too much candlelight!
It’s fun for us to linger in front of the fireplace over dinner and dessert with another couple. The food is always hearty, the conversation is relaxed and witty, and the wine bottle is bottomless! We’ve been entertaining a lot over the past year, and this little table for just the four of us was a nice change of pace.
I used rich rust-colored metal chargers, rustic avocado green (does that description date me?) plates and soup bowls, brown cotton napkins and simple faux mother-of-pearl flatware. To keep the tablescape from looking blah, I used a fanciful print cotton table linen with a plain ivory underskirt. The centerpiece floral was loosely constructed, using complementary colors. The ivory centerpiece pillar candles rest atop rustic…dare I say it again…avocado green candlesticks.
I thought it would be kind of fun to put a faux artichoke votive holder at each place setting.
Ramon gets very antsy about all this fire, but I love it! It’s so soothing and everybody looks better by candlelight!!! (After that near disaster in September, I watch candles like a hawk!!!) The tapers set against the mirror double back the look for depth and extra light. The side votives extend the mantle piece and provide an additional level of light. (Varied levels of light is infinitely more interesting to the eye than a static level!)
HOLLYWOOD FRIGHT NIGHT
(Photos by Sheri L. Grant)

No graveyard soiree for these former stars of stage and screen.

Because mystery men from their Hollywood heydays have fresh flowers delivered to their graves each week, there are plenty to decorate the table. Because I learned my lesson from the fiery centerpiece disaster on a windy night last month AND because the ladies get enough real fire in hell (we assume that’s where all these dastardly divas are spending eternity!), I used LED candles all around.

For each special lady, a black napkin folded into the shape of a clutch bag with a carnation embellishment. Of course, nothing but silver and our best crystal will do!

Creepy, crawly friends check out the table arrangements.

Two gnarled branches of a manzanita tree grace the center of the table with gleaming silver candlesticks, cut crystal votive holders, and an array of cut crystal vases filled with pink carnations and roses.

Oh, no! There’s a big bloodsucking bat coming toward you and a snake in the branches!!! A couple of the ladies must have brought their agents along!

Ooooh! And there’s a sneaky spider. Another lady must have brought her publicist! The mouse is surely her long-suffering but faithful assistant!

Carrie is present in the form of a skull, still wearing her prized prom queen tiara. The bloody “brains & spinal tissue” oozing from her neck is fashioned from fresh red cockscomb (celosia argentea, also often referred to as Brain Celosia).

Hey! How did this guy from “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” crash the party????

The view from Carrie’s seat of all the candles in pitch darkness.

The view looking up from hell. 🙂 See the eerie full moon above?

Click HERE for “Serpents & Skullduggery” and HERE for “Ravenous Raven Graveyard Feast”

FALLING FOR A COCKTAIL PARTY

As I am hooking up this week with the first ever Henrietta’s House Happy Hour, I thought I’d add this bit from an autumn cocktail party we hosted a couple of years ago, WAY before I even knew what a blog was!!! I just wanted to spend some time with friends and neighbors before the hectic holiday season set in.

As I only snapped a few photos for posterity and not detail, there are no closeups. I will say, however, that the food was scrumptious and plentiful. To the right toward the back are rows of little glass bowls (clear votive holders, actually!) filled with hors d’oeuvres-sized portions of homemade macaroni & cheese. That was a huge hit! I put them atop a warming tray to keep the food hot. We had 3 other hot hors d’oeuvres, several cold hors d’oeuvres, an antipasto platter, fresh fruits & veggies, and an array of fun bite-sized desserts including liqueur-filled chocolates. And of course, the wine and pink cosmos were flowing!!! (Answer to the question I know you’re asking yourself: Yes, I always walk around with the house phone hanging on my shirt!)

 

IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN!

Inspired by Charles Schultz’s wonderful classic cartoon, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, I created this autumn tablescape for a few close friends who just wanted a quiet but fun evening.

Each place setting featured a rusty, almost orange-colored metal charger that I picked up at Tuesday Morning several years back. Brown rimmed yellow stoneware from Pier 1 was perfect for our entrée. Pumpkin colored melamine dishes from Target took on the salad, and brown rimmed green soup bowls were there for a delicious chunky tomato soup with crabmeat which could have been a meal in and of itself!

Taking full advantage of my newly purchased David Stark book, Napkins With a Twist, I pulled together this fun fold with this colorful cotton napkin from Stein Mart. The fold is incredibly easy to do, despite all the resulting nooks & crannies. Each napkin is topped with a mini pumpkin and faux autumn leaves. (See this napkin used in another fall tablescape HERE.)

My husband was not fond of the place cards/menus I created at the last minute (he’s a critic now!), and on second glance I think I could have done better. Desperate times called for desperate measures! The evening’s fare was printed on the back of each place card.

The centerpiece was a complete, total, and shameless rip off of the cartoon with the massively proportioned pumpkin surrounded by sumptuous mounds of fall leaves! I perched the pumpkin atop a small stand to lend a bit more height and drama.

I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not, but it’s getting dark much earlier now so I’m able to actually light candles before guests come out for dinner at 7:30.

Two sides of the centerpiece were flanked by various seasonal gourds. Putting the gourds on two sides only elongated the centerpiece and kept it from looking too rounded.

It’s hard to tell in my amateur photos, but the entire centerpiece was subtly illuminated from underneath using these miniature LED votives. Hiding them throughout the leaves provided a soft glow to the entire piece.

Further illumination was provided by multi-hued pillar candles from Pier 1 placed on the 2 sides of the pumpkin not decorated with gourds. The tri-level orange wooden pieces were purchased a few years ago at Hobby Lobby and added to the tablescape just to add narrow vertical interest.

I really like these candles that boast four different but complementary hues.

AP-PEAR-ENTLY AUTUMN

Just because it’s a weeknight, doesn’t mean the table has to be boring.

These are simple place settings using humble stoneware, but dressed up just a little bit. I bought the oak and maple leaf faux wood chargers last season at Crate & Barrel, although now I’ve seen something very similar at WalMart! Could have saved myself…..ugh! I don’t even wanna do the math on that one! The mustard dinner plates are from Pier 1, and the avocado soup bowls from Target. I like the golden bubble stemware from Marshall’s so much that I’m sure I’ll use it over and over in the coming months!

The multi-hued striped napkins and the bronze oak leaf ring through which they are casually pulled are both from Pier 1.

I’m always so happy when I can pull a quickie centerpiece together with things I already have around the house! I constructed these nearly 4-ft. tall structures using dark wrought iron obelisks I purchased a few years back when I thought I wanted to train ivy to grow on them. (Click HERE and HERE to see other tablescapes using these obelisks!) Faux evergreen mounds sit atop wood & metal planters purchased at a going-out-of-business sale earlier this year. The finishing touches are yellow berry garland & Bosc pears.

These oak leaf floating candles were purchased at Pier 1 several years back, as was the table runner. The candles have a nice, subtle clove-like scent and are a wonderful complement to the charger and runner designs.

That’s Tuesday night dinner…with an upgrade!

SIMPLY BITTERSWEET

With the chill of the season in the air, I’m entertaining outside less and less now. I’ve invited a few friends over for a casual dinner and a sappy movie. Nothing fancy, just pure fun tonight! I fashioned the main part of the extended centerpiece to mimic something I recently saw in a Pottery Barn circular. Quick, simple, speaks to the season. The addition of the smaller hurricanes lends more presence to the overall centerpiece. Votives add another level of light.

These multi-hued placemats from Pier 1 are among my fall favorites. The chocolate brown acrylic chargers are from Target and the bone colored 10 Strawberry Street stoneware plates were a bargain at Tuesday Morning. I went all European and did the French treatment on the flatware placement (tines and bowls down) even without a fancy monogram to show off!

Look closely and you’ll see that the cotton napkins from Pier 1 are two-toned! I separated one color from the other with a fun wooden pumpkin napkin ring, also from Pier 1. I kept the fan fold of the napkin a bit more relaxed to match the feel of the evening.

Pier 1 sold this fabulous stemware a couple of years back, and I just can’t get enough of it! Each piece is so sturdy, and the wave of contrasting colors is very pleasing to the eye. The orange, cream and brown fit perfectly into my dining room color scheme. Gotta run! My popovers are done! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!

 

SHAKE YOUR TAIL FEATHER

The formal nature of my friend Jean Sloan’s dining room dictated a decidedly staid autumn tablescape with a few not-so-serious twists.

The crystal teardrops of Jean’s dazzling chandelier are repeated across the table set for 6 with the centerpiece, stemware and candle holders.

Plump red grapes, dotted with stray alstroemeria blooms, cascade over the side of the crystal epergne. (My husband will be eating leftover grapes for weeks to come!)

Clusters of richly colored alstroemeria are arranged in cut crystal Godinger “Olympia” rose bowls. The reddish-brown color adds the “oomph” needed to rescue the tablescape from looking too monochromatic.

Pheasant feathers plopped into cut crystal bud vases create a stir at each end of the table. They not only complement the colors and theme of the dishware, but add texture to the tablescape.

Photos by Sheri L. Grant

Gorgeous cut crystal votive holders add shimmer close to the table surface.

 The rich dark wood of Jean’s dining table was the perfect backdrop to the burnished gold chargers topped with brown transferware dinner and salad plates. The oak leaf-shaped soup bowl is from Pier 1. The flatware is Royal Danish sterling silver, a treasured gift from my Mom’s collection.

I found the beautiful dishware with this exquisite peacock motif at a boutique called Home Finishings here in Lee’s Summit. The price tag caused a little agony, but I finally caved and bought enough for 12. SO worth it!!! This close-up shows the intricate pastoral pattern that depicts the proud creature displaying his lush plumage as his less fortunate feathered friends look on. (See these beautiful dishes used again HERE.)

Another fun twist to an otherwise traditionally set table are these jumbo carved wood acorns atop each napkin. I picked these up at Pier 1 a couple of years ago.

I love the intricate diamond-shaped cutwork in the Cristal d’Arques Longchamps stemware. The stemware design mimics that of the centerpiece epergne and crystal bowls. Notice here, too, the pretty crystal knife rests. People don’t use those a lot anymore, but I find them both pretty and practical.

Photos by Sheri L. Grant

Many thanks to Jean Sloan for letting me fulfill a fantasy autumn tablescape!

PEARS & PINECONES

It was a dark and stormy night, and….wait. This isn’t a mystery novel. It’s a dinner party! Sure, it was dark and stormy, but inside all was cozy, a little bit casual, and a whole lot of fun…even with a power outage that hit right after I snapped the above photo!

Humble clear glass hurricanes take center stage enveloped in wreaths of grapevine and pinecones, spiked with fall berries. The pinecone theme is gently repeated in the salad plates.

This is one of my favorite salad plate patterns! With a motif that is suitable year-round, this pattern from Pier 1 is not just for the birds! Paired with unembellished white dinner plates, a mustard-colored napkin ties the suite together. A simple gold charger and Revere style flatware lends a stylish touch. A crunchy, sweet Bosc pear – one of autumn’s many gems – is tonight’s guest favor.

I am head over heels with these chunky amber goblets from Z Gallerie!!! They are perfect any time of year, but especially in fall as the leaves begin to turn a similar color! The clear stem on the goblets opens the door for the colorless wine glasses.

A few fun accessories to bring warmth and excitement to your Autumn table:

  • Hay/Straw bales
  • Dried corn stalks
  • Corn husks
  • Nopales
  • Succulents
  • Branches with or without seasonal foliage
  • Bittersweet
  • Seasonal flowers (e.g., sunflowers, mums, “Autumn Joy” sedum blooms, aster) or year-round flowers in seasonal colors (e.g., roses, calla lilies, hydrangea), fresh or dried
  • Wildflowers (goldenrod,
  • Prairie grasses (fountain grass, cat-o-nine tails, millet)
  • Leaves (dried or fresh)
  • Wheat
  • Pussy willow
  • Cotton (on the stem in the boll)
  • Moss
  • Lichen
  • Pine cones
  • Acorns (freeze them first to get rid of any “critters”)
  • Bark
  • Buckeyes
  • Sweet gum balls
  • Chinese chestnuts
  • Whole spices
  • Nuts (don’t forget about unhulled walnuts that are abundant in this area in the fall)
  • Beans
  • Popcorn (unpopped)
  • Coffee beans
  • Seasonal fruits and vegetables (especially pumpkins & gourds, root vegetables, kale, apples, persimmons, peppers, berries)
  • Berries (on and off the stem)
  • Hedge apples (also known as Osage oranges, horse apples)
  • Wreaths made of vines
  • Feathers (especially quail, pheasant, and peacock)
  • Bird nests
  • Bird houses
  • Animal pelts (faux or real)
  • Wood, particularly unfinished (e.g., crates, benches to replace chairs, serving dishes)
  • Iron (a little rust on it looks cool!)
  • Cast iron
  • Copper
  • Clay pots
  • Brick
  • Slate
  • Antlers
  • Fabric (e.g., burlap, flannel, fleece, denim, warm-colored plaids and paisleys)
  • Quilts
  • Tapestries
  • Kraft paper
  • Leather
  • Rope
  • Twine
  • Chicken wire
  • Lanterns
  • Hurricanes
  • Mason jars
  • Baskets
  • Candlesticks, chargers, and other tabletop items made of natural materials
  • Flatware with handles made of wood, faux antler, or unpolished metal
  • Figurines of woodland animals (e.g., squirrels, deer, wild fowl, owls, raccoons)
  • Figurines of farm animals (e.g., roosters, pigs)
  • Farm/Harvest-related items (e.g., wheelbarrow, wine crates, farm implements, straw hats)

70 thoughts on “Autumn

    • Thanks a bunch! Those bird plates come in the mustard yellow, red, dark blue and a soft green at Pier 1. I’m sure they’ll turn up again in a spring tablescape! I wish I could have gotten ALL the colors!!! And, Jackie, I agree…Z Gallerie is one of the places I go for inspiration. My “personal shopper” there is Thomas here in KC. LOVE him!!

  1. I just love how you took something as simple as pine cones and pears, added a touch of gold and candle light to create a lovely, elegant table.

    Re: Halloween, I concur. My personal preference is to celebrate Autumn/Harvest. My Halloween decor consists of happy Jacks (smiling pumpkins) and (smiling) black cats. I have a set of Homer Laughlin Fiestaware black cat dinner plates that are fun for Halloween. >^..^<

    • Mona, I just Googled that Fiestaware, and it is cute! Much happier than some of the ghoulish stuff we see out there! I did see some really fab stuff at Z Gallerie, though, like rhinestone encrusted skulls and such. Don’t think I’ll spend my money on ’em, but they were cool.

  2. Very pretty! I have the pier1 plates in green and red, used them in my Christmas decorations last year! They are so pretty that they truly can be used as plates or display pieces with the right accents.

  3. La la la lovely!!!

    Shall I choose one? what if I can’t? §;-)

    Love all your treasure, girl? Maybe you know that am loving crystals, so I want to grab all your pressed crystals overthere!

    Kidding—

    Happy Friday & enjoy the week-end too.
    xoxo
    /chie

  4. I thought I was going to be looking at one table and you had a ton. Each was beautiful. I love the leaf candles and the yellow bird plates the best I think, but the feathers in vases were cool too. My mother in law made me a wreath with pheasant pelts years ago when her husband hunted them and I thought it was so creepy, I have wished many times that I had kept them.

  5. Hello amazing fall tablescapes!! Everyone of them is amazing! I love the bird salad plates…the chargers, the goblets..the linens…the candles. I love the napkin fold in the first one with the mini pumpkin in the middle. Thanks for linking up to Centerpiece Wed. and sharing all your amazing ideas.

    Karin

  6. Oh my goodness I am in LOVE with your last table with the bird plates and those hurricanes with candles and pine cones… SO cozy and very much my taste (you’ve inspired me, thank you!). Earlier on, I’m also really blown away by those gnarly branches you used for the spooky table! I think that is BRILLIANT! I might steal that idea sometime, love using what I have in my own woods or on my property (or in my own attic) to decorate with.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. I enjoyed your blog too and I will follow you. I hope you’ll stop back by my blog sometime and follow me too 🙂

    Michelle
    http://www.jamiesoninteriors.com

  7. The fireplace looks so warm and romantic. We love to pull a coffee table up to the fireplace and eat too.

    Loved the Hollywood Fright night too. OOOhh, the bats in the manzanita!

  8. What a GREAT assortment of wonderful tables & inspiring ideas! I adore that centerpiece epergne and crystal bowls as well as the pretty crystal knife rests. Must put those on my list of items to look for.

    Thanks for sharing all these fabulous tablescapes!

  9. Over the years I have seen you perform your magic. I have assisted with packing, loading and traveling with your many gorgeous pieces. Yet and still, it continues to take my breath away when I see a new tablescape. Seeing your individual pieces is simply amazing, but seeing the way that you put everything together to create such a wonderful room is what blows me away. Your tablescapes aren’t just a beautiful place to dine, you totally change the look and feel of a room within no time at all. The same room at that… It is so amazing that so much talent and vision is packed away inside of such a small little person.

    GO GIRL!!!!!

  10. I love the Thanksgiving tablescape. It is so gorgeous. You do such good work. I have seen it and worked with you but I can’t get enough of it, I keep coming back to see what is new.

    • Ebony!!! Hi! I miss you!!! I thought about you over the weekend! I was in your neck of the woods at the grocery store! I’m glad you keep coming back to check on the ol’ blogazine, and hope you’ll visit over the Christmas holidays to see what’s new. We have several dinner and cocktail parties planned, so I’ll very likely have a few to post!

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  18. Every single ‘scape, detail, dish, napkin, candle, embellishment is wonderful, Alycia. Love them all. My head is spinning with the beauty you present, the ideas you give your followers, and (hee hee) the increased desire for more and more dishes and crystal and props, and…. Thank you!

    • Hi, Zuni, and thank you so much! I actually thought about you today! I was out and about, and I saw some beautiful dishes that reminded me of the ones you used in your tablescape last week! What made me think of you was the fact they had decorated all around the little vignette with little birds that reminded me of chickadees!!! Too wild! I didn’t buy the dishes (under threat of death or serious tortuous pain by my husband!), but they sure were pretty to look at! Funny thing is that even though I have more dishes than what should be legal, I tend to use the same core group over and over. I just mix and match them with other elements that make them all look new again. Are you ready for this week’s Tablescape Thursday? I look forward to seeing your newest creation! Thanks for stopping by!!!

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  28. Ms. Nichols i am just in awe of everything you put together. I do tablescapes occassionally but not of this magnitude….i try! You are absolutely awesome!!!! erica gassaway.

  29. I enjoyed reading your Moroccan Table for Two post, Alycia. I love the deep, rich colors of the china along with the comfy chairs. I think it is so much fun to eat in a room in the home where you don’t ordinarily. We recently changed things out in our home, and we used to eat in the living room, but now switched to the dining room, and it’s a whole new way of experiencing the living spaces–it’s been fun. So nice to hear from you at my blog. The potato chips are a bit of a projects to make from scratch, but they do taste out of this world, and the blue potatoes do make a very interesting-looking chip, although they all taste the same! Have a lovely weekend.

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  31. Hi Sweet Lady,
    I couldn’t find a recent post, so I clicked on your Autumn ‘scapes. Wow! They are gorgeous! How are you feeling? Still not up to playing with dishes? I hope you do well through the holidays.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Katherine

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  34. So happy to reconnect with you! You’ve done an amazing job organizing your archives for readers searching for your always beautiful tablescapes. Are you actively blogging again? I now have my Fall reading project in front of me. Thanks for inviting me for a peek. Cherry Kay

Thank you for visiting. If you have questions, please email me at table21tablescapes@gmail.com

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