Scroll to the bottom of the page for a list of great accessories
to add Fall flair to your next autumn tablescape!
“Casual Fall Harvest Dinner”
“September Harvest Breakfast“
“Pumpkins & Peacocks“
“Pheasants & Peacocks“
“Best Laid Plans“
“Serape High Style“
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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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
- Branches with or without seasonal foliage
- 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)
- Pussy willow
- Cotton (on the stem in the boll)
- Pine cones
- Acorns (freeze them first to get rid of any “critters”)
- Sweet gum balls
- Chinese chestnuts
- Whole spices
- Nuts (don’t forget about unhulled walnuts that are abundant in this area in the fall)
- 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
- Clay pots
- Fabric (e.g., burlap, flannel, fleece, denim, warm-colored plaids and paisleys)
- Kraft paper
- Chicken wire
- Mason jars
- 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)