The autumn season brings us so many beautiful, rich colors and natural elements that we don't need to create our own. With the exception of Halloween, fall decorating is traditionally representative of the seasonal harvest and nature's preparation for winter.
Use bright red, gold, and orange colors, along with shades of brown, plum, wine, mustard, and olive green. Keep things interesting with a wide range of textures and materials from natural and primitive items to glitz and glittered components evocative of fall sunshine.
Use a combination of food & harvest elements:
- Candy Corn
with natural "falling" details:
- Pine cones
- Tree stumps
- Wood & twigs
Then, introduce woodland creature characters to make your setting distinctive:
And, for Thanksgiving, add:
Start with a neutral background that will not compete with your decor,
such as white or pale olive green. A white tablecloth and dinner
napkins are our preference to make colors and table decorations really
Then, create a stylish autumn dinner presentation by incorporating fall colors and symbols in several different aspects of your table setting. Such as the:
- Accent decor
- Salt & pepper shakers
- Scatter & confetti
- Chargers or plates
- Place card holders
- Napkin rings
For the center of your fall dinner or Thanksgiving table, you may use one larger centerpiece, such as this distressed metal pumpkin
or a set of related or identical pieces, like this set of 3 primitive twig pumpkins
. Generally, it is best to use an odd number, such as 1, 3, 5, or 7, depending upon the length of your table.
Use garland or table runners, if needed, to tie all of the elements of your centerpiece together to create a more harmonious presentation. This is also an excellent way to lengthen your centerpiece to decorate a longer table. Glittered orange maple leaf
and pine cone garland
are both ideal for fall and Thanksgiving dinners.
Make sure your centerpiece does not significantly obstruct the faces of the guests on the other side of the table. For this reason, use items that are not too high, or use very high items that rise above the line of sight, such as floral sprays in tall vases.
In addition to establishing a warm, comfortable atmosphere, lighting offers many options for introducing unique fall decorations to the dinner table. Provide enough lighting that guests can clearly see each others faces, but avoid bright overhead lighting. Use a rheostat (dimmer) switch on overhead lights to augment candlelight and eliminate the harsh glare.
Tall candlesticks or taper candles are an excellent way to frame your centerpiece. Use tree stump candlestick holders
with sculpted candles, like these of a pilgrim man and woman
, harvest corn in yellow and brown
, or tapers in orange
, or yellow
If you are serving wine with dinner, you may want to use 2 or 4 realistic-looking wine cork candles
in wine bottles. And, another great centerpiece idea is to use floating glittered fall leaf candles
in olive green, gold, and wine colors.
Add votive candles to the sideboard, shelves and throughout the dining area to add more candlelight to the room. Frosted fall leaf votive candle holders with red, orange and green leaves
or a line of metal maple leaf votive holders painted orange with gold accents
creates a dramatic effect.
Extend your exhibition with accents of decorative candles (lit or unlit), figurines, cutouts, and/or small arrangements in vases. Depending upon the length of your table, you may add unique items beyond the centerpiece on each side, such as the woodland creature owl cutouts
above, wheat bundles
, resin birch owl
and squirrel figurines
, and candle sets.
Additional details create interest and make excellent conversation starters. Choose items that complement your colors and are consistent with your theme. If possible, introduce curiosities that offer some twist or contrast to your centerpiece, such as cranberry tree
and candy corn candles
Salt & pepper shakers are a functional and easy way to decorate your dinner table. Your guests will get a kick out of a cute set of theme-related salt and pepper shakers, and there are a number of unique styles and matching or complementary shapes to choose.
We have included a set at each end of the table, a pair of color-coordinated owls in fall colors
and a mini-scene of a tree-stump salt and hedgehog pepper
Autumn is the season when nature's decorations, literally, fall to the ground. Scatter maple leaves
, berries, corn, pine cones, straw, and/or gourds
in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures to build a natural foundation for seasonal decorations. Here we've used striped-pumpkin gourds
, large metallic-gold, beaded acorns
and decorative paper-mache acorns in olive green, wine, and sienna
Add fall-themed metallic confetti for another intricate detail that will delight your guests and mimic the golden glitz of sunshine. We use 3-dimensional metallic leaves in red, gold, and green
or fall icons confetti
with metallic gold, red, and copper maple leaves, metallic gold and copper turkeys, and bright orange jack-o-lantern pumpkins.
Chargers or dinner plates go a long way to make your table look complete. Although chargers give a more formal look, they will make a stronger impression.
As long as your demeanor and conversation keep your guests comfortable and relaxed, the formality of your presentation will be less likely to intimidate your guests. To create a memorable event, don't hesitate to dress things up a bit more.
More importantly, the open, round space makes a distinctive frame to highlight another fall accent. Use a beverage napkin, as a square or diamond, or fall maple leaf
positioned in the center of each circle. Even if you are not using chargers or plates, add a napkin or accent in the center of each place setting. We've used a cocktail napkin with an orange fox on a brown tree stump
or you may choose fall leaves
or vibrant falling foliage drink napkins
|Place card holders | Napkin rings|
When you can find them, additional place setting accessories, such as place card holders and napkin rings, will enhance your fall and Thanksgiving dinner table. Alternatively, you can use place card holders for cute signs on the buffet and bar or for table names or numbers. Here we use metal turkey place card holders
for a Thanksgiving feast.
For the autumn season, you can easily create your own napkin rings. For a natural look, use raffia or straw to tie around a rolled up napkin. Or to create a more festive atmosphere, use orange
, and/or red metallic party beads
that guests can optionally wear during dinner.