Five Elements of a Fall Tablescape
Creating a Fall Tablescape is easy when you consider a tablescape is nothing more than assembled layers. This post will explore the five elements I use when I am deciding on a tablescape for Fall or any season.
When I am considering a tablescape, I do a mental check of all of the elements I want or need to use. Sometimes I have a plan in mind and sometimes I just go with the flow. But I generally follow a basic plan that doesn’t vary too much from design to design….
Basic “Ingredients”of a Tablescape:
- Tablecloth or Runner
- Plates – Dinner and salad plates
These elements may change a bit, but for the most part these are the basics I begin with and layer onto the table until I am happy with the end result. Now, let’s examine some prior Fall tablescapes I have created…
As you can see above, I used a basic white Lantern to create height in the center of the table. Two Pumpkin Candleholders were used on each side and created a cascading affect which allowed the eye to go from the highest center point downward. This technique is good for a longer oblong table.
What if you have a round table?
For the smaller round table in our Breakfast Room, I only use a single centerpiece to create height. You could also add some candlesticks if you had room.
You have to take into consideration the size of your table and ask yourself – will the centerpiece and my place settings overwhelm the size of the table? Is the tablescape being used primarily for seasonal decor purposes, or will your table be used for an actual dinner party? If it’s primarily for decorative purposes, you have a bit more flexibility in scale.
If your table is indeed being used for an actual sit-down dinner…here is a simple test. Have someone sit across from you once the table is set. Can you easily see this person and converse or are you having to stretch your neck to look over or around the centerpiece items? If so, adjust accordingly.
My breakfast room and kitchen are decorated in tones of blues and tans. Blue is not generally a traditional autumnal color, yet each year I combine blues and oranges together in some way. (and I love this color combination btw!). If you look on Pinterest, you will find a myriad of color combinations for Fall – from the traditional oranges and golds to pinks and even all white. Use any color combination that makes you happy and looks good within your home. There are NO rules.
I adore texture. I think texture may be one of the most important elements of a tablescape. Otherwise you would have a one dimensional design that would not be very interesting. I like to add texture throughout the table, not just in the centerpiece. Small pots like the ones seen above can be added to each place setting.
I like to add texture on each side of the centerpiece as well…
Grapevine, berries, gourds…all examples of elements that help add texture to a tablescape. Here is one of my secrets: I do use faux items like pumpkins and berries. I may switch out some of these faux items for the real thing whenever they become available, or I may not. But, I always try to use some natural elements mixed in with the faux such as real grapevine, twigs, pinecones, feathers, etc.
Here is another example of an easy way to add in more texture…
This mini wreath around the votive holder was created by cutting a larger garland into smaller pieces and wrapping it into a circle. This helps break up the glass-on-glass element.
One of my most favorite Fall tablescapes used lots of natural elements and textures and was so easy to put together. A white ironstone soup tureen was filled with pretty autumn colored clippings from our yard, along with some faux berries to add some color and fresh rosemary for texture.
Tablecloth? Who needs a tablecloth when you have a large roll of brown paper from the paint section at Lowes. This was my fave thing about this table….
Each guest had a pen to write what they were grateful for. This has become a tradition in some shape or form each year at Thanksgiving.
It’s the unexpected elements of a tablescape which make it so fun and so memorable.
- The Unexpected
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I thought it would be fun to put together an imaginary tablescape using some items I found online:
Let’s start with this fun Orange and White Checked Table Runner.
I think this would make a wonderful base to get us started.
Next, you need some chargers and these Faux Wood Chargers are simply lovely!
Now let’s layer some plates…
I usually start with plain white or cream dinner plates as my base. These Cream Plates are perfect with their pretty scalloped edging.
Next, I am sharing the salad plates I am actually using this year on my own Tablescape. I am so excited to share it with you later this week because I am soooo in love with these plates.
These Set of 4 Fall Salad Plates are from Pier1 and I have never seen such pretty design. I am a huge fan of watercolor and especially Impressionism. I think if Monet had ever painted Fall salad plates he would have painted these. LOL
Okay, now we need napkins.
These Woven Linen Napkins from West Elm fit the bill perfectly.
Let’s move on to Flatware….
I am offering two options…affordable and “dream” worthy LOL…
When I think of a Fall Tablescape, I want rustic and less casual flatware. This Wood Handled Set above is one option. If budget was no limit, I would fulfill one of my “flatware dreams.” I have a thing for flatware that has a “twig” handle. Call me silly, but I do. I LOVE this Sur La Table flatware design.
We Can’t Forget the Stemware…
This is where I think you can add some color. You could choose a clear glass or even an amber glass, but I adore these Soft Green Goblets that pick up the colors in the plates.
Now we have all of the basics, let’s have some fun!
Fresh flowers right? Nope. These are faux. This beautiful arrangement subscribes to my rule of faux flowers – buy quality and make everyone wonder if they are real or not. This gorgeous Autumn Silk Centerpiece with a faux wood vase may be pricey, but it will last you for years to come and can be used on an entrance table, a buffet or almost anywhere.
Can you have too many sets of candlesticks? I don’t think so. 🙂
My rule about candlesticks is the chunkier the better. Ha! These Chunky Whitewashed Candlesticks are similar to ones I am using this year in my own home.
I think candles are another way to add a pop of color and even some texture, depending on the candles you choose. For our imaginary tablescape, I chose these Handmade Harvest Scented Pillars.
Mini Velvet Pumpkin Place Card Holder, Anyone?
I may have gasped out loud when I spied these beauties. Remember when I talked about adding the element of the “unexpected?” Check! These Mini Velvet Pumpkin Placecard Holders can be used decoratively, as well. How cute would they look gathered in a small white farmhouse bowl?
Lastly, let’s add some sparkle and shine!
Adding several of these Amber Mercury Glass Votive Holders will add another texture to your table and will also offer a touch of sheen. Nothing wrong with that.
Let’s look at them all together…
This tablescape above covers all Five Elements of Height, Scale, Color, Texture and the Unexpected. The best part is that many of these items above you may already have in your home now – such as the cream plates and the napkins and goblets, for example. Use as many items as you already have and make them work. Hopefully, this gets you thinking of what you already have on hand and what you can purchase to add to it – so you too, can create an amazing Fall Tablescape. xxoo, Barb
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