When planning a tablescape, I first choose the theme – a color scheme and décor focal point. For this example, the Fall colors of black, orange, yellow, and burgundy are varied in the florals of sunflowers and mums. The décor focal point is pumpkins/squash.
Once those are determined, I start by gathering my decor items together, along with my place settings and glassware. I have built my décor inventory over the years, and many items are mixed and matched differently over various seasons. The essence of my style is more is better, and layering is important!
TIP: If you are just beginning and staying on a budget, start with what you have and build upon it each season. Start with a placemat or a charger. If you can do both, all the better. I tend to buy solid color placemats and chargers to allow the pattern to come from the dishes or decor and to keep flexibility for future themes.
I usually start with my center table décor, but today I will start with the place settings. Here, I use inexpensive black fabric placemats and plastic gold chargers as the foundation. They give depth on any table, but especially important on glass. The dinner plate has a wide border reflecting the themes of fall colors and squash. The salad plate brings a more dynamic focal point.
Then I start building the table centerscape.
TIP: Always consider the sightline of your guests. You don’t want your table décor to limit all conversation!
I start with my largest objects to establish the height and width of the overall design. I try to create focal points or “islands” and then connect them later with floral. This also allows a little relief from the fullness of the overall décor. I do like to mix and match textures, but I try not to lose my way here. Too many ideas all at once can result in a less sophisticated look. For this theme, I used glass and ceramic pumpkins and repeated the material choice in the glass candlesticks.
Next, I place the larger florals and smaller pumpkins/squash. Then I add the leaves and branches to fill the gaps, add dimension, and stretch the “islands”. Finally, I tuck in the feathers as a final touch.
TIP: You can use less expensive fillers and branches most of the time, but when choosing floral stems, you won’t regret finding higher quality items both for elevated finish and product longevity.
Final touches – choosing a napkin and ring, or a special fold to accompany the established themes. Add salt and pepper shakers, glassware and flatware. Here I used plain black napkins in a simple fold with a multi color jeweled napkin ring. Simple black stemless water glasses and black flatware finish the look.
On Thanksgiving day, I will swap out some of the salad plates for the Turkey theme, and add gold rimmed crystal wine glasses.
I then repeat my dining room décor in small touches throughout the other rooms to bring a cohesiveness to the home, but always keeping the dining room the star!
Try a new Fall decor yourself! Don’t be afraid if you think you don’t know what you are doing. Just get started, and if you don’t like your first attempt, move things around!