November 15th, 2012

Setting a Festive Fall Table

Once you’ve established a good foundation in your dining room, it’s time to talk about setting an attractive table for entertaining. Setting a pretty table is one of my favorite things to do—not only because it’s visually appealing, but more importantly, because it invites your guests to linger longer. So many of the best memories are made when gathered around a table enjoying a holiday meal.


Traditionally, fall colors are the warmer tones on the color wheel—the reds, oranges and browns. A fall table setting can easily take its cue from the changing season, pulling inspiration from colors found most notably in the changing fall leaves.



Choosing color for a fall table should be an effortless task, and the easiest way to do it is to use what already exists in nature as your guide. Layering a table with earth tones is a sure way to embrace the hues we find most often during the autumn.



Texture is also an important element. You can always stay in the same color family when you layer your place setting with different textures, such as cotton, ceramic, silk, and wood. Mixing in a little gold is a great way to embrace the metallic of the moment.



There is no need to struggle with creating an inviting palette when many textiles have done it for you. A patterned tablecloth or napkin is the best place to start when setting a colorful table, but feel free to think beyond the label of “tablecloth”—here an inexpensive window panel sets the color palette for a place setting that includes burnt orange paired with deep teal.



Look for contrast and/or complementary colors when setting an inviting table. If your placemat is dark, pick a lighter plate and mix in a colorful napkin. Here, the warmer burnt orange found in fall pumpkins or autumn leaves is tempered by the cooler blue tones—incorporate a different hue with linens, plates, or vases that form the centerpiece.



For a more contemporary look on your table, think outside the “fall color” box. Mix warm yellows with cool grays, bright pink and antique gold, rich chocolate with lime green—all of these pairings would pay tribute to a traditional fall color while keeping the color palette modern and fresh.


Don’t forget, you can never go wrong with neutrals when you partner them with metallics. No need to choose just one, champagne and gold tones mix beautifully with silver or pewter. Anything goes! The bonus of mixing neutrals with metallic sheens is you’ll have a tablescape that will carry you through the upcoming holidays from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.



Happy Holidays everyone!