Well, fall is not only here outside (our temperatures have dropped into the 70’s and 80’s!), but it is definitely fall inside our home. Last week it was so much fun to decorate an autumn tablescape as part of the Autumn Tablescape Blog Hop. And now I’m leading off this week’s Fall in Love with Texas Fall Blog Tour. And the timing couldn’t be better. Last week Sweet Shark and I hosted an event for a group of neighbors who have over the past year graciously been the subjects of a monthly resident recipe column that I write for a neighborhood magazine ~ yes, I can add published writer to my resume. The best part is getting to meet these fabulous people. We wanted to say thank you and so decorating for fall and cooking and hosting all came together. That’s why I can show you How to Decorate Your Table for a Fall Party.
How to Decorate Your Table for a Fall Party
This little get~together was very casual, starting at 5:30 in the afternoon so I used our breakfast room table, pushing it up against one of breakfast room windows that overlooks the back garden, to serve as a buffet table. As my tablecloth, I used one of my remnant pieces of fabric that I keep on hand. I thought this soft blue and cream pattern would provide the perfect backdrop.
TIP: I think the tablecloth should be a subtle foundation for your serving dishes and food. It shouldn’t be the focal point or overwhelm the table.
Before spreading out the tablecloth, I set some boxes and a cake stand on the table to add height and interest. Move and adjust until you get the look you like. As long as they are sturdy, any box or container will work.
TIP: Platters, plates, and decorative items should not all be at the same height. It’s much more interesting to stagger heights.
Place your tablecloth over the boxes, tucking in the edges and giving some slack between boxes. I prefer not to let the cloth drape over the table.
TIP: If you need to cover the table, use a flat sheet or other tablecloth first, laying it flat on the table and then proceeding with your boxes and overlay fabric or tablecloth.
Now I added the Remington Sure Shot box that I bought at an estate sale last summer. It would hold my flowers. This is also a good time to bring out the serving platters that you will use. Since this was a causal event, I used one of my medium~sized cutting boards for an organic place to serve the charcuterie. The gold platter will serve as my fruit tray.
TIP: Try to vary the color and texture of your serving dishes, but remember that solid is always best for serving food. And light is better than dark. Think about the color and texture of the food you will be serving.
I moved things around and added three layers of cake stands for my cupcakes. As you can see, I also started adding some white pumpkins “randomly” on the table. I love the white pumpkins against the cream of the fabric.
After you have all your serving dishes in place, I like to put out my plates and napkins.
TIP: Always place plates at the beginning of the table and the napkins and silverware, if using, at the end of the table. It’s very awkward for guests to hold a plate, napkin and silverware while they are serving themselves from a buffet.
I added this small lantern with an orange candle for ambiance and a little pop of fall color.
I couldn’t resist using this little chalk board with a fall message.
The table was set and ready to go the day before the party.
TIP: I find that getting the table set as early as possible helps you “see” the finished table. Now you can concentrate on the food preparation and other details.
Adding the Food
Since everything could be served at room temperature, about 30 minutes before the party started, I started setting out the food.
TIP: Stop whatever you are doing at least 1 1/2 hours before the party and get yourself ready. That way even if everything isn’t 100% ready for your guests, you are and you can ask the first guests to help ~ here in Texas, as guests, we will always ask!
Platter #1 ~ red seedless grapes, sliced figs, sliced apples (This is a variety called Sweet Tango and they are absolutely the sweetest apple you’ve ever had.) served with a slice of smoked Gouda.
Platter #2 ~ I used a large Boos cutting board for my charcuterie: thinly sliced Genoa salami, cubed sharp cheddar, thinly sliced Havarti, rolled and stacked prosciutto, a slice of Brie and a small bowl of fig preserves. (You can see that I added a few striped pumpkins to the table ~ that was Sweet Shark’s idea.)
TIP: Vary how you serve cheeses: slices, cubes, a wedge. Cheese should be served at room temperature to bring out the flavors. I love stacking the rolls of prosciutto: again, more interest to contrast with the slices of salami.
Platter #3 ~ Pumpkin Risotto Balls. In the fall, this little bite of goodness has been one of my go~to appetizers for years. I can always count on them to wow guests. I’ll share the recipe and how~to on Wednesday. You will love me for this recipe.
Platter #4 ~ Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting. I found this recipe at Lolly Jane when she shared at Your Inspired Design Link Party #53. I was dying to try them. They were easy to make (The base is a boxed Devil’s Food Cake.) and very good and very pretty. I’ll share the recipe soon too.
So now my fall table was set and ready to go. I put ice in our wine bowl for my co~host, the magazines’s publisher, to put the wine.
Here is how the complete table looked. Thanks to my friend, photographer Claudia Coker. She takes all the fabulous photos for the magazine and was there to capture the festivities.
Fall Living Room Decorations
Now I could’t just decorate the table without adding more fall decor to our living room. The fireplace is a big focal point in the room, so it definitely needed a touch of decoration.
I went simple and subtle. To our very tall candlesticks, I added a soft gold (do you call that color gold?) candle and two blue large Cinderella pumpkins. My favorite addition was the cotton boll stems in the burlap bags. I already had the stems in a vase. On our last day in Scottsdale we shopped a bit and bought some Halloween decorations (to be revealed in a few weeks.) and 2 mint julep cups, which were wrapped in these burlap bags. I was almost more excited about the free burlap bags than our purchases. I knew I had to use them in my fall decor. I bought a couple more cotton stems at Sample House, put the stems inside the bags and stuffed them with tissue paper. I just love the natural, organic look of the cotton boll stems and the burlap.
In the center of the mantle, I used another galvanized item ~ a 3~bucket holder that I bought in Atlanta in August. Yes, I got it in my extra suitcase. Love it!!! I used potted chrysanthemums ~ yes, I know they are not blooming, but after the party, we’ll take them outside and use them by our front door. They provided the natural pop of green I love to incorporate in decorating the house.
On the coffee table, I went traditional with a burlap runner, some of our cute fall stuffed scarecrows, some gourds and pumpkins. The twig planter was another garage sale find. I put baby’s breath in a glass jar and set it inside the planter. I’ll change the flowers weekly until I start decorating for Thanksgiving.
Finally, on the sofa table, I filled this tall “lantern” with fabric~covered styrofoam balls (See the how~to here.) that I made last year and a few pumpkins. A couple of wooden fall people complete the look. I think it adds a nice focal point.
Well, that was how the house and table looked for our party. The food may be gone now, but the decorations will grace the house for another month. I hope that showing you how to decorate your table for a fall party will encourage you to have more parties!
And now I want to introduce you to the other fabulous bloggers who are on the Fall in Love with Texas Blog Tour.
Fall In Love With the Texas Blog Tour
Have great fun “traveling” on the Fall in Love with Texas Blog Tour. I know I will. Drop back by Bluesky Kitchen on Wednesday for the Pumpkin Risotto Ball Recipe.