Creating experiences for guests to enjoy and leave inspired is any enlightened host’s intention. As the fall weather cools, a shift in energy starts bringing groups together after the busy schedules of the hot summer season fades away.
Sharing dinner with friends and family is an intimate and fun way to ring in the last few months of the year. October, especially with great outdoor weather, is a month to recuperate and rejoin with others.
So, how are you decorating your tabletop this fall season?
Your tabletop setting is the element of your dinner party that can set your gathering apart and create a lasting impression in the minds of your guests. Think of your table setting as the featured art piece of the evening (in addition to the delicious cuisine, of course!!).
A beautiful table setting will encourage your guests to gather, and remain gathered, around the table for the duration of the night– it is a way to encourage a comfortable setting for the conversation to flow and set the mood for good vibes to last through the evening.
You may be staring at your blank dining table and thinking to yourself “where and how do I even begin to make this bare, ten year old table, with stains from my messy children, look inviting and beautiful?!”
Do not stress– we have you covered! We have simplified the process and will provide you with key elements necessary to turn your dining space into a dreamy, celebrity event worthy set up! As your guests start to gather around the table at your next dinner party, you’ll hear the ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ all the way from the kitchen as they lay eyes on your tabletop masterpiece!
The space you designate for your dining event is vital to the overall mood! If the weather allows, try moving your table outside for a dinner under the twinkle lights, with fresh air! If the weather isn’t cooperating or if you don’t have the outdoor space, make sure your indoor setting has enough room for guests to walk around the table and feel spacious. Try rearranging furniture to create a cute dining nook! Remember, the goal is to make your guests feel comfortable- not squashed and stuffy!
Seriously, this element of your tabletop decor is a no-brainer! Remember those stains you were talking about from your messy littles?? A table runner will disguise those stains and cover any problem areas on your dining table, while adding texture to your set up!
You have a lot of freedom in what table runner you prefer on the table. For more coverage, a full table cloth may be your best bet! Think of how beautiful a white or naturally dyed linen table cloth would look draped over your table. If you are into more of a design-heavy table top, try a piece of linen or gauze fabric placed in the middle of your table and scrunch it around to create texture.
Not into the fancy texture method? Try placing a flat table runner through the center of your table- in any color you feel will set the mood you’re after! We love burnt orange and subdued browns for fall. Remember to choose your table runner with your placemats in mind– are you including placemats or not? These are all elements to consider!
Check out these table runner inspiration photos!
CANDLESTICKS AND ENLIGHTENED DECOR
Want to really set the mood? Candles are an amazing addition to any tabletop setting because they will not only add a bit of warmth, but they will bring a mood of intimacy too. If you don’t want to light a bunch of candles, that’s okay too. Just adding candlesticks to your table will help you to create the overall aesthetic you’re going for and fill in any empty spaces. Candlesticks of different heights and widths will provide different visual levels to your table! If you’re looking to curate a mid century, 70s-vibe aesthetic, try using colored glass candlesticks that don’t necessarily “match.” We love the eclectic look for fall, plus you can find affordable and unique candlesticks at your local vintage & thrift stores!
To add another layer of art to your tabletop, scatter in some crystals or little jars to create a magical tablescape. The crystals will bring in good energy and help manifest any intentions for the evening, while looking unbelievably beautiful! Little glass jars or trays that go along with your eclectic candlestick design will also add another focal point to your table!
Here’s some inspiration!
Flower displays are one of the most vital elements to curating a fresh, magical tabletop! Bring some life to the table and natural coloring with blooms that match your overall theme for the evening. If you have a long table, try making three or four smaller bouquets that you can place throughout the length of the table. If you’re working with a more intimate table, try making one centerpiece bouquet (not too large that guests won’t be able to make eye contact) and a few smaller ones to place around the center.
For a natural aesthetic tabletop, spread a few petals or stems on the table cloth/runner for a design that looks effortless. Almost as if the petals and stems just landed there on their own. If you’re not into boquets, try using little jars or skinny vases to place just a few stems in. These can be short or tall!
We’ve rounded up some photos to help you get the style you’re looking for!
UTENSILS, DISHES + NAPKINS
Now, veering away from the center of your table– the dishes and utensils! These elements are equally as important as the center decor. Think of what glasses your guests will need, ie. water glasses, wine, cocktail etc. Going with the eclectic, thrifted theme, we love using glassware that doesn’t “match” for that unique look. This also means you don’t have to go buy an expensive set of glasses to curate a beautiful table! But if you have a full set of glasses then that is great too and will bring a cohesive look to the table.
Plates and bowls are really up to your aesthetic! We love the natural vibe of handmade ceramic plates and bowls, as well as the simplicity of a clean, white dish! Think of the food you are serving and what dish will properly display the cuisine’s colors and elements– because the food is a part of the art, too!
The napkins are a fun element to any table that can give you the chance to really explore with patterns! Try a patterned, colorful napkin that plays on the theme of your event. Or, for a simple table setting, or a setting with many other decor elements, use solid color linen napkins for a clean look. Like we mentioned earlier, burnt orange, burgundy and tans/browns are great colors for fall!
Here are our favorite utensil+dish set ups, featuring some fun napkins!
WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
On a budget, or too busy to gather new decor before your party? That’s more than okay– work with what you already have!
Gathering flowers from your garden for a bouquet or to spread on the table is easy and free! This will bring in a natural aesthetic and elevate the design! Lay out your existing napkins and utensils in a way that feels new to you, so that you feel your setting is fresh! Gather items from around the house, such as candles or little accent pieces to make the center feel complete. If you have little ones running around, they will love getting creative and helping you to set the table!
Ready to host your next fall dinner party?! Share with us your tabletop setting on Instagram! Tag us @thebunglo!
Check out our other blog posts featuring out favorite linen fall napkins!