In this post: We explore creating fall tablescapes with sustainable materials.
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I’m about to say something that I’ve found to be controversial: I don’t love fall. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the beauty of the changing leaves, the crisp cool air, and the excitement of a new school year. It’s more that I feel like fall is winter’s sneaky cousin, lulling us into a false sense of security, and then…WHAM! Winter.
But even a grouch like me couldn’t help but be in awe of the gorgeous autumn days we’ve had here in Pennsylvania recently. My daughter and I were on our way to our local farmers market last Saturday and couldn’t stop ooohing and aaahing over the autumn leaves we passed on our way. And once we got there, I was surprised to see that some of my favorite flower vendors still had some things in bloom.
All of this, plus a desire to up my adulting game for Thanksgiving, inspired me try and appreciate the season and play around with fall tablescapes and some new table decor. My first step in any decorating adventure is always to get a little internet inspiration and it did not disappoint – so many great ideas out there! I've included a few of my favorites below.
7 inspirational fall tablescapes
The colors of fall
Floral displays aren’t always top of mind with fall decorating, but I found plenty of examples that made me think they should be. If you’re not convinced, check out Bloom & Burns stunning floral masterpieces. It may feel like floral fall tablescapes are for people with some serious gardening talent but, I found so many tables that feature the use of florals that there is bound to be one that captures your imagination and fits in your design scheme.
I love Table Terrain’s use of florals, natural materials like rattan, candlelight, and soft hues to create a dreamy, autumn garden party feel. It’s such a great example of the way that decor can really set a mood. If I were a guest at this party, I think I’d feel instantly light and jubilant – I can almost hear the laughter and clinking glasses.
Light and bright
Continuing with the theme of color setting the tone, this table from Meredith Lewis feels so bright and vibrant – the blue tones really create a more intense and fun feeling. I love how she combined mums, pumpkins and the unexpected blue details to create a tablescape that is at once traditional but also so fresh. It feels like the perfect set up for an autumn brunch.
Classic and cozy
Speaking of traditional and fresh, this gingham pairs so well with white pumpkins and is such a nice twist on fall decorating. With the tea lights, dried leaves, and pine cone centerpiece, this would be a fun way to try something a little new but still totally classic for Thanksgiving.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a climate that stays temperate in the fall, you should definitely try out this verdant tablescape from salvetti_64. Or if not, try it out indoors!
While flowers would be great in these pots in the spring and summer, a fragrant arrangement of herbs creates a farm-to-table chic feeling
Timeless and classic
I am definitely guilty of overusing white in decorating and Halloween is no exception. So of course I can’t get enough of the white pumpkin trend of recent years. I love the way KM Interiors styled their white pumpkin fall centerpiece. It’s so simple, elegant and timeless. You could recreate this look with local mini white pumpkins and greenery or look for reusable versions.
Capturing an autumn day in a fall tablescape
Emboldened and inspired by these amazing examples, I set out to make my own mark. I feel like I borrowed a little inspiration from a number of the beautiful examples I saw including fresh florals, the use of mini pumpkins, and a little bit of candlelight.
Starting with the first “layer,” we have a rustic harvest-style dining room table and I like its texture so I decided not to cover it with a tablecloth and instead tried out a few runners from some of my favorite sources for sustainable table linens. Our place settings, wedding gifts from Anthropologie, felt a little bare so I added Tava chargers from Pottery Barn’s Sustainably Sourced line and, one of my favorite new additions: bamboo napkin rings.
Accessorizing fall tablescapes
I found these at EcoLushPlus on Etsy and I can say that the pictures don’t do them justice. I have a little bit of a thing for bamboo and these did not disappoint.
They were gorgeous exactly as they were but I felt like I had enough wood elements going on already with the table and wood box centerpiece so I bought some EcoLushPlus and gave them a little shine. I’m pretty excited about how they turned out.
Digging through my meager collection of dining table decor, I also came to the conclusion that my assortment of stubby, half burnt candles was bringing the whole scene down so I added some new votives from BeesLightCandles. They look great lit and also just place holding in the crystal-bowl-turned candle holder I thrifted a few years back.
The piece de resistance, of course, is the natural element that I added for this Thanksgiving trial run. Unfortunately, the shelf life of these leaves is probably a few days, and won’t make it to the big show. The good news is that it was kind of fun hunting for foliage and I’m excited to do it again in a few weeks.
Finding colorful fall flowers still in bloom was an element I couldn’t have planned for, but creating a little time capsule of what’s growing could be a fun way to celebrate each unique Thanksgiving. It also inspired me to dig around in my own garden where I discovered one lone big beautiful dahlia and an abundance of plectranthus (don’t be impressed, I had to look that up to remember what I planted last spring) that filled in the centerpiece nicely.
Information on products featured and recommended for fall tablescapes
If you’re looking to spruce up your fall dining table decor, I hope some of my research will be helpful to you.
Reusable floral centerpieces
In addition to the fact that they are gorgeous another cool thing about TeshPaperFlowers is that they are handcrafted by an artisan in Ukraine. Supporting our friends going through some dramatic challenges overseas gives these flowers extra meaning and makes the world feel just a little smaller.
A few great, sustainable table cover options I considered
- First I auditioned the Textured Canvas Cotton Runner in Stone White from West Elm. This was my first and immediate choice but unfortunately, it was a little too short for my table.
- I also tried a white linen table runner from a brand that was new to me, D’Moskha Homes. I actually really liked this one, but ultimately the white was a little too sheer, and overall it was a little too narrow for my table. I’ll definitely come back to this brand, though, if I need different linens in the future.
- The final winner was the Mason Cotton Fringe Table Runner in Flax from Pottery Barn’s Sustainably Sourced line of products. I thought it was going to be a little too rustic but I think the width worked the best and the color worked well with everything else on the table.
Cloth napkins: so many great options
I ended up using napkins that I already had which worked better than I thought they would and seemed like ultimately the most sustainable option. I did consider a few others:
- Mason Oversized Linen Napkins in Ivory from Pottery Barn. These were great but since my existing off white napkins worked, I decided to use those.
- European Flax Linen Napkins from West Elm in Adobe Rose. I had high hopes but unfortunately, the color had a little too much lavender in it that didn’t quite work here. I’m including a small image to show the color but don’t look too closely since I didn’t iron them.
Beeswax Candles: perfect for fall tablescapes
The votive candles I ordered worked great and I wanted to include a little more information the seller shared about the greater goal of BeesLightCandles‘ products.
We are actively trying to help save the Bees from dying off, we support the NAPPC (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign) with every purchase you make we take 2% of the profits and send them directly to the NAPPC to ensure that the bees, butterflies and other pollinators have a better chance of survival. We only have one planet, and together we can make it a much more beautiful place to call home.
Bamboo napkin rings
- Bamboo is a fast growing and highly sustainable wood material. If you’re into the idea of using bamboo on your table top but need a different shape, know that EcoLushPlus does have a number of different shapes and finishes.
I hope you enjoyed checking out my fall tablescapes and that you are enjoying your own fall colors wherever you are!