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Festive Fall Tables

Snag some of these ideas for setting your own stunning autumnal table

Written by Julianne Hilmes

Photo: Colleen Duffley

Toasty colors dress this table set for an autumn luncheon. Black-trimmed plates contrast with white-trimmed chargers, both embellished with gold. For the finishing touch, solid linen napkins in earthy hues are pulled together with napkin rings sporting a small gold bird.

Photo: David A. Land

You can set a perfectly lovely fall table and still use your everyday china. Just choose the right accessories. Miniature pumpkins or gourds that pull in similar colors to those in the dinnerware are a simple, cost-effective way to allude to autumn.

Photo: John Cain

For this fall gathering, floral arrangements of roses, orchids, and carnations do the heavy lifting as they hint at colors of fall. The deep burgundy, coral, and pink are striking against a royal blue tablecloth.

Photo: Michal Venera

Woven chargers and lace napkins bring texture to a table set for a harvest party. A muted purple tablecloth and brown transferware plates lay the foundation for an assortment of playful cassoulet dishes—ready to serve a warm, hearty meal. Snuggled near a fireplace, the intimate table set for six invites lingering. A centerpiece made from farmer's market bounty reiterates the harvest theme.

Photo: Adam Albright

Try setting a fall tablescape with unexpected colors. A blue tablecloth, napkins, glassware, and candlesticks carry a consistent color story without screaming fall, while leaf motifs on the plates and natural elements on the table nod to the season.

Photo: Matthew Benson

Gold placemats add subtle glamour to this cozy tablescape. Blues and greens on the table—in the form of dinnerware and wineglasses—take a step away frome expected fall hues, while magenta mums in crystal vases and rust-colored napkin rings from Kim Seybert hint at the hues of the foliage outside. 

Photo: Kim Cornelison

Not having a formal sit-down dinner but still want your get-together to exude that fall feeling? Try adding some festive flair to a cheese board or dessert tray. Use any combination of miniature pumpkins and gourds, fresh or faux leaves, in-season produce, and simple wooden serving pieces to create the perfect presentation.

Photo: David A. Land

An elaborate tablescape can be fun, but isn't required for a successful fall soiree. Sometimes simple is better. A hint of fall can be as easy as a festive centerpiece. Use any fresh flowers, berries, or leaves to create the look of a just-harvested floral arrangement. Consider using a vase with texture, a small galvanized bucket, or even a favorite serving pitcher.