Sumptuous Autumn Tablescapes

How to create a warm, welcoming Autumn tablescape

Autumn – the perfect time to entertain before the craziness of Christmas kicks in, plus nothing quite beats a dining table festooned with sumptuous linens, bright orange pumpkins, jewel green moss and twinkling candles. TOAST’s Sophie Farrah talks to some of the UK’s leading table top experts to get their top tips on autumn trends, and how to create a sensationally seasonal tablescape at home.

Summer is gone and sortumn may also be on its way out - the definition of sortumn, by the way, is that strange period of time when you stand torn between the desire for one last barbeque, and the craving for chunky knitwear - pretty accurate if you ask me. This, however, is not a time for commiseration but for celebration, because autumn is one of the most versatile, beautiful times of the year and offers up plenty of opportunities for entertaining.

The annual assortment of harvest foods are ready to be cooked up – bright orange pumpkins and succulent squashes, warming soups, comforting stews and tasty game.  Oh, and crumble. Lots of crumble. Crispy auburn leaves are just waiting to be crunched up and kicked about outside, whilst inside the cosines of a glimmering candles, a roaring fire and maybe even a bottle of red wine awaits. Autumn is a real feast for the senses, and the perfect time to entertain before the craziness of the holiday season really kicks off…

“As the nights draw closer and the air gets cooler, all I can think about is some good hot cocoa and cashmere socks!” says Bee, Creative Director of Berkshire based Gilded Linens, purveyors of luxury statement linens; “It's a time for staying in and enjoying the company of family and good friends, and what better way than by throwing a relaxed but chic dinner gathering?"

From a long and lazy Autumn Sunday lunch, to a lavish harvest dinner party – it is hard to beat a beautifully laid, seasonal table; A well thought out and fully dressed table will bring much delight to your guests, and the evening ahead!” says Bee.

Summer was all about wildflowers, copper tones and vintage crockery but what does Autumn hold in store for the perfect seasonal table scape?  

With the advent of Autumn, the grey and gold base from this summer’s colours continue to work well- but by introducing the stronger, dramatic traditional autumnal colours of berry, burgundy and deeps green - set off with bronze”, says Amanda, founder and owner of Vintage Gold China, a boutique Vintage china and gold cutlery hire company based in Gloucestershire.

Vintage Gold China Grey And Green Simple Approach To An Autumn Table

Vintage Gold China

(Image credits: Vintage Gold China

The key to creating an enticing, warm table scape this season is all about layers. “Trends for this Autumn include jewel tones flanked by mossy natural centerpieces to add interest and height” says Bee. “Think plaid tablecloths layered with a gold sequin runner and accessorised with Jewel toned napkins. Sparkle in the form of a plain sequin runner atop a dark coloured tablecloth. Accessorise, layer and play!”

Lara of Kent-based duo Bennet and Bates who specialise in beautiful, organic, ethical home textiles and table linen agrees: “Autumn is all about bringing the character and colour of autumn ‘in”, she adds: “Layer your table linens with seasonal and colourful vegetables such as pumpkins and gourds, which make fabulous decoration (and a tasty soup!)” says Lara.  “You could even carve out some pumpkin candleholders and spike with cloves for a wonderfully warming aroma to set the mood…” adds Bee.

Another nice touch for Autumn is adding old books to your tablescape says Amanda, “It’s easy to do and looks great!”. If you’re going for a theme for a Halloween party she adds; “A black sequin tablecloth works well for either Halloween or Christmas, and for Halloween you can laden up the table with small differing coloured pumpkins to create the look.

Scuffins Gold China Autumn Shoot Tablescape

Scuffins Photography Vintage Gold China Autumn Shoot Psd

(Image Credits: Scuffins Photography for Vintage Gold China

Vintage Gold China Sequin

(Image Credit: Vintage Gold China

Of course, autumnal florals are some of the richest, most beautiful colours of the year, so integrating them into your tablescape will truly bring the joy of the outdoors in to enhance your cosy home to create the perfect ambience, so which florals do the experts suggest to add to your table?

 “This season is all about big, blousy florals which could be paired with simpler, monochromatic china for a more contemporary look and sprigs of architectural and clean foliage” explains Lara. “Arrange seasonal foliage and sprays of berry to create a charming centerpiece” says Bee.

Jay Anderson Fine Art Photography Vintage Gold China

(Image Credit: Jay Anderson Fine Art Photography for Vintage Gold China

To complete the look Lara suggests a splash of gold; “Brass and gold coloured cutlery for a touch of decadence” which instantly adds “style, opulence and romance to a table setting” adds Amanda.

For that statement piece, Bee believes it’s all in the finer detail: “The tiniest details can set the tone and beauty of and event” and their range of whimsical napkin rings featuring a crystal embellished golden bird would complete your Autumnal tablescape beautifully...

Jay Anderson Fine Art Photography For Guilded Linens

(Image Credit: Jay Anderson Fine Art Photography for Gilded Linens

So what is the key to designing the perfect autumn tablescape? Lara says “Our ethos about design is to keep the core classic, so that you can accessorise and style to bring your interior and table bang up to trend”.

Bennet Bates Floral Coral Brown Cream And Strawberry Bennet Bates Geometroc Table Setting

(Image Credit: Bennett & Bates Geometric linen) 

If you’re feeling inspired to create a warm, welcoming autumnal table scape in your own home take a look at Vintage Gold China’s top tips for Autumnal tablescapes.

Vintage Gold China's Top Tips for Tablescapes

  • Get Tongues Wagging - Give your guests something to talk about as they sit down.  It is relatively easy and inexpensive to create an autumnal centerpiece by gathering berries and pinecones and using a small wooden tree stump, or and interesting branch and dotting moss and threaded lights in and around the setting.  You can always add fruit and nuts to give added dimension and height.
  • Colour Coordination - Make sure you keep to your chosen colour theme to give a cohesive look.  Don’t worry if glasses and chinaware don’t match, as long as the overall theme works. 
  • Attention To Detail - Adding visual interest through flowers, candlesticks, greenery will achieve this.  Home dining is all about making your guests feel comfortable and relaxed. 
  • Forget The Fuss - If using vintage china, be careful it doesn’t all become too fussy and confusing – the key is to use some statement pieces. If using plain china – use colourful napkins and tablecloths to give your table personality.
  • Get Layering - Layering up chinaware at the start of a meal is a great way to add colour, and therefore save on flowers.  You can always collect up the Starter plate and plate up in the kitchen.  It is all about making an instant impression – and that you have bothered.
  • Limit The Light - Soft lighting is key; turn off that overhead single light and bathe your table with soft candlelight – use a mix of votives, glassware and candlesticks to add an eclectic look.  Less isn’t more.  More is more!  Don’t just limit them to the table; have lit candles and tea lights around the room too.

Don’t forget to head over to Toast’s Little Black Book for a whole host of inspirational suppliers who can help bring your event ideas to life.  


Posted in Inspire Me

by Sophie Farrah
on on 12 October 2016


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