This weekend is my mother-in-law’s birthday, so we’re planning a birthday lunch. Since I promised you guys an autumn-inspired table scape, it was a fantastic excuse to kill two birds with one stone and turn all the ideas I had rattling around in my head into a gorgeous table arrangement that is perfect for any autumn feast.
Whether you’re setting a table for a birthday party, Thanksgiving or just a romantic dinner for two, start with the big picture and then focus on the details. Autumn for me is about soft colours, so I gravitated towards everything that was tan and white in my house.
I absolutely love my dinner table. It’s made from an old door and if you run your fingers underneath it, you can still feel where the lock went. Since, I’m clearly obsessed, I hate to cover the table regardless of the situation. I used these tan table runners from Ikea instead and I placed them parallel so they served almost as place mats.
All the plates in my house are white, a rookie mistake I made when I got married. Don’t get me wrong, I love white plates. They’re timeless and suit whatever you’re serving, but they can be sooooo boring especially when you’re trying to create a table scape. If I had them, I would have gone with baby blue plates like the ones Gordon Ramsey did for Royal Doulton. I actually have three of these plates – hubby broke one a couple of months ago and ruined any chance of me using these at a lunch/dinner party again.
Keeping with the neutral theme, I used cream napkins and was absolutely chuffed with my cleverness when I had the idea to use my DIY tassels as napkin holders. I love the flair and dramatics that a napkin holder can bring, but I only have bright coloured ones, so this was a definite stroke of genius for me. The warm tones and earthy feel of the tassels pair perfectly with the linen.
And finally, the centrepiece details. With any table scape, it is all about the details, but I hate tables that are so full of bits and pieces that you have no place to actually put the food! I am also a firm believer that a beautiful table shouldn’t cost the earth. I solemnly swear I will not go out and buy and million different pieces every time I have a dinner party. Nor will I spent €100 on flowers.
The trick is to think simple, seasonal and small. Be inspired by what is around you. This isn’t an American table scape or an Australian table scape. It’s a Tuscan table scape, so as tempted as I was to include pumpkins and feathers to create a Thanksgiving theme, I was true to my surroundings and went with something completely left field – figs! Yes, those mini green balls you can see are figs from my father-in-law’s garden. When I was planning the table scape and saw these in the fridge, I knew I just had to use them. They are the perfect shade and scream Tuscany in autumn.
At the centre of the table is a small Wedgwood white vase flanked by two normal anchovy jars that I washed and cleaned for their new life as vases. I filled them with these amazing late summer hydrangeas from my garden. They used to be pink, but as the weather has cooled they’ve become spotted with green. Whenever you’re adding flowers to a table scape, a bunch of different smaller vases is always better than one big arrangement. For starters, it costs less – you can use whatever you can scavenge from your garden and a bunch of smaller vases covers the table space better than one big arrangement. You also don’t have to be a florist to make small vases look pretty as you can see here! The final touch was a few tea lights from Ikea to transition the scene from day to night.
In preparation for this weekend’s birthday lunch and because I wanted to put my table scape to the test, I threw a mini party for my husband and I with beef medallions cooked in a red wine and grape sauce followed by pears baked in grappa with lemon zest and bay leaves. Stay tuned for the recipes, which will be up on the blog in the coming days!
Read more home tips from Top Master Locksmith.
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