You may have seen elaborate table setups in popular shows especially those set in old times, and while setting one's table may be a lost art in our modern time, perhaps it's time to bring it back. Creating a tablescape for your fall gatherings or even as part of your seasonal decor doesn't have to be as elaborate as what you see on television. With just a few pieces, some of which you may already own, you can easily create a fall tablescape.
Before we jump into the tips and tricks, you may wonder when it's appropriate to create a tablescape or what it even is exactly. A tablescape is any tabletop surface that has been set up beyond the norm of plates and utensils. It includes other additions like candles, formal placemats, flower arrangements, and other decorations that follow the theme or aesthetic. Of course, these are just a few items that a tablescape may include. Other additions depend on how elaborate the creator wants to get.
Basic tablescapes usually include something in the middle of the table such as a garland, centerpiece, or other decorative props. Place settings include the guest's plate atop a placemat and sometimes there may be a small starter plate on top of all this, and utensils on the side. This is the foundation of a tablescape that can be built upon.
The best place to start when planning your fall tablescape is to consider the table shape and size you will be working on. Flower arrangements in round containers for example work best on round tables, while those in rectangular containers look great on a rectangular table, etc. We've broken this down below for reference.
Creating a Fall Tablescape for a Rectangular Table
When it comes to your centerpiece, we recommend thinking in terms of length versus volume. In other words, if you're using a fresh flower arrangement we recommend something long and low versus tall. This is what we call a conversation height arrangement. It will not impede your guests from being able to see each other and carry on a conversation. If you feel like you need to keep craning your neck to get a view of the person across from you then it's too high.
Something like our Gather arrangement is ideal for small square tables for a party of four, while our Enchanted in the superior size is best for a party of up to six and maybe eight. You can even go larger with the Enchanted and get the exceptional which is sized at two feet long. With an Enchanted arrangement, you can include special instructions such as the desired color palette since it is a type of designer's choice arrangement. Both the Gather and the Enchanted arrangements come in wood containers with the Enchanted being the most rustic in a handmade crate.
Follow @theenglishgarden_la | See the Enchanted arrangement here.
You can go with an arrangement in a round vase if you prefer, however, this works best with smaller rectangular or square tables unless you intend on adding other decorative elements such as tapered candles or even bud vases.
Fresh flowers in bud vases of varying heights is another option for your Fall tablescape. Depending on how full you want it to be, you can choose from three bud vases for a square table to 7 for a larger table. Our rule of thumb is having a bud vase for every foot, as well as, having an odd number of bud vases. Odd numbers tend to look most appealing to the eye versus even quantities.
If you are on a budget and wish to DIY flower arrangements for your tablescape, then we suggest going with bud vases. All you need are a few bud vases in varying heights in either clear glass or smokey, and you can always mix and match with color bud vases, then two to three bunches of your favorite flowers from your local farmer's market or Trader Joe's.
When it comes to flowers for bud vases you want to ensure you are not buying flowers with too thick stems otherwise it won't leave you with a lot of room in the opening of the vases. Choose one main flower such as marigold, lisianthus, or tulip. If your bud vases aren't too small and the opening isn't too narrow, then you can probably get away with a dahlia or rose.
You will also want a smaller flower for dimension and texture. Something like a clover, feverfew, or even spray roses work great. Next, is greenery if you wish. Our favorite is always eucalyptus but of course, you can have fun with this and do something different like pampas grass.
Lastly, remember to start by trimming your fresh flowers and cleaning the stems of any unwanted greenery. Start building your bud vase arrangements by first placing your chosen greenery followed by the main flowers and finally the smaller flowers.
Get creative and scatter some additional decorative pieces such as pinecones, mini pumpkins, candles, or whatever you wish along your tablescape.
Creating a Fall Tablescape for a Round Table
When it comes to a round table it helps if you think of your tablescape as a pie. The tablescape must look great at every angle so no matter who is sitting where they have an equally beautiful view as the rest of the party.
For this reason, arrangements in a cylinder vase work best. Something like the Gorgeous Gourd, our popular fall arrangement that comes in a pumpkin, looks great from every angle, and is super festive. Something I especially love about this arrangement is that it comes in a real pumpkin that we cut the top off and scoop the seeds and insides from. The pumpkin itself is the epitome of fall decor and the fresh flowers along with pampas grass make it extra special. It's also not too tall and arranged in a soft asymmetrical style making it conversation friendly.
If you don't mind the height and crave drama and flair, then the Hocus Pocus may be a perfect fit. This arrangement comes in a variety of pink hues from deep, almost black shades, to vibrant pinks. There are neutral shades added in to give it a hauntingly beautiful vibe from the dusty miller greenery to the chocolate lisianthus. Hocus Pocus comes in a half-moon vase making all of the stems visible which I think adds a nice contrast to the lush landscape of the blooms.
Follow @theenglishgarden_la | See it here.
What I especially love about the Hocus Pocus apart from the pink hues, are the twigs that shoot out of the arrangement. It gives me the impression that the arrangement is truly alive as if it's reaching out to anyone who dares to come near, much like a type of plant you'd read about in Harry Potter.
There are many other arrangements that come in a circular vase that would work well for a round table, but how does one build on a fall tablescape for a round table?
For a round table, you have to visualize how far out you want decorative elements to be without encroaching on your guest's space. I like to start by adding larger elements around my arrangement first. Pieces like candles can be added first followed by smaller accents such as tiny pinecones or scattered dried leaves.
Keep in mind as you are building your tablescape that you don't need a lot. A focal point such as a flower arrangement with a few small decorative pieces is all you need. Place settings can be as elaborate or as simple as you'd like as well. Personally, I keep mine simple since my table is long and made of recycled wood with an unfinished and unstained surface. For this reason, I like to lean into simple place settings and a tablescape usually consisting of a single arrangement along with candles on top of a neutral table runner.
Ultimately, I think your tablescape should reflect you and your style of decor. If you are someone who loves to go all out, especially this time of year, then go as elaborate as you wish. If you prefer a clean, minimal look then create something that reflects this style. There are no rules when it comes to tablescapes so have fun with it.
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