A new season is almost here, and it’s time to take our dinner parties back indoors and embrace cosy, autumn dining. As the season evolves, your table dressing will also change to embrace the foliage and produce that is currently available, but there are themes which work for autumn that stretch throughout the whole season. The main element to get right is to make your table and surroundings feel cosy and welcoming, which you can achieve through candlelight and the use of warm autumnal colours. I also find that small tables work well at this time of year, as they create a sense of intimacy which helps to achieve that warmth that everyone craves when the nights draw in and the temperatures drop. Every table is unique though, and you should go with your gut to create a table design that suits your tastes and the décor of your home. Here are my personal tips for styling an autumn table, including recommendations of some of my favourite items from my autumn collection.
Be subtle with the theme
An autumn table is tricky to get right, as it is easy to go over the top and away from an elegant look. There are subtle ways to introduce elements of autumn onto your table though, such as dried and fresh fruits on pedestal bowls, seasonal foliage and rich, deep tones.
Embrace autumn colours
Autumn is one of my favourite times of year for colour, with forest greens, rich rusty hues and golden ochres taking centre stage. Bring autumn tones to your dinner table with your choice of linens, as well as thinking of more subtle details such as coloured trim on plates - our new chocolate brown hand painted basket weave plates are perfect for this time of year but will also work for winter, spring and summer (in the warmer months, pair with pastels to make them feel more grown-up). Ivory, taupe and forest green are perfect colours for linens, while brown-toned ginghams can also work for seasonal tables. Stella placemats in rust and nut, and Vera placemat in marsala offer nice references to autumn foliage. Vera placemat in navy and chocolate also works very well at this time of year, and might feel more you.
Create a cosy ambiance
The days are drawing shorter, and lighting candles is a nice way to embrace that darkness to create a cosy atmosphere. I love using sculptural dinner candles positioned down the centre of the table to ensure everyone’s place setting is cast in a soft, warm glow. Choose warm, seasonal colours to tie in with the rest of your table. Styling tip – instead of putting your candles in a straight line, evenly spaced, try grouping them in twos or threes, slightly angled beside one another. This gives a more interesting and cosy ambiance, rather than a more corporate, overly perfected look. If you have them, using candleholders at different heights also helps – or use tea lights as well as taller tapers.
Decorate with seasonal foliage
Dried flowers and grasses work well for autumn, arranged in small bud vases scattered along the table. Or if your garden is still in bloom, you can pick late summer flowers such as dahlias and chrysanthemums. One of my favourite flowers to use on an autumn table are hydrangea heads – they look just as beautiful dried as they do when they’re fresh, so are perfect for the whole season. Seasonal fruits such as figs, damsons and plums also look wonderful on pedestal bowls on the table.
The finishing flourish
Once you’ve dressed your table, take a step back to see if there’s anything else you can add for that finishing flourish, that will really elevate the occasion. For example, you could add small stems of herbs or flowers to napkins.
I’ve collaborated with art studio Pomarius this season, to offer a collection of bronze cast seasonal objects which are perfect for adding an elegant decorative touch to your table, as well as being beautiful objet d’art for the home. The sweet chestnut and sycamore leaf dishes have a distinct autumnal feel, while the bronze cast figs and pomegranates can be placed along the table or on place settings to add to the autumnal aesthetic.
Browse our Autumn collection for more inspiration for styling your own seasonal table at home.