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.
Use candlelight, texture and autumnal colours to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for your guests. I also find that small tables work well at this time of year, as they create a sense of intimacy and cosiness 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 Table collection.
Be subtle with the theme
An autumn table is tricky to get right, as it is easy to go over the top and move 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 olive greens, rich rusty hues and burnt mustards taking centre stage. When styling an autumn table, I draw inspiration from the earthy, muted palette of nature at this time of year, choosing warm tones for everything from the choice of table linens to detailing on crockery and cutlery, and the colours of the candles and foliage.
Bring autumn tones to your dinner table with our new Victoria linen tablecloths and napkins in burnt mustard or burgundy stripes. Our ruffle gingham tablecloth in chocolate brown or a classic hemstitch tablecloth in either white or natural also works well for the base of your autumn table.
Choose crockery with subtle detailing that fits in with your autumn colour palette - our new Josephine plates with chocolate brown hand-applied sponged borders or our best-selling Olivia scalloped plates with raspberry filet trim both compliment our range of autumn linens.
Create a cosy ambiance
The days are drawing shorter, and lighting candles is a nice way to embrace that darkness and create a cosy atmosphere. I love using tapered 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 try using tea lights alongside dinner candles.
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, cosmos and chrysanthemums in bright tones of oranges and pinks to add a splash of colour to a large vase or urn. 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.
Rattan placemats and chargers help to break up layers of linen and add interest to your table. They add warmth and texture, which is essential for creating that cosy, comfortable ambiance that we all crave in the cooler, darker months.
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.
Our collaboration with art studio Pomarius offers 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 Table collection for more inspiration to style your own seasonal table at home.