Looking to style your dining table this autumn? This, the most wonderful of hosting tricks, is all-too-often relegated down the ‘to do’ list. We’re here with a gentle reminder that setting the table is one of the most effective and easy decorating hacks, and one which, we say, can be straightforward to get right.
Styling up a dining table – whether it’s for a casual lunch for two, or a big multiple-guest dinner soiree – can be the most rewarding of tasks to partake in for both host and the attendee. A good table setting can dramatically change the atmosphere of the dining experience, for everyone involved. Consider this: would you rather sit down at a bare table, no cloth, no lovely napkins, no ‘setting’ as such? Or would you prefer to be welcomed with an inventive and chic tabletop with all these things present?
We have honed in on the concept of autumnal table settings, and with some top tips from interior stylist Amanda Costa, we have broken down our three favourite ways to style up a seasonal setting. The three looks are sophisticated, stylish, and
straightforward to achieve at home. They are perfect for both the autumnal mornings,
and the cooler, wintery, and starry-sky nights.
1. FOR A DINNER PARTY
A casual approach to layering, ambient candlelight, and a wow-factor floral centrepiece, create a distinctly dramatic tablescape that’s perfect for autumnal evenings. We think this approach to table styling is wonderfully elaborate and dramatic. It has an inspired feel which embraces darker, moodier tones, and a dramatic dining vibe. Perfect for the shorter autumnal days, the maximalist character comes from both a less formal approach to crockery placement alongside the art of layering: crockery, tealights, napkins, and silverware, in numbers. One might say this look is the definition of tonal autumnal perfection. With its dramatic and packed table setting brought together in a reserved and mellow selection of natural colour tones.
Interior stylist Amanda says, “when it comes to laying tables there aren’t any rules.
Loading a table with everything you need and letting people help themselves is
interactive and can be a good starting point for an evening party. Try mixing and
matching silverware and crockery and layering linen tablecloths. It feels informal and fun, and lets your guests know you aren’t precious.”
This casual approach encourages participation at the dining table. Something we think everyone is seeking and will enjoy after living through stringent pandemic distances rules.
Don’t forget the wonders of natural candle light and a statement floral centrepiece, too. Amanda highlights the benefits of such ambient candlelight for creating a warm and cossetting atmosphere at a dinner setting. “For autumn, the soft light of a multitude of candles brings a sense of occasion, while a dramatic hanging centrepiece made from a mix of foraged boughs and dried flowers, or faux flowers, is a reminder of the bounty of the season”. So whether you opt for a more traditional vase-based centrepiece, or feel encouraged to try your hand at making a hanging mobile-style installation, it’s this, Amanda says, “which brings our Oakland table setting look together”. Drama for all the family and guests to enjoy.
2. FOR THE FAMILY
Natural, foraged finds styled as the centrepiece create a family-friendly autumnal table, suitable for all times of the day. With its light and airy feel, styling objects and decoration on a lower level, and allowing eye contact over the table for guests with no visual barriers, this family-friendly table setup makes for an effortless dining experience.
Coordinating light and neutral ceramics with paler wood furniture such as our Moreton Oak range, is a classic, elegant, and easy to live with option. Because of this, Moreton is the perfect approach to table setting for breakfast, lunch, and dinner too. For decorating, Amanda hails the natural aesthetic of pine cones and feathers. “Dressing your table in autumnal tones and adding foraged things such as feathers and pine cones allows people to see each other across the table. It also gives the children things to play with as the lunch goes on.”
A NOD TO NATURE
Dress your family-friendly table setting with a simple and timeless ticking stripe table runner, such as our Country Ticking runner, and loosely place some of our Cherwell ceramics as a nod to individual settings. We have a range of table placemats to choose from which are handy to have, however, if you are feeling extra creative and have the time then you can hand paint your own for an additional level of personalisation.
3. FOR A LONG BRUNCH
Defining a distinctly fun autumnal brunch setting, this look personifies joy. It draws on the delight of world travel with the addition of subtle and chic themed Italian place settings as take-away souvenirs for guests. Keep it light, and don’t be afraid to add one or two bolder colour pops to the table too.
Amanda says that it’s fun to host a brunch for a special occasion, citing the more family-friendly morning hours of the day. “I like to host brunches for special occasions. It makes a good alternative to dinner, especially when all your friends have children.”
ADDING PERSONAL TOUCHES
Heightening the table setting experience, what could be more fun than realising you get
to take some of it home with you? With her top tip for personalisation, Amanda comments, “I always send guests home with a souvenir. When our holiday to Italy was cancelled because of the uncertainty over Covid, I themed a continental brunch with guides to Italy as special place names.”
Amanda brought dashes of holiday sunshine to the table with an array of colourful crockery too, including our Wild Daisy mugs, which sit perfectly with our classic Ellwood White spindleback chairs and Westcote Inky Blue furniture range.
Whilst autumn might be upon us, it’s still possible to have some sunshine too.
For more home inspiration, follow us on Instagram.