How to Style An Early Fall Dining Table

Setting an alfresco early fall dining table is the perfect way to welcome in the new season, while enjoying the last days of warm weather.

how to style a fall dining table

It was almost like someone flipped a switch and the hot humid days of summer have given way to pleasant sunny days!

I, for one was rejoicing! While I do love the arrival of all things pumpkin spice, it is the beautiful weather that I love most about fall. It means we can enjoy dining outdoors for a little bit longer without the hot summer sun causing us run for the air conditioning.

Welcome to all who are visiting for the first time, and welcome back to all who visit often! Today you are in for a treat. I have joined some very talented bloggers as we share ideas for fall table decor, all hosted by Chloe from Celebrate and Decorate. You’ll find all the links below!

Colourful flower arrangement on a fall dining table

Styling a beautiful fall dining table does not have to break the bank, or take much effort to put together. This table I literally threw together in about 15 minutes. All with things I already had.

plaid napkins on a fall dining table
Nectarines on a fall table

How to decorate a fall dining table

Decide on the vibe of your table. Is it formal, casual, indoors, outdoors, cozy, rustic, etc. I decided on an alfresco table with a casual vibe. Since I live in a small house, I like to make the most out of the outdoor entertaining season. Choosing a relaxed, outdoor setting was my first choice.

Start with your centerpiece. More often than not, flowers, plants or food are the focal point of my table. And, this table was no exception. I was immediately drawn to the jewel tones of these flowers. Stop by your local farmer’s market or grocery store and pick up a bunch or two of inexpensive seasonal flowers.

How to arrange a fall centerpiece with grocery store flowers

In this video I show you how to take simple grocery or market flowers to create a stunning fall arrangement. It was the centerpiece for this Halloween dining table.

Shop your home before buying anything. Chances are you have most of what you need to decorate a fall table right in your own home. Be sure to look beyond the obvious.

yogurt jars with tealight candles on a dining table

These little glass yogurt jars I had been saving were put to use with orange tealight candles. They add both color and ambiance.

fall flower centerpiece in a clay pot

I found the vessel for the centerpiece in my garden shed. Since it wasn’t meant to hold water, I simply used two drinking glasses set inside to hold the water and arranged the flowers into the glasses.

Invest in simple white dinnerware. White dinnerware is so versatile. It is timeless and transcends all seasons and occasions. I have two sets. One I purchased from HomeSense (similar here) and one from Pier One.

early autumn table decor

Don’t be afraid to mix and match. I have loads of napkins. Just ask my husband whenever I find more I like! But many are only sets of four. Doesn’t bode well when I am setting a table for six or eight! No problem though, I find two patterns that either compliment each other or completely contrast and use them together! Same goes for plates, placements, charger plates, glasses and flatware.

alfresco tablescape for fall

Keep it simple. While I love a beautifully adorned table, I also like to keep it simple and avoid overcrowding. Don’t feel like you have to fill up every inch of table space. Remember, you want room to put the food! A few simple touches, like faux fall leaves sprinkled throughout the table add a pop of color without taking up a lot of space.

Fall table decor

Add elements of fall while keeping the overall feel light and airy. Adding the traditional colors of fall such as rich yellow, orange and reds, and combining them with some lighter tones are the perfect blend for an fall table decor. I used a ticking stripe tablecloth with a muted blue stripe to add a bit of brightness while still feeling the coziness of fall.

Blue ticking stripe tablecloth

Relax and enjoy! This tip probably should be at the top of the list! Because, not matter how meticulous and beautiful your table, an uptight and frazzled dinner party host can spoil the mood faster than a spilled glass of red wine!

Who says you have to make the entire meal? Ask guests to each bring a side dish and you supply the main. Choose a menu that allows you to make things ahead of time, or just order take-out! Whatever it takes to make the evening a fabulous time with family and friends!

Find more tips for decorating a fall table here!

fall dining table decor

We had a great time celebrating the unofficial start of fall after I set this table. Since Labor Day looked a lot different than most years I wanted to do something special for my family.

Usually we are celebrating with community fireworks, a parade and carnival, all topped off by a big backyard barbecue. But this year all the festivities were cancelled and large gatherings are discouraged.

alfresco fall dining

With the sun just starting to go down behind the houses, the glow of the evening was perfect. My husband and I hosted a few family members for a simple barbecue and lively conversation. This alfresco fall dining table decor was just the icing on the cake!

I truly hope I have inspired you to create a pretty table for yourself and your own family or friends! It truly is one of life’s simple pleasures!

Be in the know! It may be a delicious recipe, a stunning tablescape, or decor tips to make your house a home! Simply click here to subscribe. I never sell or share your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time!

Until next time…..

Red Cottage Chronicles

18 More Inspiring Fall Tablescapes


Celebrate & Decorate
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39 Comments

  1. Pingback: Easing Into Autumn
  2. Maureen, your outdoor table setting looks so casually beautiful. This looks like a wonderful place to spend an afternoon into evening just enjoying food and conversation. Your centerpiece is gorgeous!! You have several photos that are magazine worthy with this table! love the one against the red wall!! So pretty! Always a pleasure hopping with you! Enjoy this great start to fall!

  3. Wow your centerpiece is stunning and I like your white plates, too. Your video where you arranged the flowers is great. You are a real artist, it looks like the cover of Martha Stewart. I like a simple casual table. Glad you are in the hop!

  4. Maureen, your table is lovely! I wish cooler days were upon me! Alas, I am still hold up in the air conditioning. Interesting, I did the same thing as you, using items I had on hand, but as you said, you have to decide on the “vibe” of your table, and where yours is casual and welcoming, mine went the formal route. That is what I love about looking at …and celebrating unique tablescapes! Thanks for joining us once again!

  5. Your post reminds me just how much I’m going to miss Pier 1! They’ve always had the prettiest dishes, placemats, napkin rings, etc. It also reminds me to enjoy the people I love more often. This season of life has taken so much from us, but it’s also brought to mind that I should take nothing for granted. Something as simple as strolling through Pier 1 or decorating a table for family – not just guests, is so important.

    At this stage of life, my husband and I eat most meals on tv trays in the den while watching some favorite series on Netflix. It just occurred to me that I should decorate our tv trays! Make them special, like in the movies when some heiress was served breakfast in bed with silver bud vases and crystal OJ glasses. Future post!!! Thanks for your inspireation.

    The terracotta planter is perfect for Fall and the flowers you added are so bright and cheerful. Thank you for reminding us all how something as simple as a pretty table (or tv tray) can make someone happy.

  6. You always have unique and beautiful tables Maureen, and I love love the way you matched the colors of your beautiful flower arrangement with your napkins. I love to mix and match too, and the ticking tablecloth is a great anchor for your colorful and welcoming fall table! Yes, Labor Day was different this year, we had a family Kentucky Derby party which is an example of how upside down things are these days!! Enjoy the beauty of fall, we still have high temps but hopeful šŸ™‚

  7. Beautiful shots of the sunlight over your table Maureen! I love your garden centerpiece paired with ticking stripe cloth for your alfresco table! So happy to hop with you again and celebrate fall. ā™„

  8. Maureen, your fall tablescape is absolutely gorgeous and I adore your floral centerpiece! Pinned, tweeted, & sharing on IG! Happy Fall! Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

  9. Maureen, from that opening photo with late summer sunlight streaming on the table, I was transported to a fall threshold. Your styling wisdom rings true – white plates, looking beyond the obvious for elements, and keeping it simple – and is done in a very welcoming way. I love your attitude in mixing the napkins (my sets are often in 4’s as well), and it just reinforces your casual approach and end result. It’s great to work alongside you again on this fall theme table hop. Happy September.

    1. Oh My! That’s such a lovely table Maureen! The flowers and the napkins make me so happy! Not to mention your garden gate – that’s beautiful! You’re a wonderful photographer too – they’re all gorgeous!

      I’m so happy to meet you on this great blog hop!

  10. Maureen, there is just something about the September light and it is so beautiful over your table. The centerpiece Is perfect for fall. Your tips for styling a table are excellent. White dishes are a must and anything will go with them. Wishing you a Happy Fall!

  11. Maureen, love your fall table dining alfresco. The red wall background makes a stunning background. Your florals looks fabulous. Mixing patterns that compliment is always a nice thing to do. The sunlight shining on your table is wonderful. We have smoky skies and I am so appreciative of blue skies.

  12. Maureen, I learn so much from you! I’ve pinned your table and was wowed with your centerpiece. I loved the terra cotta container. Perfect for a fall table. The combination of flowers looked so pretty and that large sunflower was stunning.
    Your tips were so good and very good reminders for me.
    I like how you used a pinstripe table cloth and plaid napkins. Mixing the patterns was very effective.
    Good to blog hop with you again!

  13. You had me at “alfresco”! I look for any excuse to eat outdoors so I’d be out there all the time if my table looked like yours! So beautiful! I love your colors, your linens and the overall casual elegant feel of your tablescape. The sun is also at the perfect angle to highlight all the loveliness! So nice to hop with you!
    Shelley

  14. Maureen, when I seen your lovely fall tablescape with the red out building in the background, it took me back to some lovely country outings. Like you said, the fall season allows everyone to sit a bit longer outside without withering under the hot sun or being attacked by biting flies or mosquitoes. It does allow everyone to sit and enjoy the cooler breeze and the great food until the sun creates a golden glow as it sets. Your table really captures that lingering feeling as people gather for a casual afternoon. I love your use of a mixture of colors and patterns including your striped tablecloth that lends a country feel. So charming.

  15. Maureen, your outdoor setting is such a lovely backdrop to your beautiful fall table. Your centerpiece is stunning and the colors are gorgeous. It has been so much fun blog hopping with you!

  16. This is so pretty! Dining outdoors is one of life’s simple pleasures. Any tips for keeping the wasps at bay? I find them so bad this time of year!

    1. Oh gosh, yes, the wasps! I actually fill a few little jars with honey and place them away from the table. Seems to keep them busy while we enjoy dinner!!

  17. Maureen, your table is stunning. I love dining outside and am also grateful for the fall weather for that reason. I like using different napkins, too. Thank you for giving me new and easy ideas.

  18. Maureen, your pictures are so sharp and beautiful! Thanks for sharing the video, I’m always looking for easy tips for floral arranging. The table cover you chose is just right for this setting. Very pretty and I love homey and rustic feeling you’ve created.

  19. Maureen, Iā€™m so glad that friends were able to see your lovely table in real life! I love the pattern combination of your runner and napkins (I think I have those same ones.) The natural fall colors of the centerpiece flowers are beautiful. And, yes, you are so right. Not every inch of space on the table needs to be filled.