Fall Tablescape. Taking What You Have To Create A Festive Table.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Okay, I have to tell you something. When it comes to entertaining, I'm no pro, not even close.  We very rarely have people over for holiday dinners, even though I absolutely love the idea of it! I mean, we've had family over, but even still, I cook the feast then I simply throw a runner on the table and that's that for the tabletop.  I'm definitely not known for my Martha Stewart like presentation when it comes to table settings.

But!  The good news is that there is always time to change the way things are and that my friends, is what I'm planning on doing this Thanksgiving.  I'm going to step.it.up!

cinnamon sticks everywhere!!! they are inexpensive and smell delicious!

I thought it would be fun to share my tablescape with you here on the blog in the off chance that you too were thinking of decorating the table this holiday aka Thanksgiving.

So first things first, I picked a theme.  I figured I'd focus on two things that come to mind when I think of fall.  Texture (think cozy wool sweaters) and sense of smell (can you smell the apple pie baking?? Or maybe pumpkin pie).

With that in mind, I went through our cupboards to see what we had that would work with my theme and then made a list for what I needed to go shopping for.  I wanted to spend as little money as possible, so I really had to put my thinking cap on for this one.

a little jute wrapped around the base of this tealight holder (that was in the living room) placed on a cupcake holder & it fit right in

I wanted the centrepiece to be the focal point.  I found this gorgeous bowl at Homesense for less than $20. I loved that the curved edges gave it character and that it had a base which gave it height. Perfect.

I bought a bag of apples from the supermarket and some cinnamon sticks.  I also added in a bit of sheet moss to add some texture and to fill in the gaps.

For the place settings, I went through my fabric stash and decided to use this gorgeous blue polka dot fabric that I bought for some pillows from Tonic Living for napkins.  It goes perfectly with the orange berries and I love the contrast against the white plates. For texture I went with corduroy place-mats and some jute that I wrapped around the decorative pieces on the place settings.  I also added a couple of cinnamon sticks to each arrangement.

Don't use it for what it's meant for.  Like this tea set for example, it won't be holding any tea, instead, I'm using it as a filler because it's beautiful and takes up space, so it's simply sitting pretty until the meal is served.  Here's a tip: if anyone ever offers you silver take it. I promise you will not regret it.  Silver is worth keeping in your precious storage space, trust me.  My mum gave me this set and I love it.

Other tips to help you create a beautiful and inexpensive tablescape:
  • go vintage & thrift shopping. honestly. you can find inexpensive and absolutely perfect pieces. just be sure stick to your theme. vintage pieces usually have a lot of charm, you can never go wrong with charm
  • candles. cheap and take up space. do it.
  • choose items that can be reused after the fact.  we absolutely love apples, so it made perfect sense to use apples as the centrepiece.
  • don't use it for what it's meant for. what I mean is, just because it's meant to hold cream for tea or coffee, doesn't mean that that's what you have to use it for. I placed some paper flowers in the ones on my table. and I'm pretty sure that the white ceramic dish wasn't meant to hold cinnamon sticks & maple leaves, maybe salt & pepper, but whatevs, it works
  • fruit, use fruit as part of your display. an assortment of shapes, colours & sizes and inexpensive. plus you can eat it after the fact!
  • have a bowl that would be perfect as a centrepiece but it doesn't have a base? why not place it on a few slices of wood?
  • create a focal point and perhaps use it as your jumping off point for colour and theme
  • if you don't entertain on a regular basis (comme moi) then you'll most likely have to buy a few pieces to get started. try to keep it simple, buy items that you could use for any holiday/occassion, so don't reach for the pumpkin orange bowl, go for the white or silver one instead. look for pieces that have detail, it's an added bonus (the bowl for example with it's rippled edges)
  • say "yes" to second hand or hand-me-downs! the silver cutlery & crystal glasses used to be hubs Grandmother's. I was so thrilled when she offered it to us
  • the tiniest details can have a big impact. the straws for example, a great way to add colour (you can get yours from Omiyage here)
  • sense of smell is powerful, so add hints of deliciousness, which is why I really wanted to incorporate the cinnamon sticks! have some yummy flavoured tea bags? try hiding them beneath a display for a scent your guests will love!

So this is what our dining room will look like for Thanksgiving.  If you have a go to tablescape, please do share!

Good luck and have fun!



  1. Julie, this is a beautiful table! I don't think I am great at setting one, either. But you made it so easy with your tips. Great job.

  2. Love it! The cinnamon stick idea is such a good one.

  3. Wow - what a beautiful table - I love that you used a lot of things you already had.
    Can I come to dinner ;)

  4. Great ideas and photos. I also love the cinnamon sticks, and they smell so good! :)

  5. Julie, what an awesome job! I love that you used so many apples - they always make me think of fall - and combined with the cinnamon and moss - genius!

  6. Julie! This looks so awesome! Can I come over for dinner?? ;)

    p.s. beautiful photos!

  7. Julie, this looks amazing! You did such a fantastic job, it looks straight out of a magazine! I wish i had more space to entertain friends and family over the holidays but that's one of the downsides to living in a small condo. Fingers crossed that one day I'll have a big enough house to entertain and decorate as nicely as yours!

    Ps. So happy to be reading your blog! It's been a long time coming since we've followed each other on instagram!

    xo jen
    Pearls & Lace


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