Fall is here officially and it is definitely fall inside our home. This week has been so much fun sharing my fall home decor on the Fall Home Tour Blog Hop. What fabulous design inspiration for fall. My thanks again to Deb at Seeking Lavender for hosting this fall home tour and also to Kirkland’s for hosting and treating us to a little shopping spree. I wanted to share some more fall decorating goodness. Last year Sweet Shark and I hosted an event for a group of folks who over the past year have graciously been the subjects of a monthly resident recipe column that I write for a neighborhood magazine ~ yes, I can add published writer to my resume. I love setting tables for parties and I thought I would share how to decorate your table for a casual fall party. Because these tips never go out of style.
Don’t let a lack of resources, ideas or time stop you from hosting a party, especially for fall since everyone is in the mood for fun and fall after hot summer months. Since I’m showing you how to decorate your table for a casual fall party, half the work is done. If you don’t want to prepare the food, order out or make it a potluck. It’s all about gathering friends.
How to Decorate Your Table for a Casual Fall Party
This little get~together was very casual, starting at 5:30 in the afternoon so I used our breakfast room table as a buffet, pushing it up against one of our breakfast room windows that overlooks the back garden. As my tablecloth, I used one of my pieces of remnant fabric that I keep on hand. I thought this soft blue and cream pattern would provide the perfect backdrop.
TIP: I think the tablecloth should be a subtle foundation for your serving dishes and food. It shouldn’t be the focal point or overwhelm the table.
Before spreading out the tablecloth, I set some boxes and a cake stand on the table to add height and interest. As long as they are sturdy, any box or container will work. I’ve used shoe boxes, packing boxes and upside down bowls. Move and adjust until you get the look you like.
TIP: Platters, plates, and decorative items should not all be at the same height. It’s much more interesting to stagger heights.
Place your tablecloth over the boxes, tucking in the edges and giving some slack between boxes. For safety, I prefer not to let the cloth drape over the table. I also like a bit of my table to show.
TIP: If you need to cover the entire table, use a flat sheet or other tablecloth first, laying it flat on the table and then proceeding with your boxes and overlay fabric or tablecloth.
This is also a good time to bring out the serving platters that you will use. Since this was a causal event, I used one of my medium~sized cutting boards for an organic place to serve the charcuterie. The gold platter will serve as my fruit tray. I also added the Remington Sure Shot box that I bought at an estate sale last summer. It will hold my flowers.
TIP: Try to vary the color and texture of your serving dishes, but remember that solid is always best for serving food. And light is better than dark. Think about the color and texture of the food you will be serving.
White hydrangeas were still available at the grocery store and I couldn’t resist. I filled in with a little baby’s breath.
I moved things around and added three layers of cake stands for my cupcakes. As you can see, I also started adding some white pumpkins “randomly” on the table. I love the white pumpkins against the cream of the fabric.
After all your serving dishes are in place, now you can add your plates and napkins. Since this fall party was very casual, I wanted food that didn’t require any silverware.
TIP: Always place plates at the beginning of the table and the napkins and silverware, if using, at the end of the table. It’s very awkward for guests to hold a plate, napkin and silverware while they are serving themselves from a buffet.
I added this small lantern with an orange candle for ambiance and a little pop of fall color.
I couldn’t resist using this little chalk board with a fall message.
The table was set and ready to go the day before the party.
TIP: I find that getting the table set as early as possible helps you “see” the finished table. Now you can concentrate on the food preparation and other details.
Preparing the Food
Early in the day, I made the cupcakes, diced and sliced the fruit and cheese, and prepared the charcuterie platter. Everything (except the cupcakes) went into the refrigerator. Since everything could be served at room temperature, about 30 minutes before the party started, I started setting out the food.
TIP: Stop whatever you are doing at least 1 1/2 hours before the party and get yourself ready. That way even if everything isn’t 100% ready for your guests, you are, and you can ask the first guests to help ~ here in Texas, as guests, we will always ask!
Platter #1 ~ Fruit and Cheese Platter
Fruit and Cheese is always a welcome addition to any buffet ~ red seedless grapes, sliced figs, sliced apples (This is a variety called Sweet Tango and they are absolutely the sweetest apples you’ve ever had.) served with slices of smoked Gouda ~ one of my favorites.
Platter #2 ~ Charcuterie Platter
I love charcuterie. Combinations of meats and cheeses not only are delicious, but add a variety of color, shape and texture to your table. I used a large Boos cutting board for my offerings: thinly sliced Genoa salami, cubed sharp cheddar, thinly sliced Havarti, rolled and stacked prosciutto, a wedge of Brie and a small bowl of fig preserves. (You can see that I added a few striped pumpkins to the table ~ that was Sweet Shark’s idea.)
TIP: Vary how you serve cheeses: slices, cubes, a wedge. Cheese should be served at room temperature to bring out the flavors. I love stacking the rolls of prosciutto: again, more interest to contrast with the slices of salami.
Platter #3 ~ Pumpkin Risotto Balls
In the fall, this little bite of goodness has been one of my go~to appetizers for years. This was the only food item that actually required preparation and cooking. They can be made ahead, frozen and then pan~fried a few hours before serving since they can be served room temperature. I can always count on them to wow guests. I’ll share the recipe and how~to soon. You will love me for this recipe.
Platter #4 ~ Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting
I found this recipe at Lolly Jane when she shared on a link party. I was dying to try them. They were easy to make (The base is a boxed Devil’s Food Cake.), delicious and very pretty. I’ll share the recipe soon too.
So now my fall table was set and ready to go. Thanks to my friend Claudia Coker who takes the photography for the magazine. She took this final shot of the table right before our guests arrived.
Well, that was how the table looked for our party. The food may be gone now, but the fall table decorations stayed on. I hope that showing you how to decorate your table for a casual fall party will encourage you to have more parties!
I have a special announcement; drum roll, please. KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farm has announced the winners of the the Everyday Amazing Link Party to kick off the launch of her new book So Close to Amazing:
1st Prize winner is Patti @ Old Things New
2nd Prize winner is Melissa @ Brown Dog Vintage
If you haven’t ordered your copy of KariAnne’s So Close to Amazing, you can do it right now, right here. (Affiliate link)
Now is the time to hop on over to the final day of our Fall Home Tour Blog Hop and be sure to visit any blogs that you might have missed earlier in the week. We would love for you to Pin, Tweet and save. And don’t forget to enter the Kirkland’s giveaway. $1500 would get you a lot of great fall decor.
Parties where I linked this week (September 15 ~ 21):