The humble carrot, often the last of the vegetables to be harvested from the garden in autumn, makes a fabulous base for a smooth Cream of Carrot Soup. With its superb flavor, color, and luxuriously smooth texture, this soup is a winning combination and can be made year-round. Continue reading Cream of Carrot Soup
This elegant autumn-themed tablesetting all started with ……
………. a rustic box of faux greenery and small white pumpkins.
Sometimes, inspiration can from from seemingly simple sources as is the case with this tablesetting. I have had the rustic box arrangement for awhile. It usually spends the autumn on the island in my kitchen. But, this year, it became the inspiration for my Thanksgiving tablesetting and so has been elevated to the dining room. Other than the tiny pumpkins scattered throughout the tablescape, I bought nothing special for this tablesetting. You’ll be amazed what you can find when you shop around your own home!
In fall tablesettings, I typically choose the warm autumnal colors of yellows, reds, rusts, and golds but, this year, I’ve opted to go with muted earthy tones – greens, whites, and browns, principally. One thing I recommend in tablesettings is to keep the number of colors introduced to no more than three. Any more and the table can start to appear chaotic.
I have intentionally left the table bare with no tablecloth in order to allow the maple wood of my dining room table to form the canvas for the tablesetting. Letting the wood of the table be part of the tablesetting is in keeping with the earthy look. To frame the centerpiece, I have opted to use a short white runner. It gives a base, is unobtrusive, and it defines and contains the size of the tablescape.
While the box of greenery and pumpkins is an autumn arrangement in itself, had it been the sole item in the center of the table, it would have looked isolated and that it had just landed there with no supporting or grounding items.
To take a pre-made arrangement and give it a custom look, it needs some supporting actors that will draw the eye down the length of the table’s center. These connectors include small white pumpkins, pinecones, green leaves, and white votives. No need to be fussy or overly precise about the placement of these items. As the tablescape builds, places needing a “filler” will reveal themselves. Care, however, needs to be taken to ensure the table is not overloaded.
I am a fan of layers of lighting. In this case, two layers are used – tall, neutral-colored, tapers flanking the core centerpiece and then lower lights, in the form of votives for soft glow, interspersed here and there throughout the tablescape. Adding layers of light ensures a glow from all angles of the tablescape and candles always contribute to the ambiance.
Adding a place card to each placesetting adds a touch of sophistication and personality to a table. Additionally, it allows the host/hostess to identify where they want guests to be seated and there can be several reasons why the strategic placement of dinner guests could be important at a dining event, even a casual or informal one.
Formal placecards are not always necessary, especially for more informal occasions. Here, the place card is a simple leaf upon which the guest’s name is printed. The addition of a small cone provides a stand for the leaf and, along with a sprig of greenery, maintains the tablesetting color scheme and earthy theme.
Silver charger plates frame each placesetting. Silver is on the cool spectrum so is in keeping with the overall cool-toned tablescape. Charger plates, of course, ground and define a placesetting as well as lend an air of sophistication and style to the table.
White dinnerware is most often my “go-to” for tablesettings because it matches everything and food looks great on white.
The miniature soup tureens are a favorite and they add height, interest, and style to each placesetting. They also double as a holder for the napkin, folded into the Bird of Paradise fold.
Using glassware that has lots of cuts in it is a great way to add sparkle to the table whether the light that causes the sparkle comes from natural sunlight or, in the evening, through the glow of candlelight.
This tablescape makes use of typical seasonal foliage and pumpkins but in more toned-down hues. No matter what is on the menu, this table has all the ingredients for a festive autumnal meal.
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