“By all these lovely tokens September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
Helen Hunt Jackson
When summer’s sultry heat has abated and the leaves have just started to turn is a wonderful time to enjoy some fall alfresco dining. Take a cue from nature and highlight autumn’s gorgeous jewel shades in your table setting. Start dinner a bit earlier to catch the setting sun and share some easy conversation around a table set under the early autumn sky. Bring in some candlelight and break out the sweaters to stretch the evening under the stars.
I set our autumn alfresco table on our terrace next to the fountain. A tablecloth in tan, rust and green set the theme. I pulled anything and everything I had in these colors to create this table setting and looked to introduce many layers of texture. This table decor did not follow any rules. Nothing matched but the individual parts had a cohesive effect together because they all came from the same family of colors. The table is simple yet stylish and relaxed. Keeping things unmatched keeps the table casual and unfussy. Rattan chargers were set with patterned everyday dinner plates in autumnal colors. Rust colored salad plates with a pretty beaded detail were stacked on top. Mismatched amber glassware added additional fall ambiance and richness to the table. I love my amber glassware and wait all year to bring it out of hibernation.
A cheery centerpiece of sunflowers with hypericum berries and goldenrod in a rustic wooden planter brought in color, texture and seasonal interest.
Double-sided coordinating napkins in shades of rust and green (Wegmans) were tied with beaded burgundy napkin rings, recycled from Christmas (Homegoods). Clusters of rust feathers punctured with some irridescent peacock blue added some fun fall flair and whimsy(recycled from this flower arrangement).
Candle light illuminated the table softly from above, from votives set in an outdoor chandelier. I wove a branch of silk fall berries and foliage through it to dress it up for this autumn alfresco dinner. I bought the chandelier years ago at the now defunct Smith Hawkins. A similar effect can be created by hanging votives in mason jars or hurricanes from outdoor structures or branches. It really does create a lovely ambiance. (Another table setting with this chandelier can be seen here.)
Nearby on a terrace wall, additional candlelight came from a hurricane I placed on top of a black metal garden urn. A fall wreath in the same berries and foliage I wove on the chandelier was placed on top of the urn. Then the glass hurricane with a candle inside was secured on top of the dirt in the urn. A plaid ribbon in fall colors tied around the urn gave this hurricane a final flourish.
Wishing you some lovely languid fall evenings, dining under the stars. Cheers!
Need some fall recipe inspiration? Here are some of my favorite fall dishes.