Simply Stylish: A Last-Minute Autumn Tablescape
…sourced entirely from the grocery store and my backyard!
With some very special holidays coming up right around the corner, chances are you’re scrambling to put together a praise-worthy tablescape. Look no further! I am sharing these simple steps to pull together a last-minute, show stopping centerpiece using flowers you can find at the grocery store and greenery you can forage in your own backyard (and if you’re me, your neighbor’s yard) ;). This centerpiece is one of my favorites because it makes a statement AND allows for easy conversation because guests can make eye-contact over the low profile. An essential detail for any good dinner party! I like to call it my “deconstructed cornucopia”.
I scoured the floral and produce section at Whole Foods to see what I could manage to pull together, as this project was rather last minute (the day before Thanksgiving to be precise). I decided to go with an autumn-inspired arrangement that would be tonal, warm, and low-fuss. Read: no vessel, floral foam, wire, tape, or even water.
Generally speaking, when I am styling anything ranging from bookcases to coffee tables, I like to work with odd numbers. Mixing in at least seven elements makes an arrangement of this proportion feel interesting and elegant. In this arrangement I included apples, pomegranates, pears, small purple cabbage, citrus (because Florida!), stemmed berries, ranunculus, miscellaneous “filler” flowers and greenery, artisanal pumpkins, eucalyptus, and clippings from our backyard – including long stems of rosemary and leafy branches from shrubs. Okay, so this was more than x7, and this was a lot of material, but you can certainly use less and achieve the same effect.
I covered the table with a simple tablecloth and layered two burlap runners I happened to have in orange and natural down the middle. Building up from the base, I started with the heavier elements such as branches, leafy limbs, and larger pieces of fruit. Once I built a foundation, I placed the large pumpkin in the center and started working my way outward on either side of the pumpkin by layering in the smaller-scale elements like berries, fruit, eucalyptus, and rosemary, placing them in clusters to complete the lush and layered look. I kept the ranunculus in water in the fridge until Thanksgiving morning – these went in at the last minute because I wasn’t using foam to keep the flowers hydrated. On Thanksgiving day I did a walk-around to check out the arrangement from all angles, and if one area was lacking, I nested in small mercury glass votives to make it more full. Candlelight is a necessity for any festive occasion, and votives are a great way to create ambiance. See? It really was quite simple!
Lastly, a little background on the place settings: I started with two chargers to add texture and color to the table. The woven rattan chargers ground the place setting with an earthy vibe, and the gold chargers (which you can find almost anywhere these days) infuse some color and a hint of glamour. The “rooster” plates are our wedding china pattern – “Galli Rossi”, which translates to “Golden Birds”, from the timeless Italian porcelain design house of Richard Ginori. The sterling silver water goblets were an anniversary gift from my husband’s family, they were his grandmother’s, and it always feels special to use them. The girls like to call them their “princess cups”. The wine glasses are our wedding crystal from Tiffany, I used my maternal Great Grandmother’s (her name was Anne Brown, and my daughter Harper Anne is named after her) silver flatware, and the orange linen napkins trimmed with velvet were a score from Pottery Barn at least ten years ago! As you can see, I love to mix high, low, heirloom…and a touch of burlap never hurt anyone.
I hope that these tips help you create a simple, stylish, holiday table. Please reach out if you have any additional questions…and Happy Holidays!!