Backyard picnics are now pleasant memories and gatherings are more often around the dining room table. What a joyous season autumn is and what great possibilities to enjoy nature’s bounty from your front row seat tableside. Here are some natural inspirations to make your dining experience beautiful and special:
1. On a nature walk…gifts from the trees: Shop woodland paths for decorating materials, yours for the asking. Two quick table decorations–a bowl of pinecones and a vase with small branches arranged creatively. Keep an eye out for brightly colored leaves. What could be prettier and more seasonal beneath a clear bowl filled with orchard fresh apples?
2. At the farmer’s market–the vivid colors and great textures and shapes: The plump pumpkin always gets center stage, as well as it should. But it can keep wonderful company with all the colorful gourds, lined down the center of a harvest table or in a favorite shallow basket.
And don’t forget the glory of the many varieties of squash. Acorn squash come in shades of green and orange–and there are some that are a wonderful golden color. Before they get popped in the oven, they can be displayed on the sideboard in abundance. Squash come in so many sizes and shapes, they are just delightful in arrangements.
There’s no rule that says you can’t mix fruit and vegetables–apples and pears go especially well with vegetables.
3. An eye for the rustic–baskets and flowerpots: You might bring home your farm stand buys in small bushel baskets. Don’t discard them without thinking how much fun they can be in giving your dining room a fresh taste of fall. Of course, you can use them for display–and why not weight the bottom and place a tray on top to use as pie or cake stand? Don’t be shy about being creative! A ribbon handle turns a basket into a cache for you to transport silver or napkins to the buffet table.
Flowerpots are among my favorite things. Plants belong in them–mums especially this time of year–but you can also make small ones into a favor at each place at a dinner party. Fill with nuts, wrapped candy, and a tiny gift or two. I use flowerpots on my buffet to house candles–the tapers go in different directions and are a quiet, attractive accessory! These are just a few of the ways you can use your imagination and materials at hand to make your dining room a true part of a harvest home. And if you’re looking for a new furniture piece to freshen up the dining room, find a participating dealer near you in Hooker Furniture’s National Dining Furniture Sale through October 25.
If you have other great ideas, we’d love to hear from you…leave a comment. ‘Tis the season of abundance, after all.