Fall colors, velvet pumpkins, and classic Currier & Ives dinnerware: 3 things I’m loving right now!

Sometimes I feel like a squirrel in traffic, you know? Too many things to look at, listen to, pay attention to. It’s in those moments when I try to make a conscious effort to slow my mind, find something beautiful to observe or appreciate, and just become purposely mindful of the details. Right now I’m happy to say I’m fully immersed in enjoying Autumn – in particular, I’m loving fall colors, velvet pumpkins, and my classic handed down Currier & Ives dinnerware by Royal China!

Fall Colors

Three beautiful fall color scenes | Vintage Floral Cottage

We had some very cool, rainy weather in early October so our Fall colors are gorgeous right now! I don’t even have to go far to see beautiful trees against bright blue sky – there are many of them right outside my front door here in the little mobile home park.

Velvet Pumpkins

I’ve been sewing up some additional velvet pumpkins to add to my collection this past week. In the last few years I’ve saved the stems off any small gourds I’ve used in Fall decor, and once dry I use them to give a bit of natural texture to my little creations. My all-time favorite, though, is that light blue one with the wrapped jute stem. I just love the dimension created by the folds in that one!

Classic Currier & Ives Dinnerware

Over in the Thrifty Tablescapers group on Facebook, we were recently reminiscing about what dinnerware patterns we recalled from our younger years. Answers ranged from paper plates to Limoges! Royal China Currier & Ives is definitely the one I remember most fondly, and it got mentioned by a few other ladies as well. For me, Fall leads to Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving leads to Grandma’s house. And Grandma’s house means this lovely blue and white ironstone!

The set we used for holidays throughout my childhood was gifted to me by Grandma Verdie when I was 30, and I still enjoy it today. The pattern was actually a grocery store premium beginning around 1954, and by the time I was old enough to remember it in the early 70’s, Grandma had service for 12! It has gone through two whole-house floods in its time with me, and I downsized quite a bit after the second flood in 2008. There are many other patterns that I thoroughly enjoy using, but this one is my sentimental favorite.

What’s on your radar right now? What are you loving about Fall? Do you remember any particular dinnerware from your younger years?

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Fall tablescape in bold colors

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

After the transitional “Unofficial Fifth Season” of Faded Summer eases us out of the bright colors of the warmest time of year, it’s time to celebrate Autumn in all it’s glory. A woods walk, a leaf-peeping drive, a visit to the pumpkin patch… and of course, a Fall tablescape in the beautiful, bold colors we traditionally associate with this season.

Fall tablescape in bold colors | Vintage Floral Cottage

This tablescape started with a centerpiece arranged using silk flowers from Dollar Tree. I was working on a post of Fall centerpiece ideas, and I wanted to do something in the little rustic wooden box that Greg had made for me. When my arrangement was done, I realized it would be a great match for the bold-hued napkins I’d purchased a couple years ago from Pier 1. I staged it with those napkins and my Baum Brothers Formalities dinner plates called Bernadotte, and I knew I’d have to do a full table with these elements.

Fall tablescape in bold colors | Vintage Floral Cottage
Fall tablescape in bold colors | Vintage Floral Cottage

I paired the Formalities “Bernadotte” with salad plates by Seltmann Weiden (Western Germany). One thing I love about Bernadotte is the tone-on-tone scroll pattern – it’s very subtle, elegant, and absolutely lovely! And the Seltmann Weiden carries through particularly the shades of purple from the centerpiece, the glassware, and the napkins.

Flatware is my gold electroplate “Americana Golden Heritage” by International Silver, and of course the napkins were a Pier 1 clearance find. I think they perfectly capture the bold Fall colors.

Glassware – in a deep purple and a lighter pink, because I really wanted to use the darker purple but I only have two of those – is vintage “Duratuff” by Libbey. Their goblet shape gives them an air of sophistication without being too delicate.

The centerpiece includes a few handmade velvet pumpkins in the deeper colors.

Here are a few more views around the table of this Fall tablescape:

And here is the put-away shot so you can see the elements as kind of an after-the-fact mood board.

Here’s an image to pin for future inspiration:

For more pretty tables set on a budget, join my Facebook group, Thrifty Tablescapers! I’ll be sharing my Fall tablescape for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

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Small touches of Fall on the primitive hutch

One of my favorite pieces of furniture in my home is this gorgeous primitive-style step-back cabinet hutch, which was built for me a few years ago by my sweetie Greg. So much work went into this… he built it without plans, after only seeing a couple pictures from the internet of what I had envisioned. Here it is right after it was finished, empty but in place at our previous home.

This days, I have it positioned in the mobile home so it is the first thing you see when you come in off the front porch. Several items have their permanent homes here, but it’s been a bit over-crowded lately. So believe it or not this is “tidied up and pared down” just a little – with a few Fall touches sprinkled in.

My favorite part right now is the top shelf – I’m no minimalist, and I just love this layered look of treasures!

I re-worked the centerpiece from a recent Fall table (that post is coming soon). And when I say “re-worked,” I mean I literally just removed the two halves from the wooden box they were in and plunked those chunks of floral form right down into this ironstone soup tureen, flowers and all. Just the tiniest bit of fluffing was needed!

This is the “French Blue” corner… I made the tiny blue velvet pumpkin a few years ago, and have used the yellow all-in-one planters as well as the blue mixing bowl in tablescapes!

These mason jars are my favorites from a large lot of them that I had at the time I closed my antique mall booth earlier this year. The two smaller ones are from 1923 and the larger one is from about 1910. Another handmade velvet pumpkin sports a (hard to see) jeweled leaf – a piece from a costume jewelry bracelet I disassembled.

I have a thing about Haviland covered vegetable/casserole serving pieces. This one sits atop a collection of glass cake plates.

More lovely china pieces and another handmade velvet pumpkin.

This covered server is also a favorite. I’ve lined up pretty hand-painted “cabinet plates” across the backs of the shelves. The larger one at the back here is the first one I acquired. It was an auction win for $1!

It’s really unusual for that bottom shelf to have empty space in the middle, but at least you can finally see my handpainted “Antiques” sign – leaving room for new acquisitions, I guess!

Lots more Fall touches going up around here that I’ll share soon… it sure feels like Fall arrived early this year, we have a chance of Frost on October 1! Are you embracing Fall?

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Fall and Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas

I’m a firm believer in the idea that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enhance your table setting with a great centerpiece! In my Tablescaping 101 blog series, I give a few hints and tips for creating centerpieces. With this post, we’re going to specfically focus on inexpensive Fall and Thanksgiving ideas!

For me, the best ways to create centerpieces involve playing with color or texture, using unusual containers, making handcrafted items, and using unexpected elements. Thrift stores, consignment shops, and Dollar Tree are well-represented in these inexpensive Fall and Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas! In fact, I shop year-round for elements at secondhand and discount venues because it ensures I have a large stash of items to choose from when I go to actually create something.

Here are a few Fall and Thanksgiving ideas for you to copy or adapt, depending on what you find while shopping!

Swag Rambler Centerpiece

I love the idea of something that just rambles down the length of the table, so I created a “runner-style” centerpiece using a hand-crafted door swag that included cut-out wooden leaves, jute string, and raffia. I tucked in some faux feathers, silk leaves in traditional autumn colors, and silk blooms using Dollar Tree florals, and tiny real gourds in white and orange.

Italianate Pedestal Basket

Of course I love vases of all kinds, but I try to use interesting containers whenever possible for real or silk flowers. This basket on a pedestal had almost an Italianate vibe to it, especially when filled with silk Fall asters, faux grapes, and a shimmery gold saucer. The container, candle, saucer, and faux grapes were all second-hand; the silk flowers were all from Dollar Tree, as were the ceramic pumpkins. Velvet pumpkins were handmade by me. 🙂

Bun-foot Pumpkin in a Dough bowl

Pumpkins are perhaps the universal symbol of Fall and Thanksgiving, and it’s fun to incorporate both real and stylized versions into a centerpiece for the table. Here I’ve used a small dough bowl as the container. I created a nest using a small pip-berry wreath from Goodwill plus nuts and pine cones collected for free on a nature walk. The pumpkin itself is handmade from the large “bun foot” off a piece of discarded furniture!

Velvet, Sweater, and Crocheted Pumpkins

Faux pumpkins made from “yard goods” (now there’s an old-fashioned term!) have been a trend for awhile now. My favorite material to use in making them is velvet, which can be acquired inexpensively by purchasing used children’s clothing in thrift stores. I’ve also made them from old sweaters, and my daughter crocheted some beautiful ones for me out of the softest nubby yarn! Here her crocheted pumpkin is paired with a shiny orange ceramic one from Dollar Tree plus a shimmery beaded garland from Goodwill.
And here I’ve used second-hand finds – handmade blue clay bowl, a small pip-berry wreath, a ceramic squirrel that I spray-painted gold, and a champagne-colored lacey window valance – plus a real miniature gourd to enhance my favorite hand-made velvet pumpkin. Here’s another tablescape that uses this same pumpkin, though it isn’t a Fall table.

Dried Garden Flowers and Old Books

Speaking of favorites, this centerpiece uses one of my favorite Fall decorating elements: natural dried hydrangeas direct from the garden! I especially love the combined textures of the dried blooms, brass deer, and gilded gold book titles. Old books can look very rustic when used in decorating with their faded covers and pages. I collect them from flea markets and antique stores, always inexpensive and always with titles romantic enough to enhance my little cottage home!

Handmade Rustic Box with Silk Flowers

Back to more traditional Fall colors… this centerpiece is comprised of a handmade wooden box made from a cast off fence panel, plus silk flowers primarily from Dollar Tree. (The silk roses in deep plum and ivory were all in one bunch at a yard sale.) I have had those boldly colored napkins for awhile – clearance from Pier 1 a few years ago – but this centerpiece is the first one I’ve made that really called for their use, so I was excited to create the tablescape for this centerpiece!

It’s important to remember that because so many of my items are purchased second-hand, you might not be able to recreate these pieces exactly… but I promise – your own creative juices will start flowing when you begin looking at things you find in thrift store, yard sales, flea markets, and elsewhere with an eye toward making centerpieces, and your own creations will be even better!

Here’s an image for Pinterest in case you’d like to save these centerpiece ideas!

For more centerpiece inspiration, join my Facebook group Thrifty Tablescapers! It’s a creative and friendly group of people who enjoy setting beautiful tables on a budget!

And, be sure to grab your FREE Tablescaper’s Checklist so you never miss a detail when planning your tablescapes!

Posted in Tablescapes | 4 Comments

Thanksgiving Fall Tablescape in jewel tone plaids

Every table starts with an idea. It might be a color, a holiday, or even an inspiration piece such as a new tablecloth or new fairytale chargers. This Fall/Thanksgiving table started with this centerpiece:

Thanksgiving Fall centerpiece with jewel tone pumpkins and pedestal basket container

To be more precise, it started with the empty basket, which I found already attached to the pedestal, in a consignment store. I wanted to fill the basket with flowers, to have it feel like it was overflowing. I pulled out a few stops on this one – a china saucer in shimmery gold with harvest fruit, faux grapes, even a candle nestled into the basket along with all those blooms.

Thanksgiving Fall Centerpiece with silk flowers, china saucer, faux grapes, and candle.

The colors began to suggest that perhaps some of my favorite handmade jewel tone velvet pumpkins would look good, so I set a few – as well as a couple favorite ceramic ones from Dollar Tree – at the feet of the pedestal.

Velvet pumpkins with Thanksgiving Fall Centerpiece

I wanted to keep the rest of the table in jewel tones as much as possible, so I chose deep green dinner plates and a set of plaid salad plates that echoed not only the color scheme but also the idea of fruit harvest bounty. I think “bounty” is always a great theme for a Thanksgiving table because it can easily be interpreted visually and it reminds us to be grateful for the many blessings in our lives.

Fall Thanksgiving Tablescape by VFCstyle.com
Fall Thanksgiving Tablescape by VFCstyle.com
Fall Thanksgiving Tablescape by VFCstyle.com

The green dinner plates are by Home Trends, and the salad plates are “Victoria” by Sakura. Both were Goodwill finds.

"Victoria" salad plates by Sakura in a Fall Thanksgiving tablescape by VFCstyle.com
Home Trends dark green dinner plates in a Fall Thanksgiving tablescape by VFCstyle.com

I love the texture of this rattan charger – also a consignment store find. It’s perfect for Fall and Thanksgiving tablescapes!

Textured brown rattan chargers in a Fall Thanksgiving tablescape by VFCstyle.com
Charger texture in a Fall Thanksgiving tablescape by VFCstyle.com
Edges of the plate stack in a Fall Thanksgiving tablescape by VFCstyle.com

Vintage glassware is by Libbey (also from Goodwill); the neutral napkins have a subtle plaid pattern and were a consignment store find. Napkin rings were Pier 1 clearance a couple of years ago. Flatware is mis-matched vintage silverware collected from a local antique fair.

Dark green swirl glassware by Libbey in a Fall Thanksgiving tablescape by VFCstyle.com
Plaid napkins in a Fall Thanksgiving tablescape by VFCstyle.com
Silk floral napkin rings in a Fall Thanksgiving tablescape by VFCstyle.com
Mismatched vintage silverware in a Fall Thanksgiving tablescape by VFCstyle.com

Here are a few more views around the table…

Fall Thanksgiving Tablescape by VFCstyle.com
Fall Thanksgiving Tablescape by VFCstyle.com
Fall Thanksgiving Tablescape by VFCstyle.com
Overhead view of a Fall Thanksgiving Tablescape by VFCstyle.com

Here’s a view of this table in my single-wide mobile home kitchen. This is my only dining space, so all my tables are set here!

The kitchen at Vintage Floral Cottage, VFCstyle.com

And of course the put-away shot – all done and ready to go back into the cupboards!

Tablescaping elements stacked and ready to be put away, VFCstyle.com

Hope you got some good ideas from this table – here’s an image for Pinterest if you’d like to pin it to your tablescaping board for future inspiration!

A Fall Thanksgiving tablescape in jewel tones and plaids at VFCstyle.com

I’ll be sharing this table for Tablescape Thursday over at Susan’s blog, Between Naps on the Porch!

For daily budget-friendly tablescaping ideas, join my Facebook Group, Thrifty Tablescapers! And, get your FREE Tablescaper’s Checklist so you never miss a detail when planning your tablescapes!

Posted in Tablescapes | 11 Comments