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!

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All new Holiday Gift Guide for hostesses and tablescapers – Gift Ideas Under $50

(Updated Nov. 15, 2020 – See individual updates below for availability and price changes.)

I know it’s only September and we are still in the midst of Faded Summer… but I think it’s safe to say that in-person holiday shopping is going to be an adventure this year. Because of that, I’m predicting a bottleneck in online shopping as well. So to help you get an early start on gift-giving, I’ve decided to offer my 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Hostesses and Tablescapers a bit early!

(Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase at Amazon.com by following one of my links, it costs you nothing extra but I receive a small commission. Thank you for purchasing through my links!)

If you’ve got someone on your Christmas list who loves to entertain and set pretty tables, I’ve got nine wonderful gift ideas for hostesses and tablescapers all under $50! You might notice that these items would all make wonderful house-warming gifts too! Descriptions are linked directly to the corresponding pages on Amazon for your convenience. Pricing was current as of 9/15/20, and all products except where noted were eligible for Prime shipping as of that date. (Note: I did update pricing and availability on November 15, 2020.)

1. French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings by Courtney Allison – $31.50 hard cover. (November 15: price reduction! Now $25.47.) If you haven’t been following Courtney’s blog, French Country Cottage, you’ve been missing out! Her photography primarily of scenes and vignettes around her northern California home has resulted in two beautiful coffee table books: Inspired Gatherings shown here, and the original French Country Cottage. I’m a huge FCC/Courtney Allison fan, and I can promise you that Courtney’s books are stunning and inspiring!

French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings by Courtney Allison – beautifully photographed coffee table book featuring Courtney’s signature style. Photo from French Country Cottage.

2. Buffalo Check cloth napkins – $29.99/set of 12. Red and black napkins in on-trend buffalo check are perfect for a woodland-themed holiday table setting, but there 20 other color combinations waiting for you! Generously-sized, 100% cotton napkins are 20 inches square!

3. Allgala Charger Plates – $32.95/pack of six. These are the “fairytale chargers” I raved about recently, baby blue with gold highlights on the sculpted edges. Made of sturdy acrylic, and about 13 inches wide, they’re the perfect underplate for an elegant table setting! There are other colors (and styles) too – just follow the link to see all the options.

Allgala textured and gold-embossed chargers come in several fairytale colors! Photo by VFCstyle.com

4. Sled/Sleigh Chip and Dip – $42.76. (November price reduction! Now $29.95) Metal sled/sleigh two-tier server and white ceramic “chip and dip” dishes make the CUTEST buffet table centerpiece and serving accessory! Measures approximately 14 x 7 x 6 inches.

5. Coal Dust/Snow Flakes Salt & Pepper set – $17.24. (November update: Currently unavailable.) Red and white ceramic salt & pepper set is cute and fanciful! Measures about 4 inches high. Not indicated for Prime shipping at this writing, 9/15/20.

6. Napoleon Bee flatware by Wallace – $22.83/five-piece place setting. Beautiful stainless steel 5-piece flatware set with a sweet bee on each handle. I own four sets of this pattern – they’re perfect for any garden-, botanical-, or nature-themed tablescape!

Napoleon Bee flatware by Wallace has this beautiful raised bee motif. A five-piece place setting is just $22.83! Photo by VFCstyle.com

7. Grandpa Gnomes Salt & Pepper set – $14.88. (November price change. Currently $18.88) These guys are seriously adorable! Red and green capped gnomes hold the season’s seasonings with charm and humor! Gnomes measure about 3 inches high.

8. Pfaltzgraff Winterberry Square Serving Platter – $31.48. (November price reduction! Currently $24.50.) This holiday dinnerware pattern remains hugely popular after three decades. It used to fly out of my booth at the antique mall, and I always snapped it up whenever I saw it at a thrift store or auction. Beautiful white background with green and red leaf-and-berry border and solid green edging. Square serving platter measures about 12-1/2 inches wide.

9. Tea for One Teapot and Cup – $29.98. (November update: The snowman edition is currently unavailable, but the peacock and owl versions linked below are still $24.98 each.) A cheerful snowman and other friendly winter characters adorn this “tea for one” teapot and cup set by Bits and Pieces. Measures about 4 inches in diameter and about 5-1/2 inches tall, and comes in a delightful gift box. There are also peacock and owl editions of this unique set available for $24.98 each!

I hope you’ll find this gift guide helpful in getting a jump-start on your holiday shopping. Happy Shopping!

Posted in Holidays | 4 Comments