A Simple Fall Table

We’re definitely ready for the Virginia humidity to give way to cooler weather, which is finally happening. Although the cool weather and thunderstorms on our forecast, which we’re looking forward to, are a sober reminder that the cool weather coming in has brought hurricane after hurricane over the past couple years, devastating the Caribbean, the Gulf Coasts, and a surprising amount of the Eastern Seaboard.

In times like this, I’m grateful to be participating in many organizations dedicated to responding to disasters like this and providing relief. I think it’s much easier to be watching all this happen when you know there are many, many men and women hard at work making sure generators, food, blankets, and other supplies, and hard-charging rescue responders get loaded up and shipped out to those who need the help. Help is on the way.

In the meantime, it’s hard coming back from those planning sessions to a world apart from the devastation. It’s surreal talking about coming home to hobbies when I just feel sometimes like we should kiss the ground beneath us and be grateful our lives are what they are.

But that’s when I focus most on setting our very large table and making sure there are people and food to fill it. That’s what fills our souls around here.

“When you have more than you need, don’t build a higher wall – build a longer table.”

As we ease into the season of gratitude and holiday sharing, this phrase resonates with me more than ever. We are preparing to roll out the holiday table more times this fall than we ever have before, and looking forward to sharing good food and good times with as many people as we can. So we thought we’d show you a look at how we prep the table here.

Our table, compared to a lot of settings I’ve seen through the holidays, is simple. I hate single holiday decor – it’s a lot of pain to swap things out and then it’s just more stuff to store, and more stuff to store just reminds me of the money we could have had to do other things that is instead languishing inside a storage bin. So I prefer things that stretch through several seasons.

The color scheme we used will stretch us through autumn and works well for everything from Halloween to Christmas. We have a simple glass and stem centerpiece on a tray that makes it easy to move if we need more room for food, but also gives us space to put odds and ends, like oil and vinegar, that we don’t want to have sit directly on the table or runner. We used a lot of wood, glass, and white, much as we did through the rest of the house, with pops of red for fun.

And we left a lot of the table open. The displays of greenery and pumpkins everywhere are beautiful, but where then are you supposed to put the food?

I needed to clean off the mantel and just replaced what we had up there with some simple wine bottles and stems, some taper candles on distressed white candlesticks and china pumpkins emblazoned with “give thanks” on small wooden pillar candle holders.

I picked up the wooden candlesticks and pumpkins at Michaels for next to nothing, and stained and painted the candlesticks. I love the stained ones, and I’m still deciding if I like the painted ones.

And aside from some pumpkins on the porch and some odds and ends in the mudroom, that’s the extent of the decorating I’ve done for fall!

But I still think the best “decorating” we can do is having a long harvest table full of people.

We’ve had our ten-foot table from Erik Organic for two years now and love it more than ever. It has hosted tons of gatherings of family and friends, even in a much less dressed up form, and we are very happy to present it fully dressed.

Do you guys do a fall table setting? How much do you buy into seasonal decor?

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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