Photo by Matt Harrington

With the warm weather coming to a close, it’s easy to feel sad about the end of summer. In my opinion, the best way to deal with these blues is to jump head-first into Fall. What better way to do that then to host a fun gathering? As an event and party planner, I love to make the turn of the new season a reason to celebrate!

Whether it be a fun and simple fall gathering, birthday party, ladies’ night, or even Friendsgiving, a decorative space with the perfect touches helps set the stage for a wonderful gathering.  When the day rolls around, we all can understand the desire to impress your guests with a cute and creative, Pinterest-worthy tablescape that’s suited for the season.

No matter how big or how small the event, it may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but in my experience planning parties for Kevin Bacon, Billy Joel and LeBron James it’s easier than you think with the right inspiration! I always say Fall is the perfect time to have a dinner party with friends, so I’ve laid out seven of my go-to tips for creating a beautiful fall tablescape that is easy, affordable, and still upscale and gorgeous:

Tip #1: Embrace the Colors of the Season
Fall brings with it so many gorgeous colors in nature that we can totally take advantage of in our tablescapes – from gorgeous florals to warm orange gourds and soups. Start from there, then add beautiful hues of mustard and gold into new elements in your home and create a tablescape full of textured finds, depth of color and delicious fall foods!


Photo by Matt Harrington

Tip #2: Pick Pear Over Pumpkin
Spice up your table with unique glasses to serve up something special. To differentiate from the typical pumpkin flavors of the fall, save the squash for your soup and brew a delicious cider for your guests and dress it up in these gorgeous etched glass goblets. Minimal garnish can go a long way with this one.


Photo by Matt Harrington

Tip #3: Don’t Go for Basic Flatware
Dress up your table with unusual metal flatware — think gold, or even a dark matte brown this season — to add a modern look of elegance that will instantly upgrade your place settings. I love these gold silverware sets and thick woven chargers from HomeGoods for each spot at the table.


Photo by Matt Harrington


Photo by Matt Harrington

Tip #4: Create a S’mores Bar for an Interactive, No-Fuss Dessert
If you’re not a star chef, don’t go crazy on dessert – have the guests make it themselves! Turn your favorite elevated cake stand into a buffet for the ingredients: marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. Scour the kitchenware aisle at HomeGoods for a mini countryside cast-iron pot to contain a regular sterno, and voila! Everyone’s favorite childhood memory added to your tablescape or credenza.


Photo by Matt Harrington


Photo by Matt Harrington


Photo by Matt Harrington

Tip #5: Mix and Match for a Modern Look that will Totally Look Cohesive!
Some people are afraid of asymmetry on their tablescape – I say embrace it! Mixing a variety of chairs and benches – from cozy armchairs to formal luxe mahogany dining chairs – around your tablescape makes the setting unique, just make sure to stagger twins so two of the same are never right next to each other. It’s as easy as that! The usual centerpiece is also overrated – I opt for a low-to-high- mix with my florals and decorative accents. I found some unique vases at HomeGoods – even bowls! – to make a gorgeous tablescape that doesn’t look too planned or thought out.


Photo by Matt Harrington

Tip #6: Use Seasonal Produce to Inform Your Color Scheme
With each new season brings a ton of fresh color scheme inspiration! Head to the farmer’s market and pick out produce that helps add those rustic pops of red and deep purples to your centerpieces, and design your table around that. In an earthy-toned, organic wooden bowl, like the one here I found at HomeGoods, add beautiful figs, fruit or tomatoes for an easy, seasonal centerpiece.


Photo by Matt Harrington


Photo by Matt Harrington

Tip #7: Mini Mason Jars are Perfect for an Amuse-Bouche to Serve Guests
With warmer weather comes the need for comfort food. When serving soup for your guests, put it in non-traditional serving ware, such as shot glasses or mugs as a passed appetizer. These little mason jar shot glasses from HomeGoods are the perfect fit and add just the right small touch of fall, without being overwhelming.


Photo by Matt Harrington

And there you have it – I hope my tips inspire you to jumpstart your social calendar and host a dinner party this fall! As you can see – it is much easier than expected. All you need is a vision, a quick trip to HomeGoods (you never know what you will find) and the farmers market or grocery store and voila!


Photo by Matt Harrington

Marcy Blum is a HomeGoods Style Expert and internationally sought after event planner & entertaining expert who with 30 years experience, crafts events with sanity, humor, innovation and style. With attention to detail and flair for the unimaginable, Marcy creates events that stimulate the senses and awe guests. 


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