Now that fall has arrived, we can rekindle themes of harvest, warmth, abundance and home by incorporating traditional fall colors.  

Acorns1.  Resort to Nature:  What around your yard could you gather to place in a glass vase?  Acorns? Walnuts? Leaves of varying colors?  Dark yellow flowers blend particularly well with browns.

A piece of flat polished glass placed over an array of colorful fall leaves in the center of your table could double as a trivet for hot dishes.

Fall flowers in season and reeds or cattails standing in tall vases can evoke feelings of fall harvest.  One on either side of a centerpiece adds a feeling of abundance.  Some hostesses like to flank their Thanksgiving centerpieces with long stocks of golden wheat to add some simplicity to often busy table décor.  

2.  Remember all the colors in the earth tone family. While pumpkin orange starts to pop out everywhere by mid-September, look for muted greens, dusky yellows and reds to round out Autumn flowers and Fall décor in general.

3.  Pull out the candles:  Summertime is bright enough without light from a few flickering flames.  Come October, however, and candles become the focal point.  Save money by buying plain pillar candles at a discount store and then glue gun acorns in a ring around the bottom. Line the circumference with cinnamon sticks and adhere with glue.  Float candles in water in your favorite glass salad bowl and intersperse cut red carnations or yellow Gerbera daisies.

Cluster a variety of earthy-colored candles of varying shapes and sizes in the center of the table.  Place them on one of your favorite large serving dishes and intersperse the prettiest fall leaves you found today or line the dish with acorns.  Candle-dominant centerpieces remind us of the comfort of gathering around the fire.

Remember that candles can stand in the centerpiece, at the ends of the table or at each place setting. 

4.  Jazz up a plain table cloth with placemats cut from felt in the shapes of leaves, acorns or pumpkins.  If you prefer a runner on top of your practical table cloth, cut placemat-sized, fall-themed shapes from felt, glue them end to end and stretch across length of the table. Keep your table settings simpler by avoiding placemats.

 5.  Maximize the metals.  Where hosts and hostesses tend to lay the Christmas table with dazzling bright silvers and golds, metal can make an appearance in Fall décor as well.  Incorporating more burnished golds and pewters balances the sometimes bright orange and red hues of fall-themed dinner plates.  Metal pitchers or drinking steins adorned with flowers and small branches bring the outside in and remind diners of earlier times.

Bereft of nice, burnished metal?  Think through your wedding gifts and see if anything will serve. Something you may have rejected at first may stand a chance when adored with flowers or a berry branch.  Homeowners’ yard sales also tend to sell old family table décor inexpensively.

Cinnamon Sticks6.  Unusual place cards reflect a harvest theme for your dinner party. Set a cozy, fall mood with your table décor by putting each guest or family member name on or behind the appropriate place-setting. All you need to convey the sense of an abundant harvest is a fall fruits, pins, ribbon, small cards or slips of paper and the family member with the best handwriting.   Pin each name to a pear, baby pumpkin, cinnamon stick, pomegranate, red or yellow pepper or unusual winter squash.

Decorating your table for fall is about more than napkin and placemat colors. Creating a warm ambiance can lift mood and deepen the sense of family.  Most of us live in one house for a long time. We can break up the sometimes monotonous home scene by changing up interior décor. More, celebrating the changing seasons can help all members of the family feel more connected to nature. While teens may roll their eyes at your table decoration ideas now, their memories will last a lifetime.