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Transitional Fall Tabletop Inspiration

At the beginning of a new season, there’s always a chance to usher it into our homes, gatherings, and celebrations. It doesn’t have to happen all at once, but it can be gradual and slow, just as a season transitions in nature. You don’t immediately need to do all the autumn things at once. You can welcome the fall season in while transitioning out of summer, and being somewhere in the middle is a beautiful place to be. Honestly, when I began planning this tabletop design I thought I would give you inspiration for a fall tabletop. But as I began sourcing and pulling pieces for it, I was drawn to more of what I call a “transitional fall tabletop” – something in between, right where we Southerners find ourselves.

Blue and white can work with any season, in my opinion. It’s classically Southern and the perfect way to mix old and new, and it always feels cohesive, no matter how eclectic. The warm tones of the gold flatware (and how cute are those little branch dessert forks/spoons?!), the natural element of the woven charger, the touches or rust/orange in the flowers, and the darker grounding elements of the glassware and taper candles make this feel more moody than how I would style a tabletop for summer. However, it definitely has elements I love for summer: white/gold/floral china, blue and white vases (which feel exceptionally summer-y to me!), and light greens. But all together, it creates a beautiful tabletop look to take you from summer into fall!

On a personal note…

Designing tabletops is a special practice for me. Not only because I know that people I love will be sitting around the table, but because the act of designing them is life-giving and refreshing.

For seven years I set extremely elaborate and thoughtful tables for my attendees at The School of Styling. But I also found a love for creating beautiful settings for friends and family.

When my first child was four months old I was exhausted and overwhelmed. As any mom can tell you, there’s a period after every birth where you don’t feel like yourself. I was definitely in that season after my daughter was born when my mom took the monitor, handed me a glass of wine, and asked me to go set the Thanksgiving table.

At first, it felt awkward. Like I forgot how to do something that wasn’t centered around my child. But then, I began foraging for greenery, pulling various pieces of china for each setting, choosing candles…and somewhere along the way I felt like myself again. It was the first creative activity I did in a long time, and it felt good.

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Photography by Liz Grogan

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