Fall might be the perfect season for outdoor entertaining. While the summer and spring may be more regularly associated with dining alfresco, there's something magical about enjoying fall flavors surrounded by twinkling lights and bundled up by a firepit while crisp air fills your lungs. Plus, it's a wonderful alternative to the usual restaurant dinner or bar routine on the weekends. So before the weather completely transitions from brisk to biting, why not host a group of friends for a casual dinner party or even a festive Friendsgiving celebration?
If you don't know where to start, fret not. Heather Taylor of Heather Taylor Home recently teamed up with Lulu & Georgia to design a swoon-worthy fall table setting made for entertaining outside this season. Ahead, be inspired by the stunning spread and take note of Taylor's masterful tips for creating an ideal setup for an evening spent outside with good food and even better company. According to her, it's all about layering materials and textures, adding in the right colors, and having key pieces on hand.
Find out how to host like a pro.
The Key Elements
Taylor notes that there are a few key elements to keep in mind when creating a fall table setting that's sure to impress. It comes down to the perfect choice of linens, foliage, and ceramics. She suggests finding tablecloths and napkins in rich autumn tones, incorporating lush foliage throughout the spread, and sourcing beautiful ceramics in earthy hues for a natural feel.
These elements can all be spotted in Taylor's outdoor tablescape. Cloth napkins are presented in a warm shade of ochre, and the linen tablecloth features a subtle striped pattern in a variety of fall colors. There's also bountiful flower bouquets in the center of the table that complement that natural foliage of the backyard location. Finally, the plates and water pitcher are made from ceramic material and decorated with a delicate burnt orange pattern.
When it comes to colors, Taylor recommends sticking to traditional fall and autumnal hues. "There are so many options, but we love pumpkins, marigold, hunter greens, and cream," she says. However, don't be afraid to mix and match patterns when it comes to the tablecloth and the napkins—so long as you stick to complementary colors.
Everything from the flowers to this ceramic pitcher display colors of the season in this fall table setting. It all works to create a welcoming atmosphere that evokes all the best elements of fall. When hosting your own gathering, focus on earthy, natural hues that you might spot in a forest with fall foliage on full display.
"The menu can be a great jumping off point for a theme," Taylor points out. When designing a fall-inspired table setting, it's only natural that the food might follow suit. You can pair the two elements by serving fall fare like dishes that incorporate seasonal produce or even complementary colors to the rest of your spread.
Alternatively, Taylor adds that you don't necessarily have to relate your table setting to the food you serve. While it can be fun to have a running theme, "you don't need to feel bound by that," she explains.
The Flower Arrangements
When it comes to creating a showstopping floral display, Taylor believes the arrangement is dependant on where you live and what you have access to. However, she tends to go for rust, peach, and burgundy colors arrangements for fall.
Here, the floral arrangments feel natural and of the season thanks to the addition of autumnal leaves along with the more traditional flowers. Plus, they look beautiful next to the sophisticated yellow napkins and ceramic patterned plates in complementary colors.
One small detail that Taylor is sure to use in any fall tablescape is traditional place cards. Her favorites are from Los Angeles–based stationary brand Jonathan Wright.
For the final touches, Taylor suggests investing in key pieces to always have on hand so you can pull from what you already have around you. Whether that's high-quality linens, a simple water carafe, or statement flatware, it will help you throw together your next fall fête in a snap.