This post is sponsored by Mikasa, however all opinions are my own.

Hello sweet friends.

Last week, when I shared our fall home tour, I shared a few peeks at our dining room table all set for a fall meal. Today, I thought I would share some fall table setting tips and how I pulled it all together.

Oh, and there is a chance for you to win the same dishes at the end!

Using fabric for a tablecloth

Tip 1

You don’t have to use a tablecloth.

Tablecloths can be expensive. Start with what you already have. If you don’t have something that works, don’t head to the home store – head to the fabric store. This table is not set with a tablecloth – it is a run of plaid flannel fabric. A bit unusual – but it totally works for me. And it was a lot less expensive - I bought three yards on sale.

I generally end up in the suiting fabric area – I find I love the styling of the fabrics and they are usually non-fraying knits. That way – no hemming is necessary.

My table is a bit on the narrow side so it works perfectly, but if you have a larger table, you can use the same approach but use it as an over-sized runner. It brings color to the table and still protects the surface.

Fall Tablescape Ideas

Tip 2

You can never go wrong with white plates.

I love the simple and classic lines of these plates from Mikasa. The pattern is Antique White. I chose a more causal version of the pattern with the larger bowls and casual coffee cups. I want to dress my table from time to time, but I also want plates that really will be useable for day to day use. These are perfect dressed up and down.

Mikasa Place Setting

Tip 3

Use natural elements for the center of your table.

I gathered some kale and cabbage plants and placed them in white containers – carrying through the white already in the plates. They are planted so they will last longer than cut flowers.

I added some more white containers, just empty and a few pewter containers with hydrangea. The hydrangea, since it is late in the season, will now also dry in the containers for preserving.

I also used purple candles instead of the usual white to give it a warmer, more fall feel.

Now, I realize, this is not how you would sit down at the table to actually eat and have conversations. But, sometimes I really like a table to look pretty when guest arrive. It is really a matter of moving the larger plants to a side table when everyone sits down to eat.

Fall Dining Room Decorating

Tip 4

Keep everything else around the plate simple.

The napkin – is not a napkin. That is also from the fabric store. It is a stretchy knit, found right next to the plaid. It was a non-fraying fabric, so I simple cut squares and bunched in a napkin holder. To cut the squares, I used an existing cloth napkin as a template.

I used simple and beautiful silverware from Mikasa – this pattern is French Countryside. The best part – it just goes right in the dishwasher when it is done.

The white pears and apples I found as is at Homegoods – however, any inexpensive fruit found the dollar store could become this. Simply spray paint it – including the stem – a high gloss white.

Setting your table with white dishes

Tip 5

Have some fun with the wine glasses. I have always had your typical rounded up-and-in style glasses. But this time, I chose this pattern, Alexandra, for its more flared top – and I love it.

I must admit, I am so not “official” with wine glasses. I figure one style for everyone, regardless if it is red, white, cider or milk – it works – so it may as well be extra pretty.

Fall table setting ideas

Tip 6

Once we sit down with guests for dinner, I hate feeling rushed and the need to clean up or set up for dessert. Even if it is a folding table or a kitchen counter, have everything set up for dessert and coffee ahead of time. That way when everyone is ready, you can just brew the coffee and bring out anything that is refrigerated.

We had some company this weekend and they told us that at their daughter’s wedding, they chose to not have cake. Instead – they had a tower of apple cider donuts.

That is my kind of wedding.

Dining Room Coffee Station

Tip 7

Do as much as you can ahead of time.

This is true for the food preparation as much as it is for the table setting.

I still remember growing up, before Thanksgiving and Christmas, a few days ahead, my Mom would start setting the table. I loved to help and watch her take out the special china and silverware from the cabinet. It was always filled with so much anticipation.

I almost always do that now for holidays – but, I usually only use what can go in the dishwasher and just this weekend I put my silverware box in the “sell” pile. It was taking up so much space – now all of silverware is in the china cabinet drawers.

I am all about keeping it simple.

Fall Dining Room Decorating

And Mikasa is also giving each of you a chance to win one set of 6 place settings and 2 cake plates. Use the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Of course, the most important part about setting a table is who you surround it with.

Wishing you a table filled of people who care for you unconditionally and who make you laugh!

Thanks so much for reading!

postsignature.pngDisclosure: Mikasa compensated me for this post by providing product, however all opinions and tips are my own.

September 30, 2013 — Anil Sharma