Autumn Tablescapes

By Jason Parker Counce


With an impromptu gathering of friends upcoming, I recently sought inspiration for my table decorations from the bounty of produce at the reopened Nashville Farmer’s Market. While strolling around the sheds filled with the freshest of ingredients from local growers, it came to me: Everything I need is here! Why not make an interesting look for fall? So, I made a gathering of apples, peppers, eggplant, acorn squash and some sweet potatoes. Then I purchased sunflowers at a local floral shop, and I had my vision for an autumn-themed party.


Searching around my home – and, of course, Gas Lamp Antique and Decorating Mall – I found many items that would work for the fall look this season.


Containers tucked away in the back of cupboards and in closet shelves, such as a large, sunflower colored compote, made the perfect anchor for the main table centerpiece. I then flanked this by squirrel candleholders – made by famed ceramist Jonathan Adler – which I found at GasLamp. These elements set the stage for the evening’s festivities. By using simple bleached burlap, I cut out the size to fit the dining table and "fringed" the edges for an instant table runner. I also tied some simple twine around candles and tossed a few acorns here and there to complete the rustic, but chic, look (photos, above right and near right).



Why is it only during the winter holidays that we seem to decorate our mantles? What would be more fitting for an autumn look than to adorn it with a bounty of fruit, vegetables and flowers? To add an inviting yet unexpected element, I fashioned a cornucopia out of sticks and twine, filled with sunflowers and an acorn squash, and added my gathering of fresh vegetables and fruit from the market (photo, left).



To counterbalance the mantle, I put some more of my Farmer’s Market finds on the other end, complete with this ceramic squirrel ring box, another charmer from Jonathan Adler (photo, right).


A floral arrangement on the cocktail table continued the theme. Here, I put sunflowers and burgundy orchids in a square pottery container. The addition of an owl paperweight to the desk continued my fall look, especially with a simple sunflower casually placed in a vintage Steuben vase (photo, left).


With the leaves beginning to change about us, enjoy an autumn look in your home. On a crisp fall morning head to Nashville’s Farmer’s Market and pick up many elements you will need. Then head to GasLamp, which is full of new items you have to have for fulfilling such a decoration scene, from candlestick holders to vintage ceramic containers to fun table runners. In fact, I’ll probably see you there!

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