These are our favourite autumn tablescaping tips to add a seasonal touch to your dining table

The 5 tips that will take your autumn tablescape to the next level

An autumnal tablescape with pumpkins and seasonal foliage
(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

Autumn has been proclaimed the unofficial season of home entertaining as friends and family gather for dinner parties and get-togethers, hiding away from the chill and damp. Which is why stepping up your tablescaping game for autumn is absolutely called for.

Given the weather conditions that often go hand in hand with the season, an autumn tablescape should be inviting, warm and cosiness-inducing. While also reflecting the melancholic beauty of this magical time of year.  ‘It's a time when I love to celebrate the change in seasons and keep spirits high whilst the weather may be gloomy outside,' muses interior designer Sophia Ayrton-Grime.

But how does one create all of that on a table? We asked our experts to share some of their top tips on how to do just that and make you the hostess with the mostest (or host with the most).

Top 5 autumn tablescaping tips

A Scandi dining room with a set dining table and low pendant lights

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

‘A well-executed autumn-themed tablescape should feel warm, inviting, and connected to nature,’ says Emily Dunstan, home buyer at Heal’s

‘Achieving balance is key, so avoid overwhelming the table with decorations and make sure there’s still plenty of space for passing food around – this is the season for entertaining after all!’

So let’s get this right with their tips on how to create a tablescape for autumn.  

1. Start with the colour palette

a dining table setting with coloured glassware and crockery and a low pendant light

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Google has recently seen an increase in searches for ‘autumn colour palette’ by 105%. And it’s no wonder as it’s key to authentic seasonal home decor ideas, as well as an autumnal tablescape.

‘Autumn is all about warm and inviting colours,’ says Sam Sutherland, interior stylist at Flitch. 'Incorporate rich hues like deep burgundy, forest green, and mustard yellow into your table setting through napkins, placemats, or even in the choice of vintage dishes.'

'Start with a neutral palette that you can easily build upon and update through the changing seasons,' suggests Emily from Heals. 'Introduce earthy autumnal tones through accents of burnt orange, deep yellow and olive green. Mix and match these with existing pieces to fashion a tablescape that is unique to your individual style.’

2. Layer tactile, natural materials

A table setting with seating cards, apple and flower decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

‘Layering different materials will add visual depth and interest to your tablescape,’ explains Emily. Think tablecloths, napkins, placemats and the like. When in doubt, choose natural materials to achieve that rustic autumnal vibe. A linen tablecloth is a good place to start as a canvas for the rest of your creation. 

‘Linen makes the perfect base for creating a forest-inspired tablescape - the rustic feel and look of linen adds beautiful texture,’ says Polkra founder, Freddie Crowther. ‘Add in rustic placemats from wicker or seagrass, metallic brass accents for your candle holders and beautiful velvet green or burgundy red ribbon as napkin bows.’ 

An autumn-themed plate setting with a pumpkin

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

‘Add texture with vintage-inspired linens like lace or embroidered tablecloths,' advises interior stylist Sam. 'Use vintage-style chargers or placemats to create depth and dimension to a tablescape.’

And you don’t have to stop at the table. Why not consider the whole setting? ‘The setting itself should have plenty of texture for extra warmth, depth and interest, so consider a cushion or two for padding seats, or a selection of cosy throws for slinging over the backs of chairs for a relaxed yet considered appeal,’ suggests Emily.

3. Create intimate, cosy lighting

A dining table with black metal candlesticks, a low pendant light and crockery

(Image credit: The White Company)

Take advantage of the shorter, darker days and lean in to a dimly-lit cosy and intimate atmosphere with the use of little wireless table lamps often seen in jazz clubs like our favourite Amazon wireless table lamp. Or candles, whether it be large scented ones or dinner candles set in black metal or brushed brass candle holders.    

‘As the nights start to draw in, warm lighting in the form of tealights, fairy lights, and candles can be a great way of representing the cosy feeling of the season,’ notes Vikki Irvine, brand manager at pottery brand Denby.

‘With these darker evenings lighting is so important, and to stay away from harsh bright lights we love to use a mix of candles and rechargeable lamps to create a cosy, moody atmosphere,' agrees Freddie.

4. Add natural fall foliage and seasonal veg

An autumn tablescape with a large candle and pumpkin decor

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Bringing the outside in with foliage and seasonal produce used as decor is a great way of making a successful autumn tablescape.

‘Autumn will gravitate more towards natural elements like leaves and wood, so consider tying up your napkins with twine and add a fresh sprig of seasonal foliage for an easy yet effective finishing touch,' suggests Emily from Heals.

Meanwhile, interior designer Sophia decorates with gourds. ‘I love to stock up on wonky pumpkins, squashes and gourds which can be sourced at most supermarkets or boxes by the amazing Wonky Veg Boxes company. Bundle them up as a showstopping centrepiece on a white linen tablecloth for a rustic finish - it's so easy and can be used for everything from kitchen suppers to big dinner party soirees.’

‘Bring in elements of all the natural beauty the season has to offer,' concludes Vikki. 'Whether in the form of decorated pinecones, miniature pumpkins, or an autumnal bouquet, a natural element is a great way to add a true autumnal touch to the table.’

5. Vintage or vintage-inspired tableware

An autumn table setting with seasonal foliage in a vase and a crate of fruit

(Image credit: Future PLC/Eddie Waltham)

The current vintage-inspired tableware trend is closely tied to the autumn season. ‘There's a big trend for vintage tablescapes this autumn so why not add a nostalgic touch with lace, vintage dishes, and muted colours,’ advises Sophia.

A vintage vase or candlesticks (or both!) for your centrepiece will also look great.

Now we can’t wait to get tablescaping and truly embrace the season.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.