While most people are groaning about summer being over and the days growing colder and shorter, I’m loving every minute of the foray into fall! It’s absolutely my favorite season– the smoky smells of fireplaces crackling to life after a year of slumber, the crunch of amber and golden hued leaves under my boots (yay boot weather!) and well, all the things I can cook with pumpkin. This is the first year I have spent as much time thinking about decorating as I have about cooking. Part of that inspiration is a new partnership with At Home, the Home Décor Superstore! They are expanding all over the country– -which is really good news if you’re like me and need a little inspiration to get the design ball rolling.
In preparation for a fall entertaining segment in San Antonio on San Antonio Living, I dragged my friend shopping with me, promising it would be a quick in and out. OMG! I felt like a little kid in a candy store….FEAST for the eyes! Everywhere we looked, there was more to choose from! I wanted to put together a sophisticated spread, but I didn’t want it to feel to “decorator-y.” You guys KNOW what I mean. Have you ever been to someone’s house and everything is SO well put together, it feels more like a museum and you don’t want to touch anything?? Instead, I wanted the visual element to be gorgeous, but with the “I could put that together too” vibe.
I like choosing one inspirational item when I’m entertaining and build my aesthetic around it. At Home’s glass pumpkins are beautiful conversation pieces, and I immediately knew I could create a table scene around them.
Little secret here….I have never put together my own floral arrangement aside from the ones you pick out and pre-order from a florist. The floral section was loaded with stunning fall colors and I had to start picking out my centerpieces because I still had grocery shopping to do!
I put together 2 floral centerpieces– this was my favorite. One of the things I’ve learned from my man, JP, who is a genius with color– he’s an artist, after all, is to not be afraid of bold color. The entire spread doesn’t have to be wild, but integrating some big pops of color adds a really cool vibe that brings your party to life!
Working with the hues of that gorgeous mosaic pumpkin (in the foreground of the pic) I chose bright yellow accented with a rich plum.
To add some depth and contour to the flowers, I filled a large At Home cylinder with an assortment of pine cones and crab apples. I love how the colors play off each other and it creates such a terrific focal point on the table. To accent the purple hued reeds, I used chargers of the same color.
Don’t be afraid to make more than one “centerpiece”– or create different “scenes” on one table, if you’re setting up appetizers on one side and desserts on the other, buffet style.
I didn’t have a cake stand, so I got creative and took another cylinder container and filled it with mini gourds and pumpkins, then put my No Bake Double Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake on top. (That recipe is coming tomorrow!)
When you’re setting up a table, think of multi-layers, alternating the heights of what you’re presenting. I took some cool looking candelabras that I found at At Home and used one for a candle, and topped the other 2 with pumpkins.
Instead of using a boring old basket lined with a napkin for silverware, I took a mosaic container and filled it with forks, knives and spoons.
The tablecloth I kept simple– a solid chocolate, since I was going to be working with so much color, but I accented it with gold leaf placemats which were subtle, but accentuated the other elements of the table.
I knew what I wanted to accomplish in my mind’s eye, but it was so gratifying when it all came together on the set of San Antonio Living! Here’s the segment so you can get some close ups of the gorg- and also check out some fall recipe ideas. Stay tuned for No Bake Double Layer Cheesecake, Curried Butternut Squash Soup!
Making a signature drink is always something that impresses guests…This is sort of the best combo of signature drink AND dessert! Pumpkin Beer float, anyone? DEEEEE-LISH!
*This is a sponsored post, but all recipes, ideas and opinions are my own.
- Vanilla Ice cream (Caramel would be really delicious too!)
- Pumpkin Ale or Pumpkin Hard Cider
- Scoop ice cream into mugs.
- Pour Pumpkin ale or cider on top.
- Serve immediately!