Setting the Table

When I think of October, I have visions of black and orange Halloween decorations, dark maroon and dried brown leaves, a warm hearth and rich comfort food. However, coming off of an exceptionally crispy summer, I felt robbed of my “Endless Summer” hydrangeas, and was left with more brown than I liked. So instead of setting a traditional table of pumpkins and gourds and a tableau of sage, orange and brown, I went for a fresh, but still warm, look on the table.

Deep purple hydrangeas, soft purple roses and fuchsia coxcomb were the go-to flowers for our fall table. Blooms arranged in bright orange vases were placed on a wide-striped, black-and-white rug that stood in for the table cloth.

Domed pedestals of croissants and pumpkin truffles, cinnamon swirl quiche and snickerdoodle cookies are ready for a fireside brunch. Each place is adorned with scrolled pattern silverware, orange floral linens, smoky ringed plates and thick glass tumblers with a choice of blood orange Pellegrino or still water. A soft green velvet ribbon knotted around ornamental grass seed heads, a cup and saucer filled with hot apple cider garnished with star anise and a sprig of currants round out the presentation.

To complete the scene, side spaces are filled as well. A stocked urn of green apples, pomegranates and acorn squash allude to the harvest. A lazy Susan with small blue plates holding extra garnishes and spices sits atop the mantel. Extra drinks and glasses line the shelves. With a change of menu and the addition of long tapered candles, this table easily transitions to dinner. Just keep the fire ablaze, add a little champagne to the Pellegrino and you’re ready. Autumn is a time to cozy up and tuck in, especially at the dining table.  

From the author: On a personal note, this is my last regular installment of the Setting the Table column. For the past 24 issues it has been a joy to share ideas and inspiration with you. Remember, whether it’s your fine china, your everyday tableware or even paper plates, the only thing a table needs to make it “beautiful” is gathering those you love around it. Watch for my future column covering a wider array of topics coming next month!

Resources: “Smoke Rings” dinner and salad plates, cup and saucer, “Dandelion Greens” silverware and “Fleur-de-Lys” tumblers from Anthropologie on Classen Curve in OKC, 405.842.8673,  |  Juliska small glass pedestals, TAG large glass pedestal and Middle Kingdom orange vases from Tulips on Campus Corner in Norman, 405.217.9322,

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