Fall decor ideas are all about bringing the outside in, just without the chilly breeze. Incorporating the colors, scents and textures of the natural world as it drifts from green and lush to orange and crisp will make dining table decor ideas small and large feel at one with the seasons.  Be sure your guests get that warm and fuzzy feeling too, with layered linens and candles becoming essentials in the colder months. 

Fall table decor ideas

From pine cones to placemats, we’ve found some stunning fall table decor ideas, and asked the experts for their advice on tablescaping the perfect autumnal scene.

1. Go for an elegant fall table

Fall table decor is likely to be inspired by your outdoor fall decor ideas, but, just like outside, even the smallest of touches can make an impact. ‘When Thanksgiving approaches, I look forward to feathering my nest with wool, velvet and suede. Transitioning a home from summer to fall should be a subtle refresh, rather than a total redesign, which would get exhausting to undertake every season.  ‘I like to make small yet impactful updates with color. There is such luxury in harvest-inspired hues like cranberry and pumpkin, hunter greens and earthy browns. Accenting with warm metallics is a good way to add a bit of glamor as well,’ says Anne Hepfer, founder and principal designer at Anne Hepfer (opens in new tab) and author of Mood (opens in new tab). 

2. Create a centerpiece with gourds and berries

No carve pumpkin ideas make for wonderful fall table decor ideas, but they’re most impactful when combined with other decorative seasonal vegetables.  ‘When it comes to fall table decorations, I prefer a slightly pared back look that still brings plenty of drama. I use pumpkins and gourds to create a really lovely centerpiece; try to choose different colors and sizes to give your display a sense of scale, and mix in lots of fall berries. Don’t forget to add plenty of candles to create a cozy atmosphere,’ says Sue Jones, co-founder of OKA (opens in new tab). 

3. Contrast a forest green runner with earthenware

Fall color schemes throughout the rest of your home can be easily reflected on your fall table, simply by using decorative layering. And if you want to set a table for impact, you’ll know that layering is all. ‘When dressing your dining table for an fall feast, layer your linens to create a sumptuous, textural effect. Colored linen runners in dark forest greens or earthy browns with contrasting napkins will set the tone for your color scheme.   ‘Consider the use of brass or bronze cutlery, organic wooden bowls stacked with fruit and lots of candlelight. Try not to make your table feel too formal, fall is all about the outdoors so use chunky crockery and hand-blown glassware for an artisanal feel,’ says Simon Temprell, interior design manager at Neptune (opens in new tab). 

4. Introduce natural textures and terracotta decor

Terracotta decor is wonderful on a fall table, bathing a room instantly in inviting warmth. And it’s best amplified by natural textures.   ‘Fall is as much about textures as it is the colors. Rattan is a wonderful material that’s really versatile and it’s ideal for this season – source rattan glassware and table mats and team it with earthenware plates for added authenticity,’ says Andrea Childs, editor, Country Homes & Interiors.

5. Dusky pinks and greenery offer an earthy feel 

Choosing fall flowers for pots is such an easy way of making your table look fall-ready.  ‘The fall season is all about abundance and it is so easy to bring the outdoors inside at this time of the year. Foraging for branches and leaves, berries and gourds is a cost-free way to introduce fall colors into your fall table.  ‘You don’t have to be an expert at flower arranging, branches can be dropped into a vase (the bigger the branches, the more dramatic your freestyle display) and left to fall naturally,’ says Simon Temprell, interior design manager at Neptune.

6.  Choose natural materials and colors 

We love new fall trends, but when considering color, look to the natural outdoor fall decor for inspiration. ‘When creating a tablescape inspired by autumn, it is important to consider color and texture,’ says interior designer Emma Sims-Hilditch (opens in new tab). ‘We recommend using napkins in natural materials like linen which reflect autumnal colors such as mossy greens, burnt oranges and even smoky blues.’  In this relaxed table setting, a burnt orange linen throw pulls in colors from the room’s leather armchair and brick fireplace, while a yellow cushion and earthy brown ornaments create a subtle tonal effect with the colors of autumn leaves.  ‘Changing up your color scheme can help usher in a new season, without going overboard or too ‘on-theme’’, adds interior designer Cindy Rinfret (opens in new tab). 

7. Remember to add special touches 

‘Amber glassware is having a resurgence and it’s ideal for a fall table – the glow when candlelight catches it will help to create a cozy feel. Use black as an accent for a more contemporary look and consider a terracotta runner for an earthy base,’ says Jennifer Ebert, digital editor, Homes & Gardens.

8. Decorate with seasonal foliage

Don’t just leave the leaves to your fall wreath ideas – put them front and center of your table displays too. ‘Seasonal foliage is a perfect and inexpensive option for a table centrepiece,’ says Sims-Hilditch. ‘We love taking inspiration from our natural surroundings and gathering plants for fall color is the ideal way to celebrate the change of season. It is also a nice way to add elements of warmth and homeliness to what might otherwise have been a slightly stark or more formal setting.’  In this example, seasonal leaves are used as accents on the dining table’s fabric runner, and on the buffet. ‘You could arrange autumnal flowers as a statement centerpiece on your coffee or dining table, or perhaps split them into a few small vases to create a nice symmetry,’ suggests Sims-Hilditch. 

9. Consider scented decor for atmosphere

Moving from the dining room to your living room fall decor, consider making your table displays smell as good as they look. ‘It’s about creating an atmosphere,’ says Rinfret. ‘Fall is about the colors and scents – think burnt orange, mossy green, russet, [but also] pine, cinnamon and musk.’   To bring autumnal scents into your display, find natural sources or include some of the best reed diffusers to blend them together. ‘Styling a coffee table is a great opportunity to create seasonal displays which can easily be updated every few months,’ says Sims-Hilditch.  ‘A selection of naturally scented diffusers paired with collections of branches, ferns and pine cone decorations help to bring the outside in. The array of pleasing textures and scents target all the senses, bringing to mind a warming autumnal evening and helping to immerse the inhabitants in the aesthetic.’ 

10. Layer linens for a warming effect

If your cozy fall porch ideas haven’t quite warmed you up enough, ensure your fall table decor gets the job done by the time you reach the kitchen. ‘A tablecloth instantly gives the effect of warmth and homeliness, something which has been so important this last year,’ says interior and tableware designer Birdie Fortescue (opens in new tab).  ‘Then why not add a co-ordinating printed napkin and placemat? It is the perfect time to follow the trend of subtly mixing patterns.’  Layering up textured and patterned table linens like in this example will give the sensation of being all wrapped up from the cold. 

11. Light it up with candles 

Fall evenings are the perfect time to bring out your best candles, and let them bring a warming atmosphere to your meals or downtime. ‘For dinners, I would minimize the flowers and add an array of candlesticks in tonal colors, preferably in glass, with colored candles to finish the look,’ says Fortescue.  Looking for farmhouse decor ideas? At this farmhouse dining table, a series of candles at a range of heights run the length of a low-level, forest floor-inspired display put together from moss, twigs and pine cones.  ‘While I love working with fall palettes – the colors at this time of year are so vibrant – you don’t have to stick to the traditionally bright oranges and greens to bring a seasonal touch to your tabletop. A more minimal approach will give your display a really elegant feel; for example, crockery in deep blue tones pairs beautifully with warm, earthy browns, giving a subtle nod to the season. For a finishing touch, bring in candles for a cosy glow, plus a scattering of faux wild berries in complementary colours,’ says Sue Jones, co-founder at OKA.

12. Color match your florals with your linen

When putting together fall color schemes, you’ll want to consider a range of complementary colors. It’s important, however, that individual hues come in pairs at least, so think about color matching your natural displays to your autumnal linens.  ‘Napkins and placemats with a shaped edge can be a great way to bring a fun element to a tablescape,’ says Fortescue. ‘Pick out the colors of your linens in the floral arrangements for a cohesive look. Early season dahlias in rich reds and autumnal ochres can look very effective.’  In this example, orange-pink roses pair with the floral seat cushions and napkins, while the purple foliage makes for a deeper pairing with the gray tablecloth.  

13. Keep the table bare for a rustic look

For a pared-back approach to fall table decor ideas, ditch the tablecloth altogether. ‘If you have a table with a pretty patina, leave it bare for a twist on a traditional winter setting and build up interest with decorative linens and accessories,’ suggests Fortescue.  This will instantly help create a modern approach to rusticity, as shown in this dinner party set-up, where visual interest comes from the layered place settings in natural materials, and the relaxed pine centerpiece.  ‘For an opulent touch use silver candlesticks and clear glass vases to contrast with the texture of the table,’ says Fortescue. 

14. Straddle the seasons with dried flowers

If florals are a decor favorite in your home all year round, the waning temperatures of autumn can make it tricky to find fresh flowers that fit the mood. Luckily, the trend for dried flower arrangements means you can have the best of both worlds, embracing the color of summer while acknowledging that those days have passed.  In this example, dried flowers have been displayed in simple, traditional vases, which you can mirror in fall mantel ideas. 

15. Embrace the harvest with leaves and more

While fall signals the close of summer’s bounty, it brings with it a whole new roster of treats. Embrace the harvest feeling by filling your tablescapes with everything from fall leaves to foodie favorites.  ‘It’s the perfect time of year to grab some architectural branches or include pops of color with bright red berries,’ adds interior designer Rinfret. ‘Fill huge urns with red berries and place them in a corner to anchor the room and create another moment in the space, or pull out some oversized glass hurricanes in autumnal colors and fill them with organic materials – like cinnamon or pinecones – to zhush up a coffee table.’

Those with a keen eye on interior trends will know that natural materials and colors have been making a considerable contribution to our favorite schemes, regardless of season.  If you thought terracotta was just for your fall planter ideas, you’d be wrong – the earthy, pinky orange has been making waves in our paint and wallpaper choices, as demonstrated by this wallpaper by Little Greene (opens in new tab).  The material itself makes for the perfect addition to an autumnal tablescape too – pair it with naturally tones woods for an outdoorsy combination. 

17. Go all out with your most decadent tableware

You’re likely to be spending a lot more time inside in the coming months, but that’s no reason not to throw yourself a party. ‘When entertaining, go ahead and pull out the good stuff,’ says Rinfret. ‘Heavier pieces make more sense in the colder months as they can feel cozy and luxurious, whereas you want light and airy in the warmer months.’ These dining room ideas include lots of natural texture to make a real inviting occasion of staying in. ‘A fun themed plate is another great nod to the holidays,’ adds Rinfret. ‘I have a set of pheasant painted plates I break out every year when the leaves start to turn.’ 

19. Use on-trend sage green with a hint of camel

‘There is something so peaceful, almost spa like about a white and neutral scheme as opposed to the traditional fall colors we usually see. It is crucial to use warm white and natural elements and do pile on texture – a soft sheepskin rug or a diaphanous drape at a window can truly transform a room. Dress with natural materials, such as weathered wood, slubby linen, cosy sheepskins or marbled slate all of which connect us back to nature,’ says Mark Winstanley, chief creative officer at The White Company (opens in new tab).   

19. Amber glassware will add a warm glow

‘The finishing touches are just as important as the color scheme you choose. This simply tied napkin with string and a foliage sprig is the perfect styling trick. You could use rosemary, olive or eucalyptus and a velvet ribbon would give a luxury finish at a dinner party,’ says Lucy Searle, global editor in chief, Homes & Gardens.

20. Create a foliage display with a fall branch

‘The trick to creating a sophisticated fall tablescape is to focus on more naturally sourced elements. A stunning solid wood dining table is perfect for this time of year. Rather than covering this with a tablecloth, consider a table runner which allows the table’s natural wooden knots to remain in view. Partner with linen napkins in a contrasting colour – burnt orange works particularly well, giving an fall feel,’ says Teresa Buck, head of brand creative at The Cotswold Company (opens in new tab). ‘Utilize large branches and foliage, foraged from your backyard or woodland as a table centerpiece. There is plenty of foliage to be found adorned with red or orange berries at this time of year. Showcase these in a chunky ceramic vase, or with a crackle glaze effect to evoke the feeling of fall leaves.  ‘Finally, add a few final decorative touches; these miniature pumpkin ornaments work extremely well. Opting for neutral or dark shades, rather than bright orange to keep things understated.’

21. Go faux for an illuminated tablescape 

‘Conjure up an enchanting fall party and set the scene with pumpkin upon pumpkin, varying in colors, sizes and finishes from mottled glass, mixed metallics and ceramic. This reusable, mess free take on the traditional silhouette is the perfect addition to any Halloween table décor.  ‘Simply nestle the pumpkins along the centre of your dining table and pair with a mixture of taper, pillar and votive LED candle designs for the most stylish display,’ says Emily Kelsey at Lights4Fun (opens in new tab). 

22. If fall colors aren’t your thing…

‘To create a dining room theme that is fall like but not over the top with traditional berry and rusty tones, introduce softer sage and camel hues. Calmer, muted tones will fashion a scheme that nods subtly to the season without using overpowering deep purples or burnt orange. Consider matching your linens and tabletop accessories to the color of your seating to produce a look that is pulled-together and well-presented. An easy addition is, of course, the right bouquet in the centre of the table, perhaps mixing dried flowers with the more traditional fall tones,’ says Patricia Gibbons, design team at Sofa.com (opens in new tab).

What can I use for a fall table centerpiece? 

For a special occasion, there’s nothing like a showstopping centerpiece to create a talking point for your dinner guests. While natural materials and objects are almost always a key element of table decor, in fall, they should be front and center in celebration of the changing seasons. For a long dining table, create a runner-like effect with low-level objects and foliage like horse chestnuts, autumnal-colored leaves, pinecones and branches of pine.  For the center of a round table, bring dried flowers, branches, or grasses up together in a vase for a higher level display. This also works well for a day-to-day display, if you slim down the volume and reduce the height a little. 

How do I make my fall table decor look good? 

Just like wrapping yourself up in a number of sweaters and blankets, layering is key to making a fall tablescape feel curated and cozy. When putting together a table setting, consider stacking up natural materials – a linen tablecloth, a woven placemat, a wooden charger plate and a linen tablecloth in a complementary color for example.  If you’re forgoing a large centerpiece, consider dotting natural elements around the table – fill small hurricane vases with pine cones, weave small branches between place settings and space candles of varying heights and tones through the tablescape.