How I Do Dat: Caroline Creates A Fall Centerpiece

At our farm, the leaves are turning all the yummy shades of yellow, orange and red, inspiring me to wear transitional fall outfits and bring a bit of Mother Nature inside. On our evening walks with Nala this week, I took my secateurs and foraged for foliage down the lanes we walk to the river. I also picked up gourds in beautiful shades of green from Montgomery Place, our local farm stand. Using what I gathered, I thought I'd create another installment in my "How I Do Dat" series, showing how easy it is to mix colors and textures to create a fall centerpiece. It started giving me the holiday season feels and, when you think about it, Thanksgiving is just over a month away! By sharing my tips, hopefully you feel inspired to create your own fall centerpiece that you can enjoy now and later.

One of my daily rituals is taking an evening walk and this time of year is especially magical. The leaves are changing colors from day to day and to breathe in the fresh air after being in front of my laptop all day is a necessary mental break. I've been inspired to bring the fall foliage indoors, so I've been collecting branches, leaves, dried grass and pine cones along the way. While foraging, I try to look for branches on bushes and trees in a variety of colors and textures and also scale. Mixing small and large leaves is a fun way to add dimensions.  

Before I start on the centerpiece, I like to gather together all of my foliage, gourds and props to see what I'm working with and make sure I have everything I need. I used two wooden butcher blocks that I stacked in the center of our dining table. I also brought out a couple of vintage ceramic jugs to display the foliage. Both of these elements will create the height that I'm looking for. When thinking about scale for a centerpiece, it's good to consider the scale of the table you're setting it on. The larger the table, the longer and higher you can go with the centerpiece. 

Next, I began adding in the gourds. Since there are so many squash varietals available, I chose a few shapes and sizes that are similar in color. I was looking for a different color element than the orange and red tones of the foliage and these dark green gourds were available in fun sizes and textures. A large one in the center is a good starting point and then reducing the scale of the gourds outwards creates a nice shape. And since our table is 10 feet long, I used a couple of old cutting boards to sit the center gourd on just to give it a little extra height. 

One of the simple pleasures in life that we can all enjoy is a candlelit dinner at home. It doesn't matter whether you're eating on cushions on the floor or sitting at a table, candles just make everything feel lovely. So adding them to a centerpiece is a must in my book. I used a few of my vintage brass candlesticks topped with the rope candles in natural and placed them on either side of the butcher block cutting boards. I love adding brass whenever and wherever I can. It adds an elegant vintage element with just the right sheeny patina.

One of the last steps is to add in the foliage. Again, I would consider the scale of the table... the longer the table, the higher and wider you can go with the foliage. I cut pretty big branches that ended up working well without much pruning. I'm drawn to organic arrangements that feel like they would if the foliage was observed in nature. Trying to coax a branch or flower to sit up straight when it doesn't do that naturally isn't going to work. I picked a jug that could hold the weight of the branches and fit the scale of the table.

Anything that's leftover is worth using around the house in smaller ways. I placed a bundle of dried grass in a pitcher to set on our bureau and for the window, I used a little bud holder like this one to set a couple of the leftover small branches in. And, I placed a pine cone at each place setting for a bit of festive flair. By layering the smooth ceramic plates, textured linen napkins and organic feel of the pine cone, the textures add real dimension.

And nothing sets the mood like a cozy fire. It's a place here at the farm where we love sitting after dinner. And this time of year, with the chill in the air, it's where we feel coziest. I've layered a couple of the wool rugs over our arm chairs to add some warmth and seasonal rich color. I've fallen asleep many times in these chairs after filling my belly.

Wherever you are, and whatever the climate, I hope you're inspired to bring a little bit of nature indoors and have fun with all the colors and textures on offer. I would love to see how you like to incorporate foliage into your home. Comment below or email me at caroline@dianiliving.com. 

 

Sending lots of love,

 

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