The only mid-west fall I’ve seen was when I was 6-years old in Michigan and it was the tale end of it. We were spending Thanksgiving with my Aunt and uncle and their backyard felt like a magical land. Having come from the rocky mountains I was only used to aspen leaves but finding chestnuts and oak leaves made the season feel like a new world entirely.
I remember going outside to collect as many fall things as possible to decorate the dining room table and create an experience for our supper that day. Along with handwritten name tags for each member of the family, the table was covered in leaves, nuts, sticks, and platters of food to share and laugh over. I remember being so proud of that table and what I was able to contribute to that meal by making it feel a bit more magical and a lot more intentional.
I’ll be honest, not a lot has changed over the years.
Decorating the table (or the dessert) is my favorite part to any dinner party. Whether it’s collecting vintage candle stick holders at the local thrift store, updating the linens with patterns that make you feel at home and cozy, or foraging fall details from our backyard, I’m always looking for inspiration to make our table feel creative and intentional.
As you prepare for your holiday dinners think about how you want your table to look and feel. The size of your table and the number of guests you’ll have will dictate how many decor pieces you’ll actually want to include but simple pieces like cloth napkins, a table cloth or a tablecloth can be just the touch you’re looking for. Candles add a mood to a table which is why I love my candle sticks. But you’ll want to be careful with how big or tall these are, as they can block the view of your guest. Try and keep everything below eye level or very thin so you can look past it and see the person on the other side of the table.
In addition to the linens on your table, bring in some elements from fall like dried corn husks, gourds, fallen leaves, or small wreaths around candles. The elements in nature give that grounding feeling (candles included) and provide the extra touch of magic you’re looking for.
Finally, The name cards.
This isn’t a necessity but for some reason, we all like knowing we have a place at the table. Seeing our name in front of our space gives us the feeling of coming home. I like to make name places even more special by turning them into a keepsake. You could take some seeds from this year’s harvest, wrap them in a corn husk and write the name of your guests on the outside. Or make sugar cookies and decorate them with the name of each guest. A simple, reusable option is to get some chalkboard name tags and simply write your guests’ names on those and attach them to their napkins. It’s stylish, and sustainable, and makes it feel like you went the extra mile.
If space is limited on your table know that just plating your food in a beautiful and intentional way with some of your favorite serving platters and dishes will still create the table you’re dreaming up. After all, it all comes back to the food we cooked together and commune over. That’s the whole point of these holidays–connection. The beautiful table is just an added bonus.
Shop Modern Magic for Your Table
Northern Star Tablecloth
This 100% cotton, machine-washable tablecloth adds a touch of magic with a subtle pattern while keeping things balanced in a neutral beige.
Garden Shadows Table Runner
Available in three sizes to match the size of your table, Garden Shadows adds a touch of nature to your table and a soft color palette so your dishes stand out.
Luxe Bee Napkins
One of my favorite prints to create a luxe experience with a touch of whimsical, these napkins are great for adding a subtle pattern to your table.
Mountain Majesty Placemats
Mountains Majesty gives a taste of adventure, the slowness of nature, and the magic that illustration brings right to your table.