Confession, I still sit at the kids’ table.
I mean, the “kids” are all over 21 now, two of my cousins are married, and there is an abundance of wine…but we still always break out a craft or coloring page, and all of our parents and grandparents still sit at another table in the formal dining room.
I’m also in charge of decor for both tables. To differentiate, I like to keep my table a little more fun and informal, while the “grown ups” get a more formal dining experience.
Typically, though, I like to tie both tables together with an emphasis on natural decor by bringing the outdoors in (literally). It’s nice to inspire a seasonal ambiance by focusing the decor on what is naturally beautiful at this time of year.
At the kids’ table
Last year, I created a flurry of leaves by preserving maple leaves and suspending them from the chandelier with various lengths of fishing wire.
It’s pretty easy to create this effect. Just soak any leaf in glycerine and water soon after picking, and the leaves will stay more vibrant and less crispy. A simple Google search will help with the exact amount of glycerine necessary.
I added to this rustic table setting with homemade napkin rings (ribbons hot glued to acorns collected in my yard) and little pumpkins I kept from Halloween. All of these natural elements played well with my mother’s colorful serving dish as a centerpiece and some bright placemats.
Meanwhile at the grownups’ table
I actually had a few tables to work with. On one, another little round pumpkin became a carved planter for a burgundy pansy.
On the buffet, there was space for homemade beeswax candles since all of the casseroles were being served from the kitchen next door. Each of these little candles were made from a mail order kit, and cored apples in serving dishes and teacups served as perfect candle sticks.
To add hight at and keep the formal feel, a seasonal flower bouquet took center stage in a prized vase.
Overall, most of the decorations were inexpensive or were found outside or among family heirlooms around the house. The best part was that the day was warm and personal. The decor at both tables helped set the stage for a wonderful dinner and memories with family.