Fall Forward into Autumn and Pre-Holiday Entertaining Colors, Trends and Tips

Just because summer has officially come to an end, doesn’t mean festivities have to.  Fall is my favorite time of year and when I do most of my entertaining. Now is time to put away the fun summer décor and accessories and get a little more serious as the cooler months usher in and home entertaining truly kicks into high gear.

Nothing screams autumn more than naturally bright orange and red hues, falling leaves, the smell of apple-spiced candles and a pie baking in the oven.  This season, designers are blending traditional décor with bold accent colors. When entertaining, guests should walk into a space that is warm and inviting. “This fall, it’s about color, specifically jewel-tones in rich textures and distinctive silhouettes,” says Aimee Beatty, in-house stylist for Pier 1.

As the host, our job is design the perfect space where memories of family, friends and laughter can be remembered for years to come. Philip Tracey with Home Goods, a favorite for many, points out mixed metals, bold tailoring and nature-inspired fashions with popular colors of red, berry, plaids, greens, blues and yellow as another seasonal colors and trends.  “Entertaining accessories, both in traditional and contemporary styles, are going to be very popular this fall and during the holiday season – think Mad Men meets Downton Abbey!”

Without question, the consistent message is to be bold and really play with color when designing your home or any other space for entertaining and dining.  In addition, don’t be afraid to mix styles and try a few different combinations with entertaining pieces such as napkins, serveware and table linens. Lastly, think outside of the box, be bold and just have fun creating a space that will draw guests in and unconsciously make them linger for hours.

Creative Tips for Entertaining This Fall and During the Holidays:

1. Create a fun theme around a color and let the design as well as the food follow and complement.  We found this fun blog that celebrated the 50 Shades of Grey Entertaining that featured everything from napkins and plates to cake pops, cookies and cupcakes. You can make it as edgy or classy as you want.

2.  For easy, stress-free transitions that make the most impact, Beatty suggests focusing on high-traffic areas like the dining room. She also says to layer your existing white dinnerware with harvest-themed accent plates, glassware or placemats to achieve an entire new look. This also works well during the holidays.

3.  Fallen yellow, orange and red leaves make beautiful centerpieces.  Stand alone or submerge into water to keep colors vibrant.  For a warm ambiance, try adding fresh cranberries to votives filled with water and floating candles.

4.  This season is perfect for the farm-to-table, less than formal get-togethers.  Plan to take in the fall foliage in the backyard as you gather with friends to enjoy a few comfort classics, wine and cocktails.  Plan the décor around the surrounding landscape and add in the accents accordingly.   

5.  For more unique looks and finds to fit a more sophisticated design theme, if you haven’t discovered the site yet, be sure to check out One Kings Lane.  From classic, temporary, haute and vintage, you are sure to create the perfect space where design and dining agree. Other great stores to shop at include Cost Plus World Market and Tuesday Morning.  Online, we also love Smarty Had a Party as noted by celebrity designer William P. Miller and The Grommet.

Any designer will tell you that it is all about creating a look and feel that fits your mood, personality or theme.  This fall, step out of the ordinary and spice it up just a little to make your occasions for entertaining times to remember.

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A diverse group of global journalists who love to write and talk about all things food, wine and travel.