Time to level up your fall entertaining.
7 Simple Ideas for Creating the Perfect Harvest Tablescape
Time to level up your fall entertaining.
The leaves are falling, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we’re beginning to swap summer picnics for intimate, cozy gatherings around a bountiful family-style dinner. But how to entertain when the weather gets cold?
If you’re feeling uninspired by the plain old potluck, fear not, a harvest table can make all the difference in elevating your everyday meal to a memorable event. If you’ve never heard of a harvest table before, it’s a pretty straightforward concept that is summarized by its name.
By thoughtfully setting your dinner table with a bounty of fall flavors, shareable snacks, and charcuterie then adorning it with fall-inspired elements, you’re well on your way to harvest table territory. Some harvest tables are set separately and used as a grazing station at events like large gatherings or weddings. On the other hand, your dining table might double as a harvest table, with bountiful shared dishes in the center for diners to nibble on while sipping wine all evening long.
Whether you prefer a standalone harvest table or one that blends into your dining environment, adding a few autumnal elements is essential. Whether this looks like choosing some fall-colored candles, sprinkling a few dried leaves across the tablecloth, or cooking up fall-inspired dishes rich with pumpkin and cinnamon, the choice is yours.
And while creating the perfect harvest tablescape sounds like a huge undertaking, the truth is that it doesn’t have to be.
By following a few simple principles, you’ll be creating the tablescape of your dreams in no time at all. Here, we’ve laid out seven simple ideas to guide you through the process. Whether you’re envisioning a bountiful harvest in the center of your dining table or a separate, stand-alone grazing table, these ideas will get the gears turning so that you can come up with a vision for your perfect harvest tablescape.
Ready to get into it?
1. Think about levels
Levels are essential to a good harvest table. Arranging your food and tableware in tiers will make your table look dynamic and sumptuous. You can use cake stands, tall platters, serving boards or anything else that gives your table surface a bit of height.
And in addition to making your harvest table look gorgeously bountiful, a tiered arrangement also makes it much easier for your guests to reach all the food.
2. Make a cohesive color scheme
Harvest tables aren’t just about the food, of course! The color scheme you use to set the table can be just as impactful as the bounty on top of it. Make sure your table runners, tablecloth and serving elements all work together to create the vibe you’re going for.
If you’re putting your harvest table together for Thanksgiving or during fall, try this Terracotta & Turmeric Table Bundle to match the brilliant earth tones of the falling leaves outside.
3. It's all about variety
Harvest tables are meant to evoke the bounty of the growing season, so it’s important to get a good variety of food onto the table when you can. Go for a contrast of sweet and salty flavors with fruit and cured meats, and pair soft and crunchy textures like cheese and nuts.
A wide variety of textures and colors won’t just look great on your table, either. It’ll also ensure that all of your guests can get something they love onto their plates.
4. Go for rustic textures
Whether you’re setting your harvest table for a wedding or you’re hosting a canapé dinner party for your friends, the classic aesthetic is to go rustic. This decor choice is perfect for an outdoor soirée or a country-style wedding, too!
To nail the rustic look, you can use rough, irregular wooden serving boards or relaxed fabrics like this French Flax Linen Tablecloth to set the table. If you’re using a traditional outdoor harvest table, it’s also a good idea to skip the tablecloth entirely and just let the table do the talking.
5. Cluster your food offerings
When you’re arranging your harvest table food, clustered arrangements work best. Think about contrasting big with small, smooth with rough and try to create some light and shade over the table surface.
You could cluster some nuts and fruit around a large wheel of brie and drizzle the lot with honey, or you could set some cured meats around a pile of crackers and bread. Clustering your food like this is a great opportunity to get creative and give your guests helpful visual cues for delicious food pairings.
6. Don't forget flowers
Flowers and foliage are always a great, eye-catching option to take the center stage on your harvest table. They can be used to give height to your setting and add a splash of color here and there.
Aromatic dried leaves on the branch make for a beautiful, fall-friendly decorative element, while a blooming bunch of flowers are perfect for making an especially colorful banquet. Whichever you choose, make sure your organic centerpiece matches or complements the table settings.
7. Add the finishing touches
Don’t be afraid to go all out when you’re setting your harvest table. While the food is the most likely going to be the focus of your setting, some well-placed vases, ornaments and candles can be used to tie it all together.
Check out this gorgeous rustic mosaic vase from Studio Dellos for some style inspiration.