TRICKS OF THE TRADE | Dramatic French Country Fall Table

You already know that I am a true died-in-the-wool FALL FANATIC!  I start getting giddy the moment fall antiques arrive at FrenchGardenHouse from France in August, and the fall collection merchandise arrives from market.

And I begin decorating our home for fall. And planning dinner table settings in my head. I’m sure you do that too, right?

By now I hope that you visited my bHOME FALL TOUR, where I shared a tiny glimpse of this table setting.

To set a dramatic French Country table, my favorite is to mix rustic and refined, antiques and contemporary pieces. It’s one of my style secrets, to mix the everyday with the elegant.

The perfect place to put this technique into practice is a tablescape.



For this French Country table setting, I began with new 100% natural linen runners, which I placed horizontally across our French farm table.  These are my favorite runners, they are simple, so look beautiful in a casual setting, but they are just as gorgeous in a more elegant French Country setting too!

Since the dinner is going to take place in the kitchen, it’s fairly casual and I like how the rustic wood of the table still shows like this.

{you will no doubt notice that I switched out the candles in these two photos. Still not sure which I prefer!}


Organic Linen Runners Set


2. THINK BIG. To create a table that will turn heads, start by choosing an arresting centerpiece that will add some vertical height and visual drama.

To create my focal point for this fall dinner in our kitchen, I started with an antique silver tray, and placed an antique French compotier {compote} slightly off-center. Displays are usually more interesting if you think of a centerpiece on a tray like this as a triangle, off-center.

A layer of fresh cut berried eucalyptus branches create a little nest for the Velvet Pumpkin in a luscious butter color.



Find small and medium sized objects to fill in the middle ground of your centerpiece.  I added smaller velvet pumpkins in earthy, autumn colors.


Antique French Brown Transferware Stand



Once you have the vertical element of your centerpiece in place, think about what you can use to fill in the base. This is your chance to bring in texture, color, and interest.

I love the way the semi-precious gemstones look that I collect for our FrenchGardenHouse jewelry line, they add the right touch of color, and each one has a different shape.

Pheasant feathers add another texture. I will be surprised if our guests don’t want to “touch” this beautiful centerpiece, with all the different textures on this table!



5. FABULOUS FALL COLOR. I took my color cue from traditional fall colors. These antique French dishes not only have an intriguing brown transfer pattern, their very shape elevates each setting.

Vintage French bakelite flatware mixes beautifully with new glassware in autumnal tones.



Antique French Dinner Rouen Plates| Antique French Brown Transferware Plates Medium


6. DETAILS MATTER. As always, little details make a huge impact. Print out your evening’s menu on your printer, two per sheet of paper.  Fold it around your napkin for an extra touch that your guests will appreciate.

A pheasant feather on the side ties each place setting to the centerpiece in a lovely, casual way.



Now that you’ve mastered setting a dramatic Fall French Country table, please do……do invite your friends over to share a meal with you.

In your kitchen, in your dining room, or wherever else you like to entertain.

All these hand made velvet pumpkin beauties are from PlushPumpkin . The best, made in the USA with great care, to grace your home and table.


Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours. Visit our shop

8 thoughts on “TRICKS OF THE TRADE | Dramatic French Country Fall Table”

  1. There is so much to like on your table that it’s hard to pick a favorite. I am especially drawn to the brown and white transferware.

    1. Linda, thank you! The transferware is so beautiful, especially since it has that unusual shape.

  2. Ginger Valdes

    I too am a fan of the brown transferware! Your table looks fabulous! If I start driving now, I could be at.that table by houppy hour tomorrow! Chill the bubbly!

  3. Gloria

    I love the menu wrapped on the napkin. I print out a menu, because I have it already for me to follow for the Tea or Meal, and set it on a little stand on the table but it is difficult to find the right place for it. Great Idea I will use. You know I have plenty of beautiful napkins from your site to use.

    1. Gloria, thank you! I often use a printed menu on either heavy or normal weight paper to wrap a napkin. {see the Easter table from this year where I used the heavier paper} There is so much colored paper available these days that I keep a little supply of colors I would most likely use at home. And yes, you do have a great selection of linen napkins to beautify your table settings….I hope each style makes your table happy.

  4. First of all…love, love this table!!! So many gorgeous items to welcome Fall to your table. Oh those elegant Plush Pumpkins lend the perfect texture and color to tell your quests, “welcome to our home to celebrate the gift of friends and family” …. I think the thing that I try to do when setting a table is to make your guests feel that they are truly special and comfortable by adding special touches that relates especially to them. What i love to do is provide an item to use as a place card as a “take home gift” . . . a gift that I know the particular guest would love. During the Christmas season, I buy an ornament for each guest that relates to something they love, i.e., a beautiful bird ornament for my bird loving friend….

  5. Mary Brinkerhoff

    Dear Lidy, it was so good to visit with you several weeks ago. You are delightful !!! I was wondering if there were any more of the sterling silver napkin ring bracelets left. Thanks Mary

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top