How to Set a Simple, Pretty Autumn Table

Recently suggested by one of my readers, I thought I’d share how I get inspired to set my table when guests are coming for dinner.

First of all, did you notice I said “when guests are coming?” We are like any other family in America, where sometimes we grab a plate of food and sit outside, or upstairs in our family room, or casually around our dining table. It’s never the same on a given week-night in our home.

So when company comes, I do set a pretty table! But I always keep it simple. Usually all my entertaining stuff (love that word, it really is all considered “stuff” in my mind) or pieces, are in their organized places, ready to quickly grab if I need to set a pretty table!


I always start with a freshly ironed tablecloth. Usually I choose one hanging in my closet that is pressed and ready to use!


I look for 2-3 colors in the tablecloth that stand out, or if it’s a solid color, a few colors that match the color scheme.


Chargers don’t have to be used, but if they tie in to the theme, I use them. In this case I pulled out my gold ones from my Christmas stash.


Most of the time I use my standard white dishes. This time I added a gold accent soup dish, which highlighted the Autumn theme.


I always keep different colors ironed, folded, and ready to go! In this case, standard white!


Of course I used Dollar Tree wine goblets and glasses. I never have to think twice about what to use. I bring them to the table in a large bowl with the silverware, napkins …

The less trips to the table the better.

And have you thought about keeping the drinks together in a basket?

I love shortcuts, and easy entertaining ideas.

Tomorrow’s the big reveal of a beautiful Autumn table with a few highlighted items that will be included in a GIVEAWAY. I can’t wait to show you the “entire table” … Let me just say that it involves a very soft pumpkin. Several very soft pumpkins …

What are your struggles in setting a pretty table?

9 comments on “How to Set a Simple, Pretty Autumn Table”

  1. Pingback: Are Chargers Essential to Setting a Pretty Table? | Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  2. I don’t have too many “dishes” yet for entertaining. I am hoping to get solid white plate sets in near future. Just trying to figure out type and brand etc. Then I can add color from there.

  3. That’s a beautiful table, Sandy! I love the tablecloth! Sounds like you may be giving away velvet pumpkins tomorrow…I’m so excited! :-)

  4. Great tips.. as always. Love the gold plates/bowls. So versatile for so much. I finally did get my good crystal goblets when Dollar Tree got them back in. Perfect for large groups and intimate dinners. xo marlis

  5. Oh nice! Great tips! I just ordered your book and can’t wait to recieve it. :)

  6. I won’t call my 3-year-old a “struggle,” but I’m sure you get what I mean! lol! If it’s on the table before we’re eating, he’s using it as a sword and fighting a bad guy with it.

  7. my biggest struggle with setting tables is finding a tablecoth that works well with both the season and dishes that i have on hand – i have a few go-to cloths that i like, but i’d love to find a really great vintage one that works well!

  8. Beautiful- I love fall. I just hope we have one this year…still very warm. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  9. Ooooo….sounds like the velvet pumpkins…drool worthy!

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