Fall Outdoor Dining Tablescapes

The cooler evenings of fall create the perfect setting for an outdoor candlelit dinner, either with your special someone or with the entire family. Even if you’ve decked out your patio with a full POLYWOOD dining set, the low-maintenance lumber and outdoor cushions covered in all-weather performance fabric need a little more decoration to impress your guests.

Traditional Garden Dining Arm Chair  |  Traditional Garden Dining Side Chair  |  Farmhouse Trestle 37″ x 72″ Dining Table

Creating fall outdoor dining tablescapes is simpler than you may imagine, especially if you panicked when reading the word “tablescapes.” Just a few items and careful arrangement will elevate your table to a premier dining destination. Just don’t forget the bug spray!

Follow these instructions to liven up your fall dining tablescapes:

Set the Mood With Candles

Lighting is integral to your outdoor dining, but during your daylong cooking frenzy in your kitchen, you may neglect the actual dining space. Relying on a nearby porch light can cast long shadows and make eating difficult. Instead, liven up the dining table with a few scattered candles.

The candles covering the POLYWOOD Vineyard 7-Piece Nautical Trestle Folding Dining Set provide ample light. No fancy candlesticks needed: a straightforward brass or gold-colored set of candlesticks keeps your candles firmly in place. If you are using a centerpiece the candles can easily zigzag down the table. Don’t feel obligated to maintain a straight line with the candles on your tablescape.

Add Color With Napkins

Often your outdoor dining table and your tableware will be fairly neutral, either a brown, beige, or earth tone or a white or grey. A terrific trick to add variation and contrast to your tablescape is to invest in colorful napkins. While these pink napkins are being used for a wedding tablescape, you can use the same principle to add color to your dining without the accompanying bouquet of pink flowers.

Napkins and napkin rings are fairly inexpensive and cover the entire spectrum of the rainbow. Rely on napkins to fill in your palette without any undue hassle. Order napkins online for a pop of fall color.

Mini Pumpkins & Gourds

The classic fall favorite is a welcome decoration on your outdoor dining table as long as you use them correctly. When implementing mini pumpkins and gourds into your tablescape follow this advice: less is more! They should only measure a few inches in diameter, as you don’t want to encroach on someone’s dining space. Just three or four small gourds and pumpkins will make a lasting impression, especially at the center of the table or at the four corners of your centerpiece.

To save space you can also stack a variety of mini gourds in a decorative lantern or cage. The dining table of the POLYWOOD Chippendale 7-Piece Dining Set measures six feet in length, so you have plenty of room for gourds and pumpkins as well as multiple serving dishes and plates.

Greenery & Flowers

Bring your dining table to life by incorporating fresh greenery as your centerpiece. Don’t just place some vines or leaves on your dining room table and consider your tablescape finished — learn how to make a DIY greenery table runner using floral wire from your local craft store.

Remember to choose greens that will not immediately wilt. You can even choose to use artificial plants so your runner will last through the season. Research to ensure that the combination of greens that you use will retain their shape instead of flattening out soon after the table runner is complete. Add more texture and a rich brown hue to your greenery by adding in some decorative pine cones!

How to Set a Table

When dining outdoors you typically will not need a formal table setting (unless you’re hosting an outdoor wedding). For a casual evening meal with family, setting your outdoor dining table is straightforward. Place a dinner plate at each seat, and then fold the napkin on the left-hand side with a dinner fork on top. To the right of the plate place the dinner knife and teaspoon. The water glass goes in front of the plate, with the wine glass slightly to the right.

An informal dinner setting for hosting friends only requires a few more pieces of dinnerware. Start with your dinner plate and place the salad plate atop it. To the left, fold the napkin with a salad fork and dinner fork. To the right place the dinner knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon, and in front of the plate, you’ll once again set the water glass and wine glass.

In order to properly set your table, you will need an outdoor dining set designed to accommodate your guests without sacrificing comfort and legroom. When you’re finally ready to entertain friends and family in the comfort of your backyard this fall, read our extensive guide to choosing the perfect outdoor dining set for you.

View our collections and decide how you are going to transform your space into a welcoming and relaxing spot to kick back and eat some delicious grub. If you have trouble deciding simply send us an email at hello@polywood.com with your questions.

Blog Post Updated May 17, 2021

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