Decorate Your Coffee Table for Fall ~ August Pinterest Challenge

Welcome to our August Pinterest Challenge hosted by my friend Cindy of County Road 407, and if you are new to my blog, French Ethereal, a hearty welcome to you! For all of my friends and for everyone stopping by from Lora B. at Create and Ponder, I’m glad you are back for a visit. 

This month’s Pinterest Challenge is all about creating a coffee table display gathering ideas and inspiration from a beloved Pinterest photograph. Let’s check it out, shall we?

Yvonne who writes at Stone Gable created this lovely tabletop display on her gorgeous wood coffee table. Don’t you just love it? It was part of her summer home tour this past year.

Let’s look at this coffee table in more detail: 

Yvonne has an old packing crate used here as a tray to corral a fun grouping of objects. The warm woods of the tray, the gorgeous coffee table itself and a woven basket down below bring in a nice warm wood-look ~ perfect for that transitional look from summer to fall.

Yvonne also used three pieces of white stoneware which lighten up this tabletop display: an Italian pitcher holding those gorgeous hydrangeas from her yard, a small white vase topped with a sweet boxwood ball and a white acorn finial.

The finishing touches are three burlap-wrapped books used to add height for the boxwood vase, a metal mixing ball, and a polka dot insert for the bottom of her tray.

Florals and greenery bring in a nice touch of nature to this coffee table setting. My coffee-table display looks very different but still uses many of the same elements. 

Here is my tabletop display again:

Whites are always part of my decor ever since I made slipcovers for these two sofas and painted this coffee table. I looked through my collection of baskets as I was going for a wood-themed basket to gather my collected pieces. I had already used the white tobacco basket in our spring Pinterest Challenge and again when I created another summer coffee table display for the 4th of July.

And since I do have an old crate but it’s buried somewhere in our garage at present, I looked instead to my tea cart where all of our silver and tin serving pieces are stacked for another way to corral my goodies! 

LOVE this photo! It was taken late in the day with the sunlight streaming through our back living room windows. A mirror project piece is in the background waiting to be fixed (previously moved out of today’s photos).

That’s the beauty of finding a photograph of something you like on Pinterest is that you can adapt it to fit your style and what you already own. I like an English and French country style so this is what I normally look to do.

It’s not always necessary to go right out and buy something new though I certainly love to do that, too.  Just look around your home and pull in pieces from your home decor stash and begin to build your look.

The elements I pulled from our inspiration photo were having a tray to gather some of my elements, using whites and wood in my tabletop decor, and adding bits of nature and a few books for height. 

The coffee table adds its wood look with the two 1/4″ thick birch luan wood inserts replacing broken glass from long ago plus the table itself is painted carved wood.

Here I’ve brought in pearly white Sarah’s Garden tea cups from my Wedgwood tea set, a gift from my husband for Mother’s Day one year. I’ve paired them with my Royal Winton’s Welbeck teapot bringing in pops of yellow and some much-needed florals. 

Two interior design books by favorite authors, Charles Faudrée and Courtney Allison (who writes the blog French Country Cottage blog), plus an English flower press bring in the stacked look and add lift to my father’s retirement present, a life-size American Goldfinch crafted by renowned Fairfield, Connecticut wood carver Dave Farrington.  

My gardening gloves were over in the laundry room as they are freshly cleaned (I’d pulled a noxious poison ivy weed with them!) so I added them here for even more nods to nature.

For a bit of metal candle holders in sparkly gold and ombré were brought in. Inside are two pumpkin-scented tea light candles which will scent our home nicely as we move into fall next month. 

Since I was going for a late summer-early fall look, I brought over the bee skep pillow I found at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center summer-sale  in June, and added the pumpkin pillow found at HomeGoods during an end-of-season sale last fall with its bright pops of teal. 

These two pillows round out the look I wanted with repeats of yellow, a look of golden grasses and a bit more florals. They also really complement the chintz flowers in the Welbeck teapot and tie everything together in this early fall coffee table vignette.

A quick recap:

Although my tabletop look is different than the inspiration photograph, I’ve carried over all of the same elements of the Stone Gable coffee table with the use of whites, stoneware, florals, woods and a bit of metal. The use of all of these elements together create a nice balance and welcoming coffee table look.

How will you use this to inspire you in your home decor?

Many thanks again to Cindy of County Road 407 for hosting our Pinterest Challenge and I hope you’ll stop over and visit Paula at Sweet Pea who is next as well as the other ladies on today’s tour. Please come back by if you don’t have time to visit everyone today ~ the links will be here! 

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A Late Summer-Early Fall Table Styling…

I love late summer  when there is just the barest hint of a cool breeze during early morning walks ~ not quite enough to say that fall is coming tomorrow or the next day but enough to wish it were here sooner. This coming week’s Pinterest Challenge will be featuring a late summer-early fall inspired post so I thought I’d share this lead-up post with you today…

I was inspired by the stuffed birds both Presidents Roosevelt collected when they were boys.  President Theodore Roosevelt shot hundreds of birds in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and then performed taxidermy on them himself. He was quite the collector and naturalist, as evident by the hundreds of big game trophies he shot throughout his lifetime, while his cousin President Franklin D. Roosevelt shot a number of birds but had them stuffed by someone else. Both enjoyed bird watching and studying each species they collected, which was quite a hobby back in the Victorian era.

Now I don’t like the idea of killing innocent birds but I do enjoy studying birds and had two cockatiels in our house as my children were growing up. I have quite a few carved and ceramic birds plus many others which I’ve used in my decorating.

Ken Burns: The Roosevelts - An Intimate History

The program I have been watching on Netflix is called: The Roosevelts ~ An Intimate History. Ken Burns wrote and directed this series of films and it is very good! If you like biographies and history, do check this program out; I am confident you will enjoy watching it.

A small collection of two owl feathers and one large crow
feather. The latter is suitable for cutting into a pen.

Here’s how to create a natural tablescape of your own:

Collect found bird feathers each time you are out in local parks, on hiking trails or in your own backyard. Clean them carefully of any bird droppings, dirt or bugs and store in a dry spot until you are ready to use them in your decor.

For your table vignette, bring in those bird feathers and objects like a few gardening books, a flower press, anything wood like this candlestick and of course your bird sculptures.

Playing with the light meter, I wanted to capture the essence of an Old World table styling with nature in mind. Everything added to this scene looks like something you’d find in a naturalist’s hundred-year-old sketch book. 

The painted wooden candlestick base, the flower press with it’s corrugated cardboard and wood top and bottom pieces, and the goldfinch’s wood base set a warm scene atop the French style oak tabletop. All the wood elements bring in an early fall feel and the bird and feathers bring in nature.

I’ve also added a pair of freshly washed gardening gloves to the vignette as they were still indoors when I was setting up this tablescape. The two-tiered table server with birds on its handle was already on the library table as was the cut-glass candy dish filled with dried rose buds, another nod to our nature scene.

Looking out to our backyard from this window,  I am always watching the antics of house sparrows, mourning doves and cheery crimson cardinals eating from the bird feeder and from the spilled seeds on the ground below. 

I hope this tablescape inspires you to create a late summer or early-fall vignette of your own!

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Happy decorating,