Decorate with Crafts

Autumn Gatherings

Inspired by the season's bounty, our Country Sampler stylist demonstrates how to outfit a dining room for a variety of celebrations.

As a chill creeps into the air and the leaves begin to change color, it’s clear that autumn is on its way. To mirror the transformation in the outdoor environment, many home decorators use this season as an opportunity to introduce warm colors and favorite fall motifs into their rooms as well, gearing up for festivities with friends and family.

Our Country Sampler stylist, René Haines, couldn’t wait to create three inviting fall looks perfect for a dining room or kitchen eating area.

The vignettes include a farmhouse-influenced setup that recalls trips to the pumpkin patch and farm stand, a classic country room revamp that brings in iconic elements such as crows and sunflowers, and a slightly spooky scene that mixes whimsical and vintage Halloween touches.

“Start with a theme in mind before gathering goods to ensure that everything comes together in a cohesive look,” René advises. Use her ideas as a starting point for your own autumnal overhaul and you’ll soon be reveling in the cozy results.


René set up a centerpiece grouping that pays homage to pumpkin-patch favorites, including gourds, hay bales, fall flowers and more, and coordinated it with a buffet-top display.
• René hung a Pumpkin Patch sign against a white shiplap wall to set the stage for this farmhouse-fresh scene. A stoneware pitcher brimming with blooms shares space on a rustic lazy Susan with flower-topped glass jars filled with fall treats.
• For the table, René constructed a tiered tray using two plant saucers and an upended cup. Ribbon trim edging lends a decorative touch, and items such as her handwritten chalkboard sign, a mini hay bale and gourds contribute cheer.
• An autumn leaf-pattern runner cozies up the tabletop, upon which René situated several succulents -- one planted in a small pot and another in a petite pumpkin.


A warm apple pie, fresh from the oven, is reason enough to celebrate, but creating a cozy space in which to enjoy it makes the occasion seem even more special, which is what René had in mind when she decorated this classic country dining space.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER. René was inspired by the fall-favorite motif on a crow pillow and a stack of handmade fabric pumpkins featuring a similar theme. To coordinate with these accents, she painted and decoupaged a glass candle globe and mounted it on a salvaged stand.
FALLING FOR FABRICS. Easy-to-change textiles instantly impart warmth and color to autumn spaces, so René swapped out the everyday window treatment for burlap curtains, which complement the sunflower burlap wreath. She crafted a simple whitewashed pallet backing to accentuate the wreath and connect with the cabinet finish. On the table, a black-and-white plaid table runner and napkins help separate the tabletop and similarly colored wood noodle board, while a braided rug grounds the furniture grouping and ties it to the lighter pieces in the room.
ICONIC ELEMENTS. A set of stacking boxes, each with a different fall design, provide interest in various groupings, including a windowsill arrangement that highlights a pale pumpkin seated in a wreath of vibrant leaves and a handpainted pumpkin plate propped up on a picnic basket. Smaller boxes fill out the shelves of the cabinet, which is crowned with flowers and a seasonal wood sign.


Whether you are planning a party or simply want to take advantage of the whimsical spirit imparted by the not-so-scary emblems of Halloween, there is plenty of fun to be had creating a charmingly haunted holiday display, like René did in this rustic dining nook.
Layered gauze fabric and burlap complement the weathered table, and an old mirror contains a grouping of two vintage-style papier-mâché buckets and a thrift-store candelabra outfitted with spiderweb candles.
The nearby cupboard hosts a gathering of gourds and leaves inside stacked sewing machine drawers that give a boost to a grungy barn owl. A friendly folk-art witch casts a spell over the vignette, which also includes another Halloween bucket tucked within an old birdcage. A tavern sign on the wall is suitably accompanied by a collection of brooms made from twigs and the remnants of a tattered wreath.
Other wall decor consists of a grinning framed jack-o'-lantern and a peg shelf holding a candy corn garden flag. To give the old books on the shelf a magical makeover, René simply added new title labels to the spines, selecting a spooky font and aging the paper to resemble parchment. "Decorating for Halloween can be a great way to use your imagination and tap into childhood memories," she notes.


Pumpkin Patch Truck sign, JB Southern Accents
Pour stoneware pitcher and lazy Susan, Country Village Shoppe
Set of three glass jars, Home Decor for Your Style
Autumn Leaves table runner, Choices Quilts

Kettle Grove crow pillow, Allyson’s Place
Crows stacked pumpkins, The Lavender Shanty
Prairie curtain and Mocha/Frappuccino braided rug, Britches N’ Bows Country Store
Sunflower burlap wreath, Simply Blessed Gifts
Crossroads table runner and napkins, Country Village Shoppe
Pumpkin Patch stacking boxes, Give Thanks sign and Pumpkin Fall Tree plate, Gainers Creek Crafts

Happy Face Pumpkin, Small Pumpkin and Happy Cat Bucket, Cowboy Creek Gifts
Barn owl and Roxie witch, Pine Cone Gift Shoppe
Olde Salem Broom Co. wooden tavern sign, Impressions on Market
Garden flag, Mary’s Flags Etc.

Written by Lisa Sloan
Photographed by Scott Campbell
Styled by René Haines