The Hill House Diaries...

A Woodland Inspired Autumn Table.

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One of the main reasons why I insist on keeping a separate dining room - when we also have a large family room table adjoining the kitchen - is that I love to entertain...  Of course the whole point of hosting a lunch or dinner party is the pleasure of wonderful guests and convivial company, the enjoyment of good food and whatever tipple takes your fancy...  however, if you're anything like me, there's also an immense amount of pleasure to be had from simply dressing the room and table beforehand...

 

 

Coming up with a theme is relatively easy when there's a festive occasion such as Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas to guide the decor, but what about those in between moments such as the weeks after Halloween when your pumpkins are past their best, and before the glitz of Christmas decorating officially starts?  What if you still want everything to look season appropriate, stylish and jolly but without going down the whole Christmas route a tad too early?

 

 

To help me with this styling conundrum, I was lucky enough to be able to choose a few pieces from the Autumn/Winter range of iconic British brand OKA,  and together with a few vintage pieces and accessories from textile designer Sophie Allport, I came up with my version of an Autumn table with a touch of woodland mixed in...

 

 

My colour palette consisted of a mix of green, blue, natural and blush colours, and was inspired by the colours in a beautiful bunch of faux flowers that OKA made up for me a few months ago. You can find similar Here...

 

 

As a massive fan of mismatched crockery, I love mixing colours and patterns that may not at first be an obvious mix, yet they somehow, inexplicably compliment each other.  It often helps to look around at planting schemes and every day combinations that occur naturally to gain inspiration as to what will work with what, and so seeing these colours work so well together in 'nature' reassured me that my greens, blues and pinks would work equally as well on my Autumn table.

 

 

The crockery is a mix of my favourite vintage cabbage ware, some new OKA green leaf side plates (I also have the equally luscious and much larger dinner plates), my recently purchased 1940's vintage Flow Blue china and some elegantly pretty pink striped OKA dinner plates that I bought last year in the sale...

 

 

However, the 'piece de resistance' - and the real prompt for the idea of a 'woodland' theme are these amazing OKA 'Cornamenta' faux antler candle holders, made from polyresin and painted by hand.  (There are matching napkin holders that are currently on my Christmas list for when we're deep in snow and I want to go the whole hog with a full on alpine theme!)  The dramatic addition of four of these candle holders, combined with their flickering tapered LED candles, created a magical and otherworldly atmosphere that was in keeping with the woodland fantasy...

 

 

The napkin rings are vintage and the napkins and tablemats are from Sophie Allport in her delightful Artichoke design.

 

 

The pink stripe and inky blue of the plates sit together perfectly, and the two colours are mirrored elsewhere in the room...

 

 

...As can be seen here with another warm and Autumnal addition - these stunning pleated linen lamp shades and matching scatter cushion are in OKA's Sotota print.  The blue and rouge tones against a neutral background add a pared back yet exotic bit of colour to the otherwise pale background, and provide a lovely contrast to my red check Ian Mankin fabric on a side chair.  See below.

 

 

Above all, I adore colour as much as I adore having a bit of fun with my table settings.  Of course, there is so much more that I would love to add - more plants, more playful accessories, more colourful dishes, a complimentary table cloth perhaps (although I do love the look of the table setting on bare wood)... and then I remember that my guests also need room to sit and eat amongst the woodland landscape - and I reconcile myself to the fact that occasionally - but not always - less can more....So life sized Bambi be gone - and now I'm off to plan a belated menu! Ah well!

 

 

Until next time,

 

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