The pandemic has made us hyperaware of many things, including the state of our homes, our waistlines and the way we interact with people. As fall marches on, it’s an opportune time to cast any negative notions that may have been tied to these areas of life in favor of foods and moods that promote positivity, abundance and unity. It’s a time to explore all the things we love about the autumn season with our closest friends.
Here are a few ways to pair some of the top seasonal decorative accents and bites for a memorable fall experience:
Top decorative accents for autumn
Cultivate cozy cabin vibes
Not everyone can escape to a cabin this fall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the cabin to you. Better yet, there is a way to achieve a different type of cabin atmosphere for everyone. Whether your taste runs woodsy-lumberjack or lake-house fishing, there is a means to bring forth flavors of fall for all.
While the past few years have reflected a fascination with furry throws, pillows and rugs, this year, cabin trends are more about quilts, afghans and woven blankets. These can be stacked on a hearth, draped over couches and chairs and spread over ottomans. Red-and-black buffalo plaid is also making its way to many cabinesque spaces and can effortlessly add a pop of color to otherwise-neutral areas (think about a throw pillow or two).
Include soft accents like vanilla-wood scented candles, woodland animal decor and stacks of outdoor-themed books on mantels, coffee tables and hutches.
While your guests savor your autumnal atmosphere, invite them to a feast of Manhattan fish chowder, or baked tilapia and vegetable casserole (visit TheHealthyFish.com for recipes). And nothing says cabin-cozy like fresh pie straight out of the oven for dessert.
Take it outside
Fire pits are widely coveted at present. If you don’t have a permanent one in your outdoor living space, you can get one on Amazon.com for under $100. For a bit more, you can purchase a Breeo smokeless firepit (Breeo.co), which may be a worthy and ideal investment for entertaining guests who love a good campfire without the stick-to-your-clothes aftermath.
While conversing around the campfire, treat friends and family to tasty offerings like cheesy campfire potatoes wrapped and cooked in foil, caprese brie cooked on a skillet or Cajun shrimp kebabs (visit Delish.com for recipes).
And don’t forget s’mores with fun additions such as Nutella, sliced strawberries and peanut butter.
Get creative and crafty
There’s something about the crisp autumn air and changing colors that inspires creativity.
What better time to invite your friends and family to a fall-focused crafting session?
If you’re fortunate to live in an area ensconced with vibrant foliage, encourage your guests to bring a variety of colorful leaves of their choosing. Press them into scrapbooks, use them to make jewelry, or have your party-goers make them into a string of garland.
For a more ambitious creative outlet, try your hand at homemade candle-making. Udemy even offers a how-to course. Finished products double as take-home gifts for guests, and you can use yours for the next time you entertain.
While your guests are making their creations, serve a platter of grab-and-go options such as grilled apples with prosciutto and honey, lemon herb cheese bites, and Cajun sausage puffs with bourbon mustard (visit CountryLiving.com for full recipe).
Feast your eyes
One major mood that’s trending in home entertaining: an elaborate table setting. As people embark on gathering in person again, the dining table beckons. Rustic lanterns, tarnished candelabras, velvet table runners and lots of vintage vases and centerpieces are serving as popular table adornments in place of the usual fall fodder such as crisp, bright foliage such as gourds and leaves.
After dressing your table, address taste buds with options like braised lamb shanks, white chili with chicken, or mozzarella-baked gnocchi (visit HonestCooking.com for full recipes).
Go on an adventure
If you’d rather not retrofit your home to imbibe fall foods and moods — or at least not for an entire evening — consider gathering everyone for a little caffeine first, followed by an “off-roading” experience. You can begin your fall festivities with a full coffee and hot chocolate bar, providing everything from mini-marshmallows to fall syrups and spices (pumpkin, maple, cinnamon and nutmeg). Then take your crew to a local corn maze, harvest festival or apple orchard. End the evening by serving a glass of mulled wine and spiked apple cider.