Nov 3, 2015

Fall Dining Room

The day after Halloween I packed up our ghosts and skeletons and began decorating our house for fall and Thanksgiving. The first three days of November having whizzed by here so quickly have reminded me that Thanksgiving is just around the corner! 

November in Boise is usually a cloudy, cold and wet month. Bringing the warm colors of fall leaves into our little cottage creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere for welcoming family and guests indoors from the now chilly drab grey world outside.  

On the dining room table I placed our long rustic wooden box on a burlap runner and filled it with bright faux leaves, berries, flowers, pumpkins, and candles.  

This rough-hewn box is fun to decorate, and the possibilities for filling it are practically endless.

It's my favorite new thing!

Over on the sideboard I shopped my big armoire for warm colors, textures, and seasonal decor.

A wire cloche ringed with berries covers a few colorful seasonal squash nestled in an old footed iron tray.

As I pulled items from here and there around the house, family heirlooms became a theme in the dining room. This large heavy brass sign is a treasured heirloom from the barn of my old childhood home in Saratoga, California. I love using its warm glowing patina as a backdrop for vignettes like this. I bought the glass oil burning lantern from a hardware store when I was a girl of sixteen, and it's traveled the country with me. At one point, it even cast its soft glow over my college dorm room!

My husband's antique coffee grinder is a family heirloom gifted to him by his mother.

A basket filled with cloth place mats and napkins makes quick work of setting the table.

When I was growing up, my mother added to her own small set of wedding silver one place setting at a time so that I would one day have enough for big holiday celebrations in my own home. Before family dinners it was my girlhood task to polish the silver, and after dinner my mother and I would hand wash and dry the flatware while standing side by side at our big farmhouse sink and carefully place it back in the silver chest. 

I haven't used my silver too much over the years. It sadly became a way of life for which I didn't make time. Now days, I have lots of time and a strong desire for sharing my mother's and my past with my own daughters, especially over the holidays. I decided to leave the heavy silver chest right out on the sideboard where I won't forget to use it and where it's easy to reach. It makes a fine place on which to rest our basket of everyday table linens.

I also unpacked some of my grandmother's hand painted antique china into the glass doored corner cabinet where I'll see it and be inspired to use it more often. Perhaps I'm getting sentimental in my old age, but for this year's holiday season I'm loving having family heirlooms close at hand.

A grocery store chrysanthemum sits in front of the sunny dining room window on a little pine bench my husband built years ago.

The shiny finish of our old brass lamp lights up this dark corner of the kitchen bar, and the black lamp shade creates an intimate soft glow in the evening.

Behind the lamp I tucked a print of feathers I created in Photoshop for my favorite gold leaf frame.

I enjoy bringing a glowing warmth into our home this time of year using color, pattern, texture, and the soft patina of old metals. I'm so glad you stopped by to share some of my family heirlooms and what I've been up to around here as I prepare our home for fall and the holidays to come. 

Please come again soon!

{For my fall decor from last year, visit the tours on my sidebar.}

I'm sharing my fall dining room at these fabulous parties. Come join us!


  1. It all looks very cozy and comfortable ~

    and you wouldn't believe how hard I am kicking myself for not keeping my Grandmother's old coffee grinder!!

    I wonder if you are getting the winds we are; our river birches are almost completely bare!

  2. You have decorated for autumn and Thanksgiving perfectly!

    VERY well done, Laurel!

  3. Beautiful Laurel, as always!! I am a lover of anything family, so it warms my heart to see that in someone else:-) Love your silver, and you are just brilliant at styling!

  4. Ahhhh the silver...I have given up polishing and wrap my chests in clear plastic wrap and then place them in plastic bags and very little polishing needs to happen. But we do use it several times a year, and I always have a spooner full of odd-ball silver and silverplate spoons. One can never have too many spoons. Love your boxed arrangement...looks great on your table. Sandi

  5. Gorgeous! and my mom has the exact same set of silver cutlery! and that box too. I remember some pretty glorious holiday meals using that silverware... ah the memories!


  6. Ahhhh your home is so gorgeous!!!! And I am pretty sure I have the exact same set of silver cutlery in a very similar box! My mom gave it to me about 25 years ago and I love it so much but like you, didn't use it as often as I should. I must take the box out and leave it somewhere close by the dining table to bring it to mind more often.

  7. It all looks wonderful, Laurel. It's so nice that you are using things that have so much meaning to you. My mom has similar silver with the same type of box also. I can remember putting each piece back in its little slot after a holiday meal. Your grandmother's china is very beautiful too!

  8. Everything looks so pretty, Laurel. Love your family heirlooms! xxx Maria

  9. Your home looks cozy and inviting with your warm autumn touches, Laurel. I love your rustic wood box on your table, and I've got some old wood in the garage just begging to be made into one! Thanks for inspiring me!

  10. Pretty! It's nice to shop the house and use what's meaningful to you. We use our vintage silverware for holiday dinners, but it's such a pain to get out of the cupboard. You have inspired me to get another box and leave it on the buffet.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving:)

  11. All your Fall vignettes are so stylish and classy Laurel! You are becoming a master at styling! I LOVE THat antique brass sign, and the sentimentality just make is more so desirable! I also love knowing your silver story with your mother, enjoy the polishing with a good cup of hot cocoa while binge tv viewing is the way to go!

  12. I'm glad you are getting to use your Mother's and Grandmother's dishes. It does them a great honour and a connection to the past for you and your family. Well done.

  13. Love how you decorated and the box on the dining room is so cute. I have to make me one when we get time.

  14. I love how you're using family heirlooms. What wonderful memories they hold! Love all your pretty Fall decor!

  15. Love the beautiful simplicity of your home Laurel. And that rustic crate centerpiece is perfect. Thanks for sharing. Featured at Be Inspired this morning.

  16. Love your vintage-y fall centerpiece, Laurel, along with your other beautiful decor. We'd love it if you linked up at our new party--Vintage Charm. We open Thursdays at 8 am. Hope to see you there,
    Adirondack Girl @ Heart

    1. I'm so glad you took me up on my suggestion and linked up with us--I hope you'll feel free to join us again :)


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