willowbrook farm

historic yellow springs

A Late Summer Gathering

I have always felt that this time of year, late summer, is a tough time to decipher where you go with your seasonal decor. Your body is still feeling like summer and holding onto the last days of it, even as some of the kids start back to school, yet your mind is fast forwarding to the cool days of Fall that you know are coming. Being that I never like to rush the seasons, I like to let them unfurl slowly, I have always been torn with decor during these transitional times of the seasons. I am not one for bedecking my home with pumpkins until the real ones are ready to pick out in the fields, the daylight is truly shortening and the calendar is telling me that the Autumn Equinox has arrived. This year that is Friday September 22nd. 

Given that, and the fact that we all like to grab as much of this warmer weather while we can and the outdoor entertaining that goes with it, I always feel like the decor of the table is a challenge. This year, I decided that I would like to both juxtapose and blend the two elements of the the seasons that are merging. What perfect materials to launch this idea from than vintage silver and blue ticking? We have a rustic country feel here at Willowbrook Farm that I love to elevate with silver.  I could add to that, elements of both seasons to reflect the merging of the summer and fall. Thick jute rope that I keep on hand for a multitude of projects and uses which gives the feel of summer, 
 and these super cool German horns that we picked up at the Brimfield Antiques Show and rolls of twine that reflect Fall would be the jumping point elements.
The most important element of the table in my book,  are the florals. The add softness and texture to the hardscape.
They do NOT need to be fancy or complicated. I like simple florals that you can cut from your own back yard or garden bed or a bunch that you can pick up at Produce Junction, Trader Joes or any such store that sells blooms. Don’t overlook leaves from your trees or shrubs for they often make lovely additions.
 I then pulled objects out of our stores of goodies to create the table scape being sure to bring height and dimension to the table. Being that we are entertaining outdoors, I love to use these bamboo plates and trays. They are disposable, biodegradable and non breakable, and I love their look.  You can find them here.


Creating interest is another one of my favorite things to do with a table scape. Here I used vintage wooden and metal print blocks as placecards for seating. Looking at objects outside of the ordinary is something I love to do! 
I often look for interesting ways to serve the food that you are presenting on your table. I found these recyclable take out containers when looking for the plates online and they make for a super cool way to serve food like salads and pop corn. The guest can pick them up and take them with them if it is a buffet or you can place one at each seat filled with the delectable. 

Pardon the price tags on some of these items! You will see something similar to this vignette during our upcoming Fall Barn Sale where all items used in this table scape will be for sale. 
The kitty loved taking part in this set up! 
When serving food, think about adding unexpected elements as well, like leaves and herbs to your plates. Just let the guests know what is edible and what is not!
Salads can be served in unexpected ways like a galvanized tin bowl. Just make sure the container that you use is food safe and if not, create a liner for it from wax paper, plastic wrap or brown food safe paper.
Don’t be afraid to serve a beverage right on the table where the guests can serve themselves.
We love using a wooden tray of glassware and Ball jars make awesome outdoor beverage containers.
I stacked a few vintage grain sacks in a galvanized bucket for guests to grab should they want to picnic on the grass.
They make a great alternative to towels but you could use those as well or blankets.
Be sure to add items of interest that are just there for their aesthetic. They serve no purpose other than prettying up the space…
and providing entertainment for your pets!
I hope this little post inspires you to move the party outside by setting up a table outdoors and bedecking it with whatever you have on hand to make it pretty. Rustic country elements are often easy and fit into the decor of late summer and early fall. They often bring the mind back to a simpler time where this kind of set up would be placed outside for the farm hands to grab a nourishing quick hearty meal before they got back to the task at hand.  Add some delicious yet simple food items and some fabulous friends and family and enjoy these waning days of summer! 

Until we meet again…



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  1. Pat says:

    Love your blogs, you are so blessed with your writing skills. Hope to see you at your barn sale.

  2. cindy says:

    You’re amazing and I love the kitty in the photos. So Cute!

  3. Anne s says:

    As always, full of great ideas and lovely!Enjoy these last weeks of summer!