We just love designer Erin Souder’s fall decorating ideas– they’re beautiful and sophisticated, yet are so practical and easy to pull off. She’s the creative mind behind House of Earnest, and this lovely outdoor dinner party setting is her contribution to our Halloween and Harvest Style Challenge.
We sent mystery boxes of Home Depot fall decor items to some of our favorite DIY and design bloggers to see what amazing decorating ideas they’d come up with.
Erin not only styled the dining table beautifully, she actually made the table for this outdoor setting. Add a fun party photo booth, and hang some outdoor lamps, and you’re ready to celebrate fall in style.
Although most of our yard is flat open field, we have the most perfect grove of just a few trees with a shaded clearing in the center. Throughout the years, I’ve always thought that would be an amazing spot for an outdoor dinner party. When it came to the challenge of styling a harvest dining room, I couldn’t for the life of me image doing it indoors, and it looked like the perfect time to take advantage of that little grove.
I was sent boxes of décor from glittery wreaths to gourds to faux pumpkins and scarecrows, but I needed a foundation for all of the décor items. Since I wanted the party to feel rustic and harvest driven, but still a bit formal, I wanted to use a long, wooden table. Long harvest tables that you’d buy usually aren’t suited for outdoor use (unless they come with a crazy high pricetag), so I decided that it would be a fabulous opportunity to make a table out of common materials from The Home Depot.
I used cedar fence boards which are just under $3 each and pre-turned table legs to make a quick and easy table. The cedar was great for outdoor use and allowed the table to be light! Pre-drilled legs screw on and off for easy table storage as well. Take a look at the DIY harvest table tutorial on my blog.
After I got the table built, the dinner decorating was in full swing! For the table décor, a runner made of scrap fabric worked as a wonderful base while piles of pumpkins made for am impactful centerpiece.
I laid out the plates first to get a good idea of how much space I had to work with for the centerpiece. Small wooden crates placed on a diagonal made room for plates and also gave the pumpkin centerpiece some varying height.
More scrap plaid fabric was used as napkins with a single white painted gourd placed on each plate as a harvest-themed place card holder. When doing a dinner party, I always love to assign seats so that the flow is easy when people go to take their seats.
To illuminate the dinner, I hung a set of six solar lanterns from the trees above with jute twine. Since the whole set of lanterns is just under $50, this offers a fabulously inexpensive and electricity free way to light up your party.
While the final touches are being put on the food prep, guests can help themselves to drinks and a trip to the photobooth!
The photo booth creation is super quick and just involves a canvas dropcloth stapled to two trees as the backdrop. Fall flowers, scarecrows, and more pumpkins are perfect accessories for the photos!
With all of the beauty of the set up, we shouldn’t forget about the food! A small table set to the side of the main table offers a spot to settle the menu items so that they’re out of the way, but still within reach.
With an easy outdoor table and customized décor, an outdoor dining party is as chic as any held indoors and the added ambiance from the surrounding fall foliage is priceless!
Erin Souder is the founder and editor-in-chief of House of Earnest. She is a Columbus, Ohio-based creative who specializes in creating memorable events, including floral design and event styling. Her projects have been featured in Canada’s Chantelaine, and on Design*Sponge. Erin spends her spare time renovating an old farm house with her husband, Matt, and schnoodle puppy, Perry.
Take a look at the beautiful Christmas decorating ideas Erin showed off for an (indoor) holiday party.
Visit The Home Depot’s online Holiday Decorations Department for everything you need to decorate your home for fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas.