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Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party

by | Sep 29, 2015 | Fall Decorating, Simple Gatherings, Welcome + Gather

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Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party
I ‘m SO happy it is FALL! As we have been working on getting settled into our new house over the past couple of weeks, the one thing I keep thinking about is how much I enjoy my fall routines. I feel like we moved in  just in time to nestle in and enjoy everything I love about fall.

Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party

A couple of weeks ago, with everything still feeling a little (understandably) disarrayed with my furniture and belongings inside the house, I decided a fall picnic outside in the park was in order! Even though I am really enjoying arranging the house (and can’t wait to show you another room vision post!), getting outside on a sunny day was the perfect experience celebrate the beginning of fall.

How could you not be inspired in nature, seeing the first leaves start to change and fall and feeling that first chill in the air? If you are a fall-lover like me, you probably love being outside as much as possible in this season. It’s perfect and you want to savor it.

Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party

In a glorious spot near us at a local park (Discovery Park) there’s an old rustic picnic table and benches under a twisted old tree that has been just begging us to come and enjoy a fall picnic.

Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party

The park overlooks the water and is filled with gorgeous trees. The whole setting is just perfect for a rustic fall outdoor gathering. “Don’t mind if we do,” we said to ourselves as my daughter Courtney and I packed up a couple of tote bag with crackers, cheese, salami, grapes, apple cider and some fun fall accessories for what we decided would be a “small plate picnic.” Pier 1 had sent us a gift card and invited us to set up a fall party, so how could we resist? This is our kind of fun, we could not have been more excited to get this party started!

Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party

The setting was breathtaking, the rustic old table was inviting and the accessories were a most charming and irresistible backdrop for our humble picnic.

Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party
Small plate parties are my favorite for informal or impromptu events like this picnic. I’ve been using small plates for several of my most recent gatherings because they set a fun ambience and create an intentional theme out of simple nibbles and bites that you can pick up easily at the market.

Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party

Crackers, dips and spreads, and appetizers seem extra gourmet and festive with special small plates. I was delighted to find the prettiest wood plates for our picnic at Pier 1, the perfect rustic touch. I know I’ll use these plates all fall, I just love them!

Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party

We wanted to bring a few accessories to set the rustic festive tone of the table, so we selected a darling wood lantern, the small wood plates, a chalkboard ice bucket (we forgot our chalk, but it’s still cute!) and organic accessories for texture like wood handled forks and knives, a marble trivet, and a woven placement.

To add a fun bit of personality, we fell in love with a gold polka dot runner and navy cloth napkins (that won’t blow away in a gust of wind!). To bring a contrasting shine to the wood small plates, we found hammered copper mugs that so cool! And perfect for drinking our cider. The battery-operated copper Glimmer String added fun pops of light across the table, even on a bright sunny day.

The table looked so charming, people kept stopping as they walked by to see what we were doing! Everyone was delighted by the table, it just goes to show that a little effort and style makes people happy and will draw people into conversation even at a public park. We met so many lovely people who became like new friends at our table.

Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party
Here are five easy steps for hosting your own Autumn Small Bites Party:

1. Select a pretty setting or location for your party.
2. Gather fall accessories and small plates to set your table.
3. Set out an assortment of finger appetizers and fall drinks.
4. Set the mood with an inspiring playlist.
5. Relax and enjoy time around the table.

Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party

Pier 1 had the perfect accessories for our fall picnic, and I know you’ll see the prettiest touches for your fall gatherings there, too. You’ll find beautiful fall wreaths and garland to decorate your home and door, too, so whether you are hosting inside or outside this fall, have fun setting the tone! Your guests will love it and you will, too.

Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party

Here’s a close up look of the accessories we used for our picnic! Aren’t they just adorable? You’ll find the direct links to the products below.

Celebrate Fall! 5 Steps to an Autumn Party

If you want to host an autumn gathering of your own, you can find all the accessories you’ll need at Pier 1, including these items from our party:

1. Polka dot table runner
2. Wood and metal lantern
3. Marble trivet
4. Wood appetizer plates
5. Woven metallic placemat
6. Plaid cloth napkins
7. Hammered copper cups

8. Chalkboard beverage chiller

Also featured in the post:

Horn cheese knives set
LED birch tree pillar battery operated candle
Amber glimmer string lights

We created a playlist with songs we’d enjoy for a relaxing fall evening outside, feel free to use it for your own party. Check out our playlist above or via this link!

I hope you have the opportunity to get outside this fall and celebrate the beauty of the season! I’ll be back tomorrow with another room tour!


  1. Linda Stoll

    I am loving eating outside this fall, Melissa! Summer was way too humid and left us inside, gathered around the air conditioner.

    But now?

    Warm sunshine, cool breezes, the stillness of the woods make every meal a treat.

    I’m so grateful for these days of grace!

  2. Ms. Maggie the Elder

    Love Pier 1 and the fact that family is also into the details… the weather in the PNW is so good now, maybe a picnic is in order. I have an actual picnic cabinet at the island home.

  3. Terry

    Very beautiful setting and perfect accessories. Love Pier 1 but haven’t been there for a long time. Will have to check them out soon.

  4. Angela

    I have a spotify account but can’t access your playlist. I’d love to listen!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Hi Angela,

      See if this link will work > :)

      I’m technically challenged here, so let me know if it doesn’t!

  5. Jo

    Perfect time of year to enjoy walks, picnics, alfresco meals on the patio or deck. Love fall and your picnic set- up was very pretty and inviting! ❤️❤️❤️

  6. Fawn

    Hi Melissa, can you tell me how to find Glidden Polished Grey (lightened version of Glidden Wood Smoke) that you have used? I went to Home Depot and looked on the Glidden website, but there is no color listed and Home Depot did not have it either. They only could pull up the Polished Limestone. I have gotten the BM Kendall Charcoal color for my bathroom cabinets, but need the Polished Grey since I love how they go together. Thanks so much! Love your new house!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Hi Fawn! Thank you! You have to go up to the Glidden counter and ask them to pull out their paint colors book. When they locate Wood Smoke, have them scroll up a few shades in that row and they should see one called Polished Grey! It isn’t on their website unfortunately because I think it is a wonderful color! :)

  7. Julie

    I don’t see where the playlist is.

  8. Emily

    Fall is the best time of year for eating outdoors and having outdoor parties… I don’t think even Spring can top it!

  9. Cathy

    Here in Califirnia, we are still in the 90’s. There is no sign of fall anytime soon. I always get depressed when fall roles around because I love summer. This year is different. I’m looking forward to fall. It is just taking its time. Love your rustic picnic outdoors. Hopefully, we will be able to do that in the near future.

  10. Michelle

    What a beautiful backdrop for a picnic. Enjoy the weather while you can, all to soon it will be too cold to picnic.

  11. Linda P

    Every little detail of the table setting is so pretty, and it all makes such a lovely whole! I enjoyed looking at the table shots and it was fun to look up each item from your list at the bottom. From so many things to choose from (a whole store of beautiful things) you and your daughter’s choices make such a light and lovely fall look. What a team!

  12. Jan

    I’m a big fan of Pier 1 also! The setting for your meal looks like it’s in the south of France! Beautiful!


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