Thank you to Sophistiplate for sponsoring this post (paid partnership).
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Here on Mrs. Southern Social, I talk a lot about “paper parties” and using disposable pieces to make entertaining easier. But it occurred to me that I’ve never really shared my styling tricks for setting a chic and elevated scene featuring paper goods. To help me demonstrate this, I turned to Sophistiplate, one of my favorite resources for “paper party” products (their cutlery is seriously so pretty you won’t believe it’s plastic). I’ve been using their pieces for years and absolutely love the quality and variety. Be sure to enter our giveaway for you and a friend to receive the pieces we used on this darling table – details in today’s Instagram post. And read on for all of my advice on setting an inviting and fabulous table with paper goods front and center.
- Set your table as you normally would: charger, dinner plate, salad plate, a full set of cutlery, and a pretty napkin. Having a proper place setting makes your table look fuller and more “done,” which instantly elevates paper goods.
- For a dinner like this – casual but not overly so – I like incorporating fabric tablecloths and/or runners versus paper ones. I think it helps bring a subtle bit of formality to an otherwise laidback setup, and that can help make the difference between “basic BBQ” and “chic fall supper.”
- A tight color palette also helps with the chic factor (another example here). When you’re using paper goods, resist any temptation to decorate with the full rainbow (that’s when you get into “kid party” territory). Here I was inspired by the gold tones in the charger plates; orange is the perfect complement. While this could certainly work for a Halloween gathering, it’s appropriate for any fall celebration because the underlying palette is warm and autumnal.
- We chose a “runner-like” arrangement of pumpkins and flowers for this table – again, not too formal, but still pretty and deliberate. The reason it’s successful is because there’s a lot of movement and depth. Nothing here is fancy – the pumpkins and flowers (mini potted kalanchoe, $1.99 each) are from Trader Joe’s. It’s how you style it that counts:
- We created a basic shape by arranging the flowers and pumpkins in alternating wave patterns. Nothing is marching down the table in a straight line – since these pieces are so small, a lineup like that would be pretty boring.
- Rather than place pumpkins individually, we stacked them and also grouped them in pairs and trios, arranging some on their sides. It’s just more interesting this way and also gives some height.
- When you’re working with smaller décor like mini pumpkins, always buy more than you think you’ll need. You want to be able to fill in any holes to keep it feeling lush.
- Stems of fall foliage introduce another layer and bring a pop of burnt orange. This helps create depth.
- This isn’t a “tip” per se but I think this whole table is fabulous inspiration for tailgating! We’re in peak college football season and I personally love a tailgate that feels a little more chic. These colors are perfect for Vanderbilt and I like the idea of eating my hotdog off an extra-pretty plate; it just feels festive! Love these for Ole Miss and these for Georgia.
*All photos courtesy of Lele Fain Photography*