Rustic fall Thanksgiving tablescape

October 08, 2014

I’m SO thrilled to have a big beautiful table to sit at for Thanksgiving this year! I showed you the unfinished table we purchased a few weeks ago and asked for your advice on keeping it’s natural beauty. 

A few folks on Instagram recommended a liming wax – something I had never tried. I looked up examples of it and LOVED the look of it. So I tried it out…and hated it. :) Wah wahhhh

The table is too light to begin with – it just basically white washed it and I quickly realized that was not the look I was going for. In photos I’ve seen of this wax it really shows off the beauty of the wood, but it made our table look really bland. I was so disappointed. 

So I sanded down the section I worked on and just went with a wax – which was my gut reaction to do anyway:
wax on unfinished wood
You can see there how it really pulls the grain out and shows it off!

I just used a basic furniture wax – it’s easy to do but it takes some time. I tried two methods – a rag and then this wax brush:
waxing unfinished wood
The brush worked much better – it was just easier to get it deep into the wood and I could get plenty on there. 

After applying it you’ll want to let it sit for a bit and then wipe/buff it down:
buffing wax on table
As you buff (this takes some muscle) you’ll see that shine come through – I used the light from the windows to see where I needed to buff some more. It came out SO well and at least for now I love the natural look of the table. 

What’s great is if I ever change my mind I can sand it down and start over. :)

Because the table is so pretty as is I wanted to go with a simpler, natural fall table setting as well. I picked up some faux pumpkins and gave them a little makeover:
painting pumpkins

chalky painted pumpkins

I’ve seen so many chalk paint pumpkins in blogland but man – it was taking FOREVER to paint them. So I went with my trusty spray paint. It never fails me. ;) 

I sprayed a couple coats of primer and then a very light coat of the Heirloom White color so they weren’t stark white. It warmed them up nicely. 

I found this natural table runner and knew right away it would be perfect:
jute table runner
I actually layered two on the table since it’s so long – a nice problem to have. :)

The runner was the perfect backdrop to the more subdued table setting. I’m OBSESSED with the BHG hobnail plates (on the bottom):
natural fall place setting
I’ve looked at these EVERY year and admired them. They were just starting to stock them in my local store so I grabbed the beige color plates (these are called Arlington) and topped them with bowls I already had. These are really beautiful – I just love them and they are SO much more affordable than the high end versions out there. 

The cream owl salt and pepper shakers had to come home with me:
owl salt and pepper shakers
This pumpkin cookie jar matches them perfectly – I used it as a centerpiece to hold my fall hydrangeas:
 pumpkin bowl
You can see the cute lid to the left. It’s labeled a cookie jar but I think it would pretty holding rolls or other foods on a Thanksgiving table too. 

I sprinkled some pine cones along the runner as well – they smell amazing!:
owl salt and pepper shakers walmart
The bags came with leaves and little bitty pumpkins as well – this is the perfect fall filler:
scented pine cones
And it can easily stick around till Christmas! Bonus. 

Because I can’t ever resist a cute placemat pillow – I picked up a couple of these and made quick pillows for the parson’s chairs:
placemat pillow fall
These placemats weren’t the kind you can open up and fill so I just sewed some basic muslin I had on the back and then filled them. They were less than $2 each – can you believe that? They’re not just a print either, it’s all woven. I couldn't believe the price. 

I LOVE how it all came together! It makes the whole family room and kitchen feel so warm and cozy. I want to bake a turkey right now:
natural fall table
The plates and glasses will be put away till the big dinner but I’m keeping the rest out until then. It’s too pretty not to:
fall hydrangeas
There’s still a lot that will happen in this area – the board and batten will go up on that back wall after the new doors are installed (hopefully by the end of the month?): And eventually a big window seat will sit in the bay window – can’t WAIT!:
natural fall table setting
But for now I’ll focus on the pretty, finished parts of the room – like a big table ready for big meals!:
easy fall table setting ideas
LOVE it! Anymore I don’t like my table settings to be too fancy – I like it to feel welcoming and warm and a spot where people want to sit and stay awhile. 

You don’t have to spend a ton of money or go crazy with the decor in order to do just that. (You can see my fall table from last year here.)

Will you be hosting Thanksgiving this year? The older I get the more I like the holiday – it’s such a fun, relaxing day for us.

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  1. Your table turned out so pretty! I love how you styled it too. Those owls are adorable and the pumpkin cookie jar is gorgeous. Love those hydrangeas! Great job, Sarah! Have a wonderful week.

  2. Sarah, this looks so beautiful and festive. Wal-Mart has really come a long way with their decor, the BHG stuff is great, nice job showcasing it on your beautiful new table. PS: I'm obsessed with those plates too!!

  3. How beautiful, Sarah! I love those plates. You styled everything so nicely.

  4. Beautiful! Can you tell me about the tree trunk slab beneath the pumpkin cookie jar?

    1. Thank you! It's a cutting board I got at HomeGoods. :)

  5. This is right up my alley of course ;-) Love what you did, Sarah!

  6. This is gorgeous and i love the owl salt and pepper shakers.

  7. All those beautiful decorations look fabulous on your new table. I am so glad that you posted this because I have been feverishly sanding down our rubberwood table to refinish too. Like you I was sure I was going the liming route, but now I'm not so sure. I LOVE how yours turned out with just a wax on it. I do have a question though. Do you feel like the wax made it seem yellow at all? In the picture where you are applying it, it looks a little, but in all of the other table pictures it looks just a perfect natural color. I am afraid that a wax will make ours seem a little yellowish instead of a beautiful natural look likes yours has. And what brand of wax did you use?Any info would be great! I also have the world market sofa table love how that finish and your new kitchen table play off of each other so perfectly-can't wait to get mine done=) Thanks for any advice you can offer.

    1. Thank you! I was a little worried that it would do just that at first, but once I buffed it out and it dried it looked great -- not yellow at all. I used a Minwax furniture paste. I've used two different chalk paint waxes for years but I've had issues with them clouding up so I used the Minwax for the first time and really liked it.

  8. So beautiful! I need to get me some of those plates!

  9. Sarah, everything is absolutely beautiful. :)

  10. Pretty!!! But beware ....I tried a straight up wax on my dining table. I bought an old 70's oak table on craigslist and stripped it of it's speckle lacquer finish - it looks like a restoration hardware 9ft table without the $3000 prices tag. Anyway I wanted the lime wax/weathered/faded grey look and the old white oak looked amazing after I stripped it. I tried just wax - a few coats - and found it wasn't durable enough for my family. I have 4 kids and I don't bother with placemats or tablecloths for daily use. Inevitably butter smears and spilled cheese or ranch led to greasy stains on my table....within a couple months! I ended up having to sand down the entire top and start again with a finish that was more durable.

    1. Thanks for your input. We have lots of kids and that's exactly what I a worried about-lots of stains and then having to sand everything down again. I wonder how often a wax has to be reapplied?

    2. I've used wax on a few pieces and have had good luck so far. I'll update on this if it doesn't hold up!

  11. Beautiful! Love how the table turned out.

  12. Sarah, this is gorgeous!!! You now have me wanting to deck out my table for fall. Your home is just beautiful!!!

  13. I have been reading your blog for a while but this is the first time I commented. I love your table presentation and the subtle use of traditional fall colors! I am amazed at how creative decorators and bloggers are being with jazzy fallscapes this season. Your table is so lovely with the neutral decor. Here is another bloggers version of neutral fall decor.
    I hope I did the link right

  14. Love your table. Love the fall decor. I see your industrial shelving in the background. Ever considered some rustic lumber shelves on that wall instead? Like big chunky shelves? Kind of like people use for mantels sometimes? Third picture from the bottom makes everything look so pale and unsubstantial. But some contrast and chunky, rustic pieces could look awesome in this space! If it's your style, of course. ;)

  15. Is the white pumpkin cookie jar from Walmart? I couldn't find it on their website

  16. Unbelievably beautiful table decor! Sara, your creative ideas and personality are very uplifting and inspiring. I'm sure you are very contagious to your viewers; what a blessing you are. I'm looking forward to purchasing Better Homes and Garden's Christmas decorations at Walmart. Luv pillow made from placements; very creative idea!

  17. Sorry for error. Meant placemats; very creative idea! It's late right now and I'm sleepy. :)

  18. So pretty! I'm really surprised to see what BHG is offering at Wal-Mart. And yes, I love Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday.

  19. Beautiful table!!! I love Walmarts BHandG line too!! I am going there today so will be looking for that PLACEMAT!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't sew but will use them as placemats!

  20. Jeepers I only got 2 correct
    Jeri oldtisme@aol

  21. Beautiful fall table Sarah! I love all of it from the dishes, to the pumpkin cookie jar, to the table runner, and that adorable placemat pillow. Great pics too.
    Marie@The Interior Frugalista

  22. wondering where the shelf unit in the back ground is from. Source?


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