Quick & Inexpensive Fall Table

Even though I still have about 20 boxes of decorations to unpack we were thrilled to have our first guests over for dinner. A good friend from graduate school lives in upstate NY and visits Ottawa frequently. We decided to invite them over for an early Canadian Thanksgiving and catch up a little. I found a few yummy recipes from Good House Keeping (see below) that we decided to give a try. They ended up being a little more difficult than expected but Rob is a great cook and everything turned out amazing.

While he was prepping the food I decided to take a challenge Jen from iHeartOrganizing recently gave us and attempt to throw together a festive table setting. I am no design expert but enjoy learning through practice and trial and error. Since a lot of our decor is still packed I had to get creative with what I could find and my goal was to spend less than $15. It took about 20 minutes to put this together using what I could find around the house. I ended up buying paper napkins, mini pumpkins, and a floral arrangement putting me at about $20 CAD.


The table and chairs are a recent purchase from IKEA, Mockelby table ($699 CAD/USD) and INGOLF chairs ($59.99 CAD/$49.99 USD). It was the first time we were able to use the set and I just love it. The table is a great size for 4-6 adults and 2 kids at each end. There was plenty of room for all of the food without getting in the way. The table is heavy and sturdy which I also appreciate with littles around.

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When I think of fall I think of bright yellows and oranges mixed with deep purples and greens. While we were shopping at the store for our dinner menu I found this beautiful bouquet. We also picked out a few small pumpkins. I just love the white ones. A little different and great for kids to doodle on for a little extra personalization. If you have a large party coming you can also tags each pumpkin with names for a subtle seating chart.

Underneath are a variety of lace dollies I have collected over the years at thrift and antique stores. I just layered different sizes and shapes on top one another until it looks complete. This was the first time I was able to use them and was so excited with how well they worked on the table.

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I picked up the napkins at And That this past weekend when we were in NY for $3.99/pack of 75. I always have mason jars around for baking or a spin on drinking glasses. The lids were from a co op purchase I did a few years ago for Parker’s first birthday party.

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I managed to locate a few things to help decorate the buffet. It’s unnecessary but in my opinion always a nice touch to write out the menu for a dinner party. White boards are easy to make with an old frame, piece of light colored paper and a white board marker.

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As I mentioned a little earlier we decided to try a few new recipes from Good House Keeping. We couldn’t find any squash and forgot to buy the sherry vinegar but we made it work! I definitly recommend these recipes.

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Cider-Glazed Pork & Apples  |  Crispy Roasted Potatoes with Caper Vinaigrette  |  Thyme-Scented Squash Gratin

The food was amazing, company was fun, and we had a wonderful evening entertaining our first of hopefully many guests over the next few years.


  1. Sara G. March 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    I just stumbled across your post when looking for reviews of the Mockelby table. I’m seriously considering it, but I’m wondering how it’s been holding up for you with the kids and regular use? How careful do you have to be putting warm plates or bowls on it? Thank you!

    1. Mary March 11, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Sara! Yes I love our table. It’s large which we don’t need on a daily basis but it’s so nice when we have unexpected company or family over. No need to move things around. I also love how easy it is to clean. And there is a bar below that lets me rest my feet *short girl problems* which is an added bonus. If you have kids the IKEA tall plastic kids chairs fit perfectly. It’s held up really well. We use the IKEA cork round pads for hot bowls and pans. Hope that helps!

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