Friday, November 8, 2013

Autumn Breakfast Under the Old Oak Tree - Creating a Fall Vignette

Behind our current home is a giant old oak tree that's at least 150 year old and is just beautiful!  Although it's the source of many leaves to rake this Fall, it's also a great setting for a picnic or bite to eat.

After moving from a cold climate to North Carolina, I'm still amazed when those beautiful warm Fall days come around here and there.  Yesterday was one of those days and I took the opportunity to set the stage for a Fall breakfast under the old oak tree that has been "raining" leaves lately.  I love to put together a pretty table so as part of The Scoop On Creating Fall Vignettes Tour, I'd thought I'd share my creation process...
To be honest, I approach decorating, design, paint colors, tablescapes with almost pure intuition... A paint color can be just "the one" or a picture is too high (or low), etc.  For me, design is based almost solely on how something feels.  Although, I wish I was a trained interior designer, I actually have a degree in accounting, so anybody can do this!  Much of what I've learned over the years has been from soaking in pictures from home decor books, catalogs, magazines, etc.  The more you look at inspiration rooms and vignettes, the more you'll start seeing common elements among them.
When I first set about to create a vignette, tablecape, mantelscape, etc, I determine the overall design feel that I want it to have... Like a theme, but a much looser interpretation so that you'll keep your mind open to using unexpected elements.  I think it's just too easy to get caught up in decorating for a theme. In this case, I wanted a natural, relaxing Fall breakfast tablescape by using items that invoke that Autumn feeling (wool throws, pumpkins, hot drinks).
After I determine the overall feel I'm trying to convey, I shop the house and take stock of what I currently own that will work in the design.  Gather and group items by texture, height, and try to keep it to 2-3 colors for cohesiveness.  I find it easier to gather more items than I will need for the vignette because it allows me to swap things out and play with different arrangements.
Next, I select the anchor, focal point, or generally the largest item from the group as this will be what I build the vignette around.  Many times it will be artwork, mirror, lamp, but in this tablescape, the large zinc-topped lantern is the statement piece.
After filling the lantern with texture-rich items like twig balls, birch orbs, and small pumpkins,  I then look through my gathered items for substantial-sized elements (wicker demijohn, large white pumpkin, crock of tree clippings) that can hold their weight next to a large focal point.  Staggering the heights, textures, and colors of these items keeps it interesting to the eye...
Greenery, live plants, branches, etc are some of my favorite elements to use when creating vignettes.  They add height, softness and fluidity.
As the larger items find their place, I then fill in with the smaller elements and am careful to keep staggering the heights, colors, and textures like the larger items.  For example, instead of putting the white platter holding the coffee and cups directly on the table where it would blend with the table covering, I simply broke up the color and added elevation with a simple grapevine wreath placed under the platter.

Most vignettes take some tweaking.   Don't be afraid to move things around over and over...omitting or adding until it feels right to you.  There are not set rules, just guidelines, so have fun with it and play around.
The more vignettes, tablescapes, etc that you create, the more confident you'll feel the next time you re-arrange your home or have guests over!

Don't forget to visit more fantastic bloggers that are sharing their Fall vignette how-to's over the next several days:
Friday Nov 8 -

Saturday Nov 9-

Sunday Nov 10-

Monday Nov 11-  

Tuesday Nov 12- 

45 comments:

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Such a a beautiful vignette,Kristen! Your old oak tree is the perfect setting for a cozy fall breakfast! Thanks so much for joining us for the tour!...hugs...Debbie

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

This is beautiful, Kristen. Now, I want to come hang out with you there and enjoy this scrumptious spread.

Christine Graves said...

Gorgeous setting....it looks wonderful!

Pat said...

This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your wonderful skills for building a vignette.

chateau chic said...

Kristen, this is gorgeous!!! Who wouldn't want to join you under the tree for breakfast?
Mary Alice

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh wow, this is such a gorgeous setting and the table is fabulous. Beautiful vignette. Hugs, Marty

Doreen @ Hymns and Verses said...

So beautiful - wish I had that tree in my backyard!

Jennifer @ Town and Country Living said...

Beautiful table setting. I love that you did something outdoors. Love the crock filled with greens!

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

It looks amazing Kristen! So warm and cozy and very beautiful!!

Atta Girl Amy said...

Next vignette you create, invite me over to enjoy in the spoils afterwards!

This vignette is gorgeous and the setting under your old oak tree is perfect.

I loved reading about how your mind works when you create vignettes. I am very much a thinker and a piddler when I do mine. You'll often find me sitting and staring, taking in the space. :)

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Your tablescape is so pretty. To have breakfast out under that beautiful old oak tree. Yes, it does look like it's raining leaves.
Everything looks so yummy - I'll take a nice cup of coffee and doughnut, please.
Thanks for sharing this lovely post.
Mary

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Very pretty setting, Kristen! I love everything you've added to your table.

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

This is Autumn perfection, to me. Your tree reminds me of the huge oak that was in the front yard of my Grandmother's house, where I grew up and played in that tree. I LOVE, love your table and especially that lantern. My hubby has collected lanterns for MANY years, before they were fashionable.. He also MADE 2 lanterns after seeing some that he loved and wanted to recreate. The platter on the grapevive is inspired and the setting is stunning. Thanks for sharing this!!!

Kelly said...

What a pretty setting! I love how you put everything together. That tree is wonderful too.

Linda said...

Oh girl...you've got the touch! I love all of the things you chose for your table setting! That tree is amazing! (And one more thing...I am on a diet and now you have me craving donuts!...Shame on you!) Tee hee


Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

So gorgeous! I'd love to have my breakfast out there. You created such a beautiful space.

Laura Tusken said...

Such a beautiful place to have breakfast. Just lovely!

Anita at Cedar Hill said...

I am in love with this table! I really like your thought process too, so helpful to help us all 'get the look'. Thanks so much for joining us on the tour.

Pam Kessler said...

You've set a gorgeous fall table. I love the half eaten doughnut. Adds a realistic touch to the scene. BTW, I'm an accountant too. Decorating let's me work the other side of my brain :)

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

This is spectacular, Kristen! I adore the beautiful way you put together this yummy vignette. It looks like it has been just waiting for me to sit down and enjoy!

Dewena Callis said...

What an amazing tree trunk by your beautiful table! I love that the doughnuts and bottle of milk are colors that reflect the other components. I'm glad you're enjoying the NC autumn.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Kristen..you are such pro at creating vignettes and beautiful spaces…you just have that natural talent to now exactly what a space needs and how to go about to achieve the perfect room and balance…I so love your breakfast under the old oak tree!!!

At The Picket Fence said...

Absolutely, positively gorgeous!! Wishing I could sit there and linger over a cup of coffee. You have so much talent! :-)
Vanessa

Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads said...

What a wonderful idea to have breakfast under your oak tree! We planted 7 live oak trees when we moved to our present home. They have grown a lot in 4 years so perhaps I can breakfast under one of them someday! Loved how you shared your thought process in creating your vignettes, and please, please, please tell me where you got those cappuccino cups!

Pat Cantwell said...

Kristen,
I'm not an out~of~doors person,
but this Autumnal vignette is beckoning me to sit and enjoy my favorite Season of the year, dear one!
I adore the use of all the natural elements and the color palette is soothing against the Oak tree!!!
Fondly,
Pat

Mary said...

Fabulous Kristen - wish I was there for breakfast this morning!

You are missed so much here - my granddaughter Jasmin who's still working at SuzAnna's on the weekends, sends love - she said your corner booth has not looked the same since you left us!! I agree. Any chance you will be here for their big holiday Open House party next month? Would be lovely to see you again.
I will try to get to see your Mebane location too.

Hugs - happy weekend in NC.
Mary - A Breath of Fresh Air

Laura @ Top This Top That said...

oh Kristen- everything you touch is always so beautiful. Save a donut for me girl!

Anne said...

Wow Kristen is this gorgeous!A perfect setting right out of a magazine! Thank you for inspiring me!

Heather SettingforFour said...

Gorgeous vignette in a gorgeous setting! I love all of the details you added! Heather

Leena Milligan Lanteigne said...

This is lovely! What a fabulous way to spend a fall morning! It looks so cozy, which is one of the best parts of fall, the ability to get cozy, mentally and physically. Very rejuvenating!
Hugs, Leena

‚Ą≥artina @ Northern Nesting said...

GORGEOUS Kristen!!! Now pass me one of those yummy looking donuts;)

Carol said...

This is just lovely, Kristen! You have really made it come to life, and I can almost feel that warm breeze.

Prince Snow Farm said...

Oh you have created such warm, cozy layers! I LOVE intuition....my favorite way to decorate!

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Oh I'd love to be your guest for brunch! This is lovely Kristen...and all your tips are easy to understand. I hope you got to sit at this table after your photo shoot and rest a while!

www.mysoulfulhome.com said...

Hi Kristen! So nice to 'meet' u on this tour. Your vignetted tablescape is beautiful! The tree it is all under is spectacular! I am up tomorrow…Come on by for a visit…

www.mysoulfulhome.com said...

Hi Kristen! Nice to meet u on this tour. Your vignetted tables is gorgeous! The tree it is all under is spectacular! I am up tomorrow. Come on by for a visit...

Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

This post makes me want to jump right in to the pictures and enjoy the day with you. :)

lynn cockrell said...

What a lovely Fall post! Your photos are so pretty.

thepaintedapron.com said...

Love this!! I can almost taste the coffee and donuts! Love outdoor vignettes, great post!
Jenna

Ann Krucek said...

Beatiful!! I love that shot with the tree trunk as the backdrop. It gives such textural interest to an already beautiful table!

Botanic Bleu said...

What a delightful, fun autumn setting under the oak tree. Your lantern is wonderful, the perfect focal point.

So glad to have been on the tour with you.

Judith

Christy Our Southern Home said...

How lovely! I can already taste the coffee. What a beautiful setting with the large tree for fall. Your style is so pleasing to the eye. Crushing on that lantern! ~Christy

Pamela said...

Oh Kristin how beautiful!! When do you find the time to make such beautiful vignettes!? Love it and thanx for sharing at THT!

Debra Oliver said...

Nothing's better than an outdoors Fall Tablescape, its just gorgeous!!

Ivy and Elephants said...

Kristen, everything is just gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. This is such an inspirational post. I would love it if would share it at our WIW Linky Party. I hope you can join us.

Paula
ivyandelephants.blogspot.com

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