Our screened porch is right off our master bedroom, and it’s one of my favorite spaces in our home. It was originally decorated with bright pops of color — cheery and fitting for summer. However, it didn’t coordinate with the neutral tones in our bedroom. With the French doors leading out to the porch, I wanted more flow between the two spaces.
Unfortunately, I was stuck in a design rut, so I reached out to my dear friend Courtney, owner of Courtney James Design (courtneyjamesdesign.com). I love her style and her amazing ability to pull together beautiful spaces while remaining budget conscious. A few takeaways from working with Courtney include learning the transformative power of paint, and that thrifting requires patience.
Both tables shown were previously in the space. The smaller table was a turquoise blue, and the larger was plain oak. With Courtney’s urging, I painted both tables with Rust-Oleum’s Linen White chalk paint. I was thrilled no sanding or priming was required.
Thrifting is a great way to find unique, affordable pieces, but it can take longer shopping retail. This gorgeous hutch, purchased for $200 from The Village Town Mall, wasn’t an immediate find. But it fits the space perfectly and was well worth the hunt.
I wanted to share Courtney’s top tips for creating a beautiful autumn tablescape like the one shown here.
CHOSE BEAUTIFUL TABLEWARE
Melamine is an excellent choice due to its light weight and durability, compared to china, making it a wise choice for outdoor affairs. Also, believe it or not, this is plastic cutlery. Definitely a step up from plain white!
Courtney’s aesthetic leans toward crisp, clean colors. Here she shows how fall doesn’t have to mean orange — I love those little green pumpkins. You can evoke the season without having to use the vibrant hue traditionally associated with the season.
On this table, you have wood, glass, seersucker, greenery and rattan. Imitate Courtney’s approach to create lots of depth and different surfaces.
Any decoration can become cliché when you go to the extreme. You want it to complement, not overpower. Lighter touches are typically more flattering and less tacky.
When designing your tablescape, blend decorative pieces with your table settings. The additional details are an excellent way to create a table to be remembered. Select objects that support the overall theme of your table. Layer napkins, chargers and plates to create that texture we crave.
Susan Beckwith and designer, Courtney James
The cake was made by local baker, Amanda Stockton, owner of Cake Me Away.