Pieces of Autumn 2012 ~ Dining Room

My dining room. I love it.

Sadly though, it’s hardly ever used.

For many years I hosted our holiday family gatherings. Now my in-laws have passed away and my mom can no longer leave her home. That means we have our get-togethers over there. When my kids are home, they prefer more casual dining. Outside or in front of our big TV. (I know what you’re thinking…how awful. Honestly, it’s really sort of fun.)

So there sits my lovely dining room.

Empty. Lonely. Sad.

So this past weekend I decided to spruce it up a bit. I cleared all the junk off the table. I dusted every nook and cranny. I decked the table out with a new table runner and the best fall display I could come up with.

I saw these toile pumpkins at Hobby Lobby weeks ago. I would pass by them. Stop and pick them up.

Then I’d put them down.

I kept thinking I could make them. How hard could it be?

Then I would think what a great blog post it would be if I actually did make them myself.

Well, so that didn’t happen.

I picked them up for the last time the other day and put them in my cart.

I used my new pumpkins along with a piece of drift wood from Lake Erie to bring my poor, sad dining room back to life.

It really does feel good to have this room clean and freshened up. Even if no one appreciates it but me.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Ann, I will be MORE than happy to come and keep your stunning Fall dining room company! The toile pumpkins are gorgeous (and glad that you finally put them in your cart before someone else did). The driftwood is a great addition, too. And, we sometimes eat in front of the TV, too … doesn’t matter where you eat, as long as you’re together, right? :)

  2. Ann, I love what you’ve done on the table in your pretty dining room. I would give anything to have a dining room of that size! I would ENJOY entertaining if I did. When I have my son and his wife with their two kids over, I have to put the kids at the breakfast bar. There just isn’t room for them around my tiny table, which is all that fits in that room.
    I am thinking of moving a table into my sunroom and move my office out, I don’t use it anymore anyway. It’s not possible to have the perfect house that fits all of our needs at any given time, is there.
    Hugs, Cindy

  3. Such a beautiful dining room! I love your pumpkins. Megan

  4. I have the same sad lonely dining room. Thanks for sharing! I love the pumpkins from Hobby Lobby. Hopefully they have some left!

  5. Kathy Moody says:

    Absolutely beautiful! The perfect fall setting! :)

  6. Tammy @ A Walk in the Countryside says:

    Your dining room is beautiful! I love the toile pumpkins!!

  7. You are so funny Ann. Your dining room is lovely. I totally understand. We hardly use our indoor dining room any more, but the one on the back porch, we use all of the time. Love your new pillow buttons on your blog!!

  8. Hi Ann, I saw the pumpkins at Hobby Lobby too. Very pretty!

  9. Glenda Childers says:

    So pretty.

    Have you ever thought of making your dining room a library/reading room? My brother turned theirs in to a library/office and they use it all the time.


  10. The driftwood is such a unique and pretty accent for your fall table! And I love the toile pumpkins! I toyed with buying some too, but have resisted …so far! After seeing how pretty they look on your table, my resistance is slipping! ha! :) Hope you do get to enjoy your beautifully set table!

  11. I’m with you Ann! On several fronts: We hardly ever use our dining room and there’s no way I would EVER get around to making those pumpkins! Your dining room looks lovely!

  12. Hi Ann,

    Your dining room is beautiful! There is no reason at all not to enjoy your dining room everyday. Maybe have a cup of tea there or invite over some of your neighbors to enjoy your decorations. I love your decor and the pumpkins are so pretty.

  13. Ann, our dining room isn’t used either which is probably normally the case for most. Mine won’t be used again until next Christmas probably. I love those pumpkins you got and they probably would have been harder than you think to make since they aren’t a smooth surface.

  14. 1. Love, love, love what you did with the images and your social icons!
    2. So glad to know I’m not the only one having “To DIY, or not to DIY?” conversations with myself about cute retail items.
    3. Nice photography.


  15. It looks beautiful! Whether homemade or store bought, in the end it’s how one puts things together that determines the beauty of a setting or vignette.

  16. Your dining room centerpiece is beautiful! Those toile pumpkins are fabulous!

  17. Pamela Gordon says:

    Ann, your table centerpiece looks lovely. I like that you used a piece of driftwood and of course the berries really add to it. We use our dining room for every meal as it’s open to the living room and off the kitchen. We have a tv in the living room so we can watch it while we eat unless we have company. Enjoy the rest of the week! Pamela

  18. Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads says:

    Ann, I love that piece of driftwood on your table. And who needs to modpodge pumpkins when you can find them so beautifully decorated? We use our dining table all the time because we do not have an eating area in our kitchen. But it’s pine so I usually set it casually. When we lived in a neighborhood, I started a supper club with 5 other couples. Nothing formal, but I even came up with a rotation calender for who would host and what each guest would bring each month such as appetizer, bread, vegetable, etc. It was so much fun and we all looked forward to it monthly.

  19. Ann, it is such a lovely space and the table decor is simple and elegant. Love the pumpkins, that was a great choice. Sorry if I have missed some of your posts, must be you have changed somethings and now in my reader you just show up as a header, no pics, or texts. I just discovered it today. Has anyone else mentioned it??

  20. I would love to have a dining room that never gets used just so I could set up tablescapes and leave them! I’m glad you bought the toile pumpkins, they are SO pretty! The driftwood is a nice piece, too, it adds interest and texture. Lovely table runner, did you make it?

    Enjoy your clean, decorated room. Wow, your table is so shiny! :)


  21. Suburban Princess says:

    My dining table is currently the HQ for my business – with Thanksgiving coming in about 2 weeks I need to get that take care of! Fortunately the Danish exchange student is so excited about TG she is coming the day before to help me decorate and set the table etc. In the meantime I need to find a place to run my business!

    Hope you are having a lovely day!

  22. Anne ~ what a great fall display on your dining room table. Love the toile pumpkins and I never thought about using a piece of drift wood from Lake Erie. I happen to be about 1 km away. I think I’ll have to go down and see what I can find ~ thanks for the inspiration. Have a great day

  23. Love the “new” look. Looks great and I am in love with the toile pumpkins as well. I have looked at them myself but just like you, keep walking by…..maybe they will jump into my cart :)

  24. I love the tablescape! I may have to go on line to Hobby Lobby, we don’t have one around here. I love the casual living now. We downsized and it is so much easier entertaining.

  25. Love the toile pumpkins! I too am the only one who appreciates my dining room, it is used a few times a year since it is just my husband and I. But it is one of the reason I bought the house and I adore it so. It does feel good to freshen it up.

  26. Very, very pretty Ann! I love those pumpkins ~ unique aren’t they? Enjoy your dining room…take a break and go in there and have some coffee or tea and dessert.


  27. Ann, it is just lovely. Love the pumpkins, I haven;t gotten to Hobby Lobby but they are adorable! You did a great job on dusting off the dining room and if nobody enjoys it but you, it was certainly worth the effort! ENJOY!

  28. I saw those pumpkins in Hobby Lobby, and I love them, too. I am glad you got them, Ann. Your centerpiece looks great. I know what. Certain things I do around the house make me feel happy.

  29. Mary Alice Patterson says:

    Your table’s fall centerpiece is gorgeous. I LOVE the way you incorporated the piece of driftwood into the mix.
    Mary Alice

  30. Lovely table! Even if you never use that space anymore, we all appreciate it! ;)

  31. Katie @ Wildwood Creek says:

    Love the pumpkins and the natural elements in the vignette!

  32. Ann,

    I love those pumpkins, they are so pretty. I really like that urn and use of the berries is warm and welcoming.


  33. Jill Flory says:

    Those pumpkins are really lovely! Love the driftwood added to the tablescape too :) Great job – maybe now you will use the dining room more.

  34. Robin @ happilyhomeafter.blogspot.com says:

    Ann, Its really ironic to me how most folks don’t use a formal dining room but how from a real estate selling perspective, the notion remains that a family house needs a “formal” dining room. Go figure. Two years ago we decided to turn our used once annually (really) dining room into an office and relocate the dining function to a more centrally located area in the house. Huge difference. The old dining room that we hated is a perfect office used many hours daily. We use the dining area nightly, albeit informally, and love it, so much we wanted to pull the decor together a bit more there and I’m working on that now. I sense a remorse / sadness in your tone about not using your loved dining room and hope that you’ll find a way, maybe just for yourself, to enjoy the room more, like having your lunch or snack there. A used room is easier to use, and perhaps if others see you enjoying it, they’ll want to enjoy it with you.

  35. Turned out beautiful! You and your hubby need a date night in that room….special Sunday meal or something!

  36. Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers says:

    Your table display looks great! Love those pumpkins and that driftwood. We do use our dining room a lot. Not because of family gatherings, but we entertain a lot. Of course in this rental house, our formal dining room furniture is in the basement, because there is no formal dining room here. I am looking forward to getting into my own home again!

  37. Ann your dining room looks beautiful! I appreciate it and love seeing it! Your fall display looks wonderful!

  38. shirley@housepitality designs says:

    Ann, your dining room is beautiful…and love the pumpkin…sometimes it is best to buy things and move on to doing things you love….I love, love your centerpiece vignette….I turned my large breakfast area into a sunroom/keeping room and we use our dining room which is really close to the kitchen every day….before this house, we never used our dining room, but with the layout this house, it was the perfect situation….Have a wonderful week Ann!!

  39. Anne Boykin says:

    Hi Ann, Your dining room looks lovely. Mine doesn’t get much use either but I always feel good after I clean it and decorate for fall!

  40. Keeping it Cozy says:

    So pretty! Isn’t that the great thing about a blog… you can share your dining room with us and we’ll appreciate it! I love the driftwood and the toile pumpkins. Sometimes it’s just easier and cheaper to buy something instead of making it! I also noticed your beautiful table runner… the plaid is so perfect for the season! Hope you have a great week.

  41. We rarely use the dining room. I usually serve from the kitchen island. Casual and fun! My girls are beginning to take up hosting family gatherings at their homes. I am enjoying!:-)

    I love the runner and your table arrangement, Ann. The toile pumpkins are wonderful! I haven’t visited Hobby Lobby in a long time. Should stop by soon.

  42. Yvonne @ StoneGable says:

    Anne, you are so wrong! I appreciate your dining room and so does any lucky person who comes across this post! I do know what you mean about having a big house all to yourself! Lots of rattling around and unused rooms!
    Your runner is so festive… and I love the pumpkin! Better you keep sewing all your masterpieces than mod podge a pumpkin!
    Your fall table is stunning!

  43. Ricki Jill Treleaven says:

    I know what you mean about dining rooms. Yours looks so pretty, and I love the driftwood paired with your runner! :D I keep our dining room pretty because it opens directly to my art studio.

    Your pumpkins are so elegant and pretty!!!


  44. I love the design on the pumpkins! Everything looks great!

  45. Love your Fall gathering on the dining room table…so pretty!!
    I so know the feeling of not using all the rooms in your home once the children move out. Our family room used to be the gathering place when the girls were little, but now that it is just the 2 of us…we are usually in the living room watching tv and eating dinner in there. Our dining room is only used at the holidays…I do try to keep the table decorated since it is open to our living room and kitchen.

  46. When the nest became empty I started doing things differently. We always ate in the diningroom…….and since it was the only time of day we were all together while the children were growing up there was one rule. No phone calls between 6 & 7pm. After the kids were gown and I had a little more time the finer linens came out along with the china, silver and crystal. We still do the same routine……coffee at the table after dinner & lots of chat. We also have a new pattern now…..every week we alternate coffee and dessert with two other couples and we all make it a special occasion.

  47. A sign of the times, everything is more casual now. In some ways, it’s good though…we can do an easy dinner and everyone has more fun. I’m planning a special shrimp gumbo for the Oct. 3 debate. I’ll have some pumpkins here and there, but we will DEFINITELY eat in front of the TV!

    1. Carmie H. says:

      I love this idea Susan! I may just plan one myself!!! Thanks for sharing!

  48. Very nice table display. I am so happy you decided to dust everything off in your lovely dining room and make a
    Pretty Fall display. Love the desin pumpkins. Why not start doing dinner with friends. I always enjoy doing that.