10 Ideas for Easy Fall Entertaining

With crisp weather, school back in session and farm stands brimming with produce, fall is a great time to nurture community with a cozy gathering in your home. But since fall also tends to be a busy season, it helps to have a few back-pocket tips you can rely on to make any gathering feel extra-special without a lot of fuss. Here are 10 can-do ideas for fall parties.
1. Go Big With Mood Lighting

With the right lighting, your guests will walk in and immediately feel at ease, which means that you can relax about some other party elements (like fancy food) and no one is likely to even notice. And while it took the homeowners a day to put up the 300 feet of string lights shown here, it’s a set-it-and-forget-it task that’s bound to serve them well for parties throughout the fall and winter. If you don’t want to go quite so big, even a few strands of lights over the party space can make a big impression.

2. Be Generous With Warm Throws

The next time you spy cozy throw blankets on sale, consider picking up a few extras. Beyond sofas and armchairs, throws can add a welcoming touch to the front porch, back deck or dining chairs.

When you’re not hosting, extras can be folded and draped over a decorative wooden ladder to add color and texture to a blank wall.

Margaret Wright Photography
3. Get Your Decor From the Farm Stand

Shop for party food and decor in one swoop by scooping up farm stand apples, pomegranates or nuts in the shell to use as centerpieces. Placed in a pretty wooden bowl, any of these seasonal finds can easily stand in for (or complement) the usual flowers.

Hado Photo
4. Embrace Platter Food

Think fresh fruit, nuts, cheeses and charcuterie — but also meatballs, roast chicken, veggies, dips, spreads and anything else you have on hand or spy at the market on your way home. When all these little things are arrayed on big platters or boards, they look beautiful and bountiful yet require little of you aside from choosing and arranging. Of course, if you want to cook, do it! But know that slaving in the kitchen all afternoon is not the only option.

Lavender & Lotus Interior Design
5. Welcome Guests Into the Kitchen

When the first guests arrive, instead of directing them to the (empty) living room and then abandoning them to finish your prepping, invite them to perch at the kitchen counter and hand them a glass of wine or a mug of hot cider. It feels welcoming and cozy, and once enough people have arrived, you can let the group spill into the other space.

Laura Gaskill

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