On a normal Thanksgiving Day, you can find the temperature in Atlanta quite comfortable and just warm enough to entertain your guest outdoors. Since Fall is characterized by cozy sweaters, campfires and the blazing autumn explosion of colors with the changing leaves, I figured, “Why not celebrate what nature provides as a beautiful backdrop to my rustic Thanksgiving dinner!”

Using items directly from or directly inspired by nature lend a rustic and elegantly casual setting to the table. Photography courtesy of Sara Hanna Photography.

I placed acorns inside ordinary hurricanes, tied place cards to pine cones, added horn silverware and bark-covered votives, all as a not to Nature and to the season.

If you don’t have enough chairs to accommodate a large party, improvise! I used bales of hay for seating and added chambray bed sheets as a comfortable buffer.

When scale, proportion, textures and elements are mixed, it looks curated and collected, which lends charm, complexity, and warmth. The beautifully rustic and speckled charger, Lastra white dinner plate and gray salad plate and white handled bowl by Vietri made for delightfully inviting place setting.

The bar is the first place people go.  Even if it’s self-service, make it fit the atmosphere you’ve created. A pumpkin makes for a quirky and seasonal beverage bucket. I used a rich leather tray and candle holder by Ralph Lauren to hold the glasses (ready to be filled with a delicious bourbon cocktail) because they remind me of leather boots – one of my favorite fall fashions.

Don’t be afraid to mix old and new, high and low. It turns out stadium blankets make the perfect table topper. I’ve even been known to use shower curtains as outdoor table cloths!

For your Thanksgiving floral arrangement, nature provides everything you’ll need – as long as you have clippers. Also use what you already have and make it work to fit your theme. Here, a plain clay flower pot received a makeover with wrapped twin and a really good hot glue gun!

The key to unifying a table is keeping elements together that a similar feel. These pewter mugs by by Juliska add just a bit of formality while still fitting with the rustic themes. And you just have to love those wonderful Sferra cocktail napkins!