THE BLOG
09/25/2014 08:08 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Creative Entertaining: Cozy Autumn Dinners

As summer slipped away this week, the air is crisp and the leaves are falling, it's the perfect time of year to entertain at home with friends over some hearty and delicious comfort foods.

Entertaining doesn't have to be timely, expensive or fancy. Here are 10 tips to keep it simple yet sophisticated this season. And watch Creative Entertaining: Dinner at the Farm for more suggestions:

1. Lighting is key - Dim the lights and use candles, and lots of them. It instantaneously sets a more relaxed and chill mood.

2. Guest list - The perfect guest list is a mix of personalities. Go for a trio of interesting, intellect and crazy; this always strikes the perfect balance.

3. Get seasonal - Use the produce of the season for cooking and table decor. Fall pumpkins, gourds, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and cranberries are delicious and attractive.

4. Color coordinate - The majestic fall leaves should serve as your inspiration for table decor; yellows, reds, oranges with a touch of gold are the perfect mix of vibrant and warm.

5. Mix and match - Don't fret if you don't have a set of matching vases or candle holders; rustic chic is the look of the season, so go with it.

6. Household objects - Jars, vases, glasses and other household objects can serve multiple purposes. Use jars as vases, glasses as candle holders and vases to hold apples for a simple yet beautiful centerpiece.

7. Just roast it - Close up the summertime BBQ; roasting is what it's all about this season. Roasting enhances the flavor of meat and vegetables through caramelization. Nothing is more simple, than dressing up your dish with olive oil and spices and letting the oven do the work.

8. Spice it up - Use the season's spices for everything from welcome cocktails, to appetizers and dinner to dessert. Cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg are all great choices.

9. Centerpiece - Don't fret about a formal floral arrangement. Just walk outside and look around. A bucket of apples, some branches and leaves, a bowl of cranberries, anything seasonal can serve as a beautiful table top centerpiece.

10. Get Creative - Dress up the ordinary. Table top necessities such as salt and pepper can be displayed in just about anything, try a walnut shell by simply cutting it lengthwise.

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