The easiest start to a dramatic tablescape is to create high contrast with a dark tablecloth. I used a deep navy that instantly makes white plates, serving bowls, and taper candles pop.
I always like to add an unexpected accent color to my table, and inexpensive plastic chargers are a staple. They're super easy to spray-paint, allowing you to add just enough of a fun color. (PS: I sprayed these a plum color, taking a cue from some cabbages I used in my centerpiece.)
Groupings of items, especially in the same color, can carry a big punch when it comes to decorating for the holidays -- or anytime. To create this centerpiece, I used a collection of candleholders bunched tightly together. Look around your home for items you could use in a similar grouping, such as brass candlesticks, milk glass, or small vases.
Adding fresh greenery or florals to your table doesn't have to be pricey. For fall tables, I like to shop my grocery's produce section and incorporate colorful cabbages or fruits. Here, I added some deep red cabbage leaves to a small cabbage plant and mixed in a few wisteria branches from our yard. (Don't have a small vase handy? I used white milk glass goblets, but you could use something as simple as a pretty glass.)
To keep your table from getting overcrowded, you might consider extending your tablescape by setting up a small serving station. You don't even need a formal server: A bar cart or small chest will work for holding extra serving dishes or setting up a coffee bar. Continue the colors in your table setting by incorporating a piece of art leaned up against the wall or by popping a colorful mum into a planter.
For more table details and source information, visit my blog.