I have such a love affair with the seasons. I suppose it's because I love how they force us to change perspective. They give me something to look forward to, to drum up nostalgia, and to build memories around. In my youth, I would have said I was a summer person through and through, but fall has been growing on me in a big way over the past few years.

Thanksgiving, and all the entertaining that surrounds that holiday, definitely has a lot to do with that little change of heart. It's all the things I love about the holidays (and entertaining in general) wrapped up in one sweet little soiree, and it doesn't hurt that the decor surrounding this sweet holiday is encouraged to be as cozy as they come. Pier 1 is always one of my go-to stops for tablescaping, so I'm thrilled to join forces with them to share my rules of thumb for easy yet elegant harvest decorating.

Now, I'm here to say that harvest decorating doesn't have to be your standard traditional affair or an over the top turkey-fest. You can think outside of the box with a more elegant approach and still make Norman Rockwell proud. How you ask?

1. Keep it simple. This is my number one rule for everything, but it definitely applies to a harvest table. The focus should always be on the comfort and ease of your guests, so be careful not to go overboard with your decor. You want your company to be able to easily interact with each other, so just say no to super high centerpieces. Pumpkins are a perfect (and affordable) addition to your table!

2. Forage where possible and layer in texture. I love to bring the outdoors to my indoor tables all year long, but the harvest season might be my all time favorite time to get outside for decor inspiration. And don't think that means you have to stick to the standard autumnal palette! No siree. Think outside the box a bit, and look to mother nature to be your pantone color guide. Then layer in texture with your decor, these chargers and napkin rings couldn't be more perfect for that if they tried.

3. Go Monochrome. So how do you bring in that warm autumn feeling on a more elegant level? Go monochrome. Or, just pull your inspiration from a calmer palette. Pick a few colors to work with and then run from there. It will help rein in your choices, and will enviably make things all jive together. The gray dinnerware and these textured utensils were the perfect compliments to the more natural approach taken with this table.

4. Serve up a seasonal cocktail. I make sure to start every soiree with a signature cocktail for my guests, and there is nothing more cozy than a warm apple cider served in a seasonal mug to start a festive harvest evening. Bonus points? It makes your house smell amazing, so your party will appeal to all of your guests' senses the minute they walk in the door!

5. Make your guests feel cozy. Although decor will make your party look amazing, your guests are what will ultimately make the evening memorable. So sprinkle in little touches throughout the event to make them feel extra special. Easy tasks like assigning place cards (I love these chalkboard ones), adding a cozy blanket to their chair or serving their favorite wine goes a long way. It will give your guests a lot to be thankful for.

Whatever you do, keep in mind entertaining should always be fun. The minute you start to stress out is the minute you should take a step back (and pour yourself a glass of wine). xo, Abby

To read more from Abby, visit her website abbycapalbo.com.