Thanksgiving is the one holiday when the table is the centerpiece of the festivities. Take some time to set your table, preferably the night before, so everything is in place and you won’t stress about it while attending to all the last minute tasks (making gravy!) required to pull off the perfect Thanksgiving.
Start with linens, if you plan to use them. A simple tablecloth can easily do the trick, or you might opt for a runner. Here I spread a roll of brown Kraft paper down my table, and added a gold runner on top. A less formal approach like this allows the natural wood of the table to show through, which can be especially gorgeous contrasted with creamy white or ivory plates. Stick with fall hues like gold, rust, brown, beige and dark green when choosing linens like tablecloths and napkins.
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Once your foundation is ready, gather your dishware, stemware and flatware. This is the time to pull out your grandmother’s china or silver, or use the formal set you registered for when you got married. It’s perfectly acceptable to mix and match styles, patterns and quality here. Go ahead and pair simple water goblets with crystal wine glasses, and plates from a big-box store with antique silver. This creates an eclectic look that feels authentic and at the same time honors the past. I used a modern, square, white plate topped with a gold-rimmed piece of wedding china and my grandmother’s antique silver flatware that she accumulated piece by piece over the years. I used a melamine set by John Derian for the bread plates. Even though the pieces are a combination of old and new, the overall look is cohesive.
Two rules of thumb for decorating your table are to keep the centerpieces and décor low, and the candles unscented. For my table, I spray painted gourds and mini pumpkins a high gloss white to make them look like ceramic. I also spray painted ears of dried corn, pine cones and tiny pumpkins we sell by the scoop at Pottery World a rich, metallic gold to scatter along my runner. I popped white, unscented candles in mercury glass votives so that nothing will compete with the delicious smell of turkey and sage stuffing!
A great way to involve children or grandchildren in Thanksgiving preparations is to put them in charge of setting out place cards. You can get creative and make your own. Here I used a spray-painted pine cone and some cardstock. Other DIY ideas include writing guest’s names on painted clothespins; dried leaves; or small, glittered pumpkins . Our Warm Fall Wishes Pinterest board has tons of other great ideas for place cards and more.
Thanksgiving is about enjoying great food with family and friends and creating lasting memories. Spend some time crafting the perfect backdrop for this gathering by setting a welcoming table for your guests.