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How to Set an Unforgettable Thanksgiving Table

West Elm Holiday Table
Photo: west elm

The color palette, the centerpiece, the place settings — all three are key to creating a holiday tablescape your guests can’t help but Instagram. Whether you’re planning on decking your table with vintage pieces you use year after year, or are in the market for something new, we’ve got you covered with ideas from some of our favorite entertaining experts:

Thanksgiving table

The style pros at west elm

west elm’s top tip: Get creative with your place settings. “Pick a color palette, then let variation inspire your tabletop. Play with patterns, scale, and alternative napkin placement for a casual and eclectic look.”

Whole Foods Market has teamed up with west elm and Guatemalan textile group, The New Denim Project on a collection of cotton table linens and accessories (shown above) made with upcycled denim. $1 of each item purchased benefits Whole Planet Foundation, helping alleviate poverty in Guatemala and around the world. (Available in Whole Foods Market stores and online at westelm.com.)

Festive table
Photo: Eva Kosmes Flores

Eva Kosmes Flores, freelance photographer, cookbook author, and creator of the blog Adventures in Cooking

Eva’s top tip: “Try to incorporate as many natural elements as possible when creating a tablescape. Things like branches, or snowberries in the winter; squash, fall leaves or fresh pears and apples in the fall.”

 

Festive table
Photo: Julie Blanner

Julie Blanner, entertaining expert and designer; see more at JulieBlanner.com

Julie’s top tip: It’s ok to go minimal. “Even for an intimate group of guests, I add the extra table leaves, so we have additional serving space. There’s plenty of room for a pitcher of water, a basket of rolls and a bottle of wine.”


Photo: Christiann Koepke

Christiann Koepke, a Portland-based photographer, stylist, recipe developer and author behind the popular blog, ChristiannKoepke.com. Follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.

Christiann's top tip: "I always style keeping tones, textures, the setting and season in mind when I plan. For instance when it's Autumn, I'll play around with neutrals, sage, light orange or burgundy and how I style the table will depend on if my dinner is going to be indoors or out. Of course the food planning is crucial, and that entirely depends on what sort of experience I want to create. If it's a crisp eventing oudoors, I'll want to serve something hearty, warm and inviting and the design elements come through that."

festive table
Photo: jophotoonline.com

Heather Greene, designer owner and creative voice behind the blog The Bride Link

Heather’s top tip: “Give your guests something they can't get anywhere else — make them feel special!  An individual painted pumpkin at each setting in a sorbet dish is great way to make each guest feel special and at the end of the meal and they can each leave with a cute, personalized piece. Baked items are also a great way to give your guests something great — homemade or store bought is fine. 

Thanksgiving table setting
Photo: Kelly Gray

Kelly Gray, traditional design aficionado and creator of the blog Talk of the House

Kelly’s top tip: “A simple tag, hand lettered with ‘give thanks’ (or the names of your guests) tied onto silverware with ribbon or twine is the final easy touch for a special holiday table. If lettering is a challenge, try printing the tags out on cardstock using your choice of fonts.”

For even more holiday inspiration — including a chance to win groceries for a year for you and a friend — check out our #MyHolidayTradish headquarters. (Full rules here.)

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