Thanksgiving is around the corner and the holiday season is almost here! It’s finally safe for those of us who’ve been eagerly waiting to dust off the decorations and unleash our inner Martha.
My friend Alessandro and I have been bookmarking Thanksgiving recipes and pinning décor ideas all year long. This year, we will be co-hosting a Friendsgiving dinner, and aside from the menu, our main focus is setting the table in style.
This is something that, all too often, people get anxious about; so I’ve put together a few tips that will help you up your décor game and leave your guests with a memorable dining experience.
Start with a theme
Is there a favorite table cloth you love to use? Are you a huge fan of pumpkins? This is where you can build a foundation for rest of the table. Here are some ideas:
Decorate with dried branches and leaves to bring a bit of nature and fall colors inside
Cover your table with fresh, seasonal produce like artichokes, pears, arranged cabbage or kale leaves, or winter squash (bonus: you can eat them afterwards)
Choose a few colors to set a dramatic tone for the table. Deep red pomegranates, dark green leaves and small white pumpkins pair well for a killer color contrast
Use height to your advantage
Throughout the year Alessandro’s been collecting cake stands when he’s seen them on sale or at thrift shops. He now has them in a variety shapes, colors, diameters and heights.
He’s taught me that that placing items on the table at various heights can add visual excitement and depth to an otherwise boring tablescape. For example:
Let cakes and pies stand proud on pedestals
Place tall candles next to shorter ones
Create asymmetry across the table for an elegant look that isn’t too stuffy
Mix and match
You don’t need a 12-piece matching set of fine china to create a classy holiday table.
Mix and match dishes, glasses, and silverware for added variety and character. Pair old with new for a whimsical touch. If you don’t have quite what you need, make a quick trip to your local thrift store; you’ll be surprised at what you find.
Making or repurposing decorations is inexpensive, sustainable and a great way to involve the kids.
Wrap mason jars with hemp twine for an added rustic touch
Use butcher paper as placemats and decorate them with DIY leaf stamps
Fold small sheets of cardstock into “table tents”, and handwrite each guest’s name for every place setting, add any artistic elements you want
Do like Alessandro and commission your family friend in Italy to hand-crochet small felt acorns that will adorn the table (okay, maybe this one is a stretch).
Don’t forget to enjoy the whole process. Your décor doesn’t have to be perfect when it’s made in the spirit of celebrating Thanksgiving and the holidays. Isn’t the reason we put countless hours into picking out recipes, cooking amazing food, and setting a beautiful holiday table is to simply create a warm, welcoming place for friends and family to come and spend time together?
What are your favorite ideas for decking out your Thanksgiving or holiday table?