Creating a lovely Thanksgiving table setting doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive. With a little bit of attention to detail you can give your guests a lovely autumnal dining experience they won’t soon forget.
I’ve found the following tips useful when planning my decorations. Getting creative and trying new ideas each year has become one of my favorite things about this holiday.
The sky’s the limit for you table’s centerpiece; the only requirement is that you celebrate the season. I find an array of gourds always makes a nice starting point. Go heavy on the pumpkins for that bright splash of orange. Add some smaller fruit of other colors, like pears and apples, and an array of autumn leaves to add a little visual interest to the mix.
It never fails to go with the logical choices for a fall feast: orange, yellow, tan, brown, crimson. But don’t limit yourself; a splash of purple or gold can fit right in and really liven things up. Flowers and candles in an array of red, orange, and yellow are easy to find and add an immediate sophisticated beauty to the room.
Let your creative juices flow. A fun project is using small pumpkins as place cards at the table; just tie an elegantly lettered nametag onto the step of each little gourd with a red ribbon or a length of twine. Other ideas include dressing up each table setting with a red napkin, a single pear, a fall leaf, or little wooden acorn. The world is your oyster on this one.
Texture and fabrics
You can create a lot of subtle beauty with the fabrics you choose, adding a wonderful array of textures to the table. Try dressing things up with burlap, gold ribbon, red velvet, or beige linen. Place mats can be put to work in this regard—woven mats made from natural materials can give an earthy, autumnal look to the meal.
Add some flair
It’s easy to make your table a typical Thanksgiving scene—red and yellow flowers flanked with ivory pillar candles, an orange napkin beside each plate. Very nice, but, excuse me while I yawn. It’s nice to see something a little different—black-and-white striped place cards, silver salad plates, a glass bowl of salted caramels wrapped in parchment paper as part of the centerpiece. Little surprises like this will make your table—and the meal eaten at it—into something special.