Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays: It combines a few of our favorite things: Family & friends, great food & wine, and designing a beautiful tablescape! Read on as we share 10 tips for creating a beautiful Thanksgiving table top and shop the post here:
10 Tips to Create a Beautiful Thanksgiving Tabletop
1 Give it Some Height
Think vertically. You have a large flat surface to decorate, and you’ll want to add some dimension by thinking vertically. Select floral arrangements and containers to house them in that fill the airspace, but be cognizant they don’t obstruct the view of the person sitting across the table. Another way to increase height is with bowls and wine/champagne buckets and/or candle holders.
2 Think Outside Traditional Fall Decor
We love a holiday decor scheme that deviates from the expected: Rather than a collection of orange pumpkins, consider spending some time painting them an elegant white for a monochromatic tablescape or something funkier if you’re designing a more casual get together the way Living with Landyn did:
3 Soften Hard, Flat Surfaces
From the table and chairs to the chandeliers and place settings, dining rooms are full of edges and hard surfaces. To create a more welcoming environment you’ll actually want to entertain in, find any place you can to add soft elements: Window treatments, rugs, and on the tabletop: cloth napkins, placemats, table runner and/or tablecloth. Which brings us to our next point…
4 Layer Up Your Thanksgiving Table!
We started hinting at this in our point above: Great design, even minimalism, is all about deliberate layering. Should you go with a tablecloth or a runner? Why not both? Consider contrasting fabrics (one softer, one rougher) in complimentary or similar colors for an elegant, monochromatic look that still softens and warms.
5 Lighting Scheme
Dim that chandelier and let your table top glisten! Make your table sparkle with some candles which can double both as decor and task lighting. We’d recommend opting for unscented candles of varying height which will contribute to the aesthetic and function of the table without distracting from the aromas of your yummy Thanksgiving spread. Pro Designer Tip: Include multiple glasses and ideally some crystal pieces which will look beautiful against the candle light.
6 Which Food Items Go on the Table?
Are you serving everything from the table or do you have a separate buffet set up? That is something to determine ahead of time and design your tabletop around what food and drink items are going to live on the table vs. those that won’t. This will keep your Thanksgiving tabletop beautiful and prevent your table from becoming too cluttered.
7 Place Settings & Flatware
Ok finally, we’re addressing the main focus of the table: place settings and flatware. This is obviously a personal and easily customizable category, with endless options, but if we can make we few suggestions… Pro Designer Tip: We’re fans of uniform place settings, rather than the bohemian mix-matched look. Another thing we’d recommend is not feeling obligated to set a full place setting — if everyone isn’t really going to use two forks, for example, why put them out? Save yourself time doing dishes later! Shop some of our favorite dishware sets:
8 Personal Touches Around Your Thanksgiving Table
If you’re entertaining a lot of people around your Thanksgiving table, personalized touches will be greatly appreciated. Find a cute set of namecards to put at the head of each place setting, or make your own! Another fun and functional personal touch is finding a good set of wine rings or glasses with mini chalkboards on them so everyone can identify their glass.
9 Focus On the Food
Ahh the main event! The turkey! The cranberry sauce! As much as we love color, we’re fans of monochromatic decor and place settings on a Thanksgiving table so as not to distract from what we’re really all here for: the food. So keep your color palette simple. Pro Designer Tip: Give an all-white table some texture and a rustic touch with a jute table runner.
10 Think About the Full Picture
Think about the rest of the environment that will help make your Thanksgiving table the centerpiece of the action. Curate a rockin’ playlist of background music your guests will love and have a stash of boxes for guests to take home leftovers when the night ends.