Friday, November 4, 2011

A Guide For Planning Your Thanksgiving Table

Image: Southern Living
Now that Halloween is behind us, it is time to start planning for your Thanksgiving celebrations. This will be the first year that we are staying home for Thanksgiving and hosting a small dinner of our own. While I am looking forward to helping plan the menu (my husband and I will be sharing cooking duties), the thought of setting and decorating the table and our house is what really gets my heart fluttering. I have been looking for decoration ideas, inspiration, and tips to make our first Thanksgiving at home a memorable one. While I haven't made any final decorating decisions, I thought that I would share a few of my favorites tips and ideas for dressing your table this Thanksgiving.

To start off, I found this great diagram on how to properly set a formal dining table. It's always nice to have a reference to go to when you can't quite remember whether the soup spoon goes beside the dinner knife or on the other side of the teaspoon. Martha Stewart also offers some table setting tips, here.

Next, decide how you are going to dress your table.  Table linens serve as an important base for building the rest of your table on and offer an opportunity to introduce color. For a bold holiday table, vibrant reds, oranges, and browns can be used to create an autumn scene. If you prefer a more simple, understated table, select neutral linens (think browns and creams) as a base and add color with your accessories.

Image: Williams-Sonoma
Now it is time to accessorize, be creative, and add a personal touch to your table. Layer items (placemats, plates, napkins) to add depth to your table. Add color with natural items, such as flowers, pumpkins, leaves, and acorns and/or decorative items, such as candles, serving pieces, and sentimental pieces that reflect the season and add character to your table.

Image: Pottery Barn
Put your placecards to work. Not only do they add a personal touch, but they can serve a decorative purpose as well. This is another chance to be creative. Mini pumpkins, leaves, fruit, and acorns are just a few natural props that you can use to showcase your placecards and guide guest to their place at the table.

Image: Better Homes and Gardens

Image: Apron Strings Aflutter
Inspired yet? I hope so. Have any great Thanksgiving decorating ideas? I would love to hear from you.


  1. I suspect you'll pull off a great Thanksgiving decorated to the nines...because that's how you roll!

  2. It is nice to see traditional table settings, though wondering if this is an american style setting. I was always taught in Australia that we adhered to Swiss Finishing school standards where the bread and butter plate went to the left of the food service.