Hosting Thanksgiving? Top Interior Designers Share Their Tips

Jonathan Steinitz

Hosting Thanksgiving can be intimidating. This isn’t your everyday dinner party; Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with signature dishes to serve, extended family to impress, and large groups to entertain. But fret not: We’ve got your back. While some of your friends will be busy preventing Pinterest fails, you’ll be setting the right tone for the holiday, creating a comfy, cozy home environment for catching up with the fam and setting a perfectly festive fall tablescape for a delicious dinner. How? We asked top interior design tastemakers to weigh in on how to get your kitchen, dining room, and the rest of the home ready for Turkey Day. And because we know that holidays are never just about the food, these decorating tips will give you and all your guests something to be thankful for.

Check out what five interior design experts had to say when we asked them to dish on hosting the perfect Thanksgiving dinner.

Make a Festive First Impression

First impressions matter, so why not kick off your Thanksgiving entertaining with a striking entryway? Try bringing a little bit of the outdoors in and greeting your guests with a natural, fall-inspired moment. “Nothing says fall more than the color of changing leaves, so gather some tree branches from the garden and create a large-scale arrangement,” suggests Joshua Greene of New York–based interior design duo Hernandez Greene. “The branches look like sculpture and are grander than a typical flower arrangement: the perfect impact for an entry table.”

Crate and Barrel Palmetto 24" Vase ($50)

Create a Warm, Modern Vibe

PHOTO:

Tessa Neustadt; DESIGN: Orlando Soria

Homepolish Creative Director Orlando Soria recommends giving your Thanksgiving table a warm, inviting feeling to capture the true spirit of the holiday. “Creating a warm Thanksgiving tablescape is all about layering,” he notes. “For my table, I started with neutral placemats, added woven chargers, and topped it off with natural elements including pumpkins, pinecones, and celebratory crackers.” Soria balanced more-traditional décor with modern touches for an eclectic, current take on the holiday. “I added colorful leafy branches from the craft store, gourds from the market, and tableware I already had to create a color scheme that looks like a fall day,” he notes. “To keep it from getting too traditional, I added some slightly edgier geometric candleholders.”

PHOTO:

Tessa Neustadt; DESIGN: Orlando Soria

West Elm Faceted Lantern ($59)

Make Over Your Mantel

Fireplaces make excellent fall accessories, functional or not. Take a cue from interior designer and author Emily Henderson, who dresses up her mantel to make a focal statement for fall. “Each season I make over our mantel since it’s the focus of our living room and such an easy way to change the vibe of a room,” she says. “During the fall, I like to decorate this space with fresh greens in votives, and a mix of neutral decorative pillows.”

3R Studios Glass Vase in Smoke ($45)

Make Your Tablescape Twinkle

PHOTO:

Courtesy of Jonathan Adler

When November hits, potter, designer, and author Jonathan Adler recommends stepping up your table game with gold accents to create a glam dining room look. “When it comes to tablescaping throughout the year, the truth is I’m always kind of restrained,” he confesses. “But during the holidays, I find my inner Kardashian and unleash a world of layers and ornament and glitz.” Try incorporating gold dinnerware and cutlery for a seasonal “splash of panache” in Adler’s signature style.

Jonathan Adler 1948° Five-Piece Dinner Set ($148)

Spice Up Your Kitchen With Pumpkin Décor

PHOTO:

Tessa NeustadtDESIGN: Orlando Soria

For an extra shot of pumpkin spice that’s anything but basic, Soria suggests incorporating seasonal serving ware into your celebration. “Pumpkin-shaped terrines can be found at kitchen and home stores and are a way to impress your guests,” he explains. From there, Soria likes to layer orange pops using fruits and vegetables along with earthier stone and wood textures to add countertop dimension. He advises, “Additional serving items like wooden cutting boards and marble serving trays help bring a natural, autumnal vibe to the kitchen.”

PHOTO:

Tessa NeustadtDESIGN: Orlando Soria

Crate and Barrel Wood-Marble Square Platter ($30)

Throw In Some Texture

To create a warm environment for socializing, relaxing, or watching the game, swap your summer throw pillows with versions in cozier textures that will transition your sofa to fall. “An easy way to add some seasonal decoration is by changing up your throw pillows,” offers Greene. “Use a chunky woven wool in a stripe or plaid for fall and winter. Then put on a fire!”

Make Eating Easy for Guests

Emily Henderson approaches entertaining with an eye for both style and function. “I like to have a lot of serving trays handy because people will float in and out of rooms,” she remarks. “Portable or passed trays of food and drinks are a nice touch.” At the same time, she cautions against overdecorating, for practical reasons. “There’s always a significant amount of food at our Thanksgiving table,” she adds, ”so I like to keep the table décor minimal while dressing up essentials like serve ware and table linens.”

Nate Berkus Metallic Table Runner ($25)

Prepare for the Big Game

PHOTO:

Courtesy of L’Objet

Home décor designer and L’Objet founder Elad Yifrach encourages a playful approach to hosting the holiday. “Spending quality time together after dinner also shouldn’t be overlooked,” he notes. “Thanksgiving is all about togetherness and gratitude, so why not make time to relax, light a fire and enjoy a game or two?” Game on.

L'Objet Deco Dominos Set ($465)

What’s your favorite tip for hosting the best Thanksgiving ever? Dish below!

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