Delusions of grandeur can strike at any moment. Sometimes, it happens while you’re shopping for a new home or envisioning the future of your career. Other times, it sneaks up while you’re trying to plan your Thanksgiving dinner, and the next thing you know, you’re ordering elaborate centerpieces and practicing how to make a soufflé rise on weekends. While trying to craft the perfect tablescape to host your loved ones for Thanksgiving, you may find yourself getting carried away—it happens to the best of us.
Not to worry! There’s still time to step back and reimagine your décor to ensure not only that your table is beautiful but also that your holiday is enjoyable. We’re here to show you that with a few simple rules, you can achieve a Thanksgiving dinner table that’s simple, chic, and devoid of any faux pas. Consider this your guide to a foolproof Thanksgiving evening that your loved ones will remember for years to come.
Sometimes the simplest of visual compositions can be the most beautiful, a sentiment that also applies to a holiday tablescape. Don’t overload yourself by trying to craft the most abundant table you can imagine; instead, embrace a simpler setup. Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and loved ones. If your table décor is causing you stress, pare it down.
Instead… Style your table with naturally wrinkled linens and simple berry branches.
A gorgeous runner and seasonal fruit and produce make for a lovely visual arrangement, but make sure you leave room for glasses, salt and pepper shakers, bread baskets, and the like. There’s nothing chic about a place setting that feels tight and constricting. You want your guests to relax, and with too many decorative elements on your table, it can feel claustrophobic.
Instead… Consider making the food your centerpiece by displaying fruit bowls and harvest bread.
We’re all for a dramatic floral arrangement, but when hosting a group at your table, a too-tall centerpiece will block the sight lines between you and the person sitting across from you, making conversation difficult. Save your grand arrangements for sideboards and consoles.
Instead… Stick to lower bouquets, pillar candles, and garlands for the dining table. Use the height of a wine bottle as a guide; any taller and you should scale back.
Who says you need to stick to a traditional color theme for your Thanksgiving table? Don’t feel constricted by the usual red, orange, and gold color palette.
Instead… Try light blues and pinks, like at this table from Our Food Stories. The unusual combination feels fresh and inspired but still appropriate for an autumn event.
While we love scented candles in a bedroom or living room, avoid using them to create a warm glow at the dinner table. Their scents will compete with those wafting from your kitchen and confuse your senses.
Instead… Opt for smell-free pillars or candlesticks instead for the same visual appeal.