7 Gorgeous Thanksgiving Tablescapes to Try Before the Main Event

Updated 05/05/19
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We've never met someone who didn't like Thanksgiving—the long weekend, the quality family time, the turkey, the mornings spent sleeping in. Every aspect of the holiday is designed to help you slow down, relax, and indulge. But for the hosts and hostesses, it's an entirely different ball game. Preordering the turkey before it sells out, delegating tasks to family members, coordinating menus, shopping lists, and sleeping arrangements can get exhausting fast. The least we can do is help you set your Thanksgiving table.

While they may seem weeks away, the holidays are fast approaching, so if you haven't yet started dreaming up a picture-perfect Thanksgiving tablescape, now is the time.

From simple styling with your favorite dinnerware and beautiful floral arrangements to more elaborate looks with calligraphed menus and layered table linens, there's always a way to make your table feel festive, no matter how much time and money you want to spend. We turned to our favorite hostesses and entertainers to provide us with a healthy dose of tabletop inspiration, along with some tips to get you started. Pick your favorite, and re-create the look—these Thanksgiving tablescapes are deceptively simple.

Keep It Natural

Thanksgiving Tablescape
Kathryn Page for Jenni Kayne

We love the natural color palette of this table by Jenni Kayne. Re-create it at home by filling a pottery vase with dried florals in earthy tones like queen protea, banksia, pampas grass, cattails, red broom corn, and bromeliad. Finish off the look with rustic hand-thrown plates, seagrass tumblers, and a pretty feather atop each plate. Keep everything else light to avoid looking too rustic.

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Add a Touch of Glam

Thanksgiving Tablescape
Courtesy of Sarah Sherman Samuel

Black isn't a color we often think of when it comes to holiday décor, but Sarah Sherman Samuel proves it can look gorgeously festive and modern in this Thanksgiving tablescape. We love her use of mixed metals—gold and brass—and her produce-filled arrangement using artichokes, pears, and a baby watermelon. Using fresh produce in your centerpiece is a great way to repurpose it after your dinner and save costs.

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Make It Bountiful

Thanksgiving Tablescape
Courtesy of Apartment34

Eggplant-colored napkins, persimmons, and a lush magnolia leaf garland bring this vivid Thanksgiving tablescape from Erin Hiemstra of Apartment34 to life. We love the mixture of green glass goblets; gold napkin rings; and black, white, and gold dinnerware—the look is fresh and elegant without feeling stuffy.

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Embrace Minimalism

Thanksgiving Tablescape
Sarah Elliott for EyeSwoon

For a chic and edited tablescape, look no further than Athena Calderone's dinner parties for inspiration. This gifted hostess has given this holiday table a decidedly glamorous look by pairing dainty, modern flatware with unfinished textures like natural linen and slate cheese boards. It's all about the juxtaposition.

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Revisit Your Classics

Thanksgiving Tablescape
Courtesy of Rose & Ivy

Purple cabbage is an unexpected and gorgeous option for a floral arrangement—and it is juxtaposed beautifully with pears in this Thanksgiving tablescape by Rose & Ivy. Meanwhile, a deep dark velvet tablecloth mixes with antique dinnerware, and gold and marble accents create a moody, romantic vibe.

Michael Aram Pear Salt and Pepper Set
Michael Aram Pear Salt and Pepper Set $100
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Use Found Objects

Thanksgiving Tablescape
Kara Rosenlund

We love the balance of warm and cool colors in this table setting by Kara Rosenlund. Belgian linen, strips of upholstery tape, and a bowl full of walnuts give the tablescape a rustic Scandinavian style, and a sprig of herbs with a small feather taped to each plate makes a chic place card.

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Make it Seasonal

Thanksgiving Tablescape
Nicki Sebastian

To create a rustic centerpiece for her fall backyard bash, Jenni Kayne called on the help of floral designer Moon Canyon, who used seasonal veggies and blooms to give the table a lush, bountiful feel. In the centerpiece, she incorporated artichokes, kale, tomatoes, and even butternut squash.

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This story was originally published on November 12, 2017, and has since been updated.

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