Tomorrow is the big day, and if you’re like me, almost all your thinking has been about the Thanksgiving meal itself: “Who likes what?” “How long does that bake?” And “how many pans can I fit in the oven at once?”
But a holiday meal should please the eye as well as the belly: It’s not too late to plan a handsome Thanksgiving tablescape. Here’s a roundup of my favorite ideas; I hope it inspires you to make something beautiful for your own celebration tomorrow.
A tablescape doesn’t have to be elaborate to look marvelous. Over at Homey Oh My!, blogger Amy starts with an heirloom table runner, adding her copper-striped mini pumpkins, copper-tape candle holders, and bright floral arrangements from Trader Joe’s. The metal accents add a dash of glam without overpowering the simplicity of the overall look.
Anita Diaz of Far Above Rubies built a wooden pallet box to keep her centerpiece contained and writes about an array of tablescape options in her post. This one caught my eye by achieving an “overflowing abundance” feel without actually spilling onto the lace table runner or taking up too much room.
To get the look, she uses floral foam in the bottom of the box to attach pumpkins, pinecones, berries, and cedar, pushing taper and pillar candles into the foam. This could be part of a paired-down tablescape, or, as is the case here, a more formal Thanksgiving look, with cut crystal glasses, patterned china, and chargers in layered place settings.
Party planner extraordinaire Colin Cowie impresses with this exquisite tablescape, featuring an elevated centerpiece of dried hydrangeas and pheasant feathers, flanked by tall pillar candles.
One of his decorating mantras is to stick with a color theme on your table, in this case, brown and white. Then create vignettes around your house reflecting that color theme, through groupings of candles, ornaments, and flowers.
Over at Sophia’s Decor, blogger Kristen is creating charming tablescapes that stay on budget. I liked her ideas so much, I’m featuring two.
This first idea will run you under $10, assuming you already have a baguette board or similar wooden tray on hand. Pick up several mini pumpkins at your local farmer’s market and alternate with short dollar store pillar candles. Add a few vines from the backyard, and voila! I appreciate the marriage of clean lines and organic elements.
The second tablescape is a bit more dramatic, and again calls for a trip to the farmer’s market, where you’ll often discover unusual varieties of pumpkin and squash not found at big-chain grocery stores.
Start with a large wooden dough bowl, tool caddy, or other large vessel, and fill it with a mix of natural elements for an unexpected, but classic, Thanksgiving tablescape.
This look was achieved using an assortment of green and white pumpkins, moss, vines, and twig balls. The green is a lush and unexpected element for the centerpiece, where oranges, yellows, and browns tend to rule the color palette.
Remember, there aren’t really any rules about creating your tablescape—just have fun and know your audience. (Little kids and anything involving fire, for instance, might be a bad idea.) So let your right brain run wild and create something beautiful that inspires you. As our friend Colin Cowie says, as long as good taste prevails, you can do anything.