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  • Shelby Whitfield

Thanksgiving Tablescapes: Where do I Start?

Thanksgiving is two weeks away. I'm not sure how that happened, but here we are!

I started thinking about tablescapes as soon as my husband suggested we might host this year (thankfully, mom stepped in and we get to be grateful guests!).

Lisa Fine Napkins Oranges Pomegranate
Vanessa Alexander

If you're not a natural entertainer, thinking about everything that can go on a formal table gets a little overwhelming! So don't worry about all the types of forks, plates, and glasses if you're not serving a formal dinner; each of them serves a purpose, so if you don't need them, no need to feel the pressure of putting them on the table!

But even if you rock the paper plates, there's an easy way to plan out your Thanksgiving table decor:

Think warm.

Eric Piasecki Suzani Tablecloth
Nina Griscom

It doesn't matter if your settings would make Emily Post proud, or if you prefer to keep things casual; choosing decor elements that are warm in color and texture is a great "rule" to follow, and there's so much flexibility in how that can be accomplished according to your tastes or event!

Did you notice that the table above has a very simple place setting, a little defiant of expectation in such a traditional space? Adding the suzani table skirt is a beautiful way to add exotic warmth.

Pieter Estersohn Architectural Digest tablescape
Martha Stewart

Bringing in color through dishware is a great solution for a casual tablescape. Martha's table is wonderfully simplistic and functional, using the serveware and juice glasses as the decor.

Thanksgiving Christmas Decor
Darryl Carter

Another simple way to use functional decor: fruit or charcuterie boards. The best part? No storing stuff for next year; (hopefully) everything gets eaten!

Holiday Table Settings

This idea is especially good for more traditional settings, as the fruit and florals add softness to the beautiful china and crystal without competing heavily.

Or, combine it all!

Holiday Dinner Parties
Rebecca Gardner

Warm table linen? Check. Colored glassware? Got it. Edible accessories? Yep.

Notice that there is dish- and silverware for each planned course, but they don't match; they coordinate. That's a great way to make a formal setting feel less fussy- and you might even be able to thrift an eclectic set of china and glass that mixes together beautifully, if you don't have grandmother's hand-me-downs to choose from.

Tory Burch

But if you do have grandma's tchotchkes, they can be contemporized with a few of our earlier tricks and some textural placemats or modern stoneware.

As long as you have an overall concept (in our case, warmth!) it's fairly easy to mix, match, and customize your table to your tastes.

Is it too early to say happy Thanksgiving?



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