Autumn is a beautiful time of year in New England, the landscape is ablaze with orange, red, and yellow, and the air is a crisp respite from the summer humidity. Along with autumn comes Thanksgiving. And with Thanksgiving comes family gathering, a hearty meal, and perhaps a little stress.
If you've hosted Thanksgiving then you know there's a lot to think about, before even considering how you'll lay out the table.
However, the tablescape, if done in advance, doesn't need to add to your stress. In fact, it can be a creative form of expression and a chance to make the holiday that much more special. Here are some simple ways to adorn your Thanksgiving table and impress your guests.
Before starting the process of designing a thanksgiving table setting, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
If you're having a casual meal with a few close friends you might choose to make your tablescape rustic and fun. On the opposite end, if you're serving a more refined, elegant meal, there are simple ways to elevate the table.
The first thing you should think of when it comes to putting together a tablescape is the color scheme. Because it's Thanksgiving, you may immediately lean towards autumnal colors.
A color palette using autumn colors like red, orange, brown, and yellow is a beautiful way to bring the outdoors in and celebrate the season.
However, as opposed to using all of these colors at once which can overwhelm the table, pick a few colors to focus on. A monochrome look is also a beautiful options. For example, focusing on different shades of yellow and placing small vases of sunflowers down the table.
It's also important to think about the room you'll be hosting in. If the space is very neutral you can go any direction, but you should be aware of clashing colors. A wonderful way to tie the whole space together is to bring in an accent color on the table that's featured in your room.
Next, you'll want to think about your dishes. As opposed to a multi-colored plate that can easily clash with other elements of your table spread, a white or neutrally colored dish will act as the perfect base.
The centerpiece is a key element of any tablescape. But that doesn't mean it needs to be one object in the center of the table.
Most importantly, you don't want a centerpiece people can't see over. This will, of course, disrupt the flow of conversation.
We love using several flower vases and spreading the "centerpiece" across the table. For a refined look, stick to one type of flower in every vase. Orange tulips are a beautiful option for the fall.
Mini pumpkins are a classically autumnal addition to a Thanksgiving table. For a fancier look, spray paint them gold. Here are some more ideas to get your creativity flowing:
The best part about laying out a tablescape is that there aren't any steadfast rules. Let your creativity shine, and spend time considering placement. Your personal preference and style will determine whether your tablescape is scattered, rustic, and natural or elegant, symmetrical, and polished.
Start from the bottom up when laying out your tablescape. You may choose to keep the wood of your dining table bare without a tablecloth, or you may prefer to layer several.
Next, lay out the placemats and chargers if you're using them. A charger is an easy way to change the look of a tablescape. A woven wood charger will give a rustic look whereas a gold charger will instantly elevate the look of table.
Consider the dishes and appropriate silverware for the courses you'll be serving. Be sure not to lay out any utensils you don't need. Once you've laid out the base of the table, you can begin to set up the centerpiece and the flowers.
Finally, use your artistic and creative eye. Although the holidays can sometimes be stressful, creating a tablescape is a great way to express yourself and make your home a little more magical on the day.
Laying out the tablescape a few days before will eliminate stress and free you up to cook and spend time with family. Be creative! Although there are some guidelines to consider, how you choose to lay out your table is really up to you.
Check out our Table Setting Pinterest Board for inspiration!
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Author: Julia Maiman
Julia is a writer, blogger, and believer in the smell of old books. She has been crafting stories since she could put pen to paper. She is also a lover of dogs, traveling, and Led Zeppelin.