Easy Thanksgiving Table Decor
You want your Thanksgiving table decorations to reflect the effort & thought you put into the meal. Here’s how to keep it simple, warm and welcomin.
1. Consider Your Home’s Decor
Consider the overall decor style of your home, and use that style on your tablescape. It will look odd if your home is formal (with crystal, detailed finely finished wood furniture) and you put a modern twist on your tablescape. You may choose to use some of the same hues in your dining/living/kitchen on the table, even if they are not the traditional orange, tan, yellow or brown we think of as Thanksgiving colors. Start today with a plan, knowing if you can pick up some things in the neighborhood on a walk (for branches, leaves or cones), or stop at a craft shop to pick up some of the components (like pine cones, wheat, or artificial fruit or veggies) or the grocery store (for pumpkins, gourds and root vegetables. Hurry out to get pumpkins, because many grocery stores will cease to carry them soon.)
IDEAS FOR A RUSTIC LOOK:
For this table setting, you will need:
- brown/ tan &/or creme dinnerware
- a rusty red tablecloth
- solid colored yellow-gold cloth napkins (1 per guest + 1 for the rolls)
- various (5) colored pumpkins
- leaves/greens from your garden
- votive candles & glass holders
Take a look at each of the following pictures and decide which one best suits you. Then make a list of the items in that photo that you will need to acquire in the next week. Once you’ve collected them, start with the biggest items and arrange them,
adding in smaller and smaller items. Try tipping or turning some things (like gourds & pumpkins) to create more interest.
2. Consider Your Dishes
If your dishes are solid color stark white or cream, then it is pretty easy to work with the hues you want to use. If, by contrast, your dishes are a traditional heavily patterned blue and white, then you’re going to want to incorporate that hue into your table decor. Whether they are solid or patterned, it’s important to consider them in your initial plan.
Colors for Good Feng Shui
Let us mention some color information about feng shui. Using the ba-gua, the traditional colors of Thanksgiving, (orange, yellow, tan and brown) are the colors of the Health gua/area. If you want to promote health, they are great colors to use.
If you are planning to use blue, (as in the photo below,) this represents the Knowledge and Wisdom gua/are.
Purple is the color for Wealth, so that is a great area to enhance for most of us. White is the color of the Children Gua/area,as are pastels and metallics. Green is the family Gua (pronounced Gwah.). Red is the Fame Gua. Pink is the Partnership Gua. Gray is the Helpful People Gua. Black is the Career Gua/area. To use these colors in an intentional way may have a very good outcome for you.
3. Think About Your Table Linens
The most formal look is that have a tablecloth that hangs 12” down from any edge. If you select a solid color, it should
probably contrast to some extent with the hue of your dishes. If you plan to use chargers underneath your dinner dishes, then they bring another color into the mix. A more casual/rustic/country style is to introduce a plaid or floral print into the mix. Keep in mind that your guests will tend to behave more formally if your table is formal, and more laid back if your table is more casual.
If you want to expose the beautiful finish on your table, then consider a table runner that hangs down about 12” from the upper edge of each end of the table, and matching placemats.
Your napkins are another element to consider. If you love that plaid idea, then one possibility is to use plaid napkins that pull one of the hues in your solid color tablecloth.
4. Your Centerpiece
While you will want to create some different heights in the arrangement, keep in mind that diners will be seated at the table and need to see one another to promote conversation. Do you want something that fills up the center of the table, or do you want a centerpiece and some empty space on either end? If you are serving your guests plated food, then space down the center of the table isn’t so important. If you are serving food buffet style, then space at the center of the table isn’t as important. If you are passing large serving plates around the table, then you might want to have room to set things down at either end of the table.
5. Add candles
Whether it’s just votives in glass containers, tapers, or pillars, we strongly recommend you utilize candles. It gives a special warmth to your table that can not be replaced. Buy unscented ones, so that they don’t compete with your food’s delightful aromas.
6. Consider Place Cards
Whether you have small children or great grandma as a guest, it is often best to put out place cards so that you have two stronger arms between the weaker ones. It can also separate the staunch Republican from the staunch Democrat in the dinner party.(!)
7. Place Settings
If you’re having a very formal meal (think the old Downton Abbey) then you may need the following type of place setting for each guest.
Never use anything you don’t need. (e.g.: If you are not serving soup, then you do not need a soup spoon or soup bowl.) The napkin should be folded with the seamed edges closest to the plate, not away from the plate, so that the guest can drag it across their lap with their right hand.
If you are serving a more informal meal, then this setting might be more appropriate. (Note: there is no place for a cell phone in
either of these drawings. This meal should be about being present with family and friends.)
If you need help, whether it’s a color consultation because you’re preparing to paint your house, or a feng shui consultation to create an uplifting environment for your whole family, please check the rest of our website and contact us from there. We would love to hear from you, as well, with comments, questions at Shelley@TFI.design, and/or pictures of your Thanksgiving tablescape.
H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G !