Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays! Firstly, it takes place during my absolute favourite season...Autumn! The cool air, the harvest, the amazing colours of the changing leaves; it's one of the things that makes Thanksgiving feel so comforting and homey, Secondly, it's a holiday centered on celebrating with a meal, which means that my two favourite creative pastimes get to come together at one table: cooking and decorating.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to set an elegant table. It makes my guests feel special and welcome. Also, the designer in me gets so excited thinking up new colour combinations, place setting styles and centerpiece ideas. This year I challenged myself to design a tablescape that did not include the traditional fall orange, but that still created a feeling of comfort, coziness and welcome that is typical of a Thanksgiving table.
Below are my tips and instructions on how to replicate this look.
1. The Look
My first step for creating this look was to plan my colour scheme. I wanted to create a soft monochromatic palette. I took my cues from the natural colours of pumpkins and other fall harvest. For some reason, the orange pumpkins get all the attention. But I was able to find these beautiful muted grey-green squash and pretty soft peach-coloured pumpkins. I then added some darker green and bright white for sharpness.
Pro Tip: Even when creating a monochromatic look, it is very important to layer different hues and shades of the same colour. This creates contrast and depth, and will prevent your table from looking too flat or washed out. Here, darker shades of green and bright white helped me achieve the depth that I described.
I also love the idea of blending styles, and this tablescape does just that. I wanted to combine the charm and cozy feel that comes with the use of rustic materials, while still maintaining the elegance and sophistication of a formal table setting.
I decided to forgo the tablecloth and use placemats instead. This would allow the rough natural finish of my reclaimed barn-wood table to provide the rustic backdrop that I was looking for. I added some other rustic details by incorporating items that you would find in nature, such as branches, twigs and pinecones.
In contrast to my rustic elements were my formal elements. The use of gold china and flatware instantly added a touch of glam and sophistication. Also, layering the china, using stemmed glassware and setting the flatware in a traditional manner, all contributed to the formal aspect of this table.
2. The Table Runner
The table runner is definitely the show piece of this table setting! I love making floral arrangements and I've experimented with many different floral centerpiece ideas: one large potted arrangement at the center, groupings or clusters of mini arrangements etc. But a floral table runner has to be my favourite! Nothing makes an impression quite like it!
For this table runner I grouped together a variety of fresh pumpkins and squash. It is important to ensure that you choose fall produce that is an assortment of different colours, shapes, sizes and textures. This will ensure a layered look and will create the most impact. For my runner, I used light grey-green coloured Sweet Meat squash, peachy coloured Fairytale pumpkins, dark-green and yellow striped Sweet Dumpling squash, and mini white pumpkins.
I then incorporated the a variety of foliage, using the same philosophy for texture and layering. Magnolia leaves, boxwood branches and green cabbage offered the varied leaf shapes and sizes that I was looking for. And to finish off the runner, I added white mums for a bright contrast, as well as branches, twigs and pinecones for that final rustic touch.
3. The Place Setting
For my place setting, I started with linen placemats in a soft gold colour. These placemats were perfect as the casual linen material combined with the formal gold colouring, pulled together both the rustic and sophisticated styles.
I then stacked three plates at each place setting to create a layered look. I started with a clear glass dish with a thick painted gold rim, next I added a white bone china dish with a thin gold rim, and topped it off with a small gold textured glass dish. The combination of glass and china dishes adds to the formality of the table. My absolute favourite part of the place setting is the glamorous gold flatware that screams sophistication.
An elegant place setting, like this one, would normally call for delicate clear crystal stemware. But instead I opted for these green etched-glass wine glasses. These glasses are great because they add an unexpected element of surprise, keep the table from being overly formal, and the dark green colour pulls from the green foliage in the table runner.
4. The Details
Whenever I create a tablescape, I always like to add a plate-topper at each place setting. For Christmas it might be an ornament, for Easter a painted egg, and for Thanksgiving what better plate-topper than a mini white pumpkin! I also added a little sprig of boxwood to incorporate some of the green colour. Plate-toppers are great because they can also act as little keepsakes that your guests can take home with them.
To the right of the place setting, are these adorable white and gold dessert bowls. I was so excited when I found them, as their a leaf pattern couldn't be more perfect for a Fall or Thanksgiving table...isn't it amazing when the whole design just comes together like that? I then topped each dessert bowl with a pinecone, a single white mum and some greenery.
My table is ready for Thanksgiving! I hope that you were able to gather some inspiration and ideas from this post for your own Thanksgiving table.
How did you dress your Thanksgiving table this year? I'd love to hear your ideas, thoughts and comments below!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! xoxo
Thanks for reading,