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Table Décor Ideas for Thanksgiving

Nov/20/2022 / by Rashmi Gopal Rao

Celebrated since the 17th century, Thanksgiving is arguably one of the most loved traditions in the US and a few other countries. A time for reflection and an opportunity to express gratitude, Thanksgiving is all about spending time with family, friends and your loved ones. Celebrated each year on the last Thursday of November, this day is also meant to celebrate the harvest season and all the blessings received during the year. And no celebration of Thanksgiving is complete without the sharing of a bountiful meal with family and friends. Apart from the signature turkey which is a staple of the Thanksgiving meal, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie as well as cranberry juice are just some of the delicacies people enjoy on Thanksgiving. 

Flexible yet Chic

While you prepare to invite your loved ones over for a sumptuous feast, table décor is a key aspect of the festivities you just cannot ignore. Creating a warm ambience coupled with a neat, aesthetic looking table goes a long way in making your Thanksgiving meal memorable. While it is not necessary that the setting needs to be really formal, it is important to keep things in order for the guests to feel welcome and at home. So, whether you choose to keep your setting boho chic with flowers and linen or stately with china and porcelain, it all depends on your personal style and comfort level. 

As a first step it is key that you keep all the cutlery cleaned and ready, gather your decor elements which include the centre piece and other accessories and decide on your tablecloth and placemats. Depending on your style and budget, you can always choose to combine colours and patterns, mix something new with the old, recycle some of your fall décor pieces and use natural textures and accents to create a unique look.

Ideas Aplenty

Start with laying out a crisp table cloth, preferably one that is spill proof and stain proof. Floral linens or plains in hues of gold, rust, ochre and mustard are apt choices keeping in mind the season. If you are a minimalist go in for muted shades like white, beige, grey or ash. Once you have decided on a table cloth, check out your options for the centre piece which again depends on your basic décor aesthetic and theme. There are plenty of options including fresh flowers, dry flowers, pumpkins, gourds and even fruits like apples and pomegranates. 

A quick way to give your Thanksgiving table a festive look is to reuse your autumn wreath. Place it in the centre of your table and add a candle in the middle to give it a celebratory vibe. You can also use a large bouquet of chrysanthemums and cabbage rosettes in the centre or go in for a wicker basket filled with corn, pumpkins and gourds for a rustic touch. If you do not want a large central piece and want to scatter your décor, you can add botanical accents in the form of small potted plants or vases with dried flowers or even candles placed in glass dishes along the middle line of the table. Fill up the spaces between the elements with foliage like branches and fruits like olive or apples. 

Setting the cutlery

Once you are done with the main table décor, you are ready to set the cutlery. Start with the dinner plate and the salad plate on top of it. The fork needs to be placed on the left while the knife and spoon on the right. Place your water and wine glasses on the right corner, above the knife. The dessert spoon is to be placed horizontally above the dinner plate. Choose an aesthetic napkin and fold it neatly or use a napkin ring and place it on top of the salad plate. Try to choose a napkin that complements your table décor and if you do not have napkin rings handy, you can use satin tape, jute or rustic twines to hold the folded napkin. Finish it off with a nice bow for the wow factor. You could also use placemats beneath the main plate. Rattan or cane placemats invoke rustic chic vibes.

Styling cues

Irrespective of your style or theme, here are some tips to keep your table setting aesthetic yet functional. Avoid a combination of multiple colours and prints when it comes to table décor as it creates a visual distraction. If using fresh flowers and candles ensure that their scent is not too overpowering for the guests. Also, keep the centre piece and overall décor unobtrusive so that it does not block the view of guests sitting across the table or hinder conversations. After all, you want to be able to see and speak to the people you are breaking bread with! 

Avoid tall flower vases or overly fussy floral or fruit arrangements. Further, ensure that you do not overcrowd the table with unnecessary cutlery and depending on the meal, you can just keep what is necessary. As the saying goes, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, so keep it simple and relaxing for both yourself and the guests. That way, you can enjoy the true essence of the wonderful tradition of Thanksgiving!