Surprise! Thanksgiving is right around the corner...as I am sure you are well aware, especially if you are a host or a hostess of this fabulously fun, foodie event.
I love Thanksgiving. I love the family, the friends, the food and the tradition of it all.
Yes, it is a lot of work...but it's the kind of work that can be hugely rewarding. The memories that are created, the traditions that are shared and the bonds that are built... between siblings, cousins, friends and neighbors; the reward is truly priceless. --and when you put Thanksgiving in that sort of context...going the extra mile to make the table inviting and special...doesn't seem like such hard work...
I think of hosting Thanksgiving as a gift. The time and effort that goes into creating a beautiful table, planning a delicious menu, and all of the preparation leading up to the "big day" is a gift that I can give to my family and loved ones. I get such joy from creating special holidays for my family and helping to forge the lasting memories that go along with sharing Thanksgiving together.
Not everyone loves creating holiday tables, tables capes or any of the detail that can go into Thanksgiving... I totally get that... So, I compiled a list of "ingredients" or guidelines that will help make any Thanksgiving table charming....
Whether you always get out the good china or use paper plates, adding warmth and charm to your holiday table can be easy. (For the record, there is no shame is using paper plates...you can still have a gorgeous table, create an inviting space, that is full of warmth and charm, regardless of the type of plates you use, in my humble opinion...)
Here are six easy, stress-free ingredients for creating a charming Thanksgiving table.
Stick to one general color palette, using one color family is pleasing to the eye and creates a uniform look.
For example, if you like neutrals, use similar colored napkins and tablecloths... not necessarily a matched set--but in the same color family.
Whatever color you like, just stick within that color family for most of the table elements.
Here I used coppers, golds and creams, all neutrals...and for a pop of color I added red-coral roses and berries.
Mixing too many different colors and patterns is not the way to go.
Of course, not everything should be or needs to be matchy-matchy...a collected, relaxed look is achieved by using items from a similar color scheme... and a pop of an accent color is great... just pick one pop of color and not five wildly different ones.
2. BRING THE OUTSIDE IN
Add natural elements to a table... it could be fresh flowers, pine cones, gourds...Adding natural elements to the table helps to add interest...and it is Thanksgiving...it just works.
Here I brought little dried corn inside. I also unknowingly brought in little moth friends who were living in the corn....be sure your "outside" elements are free from bugs and other critters.
3. MAKE IT PERSONAL
Use place cards.
It feels so welcoming to sit down at a table that has been specially prepared just for you.
Something as simple as a place card can add loads of charm.
Even the smallest guests get a little personalized Mayflower full of after-dinner treats.
Adding name cards is a great way to create a warm and inviting table.
Place cards can be simply written on paper or they can be framed old photographs to mark guests dinner locations; even using decorated cookies that spell out a guests name; it's a place card and a favor all in one!
Try Pinterest, my favorite idea gathering spot for more fabulous place card ideas.
4. TAKE A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE
I love adding pieces of the past to my holiday tables. I like using old postcards with Thanksgiving scenes and holiday messages. It's a great way to create a connection to the past and it's a great topic of conversation during meal time.
|Using thrift store frames, some of which I painted black...I added a craft store cream colored mattes and framed my vintage postcards = instant charm.|
|The postcards I use for this project are not the "perfect- top-dollar" vintage postcards. Since I'm framing them, the edges don't have to be perfect...using a matte, can cover bent edges or little tears.|
Consider using your own old Thanksgiving snapshots, printed in black and white or sepia. Guests love seeing how the family has grown and changed over the years.
Nothing quite like a walk down memory lane, especially on Thanksgiving day!
5. A LIGHT TOUCH
Everyone looks best in candlelight.
Use candles to help set the table and the mood for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Votive candles are great because they sit low on the table and don't obstruct the view of the guests.
Tapers are more dramatic and give height to the table. Whichever you choose, and choosing both is fine too --make sure to use the unscented candles! Smelly floral tones or overpowering candle smells can dampen the gorgeous aroma of all that Thanksgiving deliciousness.
6. CONSIDER THE WHOLE DINING ROOM as part of the "table"
Add little pops of unexpected throughout the dining room by displaying seasonal items.
I like to pull out a small collection of turkey salt and pepper shakers.
Adding framed Thanksgiving sentiments is a sweet way to fill your home with little accents that are thoughtful and remind us what the holiday is all about.
|Print quotes that you love about family or giving thanks and frame them, --such an easy way to add charm to a space.|
Some of my favorite autumn images:
Speaking of being thankful and blessed....