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Thanksgiving Tablescapes: My Top Tips


Thanksgiving Tablescapes: My Top Tips

The power of gathering: It inspired us delightfully. To be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.

— Alice Walters

I grew up with a mother who loved to entertain. I was brought up to think it was normal for the dinner table to be set nightly, and we all knew that this was a time that we were not excused from attending. Because of this, when raising my own children, I would set the table five out of seven nights a week. Dinnertime was a sacred space to recount the day and voice our highs and lows. The only rule was that your low could not include another family member. We all listened to one another and even learned essential manners like putting your napkin on your lap and to never put your elbows on the table (my personal pet peeve). 

And while everyone does not share my love of entertaining, it is true that everyone loves to be entertained. Even more so, people love to be invited to fun, social gatherings. And I think that is why I love it so much. Your table is your personal space to express yourself while others can come together to express themselves in conversation and camaraderie. This Thanksgiving people are setting large tables for the first time in two years. Here are a couple of ways to set your table and make guests feel at home this Thanksgiving. And don’t forget to relax, this should be fun. 


Enjoy color but not too much of it

We associate Thanksgiving with the colors brown and orange but avoid making your table too much of one color. If you have to bring in orange, try a citrus orange and maybe some beautiful fall brown leaves. Be sure and dig through those cupboards and add in some of your vintage pieces of varying colors. Remember everything does not need to match.

Do not crowd the table

There is nothing more annoying than sitting down to a table and you manage to squeeze into your chair you sit down, only to look into an overpowering centerpiece and your dinner partner across the table is nowhere to be seen. If you are doing family style, your table must have enough room to set the dishes on the table, so do not leave someone holding the stuffing with no place to put it down. 

Tip: Try and leave five inches between each place setting.  

No overpowering fifth sense-smell, please! 

Have you ever walked into a home and are overcome by so many different scented candles that your nose tells you to leave? Unless you have a couple paperwhites or amaryllis for the season, just let the fabulous turkey and meal be your signature scent this Thanksgiving. 

Lighting sets the mood

I am a big believer in votives everywhere to set the mood and candles of varying sizes on the table. Glass votives are a very easy, inexpensive way of creating that soft atmosphere with warm, whimsical tones. 

For more inspiration, check out a few of my favorite brands to follow:

elizabeth lake

mrs. alice

The ivy house

Alison JensenNovember 22, 2021