Although the pressure of holiday entertaining might be a little more dialed back in 2020, you never need an excuse to dress up your Thanksgiving table. Even if it’s just you and your own household, a festive dining table is the cherry on top of the good food and company you’ll enjoy around it. And guess what? Making things look a little more special for the holiday doesn’t have to be difficult. With help from a few of our favorite design enthusiasts, Hannah and Chayse (@blankslatereno) and Brooke (@raising.tiny.disciples), we’re here to help you strike the ideal balance between casual and elevated for the whole family this Thanksgiving.
1. Look to natural elements for your Thanksgiving table decor
Sometimes, the cheapest and most convenient option is the most rustic and beautiful! For their outdoor dining table set up, Hannah and Chayse used green, white and deep purple shades of florals and greenery. And although we enjoy hitting up the craft store as much as the next guy, not everything in a nature-inspired centerpiece has to come from the store. When the leaves are changing outside, you’d be surprised with what you can find in your own backyard to top your table, from colorful sprigs to pinecones and branches.
2. Repurpose what you already have
For her earthy, boho tablescape (and any other project she embarks on), Brooke loves to lean into pieces she already has. “I love finding things from around my home that we already own and repurposing them for projects!” Getting creative with what you have on hand is the perfect way to keep things interesting and eye catching. Wedding china accompanied by antique glassware? You betcha. Thrifted metallic serving trays interspersed with reclaimed wood chargers? Absolutely. A collection of the different upholstered, wooden or metal dining chairs you can get your hands on? Well, what’s more classic Thanksgiving than that?! Don’t feel like everything has to match perfectly. A mixture of different textures and materials will give your table a homey, eclectic feel.
3. Set your table like a pro
This holiday only comes around once a year, so why not put out your flatware, plates and glasses like a 5-star restaurant would? Start with a dinner plate topped with a salad plate and folded napkin. Place your salad fork (the smaller one) to the far left and your dinner fork closest to the plate. Follow suit on the opposite side, beginning with your smallest spoon and finishing with a dinner knife closest to the plate. Finally, place a water glass and wine glass above the utensils on the right. And voilà! You’ve added a professional touch to your table that didn’t cost a dime. Plus, the extra flatware and glasses help really fill out the table.
To go along with their fun, modern vibe, Hannah and Chayse chose our industrial style Louis Dining Table Set, which features the look of real wood grain that complements their outdoor deck and mellow color palette.
4. Don’t be afraid to keep things minimal
When all is said and done, don’t forget that your Thanksgiving table is ultimately there to help you enjoy a meal. So if your centerpiece is the star of the show, keep your dish ware on the simple side, or vise versa.
In fact, doing away with extra linens like runners, tablecloths and placemats is the perfect way to keep things simple and showcase the rustic wood look of your tabletop.
Fitting for her minimalist, earthy theme, Brooke set her boys up around our Laura Wood Dining Table. Crafted from real solid wood, this compact table has a beautiful natural wood grain pattern that stands out all on its own.
5. Instead of the dining table, serve food from the kitchen or buffet table
After taking the time to lay out a magazine page-worthy dining table, avoid the hassle of disassembling it for mealtime by serving food from a side table or out of the kitchen. Aside from condiments like gravy and butter, keep large serving platters off the main table to save space and avoid dipping your elbows into those tasty dishes you’ve slaved over. After all, walking is great for digestion. All the more reason to encourage your guests to get out of their seats for seconds!
6. Make the kids feel special
When it comes to fixing up the kids’ table, it’s smart to provide a little bit of entertainment (beyond the yummy meal they’re about to devour). Activities that involve coloring or writing are simple to implement, and can be easily themed for the holiday. To get started, let your little ones unleash their artistic side with holiday themed coloring pages.
Keep the decor simple to let their creations shine. For her boys, Brooke simply laid out some fabric leaves, string lights and wooden letters to serve as “place cards”. “I love labeling their spots so it feels like a special occasion!”
And to tide them over until dinner time, set out a few kid-friendly snacks, like Brooke’s selection of fruits, granola, crackers and dark chocolate. A wood cutting board works perfectly well as a serving platter too!