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A Thanksgiving table setting idea uses fall colors.

How to Set the Perfect Thanksgiving Table


Whether you’re an old pro at Thanksgiving or hosting the holiday for the first time, a stunning table sets the scene for a memorable meal. Even if you’re not the one making dinner, you can volunteer to set the table and take some pressure off the cook! Think about the feel you want at your Thanksgiving celebration to get an idea of the style you’ll go with and then build from there. 

Know Your Style

If you consider your home minimalist chic, it makes no sense to do an over-the-top orange and red spread. Same goes if your personal style is more traditional. Don’t try to use ultramodern tableware. Take a second to reflect on your preferences when it comes to styling your home, and translate that into the type of tablecloth, flatware, dishes, and decorations you’d love to show off on your Thanksgiving table. Do you think of your style as classic? Bohemian? Vintage? Farmhouse? Pinterest or screenshot fall decor you love as inspiration and to give yourself a point of reference.

Shop Your Own Home

When it comes to the holidays, we might sometimes be tempted to go all out. But a beautiful tablescape doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Before buying anything new, shop your own home. Think about the colors, patterns, prints, and shapes you want your Thanksgiving table to have. You might be surprised how many fitting pieces you already have, whether it’s copper accents, plaid fabric, interesting vases, or wooden cutting boards. Friends or family may be willing to loan you some pieces, too, especially if they’ll be one of the guests at your table!

Make it Pretty But Practical

As you’re creating this incredible Thanksgiving table in your head, make sure it’s practical, too. Think about swapping out real candles for electric ones if, for example, there’s going to be a lot of passing of plates. Maybe skip the white tablecloth if you’ll have young holiday guests. Don’t put cloth napkins out if you’re not OK with them getting stained. You want your table to look great, but you also want to enjoy yourself and not worry about how the centerpiece was moved aside.

Bring the Outside In

Elements of nature bring texture to interior decor and automatically warm up a space. Plus, it doesn’t cost anything! Add some beautiful fall leaves at the bottom of an oversized vase before dropping in a battery-operated candle. Or choose some dark branches to place around a light tablecloth for a more contemporary look. Pick up pumpkins or gourds that truly say “fall” from the pumpkin patch or grocery store. There’s no shortage of autumn beauty to grab inspiration from in Walpole, MA.

Think Ahead

No matter how much time you think you’ll have the day of, it always seems to slip by quickly. If you wait to set your table right before the meal, you might feel rushed and end up unhappy with the result. Make a plan for setting up your table earlier. If possible, do it the night before. That way you can enjoy cooking or visiting with friends or family, and your guests will get to feast their eyes on your gorgeous tablescape all day.

Ready for more home tips and ideas on what to do in your neighborhood around Alta Easterly? Visit our blog!

Alta Easterly

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