A day set aside to gather and be grateful—and share amazing food—is our kind of holiday. Our tradition is to invite “Thanksgiving orphans," friends not able to join distant family. We love the merry mix of familiar and fresh faces around the table.
Because we want seasonal decorating to fluctuate like the guest list, we decorated our dining room for flexibility. Cross-back chairs and a trestle table add a graphic punch and mix with other styles, like the upholstered parsons chairs, to avoid a matchy-matchy look.
Our furniture moves around a lot, so I go for classic designs in neutral fabrics and finishes. Take the simple, country console. I fell for its driftwood-like finish—it works with the darker woods and woven ready-made curtains. The bonus? It can also be a media console.
To keep the focus on the feast and guests, we like to keep things calm – but not dull! Mixing dinnerware patterns gives each place setting more personality. Some years I mix vintage pieces in with new classics purchased along the way. To keep it simple, update the china cupboard with whites, creams or neutrals.
This year the theme is refined rustic using textural autumn accents. A loosely woven runner anchors the theme and the tableware. To keep it simple and sophisticated, go for a tone-on-tone look using cool white porcelain pieces or creamy stoneware.
Planning ahead also leaves time to think about the centerpiece. For fun, mix it up and bring different elements into play. Candles are a must for special gathering, but this year I’m tucking them into lanterns instead of candlesticks. A smattering of mini gourds and leaves add pops of seasonal color.
Centerpieces don’t need to be elaborate to be memorable. Think about what mood you want to create, then add a few surprises. Nature’s bounty creates foolproof instant style: Look how chic mixed nuts and simple votive candles look in a modern platter.
Not Just for Kids
Don’t forget to make the kids feel special! Who could resist these charming woodland friends? They're so adorable that we'll need to work a few onto the “big kids’” table.
What are your favorite table-setting ideas for the holidays? Share them
in the comments section. And be sure to check back here for more tips from the
teams at Better Homes and Gardens and the Walmart Blog.