Setting the Perfect Thanksgiving Table

Tips and Advice

Whether your dinner will be casual or formal, or style your is contemporary, rustic or traditional, we all want to that perfect Thanksgiving table setting for our loved ones to enjoy. Here are some simple tips to help you create the atmosphere you desire without fuss and frustration.

Remembering the Basics
In today’s rush-around world, most of us don’t set the table with all trimmings very often. Here’s a quick chart from Elegant Woman to help you remember the basics for a full place setting:


The napkin can go to the left of the forks or on the plate. And when the table gets crowded and you can’t remember which bread plate or drink glass is yours, don’t feel bad. Emily Post had trouble remembering too. Here’s her trick to remember. Touch the tips of your thumbs and forefingers together with other fingers extended, forming a lowercase “b” with your left hand and “d” with your right hand. The “b” is for bread which is on the left and the “d” is for drink which is on right.

The Centerpiece
The turkey and all the trimmings are meant to take center stage, so no need to get fussy about an elaborately decorated table. That said, it is fun to create an autumn atmosphere for you guests while they wait for the food to be served. That’s simple to accomplish with seasonal floral arrangements, candles, pumpkins and gourds, or other natural elements like pine cones or acorns. These metal lanterns from Crate and Barrel would look lovely with autumn leaves and decorative pumpkins arranged in between. These pretty holiday hurricanes would blend with either Thanksgiving or Christmas décor. Just change out the candles to match. Or this whimsical fruit turkey from 1-800-flowers would likely appeal to youngsters at the table. Your favorite table runner with a simple centerpiece is perfect.

The Place Settings
The holidays are the perfect time to have fun with your place settings. Create visual layers with your dishes, napkins and place cards. Don’t be afraid to mix colors, mix shapes and mix textures. This place setting from HGTV using neutral shades and similar shapes for a soft look with a fun twist on the place card. The place setting from House Beautiful mixes in lots of textures with the place mats, napkin rings and scalloped charger. The place setting from Stone Gable creates a lot of visual interest with bold autumn colors and varied shapes. Just have fun with it!

Check out our pinterest board for more inspiring ideas for your Thanksgiving table. What is your theme this year? We’d love to see your photos! Tag us on facebook with @catherineschagerdesigns.

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