Every Thanksgiving we host a big group of family and friends.
Dan is the chef in the family and, despite the chaos he wreaks, dirtying every pot and pan we own and dripping all sorts of sauces down the front of the cabinets, the meal is always sensational. I focus my energy on creating a feast for the eye on our dining-room table. Making a memorable tablescape for Thanksgiving dinner is easier than it sounds. Find out how.
Gold is back! For years, designers have regaled us with shiny silver, sparkling crystal and every color under the rainbow for holiday decorating. Now, they’ve come full circle and are dazzling us with warm, wonderful gold. I’m crazy about featuring gold this year for Thanksgiving, especially when it’s paired with one of today’s splashiest, happiest colors: marigold.
Before you start planning what you want on your table, do a quick headcount. If you’re having eight or fewer guests, my suggestion is to play up each place setting, making them the head-turning focal point of the table. You don’t have to use a zillion dishes to pull off a dramatic look. Instead of quantity, pick just a few pieces that are really striking.
Consider starting with simple white platters, used as chargers.
Have them sit directly on the tabletop. For the sake of simplicity, opt against using table linens on a gold-filled table. If you’d like your Thanksgiving table to be a bit softer and more lavish, add a tablecloth or placemats.
Next, incorporate opulent gold china, which is available right now at Nell Hill’s Online and at the stores.
Finally, top the dishes with a striking sorbet cup in amber glass. This little addition is at once formal and fun.
If you’re like most of us, you have an odd assortment of silverware, with partial sets handed down from relatives. By all means, use these little works on art on your table, mixing all the patterns together.
I really, really like an assortment of interesting glasses on my table. Dissimilar glasses can be perfect together. Go with different heights and styles, mixing classic and contemporary, as long as they’re similar enough so it looks like they belong together.
If your party will be larger than eight, keep the individual place settings simple. Use a minimal number of dishes because there just won’t be all that much room on the table. Your goal here is to make your centerpiece the star of the show. But still, my advice is to keep it simple.
Call on the no-fail power of fresh flowers to create a knockout centerpiece. Consider placing an assortment of marigold-colored ceramic vases along the center of the table. Then, fill them with white flowers. Fresh flowers are the perfect solution for just about every occasion. They can soften the hard shiny surfaces of a table and plates, and make the table look subtly sumptuous.
If you want a more traditional Thanksgiving feel for your table, try this: Get an assortment of gourds and pumpkins, then mist or coat them with gold spray paint. Hunt in your yard for fallen acorns or twigs clinging to fall leaves, and mist them, too. One way to use your gilded natural treasures on a formal table is to line up three urns and top each one with a gold pumpkin. Fill in around the urns with a spattering of gold-toned votive cups holding battery-operated tea lights. Then, sprinkle in your spray-painted fallen twigs and acorns.
If you’re lucky enough to be going to someone else’s home for Thanksgiving, you can still make your table festive at home. Treat yourself to a beautiful Thanksgiving breakfast on a kitchen table decked out for the season.
To offer a festive fall feel, plunk fall-colored accent pillow into chairs, add fallish napkins to the place settings and tuck in a little bouquet of fresh flowers in favorite fall colors.