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How to Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table Like a Pro

Decor and Design

How to Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table Like a Pro

You see all of those beautiful table settings in fall magazines, but you don’t have the budget for a centerpiece like that, right? Not true! Check out these simple, budget-friendly ways to get this year’s Thanksgiving table looking just like the pros!

1. Make a plan around your meal.

Centerpieces may be easy to fall in love with, but they can also be hard to fit on a table along with a 30 lb. turkey, complete with all of those sides you look forward to every year! Think about what meal you’ll have and how much table real estate it will take up (or consider setting up a buffet-style serving system on top of your counter or kitchen island).

fall centerpiece

2. Start with the plates.

Unlike grandma, you may not have a hand-painted set of china that you use for special occasions. However, that doesn’t mean you should skimp on tableware. Ensure your guests have everything they need to enjoy the meal and each other’s company.

For a classic glam look, invest in brass- or gold-toned chargers from your local craft store, or opt for wicker or linen placemats for a more rustic look. Either of these options will add pop to your dishwasher-safe “every day” tablewares — allowing for easy clean up after the meal.

3. Don’t forget the silverware.

For silverware, opt for items that either contrast or match your placemats — like gold plastic cutlery or gunmetal-toned flatware. Regardless of which color you pick, don’t cram precious tabletop real estate with unnecessary silverware! Most guests will only need a salad fork, a dinner fork, a knife, and a dessert spoon or cake fork for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Additionally, make sure you get matching or complementary serveware for the sauces, stuffing, and other fixings. Top your table-setting off with fall-themed coasters for everyone’s drink of choice and cloth napkins with decorative napkin rings.

4. Set up a drink station.

As you can already imagine, your Thanksgiving dinner table is likely to get full quickly between the food and the table settings. Rather than further stuffing it with wine bottles or water glasses that your guests may or may not use, set up a drink station on a kitchen island or counter for them to serve themselves.

Line up your champagne flutes, wine glasses, water glasses, and sippy cups for the kiddos on a tray. Arrange the wines, mixers, and punchy fall drinks next to them along with an ice bucket. Add a cherry on top with literal cherries and other drink garnishes like pomegranate seeds and sprigs of rosemary. Give your “bar” a personal touch with a DIY fall-inspired wood pallet painting or a letterboard complete with your favorite gratitude quote.

5. Decide on a centerpiece.

Now that you’ve decided on decorative table settings and left enough room for the food, you can move onto the most exciting part — the centerpiece. Start with a neutral table runner and layer your decorative accents of choice on top of it. Thanks to the season’s naturally neutral color palette, you have many options when it comes to decorative pieces.

One classic turkey day centerpiece is a thoughtfully-arranged pumpkin medley, featuring gourds in pastel hues like light peach, faded sage, and ivory intermingled with dried plants like pampas grass and wheat. Want something less perishable? For farmhouse chic Thanksgiving decor, opt for faux pumpkins made of wood or even felt, or get a more luxe look with velvet or blown glass pumpkins in vivid tones like royal blue, emerald green, and ruby red!

If pumpkins are synonymous with Halloween to you, squash the pumpkin idea and go bold with one or two DIY floral bouquets instead. You can DIY a stunning arrangement for cheap by opting for in-season flowers like sunflowers, maroon chrysanthemums, and white gerberas coupled with eucalyptus and myrtle to add visual interest.

Whether you go with pumpkins, florals, or both, you can draw attention to your beautiful centerpiece with battery-powered fairy lights or a couple of pillar candles.

Greet Every Day With Gratitude

Now that you’re on a decorating kick, why stop at the table! Give your entire dining area a seasonal makeover with a fall painting from Painting with a Twist! With tons of fall-inspired painting events to choose from, you can find the right color palette to match your professional table decor.

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