This week we challenged ourselves to create a Thanksgiving tablescape using only things we already had on-hand in our homes (except for a quick trip to Trader Joes for centerpiece supplies). It’s certainly a place we’ve all found ourselves: You want to set a beautiful table, but time and/or budget just don’t allow for new purchases. Here’s how we broke the process down and created a Thanksgiving Tablescape we love in a few hours.
Assess your unique situation
Before you start planning your tablescape, it’s important to understand the meal and situation you’re designing. How many people will be eating? Where do you want to serve your meal? What level of formality is this meal? We had a helpful blog post a few weeks ago that provides thoughtful insight into different types of meals and place settings and it’s a great place to start. For our challenge, we decided to do our own take on formal dining. What you end up choosing and designing for might be completely different!
Hostful Hack No. 37: Build layers. Incorporate layers of varying textures, patterns, and colors throughout a tablescape design to add visual interest. Layering entertaining essentials, table linens, and decorative accents throughout your table decor will help make the design look more complex and sophisticated.Simplify hosting with our Hostful Hack Handbook
Shop your home
Now the fun part! Armed with the level of formality of your meal and knowledge of what food you will serve, start collecting items from around your home. They don’t all have to be perfect. And they don’t all have to end up on your table! But gathering items together in a central area (we use the empty table as a collection zone) can bring out creativity and inspiration. Here are some of the items we typically look for:
- Throw blankets
- Candle sticks
- Candle stick holders
- Decorative bowls
- Napkin rings
- Place card holders
We also recommend you place a full place setting with everything else to get a feel for how your plates, bowls, and silverware will work with your decor.
The centerpiece formula
You can read more about it here, but we rely on our centerpiece formula for evaluating what will go into our tablescape:
- Textural table throw
- Centerpiece medley
- Illuminating candles
- Accentual serveware
- Sculptural pitcher
For Thanksgiving, we knew we wanted to go with an autumnal color palette filled with touches of nature and lots of texture. Shannon made a trip to Trader Joe’s and found a few showcase flowers she liked and then purchased other flowers and greenery based on what looked nice together.
Your creativity will take it to the next level
Creativity is essential when you’re shopping your own home for a tablescape! It’s best to think outside the box to give your belongings a fresh feel. For example, we decided our Thanksgiving gravy would best be served in a pitcher instead of a gravy boat. We repurposed a basket to hold a bottle of wine. Instead of a large tray, we’ll serve our turkey inside a casserole dish. In addition to fresh flowers we pulled in some beautiful pears from our kitchen. We used our favorite fluted mugs for serving soup instead of bowls.
Bringing a fresh eye to the supplies gives a second life to many of your favorite things!
What kind of tablescape are you planning this year? What others would you like to see us to? We’d love to hear from you!
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