Whether you are having an intimate gathering or a large family affair, there are a number of ways you can set your table and make your guests thankful they were invited to your home for the holiday. When dressing up your Thanksgiving tables a couple of basic principles apply:
1. Table Selection: First things first, determine the foundation for your table setting: round, rectangular, wood or plastic. Each of these tables can be decorated beautifully. Pick what works for you and run with it. For my setting I chose a farm style table with two leaves to accommodate a larger group.
2. Textiles: After you've determined your table, then decide what textiles you are going to use. Will you be using a tablecloth, runner, placemats or a combination? I like to layer for added dimension and visual interest. In this setting, because the table is naturally beautiful, I simplified the set and used a placemat instead of a tablecloth. In lieu of a fabric runner I opted to create a runner of leaves scattered through the center of the table. All the leaves were collected from our yard making them a very budget friendly option.
3. Plates: Layering isn't limited to textiles, you can also layer your plates by using a charger, your dinner plate, and if the menu is formal, a salad plate as well. For clarification, a charger plate is a base plate that goes underneath your dinner plate. It's simply for decoration. Tip: If you don't have enough plates, mix two different coordinating sets to increase your quantity.
4. Napkins: If you want to use cloth napkins without breaking the bank, you have a couple of options. Places like Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Marshalls offer stylish items for a discounted price however you can't always find the quantity required. As a backup, sometimes the dollar store is a great option too. When the price is right, you can justify only using it a couple times a year. If price doesn't matter, check out Pier One. They always have a very stylish options! I also love using napkin rings. Napkin rings can be made out of a variety of items. Here we use handmade pheasant feather napkin rings. One of my favorite touches.
5. How to set Silverware: Sometimes silverware is tricky...But here are the basic rules. Forks are on the left and knives on the right with the blade facing the plate. If you are having salad and plan on using a fork specifically for the course, the salad fork goes to the left of the dinner fork. Tip: When you sit down to dinner and there is more silverware than you know what to do with, remember to work from the outside in when it comes to silverware.
6. Place-settings: Sometimes the best thing to do is assign seats. It gives you the opportunity to make sure you have everything you need. Plus, using placecards holders is just so fun and always a nice touch. You can get as creative as you'd like or keep it simple. These placecard holders (pictured below) are made out of wine barrel pieces and chalkboard labels. The great news is you can re-use them as often as you would like.
7. Use Natural Elements that Fit With the Season: Whether it's a centerpiece or place setting decor, incorporating natural elements not only keeps the cost down but it also increases the festive feel of the table. For this table we used, leaves, pumpkins and feathers. I'm in love with all the color.
8. Add a special touch: This time of year gives us the opportunity to reflect and put into words why we are thankful for each other. At each place setting there is a small linen pouch with a letter. Write a sentiment in each letter expressing your gratitude for that person. It's a personal touch that will go a long way with your guests.
The Takeaway: Making an impact doesn't have to be expensive.You can do a lot with natural elements and also by re-inventing items you have in your existing collection. The most important part of the day is simply being together and celebrating everything you are grateful for.
Need help putting a table design together, let the experts at Eddy Street Vintage Market help you! Contact us for more details. These items and more are available for sale at Eddy Street Vintage Market November 20-22. Go to eddystreetvintagemarket.com/new-events/ for more information.