I have loved creating tablescapes ever since I discovered Sandra Lee on the Food Network years ago! I love how she took a holiday, created a theme, took it to the table, and even to the door as guests left with a sweet party favor. And because of her inspiration, I have tried to create simple table settings for our own holiday, and any other party, we've hosted.
So with Thanksgiving just three days away, which I can't even believe, I took some time to get my dinnerware together and created a few test runs in the tablescape department. You don't need a ton of fancy centerpieces to make an elegant or whimsical table. All you need is some festive dinnerware, autumnal colors, and a few small things to place in the center of the table.
When it comes to centerpieces, or tablescapes, keep it as minimal as possible. You don't want to distract from the gorgeous dinner at hand or the amazing company that has gathered around the table. And, keep everything low. You don't want to block the views of the people in front of you. You want to be able to look across the table and look them in the eye when conversing.
I started with my antique Iroquois dinnerware that my mom and I found several years ago at our favorite antique store. I loved the colors and design within the place settings and the serving pieces are just as cool. We've been able to fill in the gaps with replacement pieces we've found online. I love the idea of taking in someone else's treasures! It makes our dinner table even more special.
I've added in a couple of different charges, one in a grapevine wreath design and the other in gold. I found the wine glasses and water goblets at Pier 1 last year. I love the rich amber color.
From there, I scoured my cabinets for some fun and festive fall themed pieces to create a couple of possible centerpieces. I love the idea of playing around with turkeys, it is the main event of the dinner ahead, but I also love the corn cob candles, the bud vase filled with flowers, and the different glass pumpkins. So many great options!
I set the table first. I placed the grapevine wreath charge below the gold one and then piled on the dinnerware from there. The dinner plate, then the salad plate, then the bowl, and a nicely folded napkin is placed within the bowl. I even have sweet little butter plates for each place setting. There's even a little place setting for McKinley. Don't leave out the little ones. Make them feel like they're part of the "big people table"! He has his own plate and a sweet little turkey ornament as his napkin ring.
For the first tablescape, I set out four sweet bud faces full of gorgeous fall flowers. The flowers are fake and can be picked up at any arts and craft store. I got mine at Michael's. I placed a colorful turkey between each vase and that was it. I love it! I think it's my favorite of the three!
So simple yet so chic!
Next up is a cute little centerpiece created around a colorful little ceramic turkey. I placed two taper candles on each side of the turkey and one corn cob candle on the end of the tapers. Still low for conversation and it adds a little whimsy within an elegant place setting.
Lastly, I clumped three different pumpkins pieces together to create a very small cluster within the center of the table. One thing I would love to add is a bouquet of sweet flowers within the orange pumpkin one. A cluster of mums or vivid yellow roses would be amazing! Maybe I will rethink my original version and play around with this one.
I definitely think the bouquet would make this really pop! I do like the cluster effect. It keeps the table open for all the food! And a couple of bottles of wine. (Note that the turkey ornament napkin ring is missing. McKinley decided he needed it more than the table did. A sick three year old wins every time.)
One thing I have learned is to never have scented candles at the dinner table. You never want the scent of the candle to interfere with the aromas of all the food being served. Candles do set a gorgeous mood. Just make sure they are unscented.
What is your favorite way to set the table? Do you reach for the china or your every day dishes? Do you have a family piece that you serve from every year? I love incorporating traditions. It keeps it so personal. Please share your Thanksgiving traditions and ways you ready your table! I can't wait to read them!