How to Create a Beautiful Thanksgiving Table (Plus Recipes!)
You’ve planned your delicious Thanksgiving menu, refined your guest list, and curated the perfect playlist. The next step is to create a beautiful Thanksgiving table. I had not refreshed my Thanksgiving entertaining linens, plates, bowls, etc. in years and it was time for a change. Colors, designs, textures, and décor trends evolve and I was ready for a contemporary update.
My friend Cosette Posko and I jointly hosted a big Friendsgiving event this year. We wanted a tablescape to remember and visited our local Sur La Table store. Sur La Table is a food lover’s dream selling everything from cookware, cutlery, cooks’ tools, small electrics, tabletop and linens, bakeware, glassware and bar, housewares, food to outdoor. Sur La Table has a gorgeous selection of items for the Thanksgiving table and the most difficult part for us was narrowing down our choices.
For our Thanksgiving table, we wanted warm autumn colors, pumpkins, candles, and fall floral. This season I’ve seen a lot of gold and copper. Orange, moss green, and ivory pair well with those metals. Cosette and I started looking for items on the Sur La Table website, but I recommend visiting their store if possible and moving placemats, silverware, objects, and other items around to see if everything flows nicely. The Sur La Table associates were very helpful and they were able to offer a lot of good suggestions.
Creating Your Thanksgiving Table
We began by looking for a long table runner to anchor the space. We found a runner in a natural linen color which is perfect because it is a neutral background that will make the plates, floral, and baubles really pop. As a bonus, a neutral table runner can be used throughout the entire year. This is a great investment piece.
Floral and Organic Materials
You do not need to buy loads of expensive floral arrangements to create a bountiful look. A few purchased, in-season florals can be mixed with found items from your own own yard or neighborhood. Cosette owns some pretty copper candlesticks that gave the center of the table some nice height. We found beautiful white and gold pumpkin candles and “harvest pumpkin scatter” at Sur La Table which is the best time-saving décor ever. Pumpkin scatter is a container of mixed fall-colored pumpkins that you arrange on your table. The little pumpkins are adorable and very festive. As you can see with the picture below, you really want your décor to be snug and abundant.
We bought in-season, medium-sized pumpkins at the local pumpkin patch. There are so many beautiful colors available. We chose white, light blue, and a beautiful deep orange. To add height along with our candlesticks we included seasonal fall foliage in vases. When building the center of the table, think highs and lows. Low décor along with some height for balance. Just be careful to not obstruct your guests’ views of each other. Make certain when seated that they can see across the table.
I love using large, white plates. White is neutral, clean, and allows the food be the focus. We topped the white plate with pretty salad plates from Sur La Table. The salad plates had a pumpkin design and can be used the entire fall and winter seasons.
The star of the show are our soup bowls. How cute are these pumpkins with tops?
These pumpkin cuties are available in orange, white, and green. We chose orange because our plates are white and the orange went well with the overall look. Again, going to the store and arranging merchandise is extremely helpful. You want to try to see your arrangements in person. We initially chose the white pumpkins online, but after seeing them with our white plates we realized that the orange bowls looked the best.
Cosette and I chose olive linen napkins. The color is beautiful with the oranges, mossy greens, and soft white colors. Again, linen napkins are an investment that you can use beyond the Thanksgiving holiday. I love having a cabinet filled with beautiful linens.
Seating is important for a successful event. I try to place the most bubbly, talkative people in the center of the table and place the others around them. Make gorgeous place cards (it doesn’t need to be fancy) and attach to seasonal items or purchased place card holders.
Using antique, mismatched flatware is gorgeous and I do it all of the time. But again, we wanted to refresh our servingware for a new and fresh Thanksgiving table. Thinking of the colors we already chose, we were drawn to Sur La Table’s gorgeous rose silverware. Placing it against the linens and the plates, we knew rose would be a fun and beautiful choice.
Glassware should be based on what is being served for Thanksgiving. We served water, red wine, and white wine at our event. We used red and white wine glasses and placed the glasses in the following order:
The water glass sits above the dinner knife, the white-wine glass is to its right, and the red-wine glass is above them. Glassware forms a triangle.
These beautiful red and white Schott Zwiesel wine glasses (Pure Line) are available at Sur La Table.
Optional, But Fun
Sometimes I will place small gifts on the table by each setting. Each guest received a pretty tin candle from Sur La Table’s Thanksgiving collection. The candles sat on the table and tied in beautifully with the décor.
Our event was potluck style and we had some very talented guests who also happen to be Portland, OR food bloggers and commercial photographers. From left to right: Judiaann Woo, LaRae Burk, Michael Griffin of Finex, Sue O’Bryan, Carly Diaz, Cosette Posko, Julie Teune of New Seasons Market, Candice Walker, Erin Lynch, Kristel Matousek, Karlee Flores, Lena Gladstone.
Thank you to New Seasons Market for sponsoring the food portion of this event. New Seasons is a chain of privately-owned grocery stores operating in the Portland Metro area of Oregon, SW Washington, Seattle and Northern California. Here are links to some of the delicious recipes that were served:
This is a paid post by Sur La Table, FINEX, New Seasons. Event held at Widmer Brothers Brewery in Portland, Oregon. All opinions are my own. Featured cover photo by Cosette Posko.