Stylish Thanksgiving table decorating ideas

Thanksgiving is all about sharing a beautiful meal with the people you love. For the host, though, it can also be an excellent opportunity to showcase your entertaining skills.  

While the meal is the main focus, when your guests walk into your home and witness a table designed with care, you’re sending a message of welcome, gratitude and love. This is precisely the right tone you want to set for this fall feast. From your centrepiece to your colour scheme, here are some of my stylish suggestions for your Thanksgiving tablescape. 

Cutlery fashionably placed on a festive napkin and plate.

Chic Chinoiserie accents  

Chinoiserie décor gained the most popularity during the French Rococo period and the court of Louis XV. This elegant evocation of 18th-century Chinese motifs remains just as relevant in modern design today. You can find the delicate design on everything, from curtains and blankets to furniture and dishware. The trick is to use it sparingly, so you’re not overwhelming a room (or in this case, a table) with too much. My suggestion would be to integrate a couple of beautiful, large serving platters with your existing chinaware and glassware. They are perfect for presenting your turkey or your side dishes. 

Go beyond traditional colour schemes 

The go-to fall colours of orange, brown, yellow and red are certainly on the theme for your dining room table. Don’t, however, be afraid to consider other hues that could lend a more contemporary feel to your décor. Mint green, turquoise, cream or metallics are exciting and unique. 

A bottle of champagne in a cooling bucket.

Add a bounty of fall harvest as a centrepiece 

Autumn is a bountiful harvest season, so why not add some fresh produce to your décor? You can use pumpkins, pears, figs or grapes in bowls or shallow vases placed throughout your table. Add acorns, branches and a scattering of fall leaves too. I love the organic feel of bringing the seasonality of this time of year indoors. A neutral table runner will also add balance. 

Add sophisticated accents like cloth napkins and votive candles  

Thanksgiving is a special occasion, so you want to make your guests feel honoured and taken care of by using your best cloth napkins. I tend to keep my napkins a neutral colour (like white or a light cream) so they aren’t competing with what’s on the plate. If you are inclined to add colour, then opt for a festive napkin ring, which can add a new design element to your overall style. (Pottery Barn always has wonderful options to choose from this time of year.) I also include votive candles: They emit this warm, soft glow that helps to make the dinner feel intimate and homey.  

Various festive Thanksgiving decorations for the table.

Multiple glassware 

It sounds so simple, but when I sit down to a table and see a suitable glass for my water, white wine, or red wine, I immediately feel like I was thought of. It’s a small touch that entirely elevates your guests’ experience. I’ll fill a crystal pitcher with ice, lemon, and mint for my water, while I’ll typically decant a favourite bottle of red and put the white in an ice bucket. That way, I do not have to step away from the table too often to refill glasses, and guests can undoubtedly help themselves as well. 

A Thanksgiving poultry.
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