A Festive + Elegant Thanksgiving Table Setting Idea for When Your Guest List is Short / by charity buchika

A Festive + Elegant Thanksgiving Table Setting Idea for When Your Guest List is Short


Is anyone else feeling the crunch of our oh-so-early Thanksgiving Day this year? I feel like we've only just shut the door from our last trick-or-treater and it's already time to make the turkey!

Fortunately the timing hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for the holiday - or for my Thanksgiving table decorations.

I mean, how many people do you know who own actual Thanksgiving dishes?! If that's not dedication to the day, I don't know what is!

 Of course, the food is important too. Remember these recipes?

But I think what I love so much about creating my Thanksgiving table setting (or any table setting, for that matter) is that unlike decorating a room, the world (or at least my collection of tableware and linens!) is my oyster when it's only a table for one meal. I can put together any combination of plates and silverware and flowers, plus an unexpected element or two. And if I don't love the way it turns out, I can just clear it away and start again. There aren't that many decorating endeavors you can say that about, are there?!

Thanksgivin- placesetting

Anyway, back to this Thanksgiving table. Because not everyone gathers with about 150 of their closest family and friends for their feast, I really wanted to show how you can create a festive, elegant mood when your Thanksgiving meal is a more of an intimate dinner party.

And by the way, you don't need a formal dining room table to get an elegant look. See how polished and dressed up my rustic farmhouse table (by Timber Mountain Woodcraft, of course) looks when set this way?

 Here's how I did it:


First I added a Pottery Barn burlap table runner (because runners = unfussy, but also polished). I topped that with a gorgeous and very of-the-moment marbleized paper runner from Drooz + Co. Drooz is a fun and fabulous store here in Skaneateles. Their tagline, "A Modern Day General Store," really paints the picture of what they're all about. I love their wares!

Marble patterns are everywhere lately in the design world. They're on fabric and wallpaper and just about anything you can think of. Because this runner is a man-made element, but it mimics a natural element, it really helps bridge the gap between the rustic farm table and the more traditional, elegant dishes.


I knew I wanted to use my turkey salad plates and I also know the best way to add interest to anything you're decorating is to mix different styles and textures. So I placed these wood chargers and Teaselwood's own stoneware plates underneath.

See how the contrast of homespun and fancy schmancy makes the whole thing come together?!


I love the warmth my gold flatware from Anthropologie (this style is similar) adds to the table.

The paisley napkins (I can't remember where I got them, but it may have been Pottery Barn) bring in a little of the unexpected, which always makes things more interesting. The reason this busy pattern and semi-bright color palette don't look completely random is that their colors are also in the flowers and even somewhat in the turkey plates and bowls.


I picked up those soup bowls somewhere along the way at Marshalls. If there's any one thing to know about creating table settings, it's that the most beautiful tables are set with a mix of different dishes - not with totally matching sets. It's the same thing I always say about designing rooms - the beauty is in the mix!

See that gorgeous blue-green pumpkin soup tureen? I absolutely adore it. I got it from Pottery Barn ages ago and I think it really rounds out this table setting's colors. It's so unique and lovely that I almost think you could set your table with just it and paper plates and it would still make everything look amazing. Of course, paper plates don't pair well with soup and it is a soup tureen, so let's not try it, ha!


I added a few candles from my own collection. You can find them here in the Teaselwood shop. I also have a yummy holiday candle collection, which you can find here. They all make great gifts and you're right on time for holiday shipping.

And of course, flowers - there must always be flowers! It may look like an expensive arrangement from the florist, but I actually just picked up some bunches of flowers at Wegmans (which is a grocery store here in Central New York in case you don't have them where you are).


I grabbed a good mix of sizes, shapes and colors (because again, the beauty is in the mix, right?!). There's autumn sedum, roses, sunflowers, oak leaves, plus some eucalyptus and a few berry sprays to stick in and keep it all from looking to rounded.

Who knew pumpkins and turkeys could look so grown up and fancy?!


Now that my table's all ready, I can actually turn my attention to Christmas shopping - I mean, to cooking

(But seriously, stay tuned because you're going to want to get all your gifts taken care of with Teaselwood starting Black Friday - trust me, wink, wink!)

Happy Thanksgiving!


For more tablescape inspiration take a hop over to this fun demo I did with The Coastal Table magazine on simple ways to change up your place settings?