Once you’ve got the meal figured out, setting the table for Thanksgiving might be the second most important decision of the day.
Most family and friends look forward to turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving, but what about the dinner’s host? The ambiance and tablescape set the theme for a successful Thanksgiving dinner, giving guests that homey, holiday feeling.
Need some expert advice on how to set the perfect table for your turkey? Mollie Bean at MB Within Interior Design and Kim Kolts, former president of the Daniel Island Garden Club, share their holiday decorating insights on creating the ideal Thanksgiving table.
According to Kolts, a captivating centerpiece is key to setting the Thanksgiving mood. She suggests incorporating seasonal elements like pumpkins or gourds and crafting them into flower vases. By hollowing out the pumpkin and inserting a vase of flowers inside, it creates a DIY centerpiece that is sure to be the center of attention.
Bean, who grew up inspired by Daniel Island’s construction and design, now brings her interior style to businesses and homes throughout the Charleston area. As for holiday decorating, she firmly believes more is more on Thanksgiving, that anything goes.
“Thanksgiving is the time we will be around the table much longer than other dinners throughout the year,” Bean says.
While Bean believes the food should take center stage on the table, keeping everyone’s eyes on the prize, she also likes to include natural elements such as a small branch on the napkin or wheat/sprig on linen napkins atop the plates.
Colors and Decorations
When it comes to colors, this is the holiday to embrace the fall season.
“If you look outside your door right now, you’ll see trees that have oranges, yellows, browns, golds and greens, so I try to use those colors on or around the table,” Kolts shares. She also recommends incorporating colors in the home onto the table.
Bean suggests sticking with earth tones around the table, embracing deep reds, oranges and golden yellows. Consider adding unscented candles, decorative vases or small personalized name cards to elevate the visual appeal.
Choose table linens that complement the color scheme. Bean recommends using organic fabrics and earth tones for a Thanksgiving gathering. While embroidery and linens may not be for everyone, Kolts mentions using a seasonal tablecloth, runner or even placemats that fit the overall theme of your dining table.
“It just depends on if you’re formal or informal,” Kolts says.
Family Traditions Out on Display
Ah, the holidays – the few times a year when it’s appropriate to bring out grandma’s fine china for display. Or, for parents with young children, Kolts shares her tradition of cutting brown craft paper into leafy shapes and setting them out on the table.
“I like to have everybody write four or five things they’re thankful for. I put it in a pretty basket on the table and then at dessert, we go around, everybody picks a leaf out of the basket and reads what someone has written.”
Food on the Table
Of course, the food itself can serve as decoration. Beautifully plated dishes of golden-brown turkey, savory stuffing, and potatoes whipped to perfection, tangy cranberry sauce, an array of side dishes and decadent desserts are the true masterpieces of the dinner table.
For those who’d rather opt out of cooking and cleaning this year, leave it to local chefs like Katie Williams at Spiced Culinary Creations, who is offering an entire Thanksgiving meal and delivering it to locals on Thanksgiving day.
“I want to give my clients a chance to enjoy the holiday, not spend it cooking and cleaning,”
Williams says. “Yes, the food is a big part, but let’s be honest, no one wants to go to the grocery store.”
Spiced Culinary Creations will be delivering everything from organic roasted turkey and macaroni and cheese to savory sides and gluten-free desserts. Delivery is on Thanksgiving morning so that no one has to make room in the fridge; you can enjoy it straight from the oven to the table. Check out the menu at Spiced Culinary Creations on Facebook.
Welcoming Guests to the Table
According to Kolts, hospitality is the heart of Thanksgiving. She says the right dinner host will make everyone feel welcome, whether that’s greeting them with a specialty cocktail or being aware of guests’ allergies or gluten intolerances.
“The best advice I can give is to be a guest at your own party,” Kolts says. “You want to do as much ahead as possible, including the food and the table setting. That way you can also enjoy the holiday!”
Local Resources for Thanksgiving Decor
Now that you have the how-to on Thanksgiving decorating, it’s time to set the table yourself. For those seeking local table decor, Daniel Island offers several options. For a seasonal array of dishes, silverware, napkins and tablecloths, Monograms Daniel Island is still selling various Thanksgiving-themed decor for your perfect dining table. They offer a personalized touch of embroidery services that can add your unique flair to any Thanksgiving table.
For pumpkin trinkets, holiday dishes and hand towels, visit Island Expressions before the big day. If you’re looking to add a personal touch of flower bouquets, Blume Designs is one call away from designing your festive, floral centerpiece. Pumpkins, squash and custom table wreaths are additional add ons.
This Thanksgiving, let your table be a reflection of gratitude, warmth and the cherished moments shared with family and friends. With expert advice and local resources at your fingertips, you’re well on your way to creating a tablescape that will have dinner guests flocking to your dining room.