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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Otte

Set the Table Already!

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s not too early to start thinking about holiday décor and the tablescape. Ah yes, the dinner table. The place where many memories are to be created, stories about ole Grandpa Joe are to be told, and great meals are to be had! Why not make it fun and an inviting place for your guests to sit at?

A quick pinterest search will tell you exactly how to set the table for your occasion. However, I always approach anything creative or design related with this saying at forefront: “Great things never came from comfort zones.”

You heard me right! I’m coloring outside the lines on this one, and here are my top reason’s why that you too can use in your own home as you plan your holiday festivities:

Tip 1:

Think about how your family typically interacts at get togethers; are formal meals prepared for everyone to sit at the table together at once and the food to be passed? Then a formal place setting is what you need! Or is there a buffet line and shifts of people constantly coming through the line to grab a meal? Maybe setting the plates at the front of the buffet line makes more sense. This alone will dictate how you prepare your Thanksgiving table. In my family, we do a mixture of both! We all go through the buffet line to grab what appeals to us, but then we all sit down at a table while we eat and enjoy each other’s company. Because of that, I choose to set my table in such a way that makes it easy for guests to grab their plate off the table as they head towards the baked and grilled goods. In either scenario, having a beautifully crafted center scape is key and will draw your guests in towards the table.

Tip 2:

Consider your own personal style and home style when you create your tablescape. I am naturally drawn towards light modern colors with pops of vibrant colors and natural lighting. So for me, it makes much more sense to ditch the standard thanksgiving colors of orange, brown, yellow and red. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking a stroll through Elmwood Park and enjoying the changing of the seasons just as much as anyone else, but for my thanksgiving table and own home, it just doesn’t make sense to use those colors. If you’re reading this nodding in agreement (or disagreement), don’t worry; it’s still easy and achievable to incorporate a holiday aesthetic into your tablescape. Consider using traditional thanksgiving elements, such as pumpkins, leaves, or seasonal greenery but put your own spin on it! Maybe you spray paint those pumpkins white and pale blue to match the rest of your house or dip those leaves in a gorgeous metallic silver or gold! Or maybe your classy at heart but your soul screams for a bit of sass- so go ahead, do it! Mix your plate setting with a bit of formal and throw in that plate charger and extra flatware, but leave out the extra drink ware. It’s okay, I give you full permission!

Tip 3:

In the center of the table, incorporate varied heights of elements, but be sure that your guests can still see each other across the table. Utilize complimenting colors off the color wheel – I’m notorious for using bold pops of pinks/purples with white, navy, and grey and a touch of metallic. Add some ambiance with the use of candles or sparkle lights! I used a battery set of gold lights I picked up at Target and a set of candles on my table. And you can’t forget to add natural elements to the table to soften it up; I used purple Mums on mine. Layer it up! Adding varied layers of different plates, colors and textures add visual interest.

Tip 4:

You don’t have to go rogue and purchase an entire set of new dishware. Use what you already have, and don’t be afraid to mix and match! Maybe instead, you purchase a blue buffalo check print napkin to mix in with the blue dinner plates you’ve had since you moved in to tie it all together and add a touch of thanksgiving fall flair! In fact, the more curated and mixed your tablescape is, the better! It adds a layer of interest, personality and color, just be sure to use complimenting colors. ;)

Happy Holiday Planning!



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