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5 Easy Steps to Create A Gorgeous Thanksgiving Table

Creating a gorgeous Thanksgiving table setting doesn’t have to be expensive.

Let’s step back in time, shall we. A time where two brass candlesticks holding gold candles flanked a big Butterball turkey.

Ah, yes. That is my memory of the Thanksgiving table. Of course, back then, when I would visit my grandmother’s house for the holiday in Arkansas, I didn’t weigh in on how to make her table a bit more festive (and spectacular).

It’s safe to say that time — and tastes — have changed a lot since those days. Forget the two candlesticks on the table, Thanksgiving now lets you set the stage for a breathtaking dining table to showcase your feast.

Want to impress your guests and set a table that not only stands out, but adds to your Thanksgiving celebration? Follow these easy steps to set a gorgeous Thanksgiving table.

Start with a rich color palette

Forget sticking with only orange and brown — this is the first mistake people make when setting the Thanksgiving table! Instead, to create a beautiful Thanksgiving table setting, work with a vibrant color palette. The autumn color spectrum stretches much farther than orange, gold and brown, which wash each other out instead of complimenting one another.

Add some pops of color! I love to incorporate lime greens or rich purples with the oranges and browns to give the table some depth and more personality. Skip the drab white or beige table cloth and opt for an olive green or rust color to warm the room.

Then, build on top of these colors even more with dinnerware and plate charges which compliment the color.

Add flowers and foliage

While the two candlesticks are … nice, embellishing the Thanksgiving table with flowers and foliage add more charm and festivity.

Normally, I design with the concept that “less is more.” Except when it comes to setting a table. Then, more is more and more is fantastic. Even with a lot on the table, the final look can be sleek and elegant.

Of course, the best way to dress up the table is with flowers and foliage. The key to doing this correctly is to vary height and symmetry with these add-ons.

So, instead of using one small floral arrangement as a centerpiece, create a series of small vases of varying heights to fill up the table. Doing this doesn’t have to cost a lot, either! Grab some flowers or small plants like ornamental cabbage or succulents and get creative!

You don’t even have to use traditional vases.

I use everything from terra cotta pots to salad bowls. Plus, I also add a little more to place settings by creating small matching floral arrangements at each guest’s seat for them to take home.

Don’t forget the ambience

Adding glassware and candles is the next step in making the table complete. Nothing makes the table sparkle like warm candle light and beautiful stemware. To create that holiday feel, add small votive candles to the table. I love them placed just above the flatware and below the stemware. It creates a gorgeous glow of light reflecting from the crystal.

Instead of using small taper candles and candlesticks (like Grandma!), opt for groupings of pillar candles ranging in size — I use 3”, 6” and 9” groupings. Then, pop in some flowers for a little more drama.

It’s all about the glassware

Fancy the table up with stemware! Even if I am only serving water, I use the most fantastic goblet that I own. I recommend using at least two stems per place setting, but I prefer three.

It’s OK to mix and match stemware and use different patterns and colors. It will look gorgeous!

Plate Perfection

The final step in table perfection is to add a beautiful salad, appetizer or soup at the beginning of the meal. Instead of using your matching salad plate or soup bowl, incorporate a colored or mosaic glass or leaf-shaped plate. Or, top off your soup with a flaky brown pastry dough and garnish. Then wait for everyone to say “wow”… even your mother-in-law!

From DIY candle holders that echo more expensive versions, to little touches, Christopher Todd’s recent segment on KVVU’s MORE show with Rachel Smith, gives you the lowdown on how to set a Thanksgiving table that will impress your guests and not cost a fortune.

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