By Nadia Fante, a Westchester-based architect, designer, blogger and founder of MaMeMima Design Studio.
Last year we hosted our first Thanksgiving at home. I don’t cook (at least not to host a thanksgiving dinner yet) but my parents were in town and my mom, who is an awesome cook, kindly offered to take over in the kitchen. Consequently, I was in charge of setting the table.
I hadn’t gotten any special seasonal décor so I pulled from what we have and challenged myself to pair our staple, re-usable items, like dinnerware, silver, glasses, linens, with easy, inexpensive, DIY ideas. Here’s what I learned about decorating a beautiful table scape:
1. A beautiful table scape is all about layering and texture. The base for my table setting was the natural burlap runner that sits on our dining table year round. I combined it with a neutral colored tablecloth with matching napkins.
2. Let the tableware set the color scheme. I mixed our white, square china with some square green dishes we already had and our green/yellow glasses. For a centerpiece I shopped around the house looking for things in those colors I could use. I had these fake green and white gourds in a glass container in the kitchen, so I grabbed some of those and placed them around a medium size pumpkin the kids got at a Fall festival. I put everything on a metal dish I borrowed from our living room. I also brought to the table two big candlestick holders. Then it was all about the DIY details.
3. Use your Mason Jars. I collect vintage mason jars. I used some as drinking glasses and filled the other two with a bunch of flowers. Any type of glass containers will work, too.
4. Forget expensive napkin rings. Use ribbon! In my ribbon stash, I found this see-through, shimmery green one that would be perfect. It matched our small green dishes. I tied the napkins in a nice lace with it.
5. Use Fall Foliage. I sent my kids outside to collect branches and leaves. Of course not all that was collected was usable. I picked little pieces of greenery and tucked them into the napkins.
6. Make your place cards. Place cards are the perfect personal touch. I used some simple printables I found (that very same day) online, handwrote our names on them and pasted them on pieces of corrugated cardstock.
7. Don’t forget the flowers. I don’t think there is an easier way to embellish a table. No need for fancy bouquets or arrangements (although those are very nice, too). I sent the husband to the grocery store to get some flowers in our table setting colors of oranges, yellows, and greens. He got home with pink-ish, red, yellow flowers. Oh well, I made them work, too. I mixed them up and made two small bouquets, placed them in small mason jars, tied some of the same green ribbon used on the place settings and added a cardstock tag. Tip: head to Traders Joes for the best variety and price.
I loved how our tablescape turned out, especially our place settings. Nothing fancy, on the contrary very simple but pretty, cozy and memorable.
After our Thanksgiving get together, everything went back to their original places or the closet, waiting until the next occasion. Hello Christmas!
My Secret Sources:
White china and silverware: Crate and Barrel
Glassware: Neiman Marcus
Table runner: Pottery Barn
Candle stick Holders: HomeGoods