Setting Your Thanksgiving Table
Thanksgiving is coming up, and you're likely already bookmarking pecan pie recipes. In all the flurry around menu planning, it's easy to forget about what you'll be serving on. We suggest planning your table settings in advance, too, so you don't find yourself running around frenzied at the last minute searching for platters. Setting a beautiful table doesn't have to require extravagant, expensive china. You can (and should) work with what you have. Here are some décor themes to keep things easy and budget-friendly:
Keep it Neutral
Thanksgiving dinner is colorful enough on its own. You've got your greens, your cranberry sauce, and your sweet potatoes. Brightly patterned china and linens can take attention away from the food and crowd the table. You can use shades of tan and white instead to make the food stand out. To keep costs down, borrow dishes from friends and guests. Most people have a set of white plates or serving dishes around and keeping everything in one palette gives the table a blended yet coordinated look.
- Use a white, beige or burlap tablecloth, placemats or table runner and napkins.
- Use a mixture of textures, incorporating materials such as glass, metal, wood and various nature pieces.
- Paint pumpkins, leaves and pinecones in shades of white and gold.
- Add small vases of white flowers and votive candles.
Make it Fancy
If you appreciate a nice white tablecloth restaurant and plan to dress up for Thanksgiving dinner, you may want a more formal table setting. That doesn't have to mean heirloom silver or expensive linens. Our best rule of thumb for formal dining is to match everything. Use the same plates, cutlery and napkin rings at every setting - the end result will look expensive even if it isn't. Another easy trick: Lay a linen runner over a tablecloth. It takes only a moment but looks carefully planned and elegant.
- Using a tablecloth instead of placemats elevates the formality of your tablescape. The cloth should be big enough to drape 6 inches over each side of the table.
- Charger plates provide an elegant way to serve multiple course meals, where each course is served in its own separate bowl or plate, and placed on top of the charger.
- Formalize your place settings. Forks go to the left of the plate, and the knife (with the blade turned toward the plate) and spoon go to the right. Place cutlery in the order that it will be used, with the first utensil, like a salad fork, furthest from the plate. Bread plates go to the left of the place setting, glassware to the right.
- Make the napkin the focal point, making a fancy masterpiece fold and placing it on top of the entrée plate.
- Use place cards with each guest’s name written in calligraphy or script.
Make It Cozy
Thanksgiving is the time when you want to gather family and friends around the table for some good food and a few laughs. Not only does a shabby chic décor provide a warm and cozy scene, but is easy to do on the cheap. Try some of these tips:
- Hit up the local thrift store or yard sale for plates in a variety of vintage patterns. You can get all the plates and glasses you need for just a few dollars.
- Tablecloths can get pricey, especially if you have a big table to cover. Butcher paper and burlap are great alternate options and can be found at your local craft store.
- Instead of purchasing an expensive flower arrangement, use grocery store pumpkins and gourds or pull from nature for centerpieces. Dress up the look up with a little white or gold spray-paint.
- Use mason jars tied around the neck with twine or a pretty ribbon, and fill with Epsom salt and wildflowers.
Keep things easy when shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, as well. Farmview Market has a terrific selection of local turkeys and farm fresh ingredients like locally sourced pecans, sweet potatoes and greens to make your favorite recipes shine. Make things even easier on yourself by ordering a full Thanksgiving meal prepared by the chefs at Farmview Market all ready to heat and eat. From pasture raised heritage turkeys, to home style sides, and even homemade desserts, getting Thanksgiving dinner on the table could not be easier. But don’t worry, we’ll never tell!