The food is the main attraction at Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean the decor around it has to play second fiddle. Tablescapes set the tone for the meal—and the evening. Are you hosting a casual fete among your household or quarantine pod? Spending days cooking an elaborate meal because, this year, you have time? Whatever your celebration looks like, there’s something creative and stylish you can bring to the table to complement your feast. Need a little inspiration? Try the unexpected colors, fun textures, and whimsical elements from these festive settings.
Pile up velvet pumpkins in rich jewel tones like designer, upholsterer, and blogger Jenna Pilant does. While you could DIY some fabric-covered gourds, you can also purchase a collection online. The key here is to use the plush squash en masse. You don’t want your mound to get too high, but still be substantial enough to make a statement.
Instead of the traditional deep reds, oranges, browns, and yellows, opt for a softer, more muted palette. Take a cue from Dani Blasena, the owner and creative director behind Haute Fêtes Fine Weddings & Events, who incorporates buttery cream, dusty terracotta, and whispers of mottled mint hues in the flowers, candles, dinnerware, and linens at this outdoor gathering. Other nontraditional color combos to try? Blush and gray or apricot and sage.
Head to the market to buy a mixed bouquet and fresh produce. Beth Light, author of 1111 Light Lane, a lifestyle blog, buys her floral arrangement online at The Bouqs Co., but any bouquet of seasonal blooms will do. Grab a few vessels, pull the bouquet apart, and place greenery and flowers—varying in shape, color, and size—in each vase. Then add whole fruits and vegetables around the flowers. Beth likes persimmons, pears, and pomegranates, but artichokes, cranberries, cabbages, beets, and apples can function as edible sculptures too.
Skip the tablecloth and create a natural leafy-garland table runner. Entrepreneur Corey Villicana, of The Road Essentials, clips an assortment of berries, branches, and flowers from her backyard to dress her table. Layer until you like the look, and use leftovers and a bit of twine to tie napkins. Intersperse a few votives to emit a soft glow.
A table that’s just for kids needs to be fun. Cover the surface with paper—either plain or a colorable tablecloth—set out plenty of markers and crayons, and let them get creative. Mark each place setting with a personalized treat bag, or fashion something more elaborate like Corey Villicana’s paper straw and card stock yurts with fairy lights.
Wendy Manwarren Generes was the editorial director of San Diego Home & Garden Lifestyles magazine. She loves DIYing and hunting down vintage finds. Find her on Instagram at @wmanwarren.