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There are countless etiquette tips out there for how to set “the perfect table” for Thanksgiving.

Forks on the left, on top of the napkin, knives on the right, with the blade facing in…and on it goes, seemingly ad nauseam. Whenever we look for tips on throwing together Thanksgiving tablescapes, we happen upon articles like the aforementioned etiquette class, or slideshows that are simply images of beautiful tablescapes, with no advice. We’re not here to admonish you on your manners or share unattainable images of perfectly curated tablescapes, though. We’re here to guide you in creating an aesthetically gorgeous – yet comfortable – Thanksgiving table that feels uniquely you.

Step 1: Start with the color scheme

What are you cooking? Thanksgiving food is generally orange, yellow, and beige in color, so you’ll want your table linens to either bring that out, or match it. If you’re looking to complement the flavors, nothing says fun and unexpected like a turquoise Thanksgiving runner, specifically the Duke Table Runner from Anthropologie. Your pumpkin pie is guaranteed to pop against this color scheme. Feeling a little bit more traditional? Go for a gorgeous mustard tablecloth.

Step 2: Accessorize Accordingly

We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again. The first major don’t of any dinner party is scented candles, and Thanksgiving is no exception. With that said, it’s a time of year that tends to get dark early, and there’s nothing more romantic than a bit of candlelight against the setting afternoon sun (if at all possible, ensure your table is by a window to capture the nuances of the light and ensure that you’re not relying on candles or artificial lighting alone to keep your guests glowing). So, we recommend simple white candlesticks, held up by gorgeous candle holders in an autumnal amber. Since there’s generally lots of food on the table – and lots of people at the table – we don’t recommend dressing it up much further than the candles. As cute as mini pumpkins are, at this point, they’re not novel.

thanksgiving tablescape

Step 3: Give Guests a Memento

Take a cue from one of our favorite British hostesses, Laura Jackson, and leave your guests with a memento by filling out a Thanksgiving menu card and leaving it at their plate (be sure to keep one for yourself, too; we love compiling these in a book as a memento of dinner parties past) next to their place card, another Thanksgiving essential, for the avoidance of any of that dreaded “where should I sit?” awkwardness. Bonus points if you add a Christmas cracker atop the napkin on every plate.

And there you have it! Our tried & true tips for setting a memorable Thanksgiving table. At the end of the day, your personal style should always come into play when you’re hosting an event, so while our color ideas can serve as guidelines, by no means are they the only ones we love. Regardless, remember to take 5 minutes for yourself outside of the kitchen and dining room before your guests arrive and to enjoy the meal when it starts, Happy Thanksgiving!


Be sure to tag Casa de Suna on social media if you were inspired by our tablescape ideas by using #casadesuna.

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