4 Steps to an Elegant Thanksgiving Table Setting

One of the warmest and coziest holidays of the year is approaching, and no, we don’t mean Christmas. Thanksgiving, although celebrated only in a handful of countries worldwide, has become a day when families catch up over a lovely meal and name the things they’re thankful for.

Preparing for this occasion can be a bit stressful, especially if you have lots of people attending. To ease things up for you, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to create a simple yet elegant Thanksgiving table setting.

The amazing visuals come from some of our favorite creatives, Yuni Min of Love Your Abode, Camilla Jørvad of Sigridsminde and Elizabeth Van Lierde of College Housewife.

1. Choose your style: formal vs. informal

First, start by answering the question: do you want to and have the means to do a formal Thanksgiving table setting? A formal table decor would mean you definitely have to go for a nice tablecloth, matching tableware, and abide more strictly by the place setting rules.

In the example below, you can see Yuni threading the needle between a formal and informal table setting. She chose muted, neutral colors that instantly give off the sense of elegance, but still went for small fun details like the ruffle trim linen tablecloth and pom pom trim linen napkins. Yuni also used charger plates, which adds a sense of formality to the tablescape.

If you’d like to set up a laid-back style Thanksgiving table, you could go for a linen table runner instead of a tablecloth, play around with colors and patterns. You could use more DIY elements and maybe even serve the food buffet style.

2. Coordinate your table linens

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter are the main three occasions table linens get to shine like they rightfully deserve. With everyone’s eyes drawn to the table, it’s important to consider how you dress it up.

First, if you’re going for a tablecloth, consider its drop length. Commonly, more formal gatherings require a longer, 15-30 inches (38-76 cm) drop while an informal setting could do with 6-12 inches (15-30 cm). If you have a beautiful table and want to show it off, consider using a table runner and linen placemats.

As for napkins, elevate the mood by choosing cloth instead of paper napkins. Linen napkins add a sense of festivity, and they’re much more sustainable. In the example above, Camilla used our double-edge linen tablecloth and matched it perfectly with the vibrant gray blue linen napkins. The table setting looks very bohemian but well thought out.

3. Create an elegant centerpiece

While most of us usually go for the typical pumpkin, squash, autumn leaves and pinecones combination, we recommend playing around with your Thanksgiving centerpiece this time. Pick some seasonal flowers at the market, collect acorns and berries, maybe even some simple stalks of wheat from the fields...

Keep it in the autumnal color range: neutrals match well with hues of orange, red, yellow, and cinnamon. Lush green also adds a sense of vitality, but if you feel like it’s too overpowering, go for a eucalyptus bouquet. You can even use dried lavender or cotton plant to mix things up... :)

4. Add small details to elevate the mood

Don’t forget what you’ve all gathered here for. Thanksgiving is all about taking time to appreciate the ones around you, practice mindfulness, and channel positive vibes out into the universe.

Small details can really help you achieve that. Think of creating custom place cards where each guest could write down what they are thankful for this year. Or maybe having a big loaf of bread to send around the table and have your guests share it. Simple, heartfelt things like that will really make your Thanksgiving dinner unforgettable!

Back to blog