Setting A Festive Fall Tablescape for Thanksgiving


November 16, 2023

While I’m no stranger to hosting Thanksgiving, this will be my first time hosting both sides of the family which I’m very excited about. I love to cook, and especially love the excuse to make recipes I don’t get to make every day. Plus there’s just something special about those Thanksgiving staples like my mom’s stuffing, or a simple pumpkin pie. On the heels of finishing the dining room, I knew I wanted to make this Thanksgiving a little bit “extra,” and there’s no better place to do so besides setting a festive fall tablescape.

I’ll admit it: after the excitement wore off, the idea became a little overwhelming. Yes I can set a table, but no I have not created a centerpiece from scratch, nor does everything fit a certain color palette. Deep breaths. I set out to my go-to source for inspiration: Pinterest and after plenty of browsing, a few detours, and many pins, my vision started to take shape. As I know firsthand how overwhelming this can be, I wanted to share my top tips for designing your Thanksgiving table.

4 tips for designing a fall tablescape

Don’t overthink the color palette

If you’re like me, when you think about autumn or Thanksgiving, you immediately think of colors like oranges, reds and yellows. While you should certainly plan to incorporate some of these colors into your fall tablescape, there are no hard and fast rules that these should be the only colors on your table. In fact, quite the opposite can be true.


Turning to a color wheel for some show and tell, you can see how certain colors compliment their primary counterparts. Apply this to your fall tablescape and think outside of the box a little.  


Florals come in many forms

While adding in some fresh fall flowers is certainly an option for your Thanksgiving table, there are other ways to incorporate botanicals that can really make a statement. This can include a floral tablecloth, or can even come in the form of candles like these pine cone candles. Or look to your dinnerware for inspiration: there are some amazing sets of flower patterned china at deep discounts across facebook marketplace, estate sales or vintage shops.


Go for Gold

Gold flatware that is! I wanted to add a layer of warmth to the table, and before I knew any of my other elements, I knew that I wanted gold flatware. I found this amazing 40 piece set on amazon for a steal of a deal.


From there I browsed for some serveware additions that would make a statement and these large gilded spoons from Anthropologie were just the ticket. Don’t overthink getting an entire set that matches. Mine is a combination of pieces I’ve purchased throughout the years and I think it adds a layer of character to the table.


Add in Ambience

Whether it’s through small votive candles or large tapers of varying heights, sprinkle some candles throughout your table when and where you can. They add a layer of sophistication and so much warmth to the space. Turn on some background music (last year SiriusXM had an amazing Thanksgiving playlist) and the mood will be set for your guests to enjoy.


While the idea of designing the perfect Thanksgiving tablescape might seem overwhelming, it’s all about layering in small pieces that capture the spirit of the autumn season. Happy hosting!


Tablecloth – McGee & Co


Gold flatware

Gold serveware – sold out (see similar)

Cloth napkins

Napkin rings – vintage. (see similar)

Brass candlesticks – vintage. (see similar)

White taper candles

Pine cone candles

China – vintage. I’d suggest visiting your local thrift store!

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