Our Thanksgiving Table Setting

At our house, we serve dinner buffet style (setting out all the food in the kitchen so people can pile their plates high) which means I get to have some fun with the table since it doesn’t have to accommodate a million platters and serving bowls. And I figure that even though Thanksgiving is typically a holiday full of orange, red, yellow, gold, and wheat tones when it comes to table decor, who says that’s the only way to do things? Methinks there’s more than one way to skin a cat cook a bird, so I had some fun with a rich green and blue palette thanks to some free wine bottles I’ve been working into our home’s decor for a while (topped with some simple taper candles inspired by a recent Pottery Barn catalog).

The addition of some cheap-o clearance napkins from Crate & Barrel and our regular everyday plates, cups, bowls, and silverware along with my funny ceramic squirrel (for a splash of quirk) completed the picture.

Oh and that stuff on the cake stand? Pumpkin bread. So delicious. Although it’ll probably all be gone well before Thursday rolls around. One downside to working at home: constant eating. But that’s also an upside.

The result is still pretty festive and inviting, even if it doesn’t scream Thanksgiving (although it does seem to whisper it thanks to the mixed nuts, the tan runner, the ceramic squirrel, the woven glasses, the gold place cards, the wheat tones in the napkins, and the big plate of pumpkin bread).

Here’s a source list, just for fun – white plates: Linens N Things thanks to our registry, patterned fabric napkins: Crate & Barrel on clearance, cups: Sur La Table on clearance, yellow & green bowls: gifts from a friend (but we’ve seen similar versions at TJ Maxx), cake stand: TJ Maxx, silverware: a wedding gift from my mom from Crate & Barrel, ceramic squirrel: West Elm, bottle candlesticks: various already owned wine bottles & Pellegrino bottles soaked to remove the labels, white taper candles: Target, tan runner: Target, table & chairs: Target, floating shelves: Ikea.

So that’s the state of our table right now. Any practice place-setting going on at your house? What are you guys doing for T-giving anyway? Anyone else hosting family? Or traveling in the name of face-stuffing? And while we’re on the subject, what’s your favorite Turkey Day fare? Mine is stuffing. John’s is pumpkin pie.

Psssst- We went Nursery Crashing again over on BabyCenter. Check out that amazing baby haven here.


  1. braelin says

    Lovely! I was just shopping for silverware/flatware/whatever you call it last night at Crate and Barrel. Is that, by chance, the “Oona” pattern? Any issues with rusting or otherwise not holding up well?

    • says

      That sounds right, although admittedly we’re not 100% sure of the name. But we do love the silverware. No issues with rusting or anything else after over three years of everyday use!


  2. says

    Love that you incorporated some other colors for this holiday. I hate the red/orange/brown combo, so this is feeling nice and fresh. I think when you add new colors to the holiday, it perks things up. I’ve got some deep pinkish-purple going on for Christmas, and I love it.

    Also love the idea of keeping food in the kitchen so there’s actually room to decorate the table. But still, doesn’t it seem crowded once people sit down to feast? And what will Clara be feasting on for her first Thanksgiving? :-)

    • says

      We’ll probably take a few of the bottle candlesticks out of the way after we actually sit down, but we like to decorate the table so it at least looks festive when everyone arrives and mills around in the kitchen for a while. We’re used to our house feeling crowded in general (it’s a small casa with a small dining table, so even when it’s bare it’s still an “intimate” dinner, haha). As for Clara’s T-giving meal, she has some steamed carrots and a little bit of turkey to look forward to. Lucky lady.


  3. says

    I just went shopping last night and picked up some much needed runners at Pier 1, as well as a bunch of goodies at Michael’s. I have no clue what I’m going to assemble yet, I’m pretty much going to wing it on Thanksgiving and take loads of pictures! It’s our first time hosting Thanksgiving (and our first family gathering in our new house!) So I decided to have a go at a tablescape :)

  4. Kristin says

    Looks great! Do you have any tips for getting the stickers off the wine bottles? I’ll soak and scurb for hours and still can’t get all of the residue off the bottles.

  5. Christin says

    I really like the bottles as taper candle holders. Do you have any issues with the bottles falling over with the candles in them? Just wondering if I should put anything in the bottom of the bottles to ditribute the weight evening so no lit candles topple over.

    • says

      Hey Christin,

      No issues at all, actually. We lit them all last night for dinner (and to burn them down a bit, since I like them to look not-new, kind of like white sneakers). They were really pretty but not tipsy at all. But you could add sand or stones or something heavy in the bottom of the bottle if you’d like to weight them down a bit more. Of course our obligatory safety warning is to never leave a candle burning if you’re not in the room.


  6. Kate says

    What a beautiful spin on the usually boring Thanksgiving table setting. By this point in the season I’m over fall colors. I lucked out and am going to dinner at my parents! Score! Really looking forward to some stuffing…and hot turkey sandwiches all weekend. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Linde says

    Love it!! The squirrel is perfect.
    We are hosting, but not making any food. With two small children my Mom took pitty on us and is doing all the cooking. We will be using our $60 craigslist antique dining room table for the first time! Inspired by you guys! (I’ll have to wait till Spring to refinish, but with your tips, I can’t wait!) Happy Thanksgiving!

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