A Table Set for Thanksgiving

Layering Elements to Create the Perfect Centerpiece for a Welcoming Holiday Table

Article by Jennifer Starbuck

Photography by Elle Photography

Originally published in Parker Lifestyle

It’s time for Thanksgiving, one of the biggest events to happen in your dining room all year. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can make a stunning table centerpiece worthy of the big day.

"When making a centerpiece for your holiday entertaining, start with a theme," says Sarah Fennell, who owns Interior Delights Home Luxuries and Gifts in Parker.

"Are you going with rustic casual, elegant formal, or something in between? If your meal is formal, try mixing in some shiny metals," Sarah says.

"Since Thanksgiving is so close to Christmas you can find some beautiful, shiny ball-shaped Christmas ornaments to tuck into the greenery."

If your meal is more on the country rustic side, turn to the bounty of the season.

"Pumpkins, acorns, bittersweet and even some rooted vegetables come in a variety of colors that add natural elements." 

Once you've decided on the theme for your centerpiece, start defining the space by choosing a beautiful fabric table runner or long tray, or combining the two. Then start building from there.

"Layering is key." 

Varying the height of items in your centerpiece creates visual interest, so Sarah suggests using tall candlesticks and holders interspersed between low greenery, artificial or natural foliage and baubles and other seasonal décor.

Sarah uses certain staples in her tablescapes all throughout the year, embellishing with different colored baubles and natural elements that fit the look of the particular season. She picks up certain neutral décor items throughout the year to have on-hand. 

"Taper candlesticks, glass candle holders, wooden bowls and trays are all versatile and can be used all year round. They can be used for every season.”

Sarah uses natural elements in her tablescapes whenever she can. Pine sprays can be used for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, weaving in bittersweet or berries depending on the season.

"And candles are a must, and our new moving-flame candles look realistic without the worry of fire."

Tip No. 1

Decide on a theme for your holiday meal before creating your tablescape. Rustic casual, elegant formal or something in between? If formal, choose metallic bulbs to add some shine, and silver-flocked berry stems.

Tip No. 2

Add a beautiful fabric table runner and layer with a shallow bread bowl or rattan basket to hold everything together. Varying heights of the different elements in your tablescape add interest—just make sure to not block conversation with towering foliage or candles.

Tip No. 3

Gather staples for your tablescapes throughout the year, such as taper candlesticks, glass candle holders, wooden bowls and trays. These versatile décor items can be easily used in any season by switching up foliage and other baubles in the colors of the particular season.

A Rustic Table

1. A fabric table runner with a natural feel
2. Simple wooden bread bowl
3. Felted pumpkins
4. Root vegetables

A Formal Table

1. Neutral fabric table runner
2. Rattan tray
3. Glass candle hurricanes
4. Bittersweet stalks or greenery for all seasons

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