With the abundance of textures and colors of autumn, Thanksgiving is one of the easiest holidays to decorate for. A great way to get started is to grab the kids, get in the woods and start collecting! Gather up pinecones, acorns, twigs, colorful leaves and berry branches. Then head to your favorite garden center and snatch up some mums, pumpkins of different sizes, shapes and colors, gourds, squash, corn and cabbage.
At home dust off your favorite holiday dishes, flatware and glasses and start layering!
For the table, start with a textured table runner, either in neutral tones or a nice fall color. If you have some left over fabric from a project you could even gather it up over the flat runner to add more dimension (burlap is a great place to start).
From there add in some pumpkins in varying sizes and colors and place them down the center of your table (stack some, lay some on their side and just have fun!) Nothing in nature is perfectly placed, make your centerpiece the same way. Add in candlesticks or pillars, again in varying sizes and heights (they don’t even have to match). Battery candles are a safe way to provide soft ambiance without the fire hazard of real candles.
To finish the centerpiece off mix in greenery, leaves, acorns and pinecones (or anything you gathered up from your hike in the woods). These items combined make for an interesting array of textures, colors, heights and interest.
For your place settings, choose either placemats or charges or a combination of both. If using both, start with a rectangular or square placemat and use round chargers that are smaller than your placemat so you get the full effect of layering.
Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for the people and things in our lives and everyone is unique in their own way. Your home and table should be just as unique, so go ahead and get those things out that you haven’t used in a while. Break out (not literally) the china that’s been stored away, polish the flatware that has been in a drawer! Mix the family heirlooms in with the new, more modern décor. Not only will your table be beautiful, it will give you some great stores to talk about at the dinner table.
Once you have your dishes sorted, stack salad plates on top of dinner plates and place on top of your chargers.
Napkins are another great way to make a statement on your table. Choose styles and colors to coordinate with your dishes, then stack some, roll some, tie some with twine or use unique napkin rings to really dress them up. Have fun with them. Don’t make it a chore, see how creative you can be!
Hand printed place cards glued to pinecones or mini pumpkins will make guests more comfortable by knowing exactly where they are sitting around your holiday table.
A super fun way to chill your beverages on your adult drink table is to carve out a pumpkin, add some ice and place your bottles of holiday cheer inside. Don’t forget to add some greenery, leaves and other décor to this table as well. Guests will appreciate the extra effort!
If the kids have their own table for dinner, why not let them make their own table runner or placemats by painting turkeys or pumpkins on paper in different, fun colors (the traditional tracing of the hand and making it into a turkey is always a favorite of mine). And let them set their own table with the items they love best. It will put them in the holiday spirit and hopefully no gravy fights will break out!
Another fun project for the kiddos is to use the acorns you gathered up in the woods, get some different colored paints and paint the bottoms of the acorns. These, along with pinecones and pumpkins can be placed in glass jars or vases and put in the center of the kids table on top of their handmade table runner.
Now on to the home overall. Start with the front door and/or porch. A beautiful fall wreath made out of large acorns, twigs, leaves and gorgeous flowers will welcome all that visit. Pumpkins, gourds, mums and candles on the front porch will add a touch of warmth for the cold days and nights ahead.
In the living room, add cozy throws in different sizes, colors and texture (faux fur is my favorite!) and lots of fun pillows for the sofas, chairs and even floor pillows for the kids. These will warm up the room and make it come alive with the colors of fall.
Powder rooms are great rooms to decorate to the max! Everyone uses your powder room so make it stand out! Add scented candles or cinnamon pine cones to give it freshness. Make a floral/feather bouquet for the back of your toilet with tall plumes of feathers, twigs (you can even spray paint them to coordinate with the color of your room) and anything else you already have on hand. Just make it big and make a statement! Change out hand towels for the day – there are so many out there to choose from. Make it fun and beautiful for you and your guests.
In summary, get out in nature to see what is out there! If it has fallen off the tree, you can take it home with you. Get things out that you haven’t used in a while. Use your beautiful dishes and glasses handed down from your grandparents. Enjoy the season with your family and friends. And most of all – be thankful for everything you have in your life! Life is short – live it to its fullest!!