I'm not sure what I love most about Thanksgiving. Is it the gathering of family and friends? The food and drink? Or the fact that it falls on my birthday every few years? Whatever it is, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and I love love love to host it every year.
As a hostess, I love to surprise guests with a festive table because it adds to the flavor and ambiance of the meal. I never design it the same, so every year my guests come in and the first things they do is head to the table to see what awaits. I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for twenty years, and each year, I find something that inspires me and run with it before the big event.
Our family loves a good sit down, traditional Thanksgiving dinner where we can gather with family, eat delicious food and discuss our blessings of the year. This year, we are expecting a larger number of guests than my twelve person table can accommodate, which means we will need to add folding tables.
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How to Work Around Folding Tables at a Formal Sit Down
When adding folding tables to existing dining tables, many people love to set one big long table, but I prefer a square or larger rectangular shape so everyone can look at one another. My dining room is a good width so when we set up a square or larger rectangular type setting, we can accommodate sixteen guests at the table and everyone is able to face and chat with one another.
I’m not a fan of the varying heights of tables, so I like to design a centerpiece and tablescape that will camouflage the varying heights. (Note: I am writing another blog for a solution to this problem so stay tuned!)
How I Designed My Tablescape
This year, I was inspired by a blogger’s photo that featured a stunning harvest garland with apples, cinnamon sticks, hydrangea and maple leaves. Her home colors are white neutrals, so the harvest garland really stood out against tone of her wood dining table and neutral backdrop.
Since my dining room is a deep hue of a cinnamon red (which I love), this particular garland would not have the same effect as the gorgeous design this blogger achieved. With this blogger’s inspiration in mind, I headed to one of the local nurseries that sells beautiful faux florals and homegoods that I could add to things I already had on hand to achieve a similar look.
I set the table the day before Thanksgiving so I had time to play with my table settings and garland concept. As much as I love my wood dining table, I needed a white backdrop to make the garland pop, so I used a white tablecloth as my base. I set up the floral pics and apples, added some large pine cones, faux leafy stems, dried peegee hydrangea heads from my garden and some fresh lemons and limes to add a little more color. While I loved how it was looking, it needed another layer to add more depth, so I decided to add live flowers.
Adding the Finishing Touches
Since I did not include floral foam in the base of my garland, I needed flowers that could withstand not being in water for a few hours and decided I would hit the floral shop later that day. Before heading out, I finished setting the table with dark rattan chargers, my china, simple white napkin and topped each plate off with a real honeycrisp apple and simple name tag. I wanted to keep the place settings very basic so it would not detract away from the garland. I also decided to forego stemware for the first time because washing it is a lot of work and since we are hosting fourteen at the table, mason jars would be less work. They are simple, easy to wash and added a casual touch to the table.
After completing the table settings and having a general idea of the look I was going for, I headed to the floral section of the local grocery store to find flowers to complete the look. Looking through the stock, I was drawn to baby’s breath (because the small whispy flowers would be a light filler to the garland) and mums were the lucky winners. I quickly got them home and put them in water to keep them fresh.
A few hours before guests arrived, I took each bunch of flowers, trimmed the stems to manageable sizes, took small bunches of each and tucked them in the holes of the garland.
When finished, the garland looked so beautiful, so fresh and so harvesty. I love how it turned out and it was a nice surprise for our guests.
What Do You Think?
Are you hosting Thanksgiving or any dinner parties this fall? I hope this Thanksgiving tablescape idea inspires you to create something special for your guests. For other fall tablescape ideas, check out this neutral fall tablescape or this rustic fall tablescape ideas.
How do you like to set your tables? Send me pics of your designs or let me know what you think in the comments here. And be sure to follow me @bricksnblooms on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram where I share lots of the behind-the-scenes of my home, garden and personal life.
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Thank you so much for following along and I hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday! xo