How To: Thanksgiving Tablescape

Second only to a perfectly roasted turkey, a well-styled tablescape is the main star of any Thanksgiving dinner. And with everyone’s favorite food holiday just around the corner, now is the time to start planning. From choosing a theme to getting the silverware in proper order, just follow our handy guide to create a flawless and welcoming table.


1. Get a head count: First things first, get a precise head count so you can ensure there are enough matching dishes, glasses, and silverware for every guest.

2. Pick a theme: Do you want your table to feel glam and formal? Or do you prefer a more relaxed and home-style setting? Settle on a theme, and then accessorize the table accordingly. For instance, hollowed out mini pumpkins make a great candle holder for country-inspired settings, and a simple coat of silver spray paint adds instant glam if your gathering leans more towards the fancy.

3. Learn proper table settings: Emily Post might not be on your guest list, but that’s still no excuse to have your silverware in the wrong place. Remember, the dinner and salad fork go to the left of the plate (salad fork on the outside), and the knife and spoon go to the right (knife blade facing the plate; soup spoon on the outside). Bread plate is top left, dessert fork and spoon is top center, and water and wine glass is top right. The napkin is placed on the center of the plate or to the left of your forks.

4. Add some seasonal decor: It is Thanksgiving after all, so have some fun with squash accents and rich, fall colors. Need some ideas? Turn to the guru of all things home, Martha Stewart, for some table-worthy ideas.

5. Make it personalized: When it comes to your tablescape, the difference is in the details. Create a printed menu of courses, and consider making name cards. Your guests will appreciate the thought you put into the dining experience.