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Happy Thanksgiving plate place setting

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means everyone is thinking about food. Lots and lots of food, the kind of food that you just don’t get to splurge on any other time of year. And with all that food comes the setting: the gorgeous Thanksgiving table.

More than any other part of your home, on the big day your table is the place that makes the biggest impression. Whether you tone it down with a minimalist look or jazz it up with all the colors of the season, the way you present your table says a great deal about you. Here are a few ideas for creating a table that both suits your style and wows your guests.

The traditional table

If you’re the traditional type who believes in turkey and all the trimmings — including the football game after the noon meal — then this is the table for you. Spread a crisp white linen tablecloth, followed by a runner that echoes the colors of the newly fallen leaves.

Choose a centerpiece filled with the flowers of the season, all nestled around a stunning candle in the center. If it smells like cranberry, that’s even better. Round plates, fine wine glasses and of course, an antique platter for the turkey are all required elements of this gorgeous Thanksgiving table.

The quirky table

Do you like to try out new dishes? Mix up seating arrangements? Soften the traditional edges of the season? Then the quirky table might be right up your alley. This table is more comfortable and inviting, offering up plates of complimentary colors and a tablecloth printed with fun turkeys or seasonal sentiments. It’s okay if the chairs are mismatched — the idea is to stay homey, not formal.

Create your own centerpiece with candles and shiny baubles cradled in a bowl of leaves. Place cards are scrabble boards with names spelled out. Tie the napkins with raffia bows and put on some lively music to complete the atmosphere.

The understated table

Do you prefer a more intimate, quiet setting? Do you like the formal side of the holiday but loathe all the rich colors and fabrics? This is your chance to shine. The understated table has a simple tablecloth of good quality and a muted color, embellished with only a simple centerpiece, such as a row of pillar candles or the even simpler collection of small pumpkins and gourds.

The plates are traditional, and they are set off by a touch of elegance — place cards printed on simple gray paper and napkin rings made of silver. Let candles cast a gentle glow over the room as you all sit down to eat.

The country table

In the mood for comfort? Do you like to make things yourself? Do you prefer the mismatched and cracked plates you use every day instead of the finery designed to be used for formal occasions? The country table is one that relies heavily on your own personal style.

Centerpieces might include pine cones nestled in a wooden dough bowl, a three-tired cake stand filled with harvest nuts and fruits or a flowers spilling out of old pitchers. If plates are mismatched or even chipped, that’s just fine. Napkins are wrapped around silverware and tied with a wide satin bow, and place cards are non-existent — this is a place where we guests are invited to mingle however they please.

Whether you are planning a wild party or an quiet dinner, these Thanksgiving tables can bring out your personal style. So choose your design and let it shine — and enjoy the great company!

 

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Shannon Dauphin Lee

Shannon Dauphin Lee is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. When she's not writing, she and her husband are taking road trips to explore covered bridges, little wineries and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns in their beloved Pennsylvania.