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When you think about autumn a few things come quickly to mind: the colorful leaves, abundant gardens, and delicious meals in a cozy kitchen. What would a Thanksgiving season dinner be without a beautifully decorated table to offset your culinary hard work?

Well, one thing would be a feast for the eyes as well as a feast for a sumptuous Thanksgiving dinner.  As we’ve seen, home decorating doesn’t have to mean great expense, or lots of time out of an already busy schedule. The key to elegance is often in the simple touches. The little details that can make all the difference when creating an atmosphere of warmth and welcome.

All you need is a focal point. And one of the best is your dining room table. Here are some table decorations ideas to explore.

Gather some goodies for Thanksgiving table decorations

When looking to adorn your table for its role as staging area for holiday meals and memories, where do you start? Here are some ideas to consider when thinking about Thanksgiving decoration ideas.

Brightly colored leaves are an easy start. Make sure they are not too brittle. Be sure to wax the leaves after collecting them. The wax will preserve the leaf’s remaining moisture, and keep it supple, and not crumbly. Once they’re ready, you can use them to line wicker baskets, or serve as a base on a decorative platter for other decorations.

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Berries and other fresh fruits of all sorts are an excellent addition to autumn baskets. They add color and sweetness to your table.

Pinecones decorate for the eyes and the nose. They also add the same kind of natural aesthetic you can get with waxed leaves, and with less effort.

Late blooming flowers, such as mums or black-eyed Susans add to the aroma of the fall season, collect some .

Dried corn is an excellent addition, especially Indian corn aka maize if you can find it. This latter type of corn is known for its earthy and autumnal color spectrum.

A selection of gourds,  or smaller sized pumpkins. No autumn decoration is complete without them.

Candles. There is something cozy and autumnal about warm, relaxed candlelight.

Other items for fall centerpieces

  • Wicker baskets of varying colors or a large oval platter
  • Fall themed ribbons.
  • Richly colored napkins in autumn colors
  • Homemade potpourri
Potpourri

Photo: Sara Evans

Putting together your Thanksgiving table centerpiece

1. After washing the leaves, give them a trim and perfect any ragged bits as they dry

2. In the basket, or on the platter, spread out the leaves for a lush, colorful backdrop that should extend out, almost spilling out over the edges.

3. If you are using gourds, or pumpkins, arrange them first as they will take up the most space and can be easily settled into the leaves.

4. Starting with flowers and then on to the pinecones, or even nuts, fill in the gaps created by the legumes. A border of vines might be a nice touch.

5. Accentuate the colors with little bursts of berry clusters, and do not forget how dashing a small ribbon or bow is, on a gourd, or scattered throughout.

6. Finally, arrange the napkins so that they frame the entire piece, while still being functional for guests.

Feel free to make a few smaller versions and spread them out around the room, or the whole house.

Autumn linens and crockery to match your table centerpiece

To really show off the season, match your tablecloth and other kitchen linens with the autumn palette of colors chosen from nature. You might even want to get some new coffee mugs to match with warm, solid colors, or autumn designs. Once you have the centerpiece, anything is possible. Let your personality shine through.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.