Thanksgiving is literally around the corner and you're hosting dinner at your home. You have all the food preparations organized and ready to go except for one thing...the TABLE! Fear not, with these 7 key items you will impress your dinner guests with a gorgeous table setting that will take minutes to arrange.
- Centerpiece. A centerpiece creates the theme for the entire table setting. For Thanksgiving, keep it organic and simple. Place a handful of fresh flowers (big blossoms such as hydrangeas and roses display beautifully) in a short glass vase. This will be a way to add color and brightness to your table. For a long, rectangular table with leaves use 2 or 3 vases. For a large, round table use a round vase with a wide base.
- Dinner Plate. Keep your dinner plate option simple. Use a solid color plate or one with an outer trim for a touch of detail. This will be the base to the design of your table setting. When in doubt a simple white dinner plate is always a good option.
- Charger. Using a charger is essential because it will retain the heat from your dinnerware, prevent spills and messes from touching your table, and adds texture to your table setting. Place your charger underneath each guest's dinner plate, in between your flatware arrangement and below your glasses.
- Dinner Napkins. Napkins are great accessories to a table setting but they also need to be functional. Decide if you are going to use cloth or disposable napkins. Large napkins that measure between 22-26 inches square are best. Your napkins can be a pattern design or a solid color. It is a good idea that your napkins contrast with your flatware and dinner plates. For example, if your dinner plate is a sage green use a bold eggplant colored napkin for visual contrast. Place your napkin between your charger and dinner plate for a layering effect or fold it and place it directly on your dinner plate.
- Flatware. Flatware sets the tone to your table setting. For a Thanksgiving dinner table, choose flatware that will compliment the look of your setting. Ask yourself if your setting is rustic, modern, traditional, or eclectic? That will determine what style flatware to use. For presentation purposes be sure your flatware are a matched set. I recommend using a four-piece place setting. This includes a dinner fork, dinner knife, teaspoon, and a salad fork. The salad fork can double as a dessert fork. Your flatware can be placed on top of the napkin or formally placed to the left and right of your charger.
- Table Runner. A table runners is a great way to draw your eye back to the center of the table by adding balance. Like mentioned in no. 1, your centerpiece creates the theme for the entire table. The perfect table runner always compliments the centerpiece. It also can add texture and a pop of color to a neutral table setting. For a long rectangular table your runner should be the entire length of the table plus overhang approximately 6 inches on each side. For a square or round table you can place two table runners crossing in the middle for a dramatic presentation.
- Glassware. Determine what beverages will be served during dinner. Ask yourself, are you serving chilled water, juice, cocktails, beer or wine? It's always a good idea to have two types of glassware set out for each setting. Place a water glass and a wine glass to start. If you decide to serve additional drinks like coffee during dessert you can bring them out as needed, that way you don't crowd the table.
With these few key items your table setting will look inviting and festive to your guests. Remember to enjoy the time with your family and friends during this holiday and be thankful for the little things that bring you joy. Happy Thanksgiving!