Whether you are planning a large, socially-distanced gathering or keeping it small this year, Thanksgiving is a celebration centered around food. One of our favorite parts of the holiday (besides pie, of course) is getting to decorate the table and create a nice space for our families to eat, talk, express our gratitude and enjoy time together. If you are new to hosting or just need some fresh ideas, here are some of our best tips for crafting the perfect Thanksgiving table setting.

Place Setting Basics

Major props if you already know what side the knife and spoon go on. But if you need a refresher, here are the basics of a formal place setting. 

Stack the dinner plate, napkin and salad plate in the middle (napkin styles vary, so follow your heart). The knife goes on the right, blade facing in, and the spoon goes to the right of the knife. The fork goes to the left of the plate, with the salad fork to the left of it.

Place the water and wine glasses above the spoon and knife, while the bread plate goes above the fork. Dessert spoon and fork go right above the plate, facing opposite directions.

Use Fall’s Harvest

Fall has so many seasonal fruits, vegetables and flowers full of rich colors and textures. Put some pumpkins, gourds, figs and nuts on display, or fill vases with wispy grasses and fresh autumn blooms.

Break out the Good China

Not everyone has a separate set of special occasion dishes, but if you do, now is the time to bring them out! The same rule goes for vintage glassware, crystal wine glasses, and the real silver. These pieces will lend an elevated and special touch to the meal.

It may add an extra step to clean up, but if you aren’t going to use the nice dishes for Thanksgiving, when will you use them?

Make it Cozy

Hard sitting surfaces are not meant for long meals. If your table has a wood bench or chairs, soften them up with pillows or a blanket. Faux fur throws look luxe and are a great touch for the fall and winter seasons.

And after the meal when everyone is too full to move, make sure you have plenty of cozy spaces for everyone to stretch out and put their feet up.

Add Layers

Mix and match the textures you use at the place settings. Start with a wood or woven charger, stack a simple, white dinner plate with a patterned salad plate, and add in a linen napkin. You can also top each setting with some seasonal produce, or a metallic place card holder.

November 22, 2020 — Jordan Towner

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