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Find Your Thanksgiving Style

Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? One of many crown jewels of the event is your table setting – and all the fabulous food. Let us at Pottery Barn help you find your style to get inspired for Thanksgiving and delight your guests with four of our favorite festive table settings. Choosing a style makes it so much easier to set the Thanksgiving table. You’ll have more time to tend to the turkey, get your home ready for the holidays and relax with your favorite people.


Go Al Fresco


Do you live in an area that has fair weather in November? Have an al fresco Thanksgiving dinner. Enjoy food and drink in the fresh air under the stars. It’s a unique and energizing way to celebrate the spirit of thankfulness.

Al fresco style is usually casual. Accentuate your table with simple dinnerware, unbreakable crystal glasses and plenty of crisp white linens. Set the scene by placing your table under an umbrella or a tree with branches that are sturdy enough to hold strings of twinkling white lights or hanging lanterns. Beneath the table, add an outdoor rug. This makes the setting even more like an open-space dining room.

Dining in the fresh air during this holiday means anything goes when it comes to your decor, from mix-and-match furniture to an array of eclectic candles. Vases filled with nature’s bounty, such as acorns, pine cones, wildflowers and gourds, make for fresh, seasonal centerpieces at your al fresco table. Set up an outdoor fire pit where guests can convene with some after-dinner drinks.


Dine in Elegance


Turn your Thanksgiving celebration into a formal dinner party. Elegant holiday tables use your best dinnerware, set with the charger or placemat as your first layer. Add the dinner plate resting beneath the soup bowl or salad plate – whichever works well for how and what you’re serving. Remember the bread plate and butter knife set atop the plate. Traditionally, it’s small enough to fit above the forks. Include a water glass and wine glass. Arrange your polished silver with the dinner fork on the inner left of plate and the salad fork on the outer left of plate. Knives and spoons go on the right, with the knife’s blade facing toward the plate.

For an extra-sophisticated touch, include printed Thanksgiving dinner menus for each place setting. Arrange monogrammed napkins and place cards on the table for seating arrangements. Elegant dinner parties are great opportunities to have an abundance of candles. They cast just the right light on everyone to make guests look like they have a special inner glow. You may want to create a large floral centerpiece for your elegant dinner party. Or, consider easy yet luxe Thanksgiving arrangements with faux florals and long-lasting decorative accessories. Use coral and red roses, multiple silver candlesticks, mercury glass vases or gold-toned pumpkins on an exquisite embroidered table runner.


Relax with Rustic Touches


When you hear the word “rustic,” you might think of country dining on a chunky wooden farmhouse table. Rustic style can be so much more. In its more modern forms, it’s fresh, warm, light and bright at the same time. Rustic style embraces a rugged yet simple natural beauty – not only when it comes to furniture but with tableware and accessories, too.

Rustic dining style is casual at its heart. Think about a tabletop decorated in earthy, neutral tones with lots of textures. These might be thickly woven linens and cloth napkins with visible weaving. Dinnerware can be simple white with clear crystal glassware. A rustic table also looks great with casual plants, small pumpkins and small gourds on the table to take the place of more formal centerpieces. For rustic DIY vases, create a sunflower-and-candle centerpiece. Or, hollow out mini pumpkins and insert floral foam in which you can arrange your flowers. Instead of plate warmers and chargers, consider using rustic round chunks of wood as placemats.


Celebrate with Tradition


Classic Thanksgiving tables combine refined comfort along with modern decorative elements, such as indulgent floral centerpieces. Surround your table with cushioned, upholstered dining chairs to keep the celebration going longer in comfort. Bring the table decor up a few notches with your most cherished formal dinnerware and glassware. Tuck silverware into cloth napkins. Wrap them with themed napkin rings for an inviting look arranged near a table runner in harvest colors. Transform a side console or buffet into a self-serve bar or an area dedicated to side dishes and desserts. That way, you and guests can have space for extra helpings around the table.

Thanksgiving is a perfect time to enjoy loved ones’ company. Make your gathering’s backdrop an even more beautiful place to be by incorporating these ideas into your next fall celebration.