Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that revolves around the dining table. With a lovely roast turkey and accompaniments, the focus is on food. You want the table centerpiece to shine and compliment your china, ideally with a simple, yet elegant look.
If the platters of food will be on the table, the decorations should be simple but distinctive enough to stand out amidst the food. If you plan to set up a buffet table then you can use a more complicated centerpiece for the table.
How to Design a Centerpiece to Complement Your China and Table Linens
Depending on the color or pattern of your china, you will want to coordinate your table colors. Fall is traditionally a time of rich deep colors, as seen in the fruits and vegetables of the season. Oranges, deep reds, greens and shades of yellows are prevalent in fall decorations. But, you can depart from tradition, it’s really the host or hostess’ choice.
Look at the color of your linens and china and work from there. A new tablecloth or table runner can quickly be whipped up with a piece of cotton duck from the fabric store, or perhaps, a shawl or fabric sample you already have. A neutral color like white or a soft, creamy beige is versatile enough to be used year round.
Once you’re picked the color then chose your decorations to work with that color. Choose colors that will show up against your cloth. White candles on a white tablecloth will get lost, unless you fill the candle holder with something colorful. For candles, use a vase large enough for a small pillar-style candle with room around it. Several hours before the meal, fill the vase with fresh cranberries and then nestle the candle in the top of the berries. It’s a beautiful focal point with seasonal fruit and a rich red to offset most colors.
Decorating Ideas For an Inexpensive Yet Unique Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Glass bottles– Collect some glass bottles of various sizes and shapes, preferable ones with a neck. Purchase a small package of raffia, natural or dyed as suits your needs, to use as a bow for the bottle. If you have enough bottles for each guest, then use them as table favors. Buy a few pieces of nice looking parchment or fancy writing paper and write a special note on a strip of paper. Then tear, or attractively cut the paper and wrap in a tight cylinder and insert in the neck of the bottle. You might tie a flower or other unique item in the bow or sprinkle a few flower leaves around the base of the bottle. Each guest will have a special message and a pretty gift to take home with them.
Fruit– The fall is a time for apples and pears. I love to decorate simply with a row of pears down the middle of my table, set on a white cloth. For an extra special look try rubbing the pears with gold. There are several options, you can buy the gold leafing used on frames, from the local craft store. The ‘gold’ is rubbed onto your fruit, either in a light coat, allowing the green or red of the pear to show, or for a heavy gilded look. A more expensive option would be to purchase edible gold leaf (available at Amazon.com), this allows guests to eat the pears if desired.
Pumpkins and Gourds– Miniature vegetables can be mounded in a pretty bowl or decoratively arranged directly on the table to give a feeling of the fall harvest. A pumpkin can also serve as a place card- take a gold or silver metallic pen and write each person’s name on the pumpkin. Place it on the dinner plate, on a yellow or red fall leaf or directly on the plate.
Flowers– Mums are a commonplace item in fall decorating. They are widely available and come in a range of colors. One large flower put can be used for the center of the table or individual flowers can be used in various ways. Votive holders, inexpensive and versatile, make excellent mini-vases. You can carve out a hole in pears, apples, or pumpkins to make flower holders. You can also use ornamental cabbage plants, Gerber daisies or arrangements of branches and stalks from the yard.
Allow yourself to think creatively as you contemplate decorating ideas for the Thanksgiving table. Using fruits and vegetables from your grocery store, or commonly found objects is an inexpensive yet attractive way to draw attention to your dining table.