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  • Brittney Blane

Thanksgiving Table Scape 2020 + Tips on Setting the Table for the Holidays

Hi, and welcome to the blog, today we are talking about setting the table for thanksgiving.

Entertaining this time of year is all about making memories with family and friends, and I’m here to show you that planning for a special occasion can be easier than it seems and hopefully stress free.

So today, I am going to take you through my thanksgiving dinner table scape planning and decorating process to help inspire you a little bit and hopefully give you a few tips along the way too.

If you'd Like to see my whole table setting process, and hear some of my best tips on how to set a table you and your guests will truly enjoy, you can watch my view below.

{ I just wanted to quickly note: that most of the items I used in my table scape are pieces that I have had for many years. That being said, I have tried to find similar items online to link here, just in case you wanted to re-create the look. }

You can shop those similar items here:

Tip #1: How to Choose your Theme

When planning a table for thanksgiving or any special dinner occasion, I always like to start with my theme and color scheme.

This is obviously thanksgiving, and an autumn-themed dinner, so I planned my table design off the seasonal decor I already have set out in my home this year.

I find holiday dinners themes are easiest to plan when they are based off of the decor I already have set out in my home for the season. I personally think, It’s important to keep the decor throughout consistent --- especially if you are entertaining throughout the house or have an open concept dining.

If you have a separate dining area to host in, like I do, then going with something that is a little different than the seasonal decor in you home is totally ok. Of course, it’s always ok to do what you love. So remember this is just my opinion; there are no strict rules when it comes to entertaining in YOUR home. So you choose whatever theme and color scheme that your heart desires.

This year I decided to go with what I call "Rustic Farmhouse glam." I'm taking natural textures and mixing them with seasonal tones that complement the farmhouse motif. I am also adding in a few gold accents here and there to give it that hit of glam.

Tip #2: Gather all Your Tabletop Items

Get everything together you plan to use on your tabletop to make sure pieces fit your theme, and do not clash with one another.

Before I actually start laying anything down on the table, I get out everything I’m going to use so I can make sure its all cohesive, and fits the look I’m going for.

This will eliminate having to go back and replace your napkins or your server ware if they end up not matching the centerpiece. It will save time once you start laying things out on your table.

Tip #3: Decorating The Center of the Table

How to create a beautiful and functional centerpiece.

When setting and decorating the dining table, I like to Start with the foundation which is the table and the linens

This year --- in keeping with that rustic-farmhouse vibe --- texture is important; so I’ve chosen to go with a bare table since mine is a more natural wood carved table, and a simple lace table runner. The one I'm using this year was actually my great grandmother's table runner. I love adding in sentimental pieces like this, I think it give the decor and dining experience a little bit of depth and a story. Bringing in these pieces makes me feel like I'm carrying on family tradition which is so special.

After I've taken care of the base of my table I start to build my center piece.

A few things to keep in mind when creating a successful centerpiece for your dining table: Height and function.

Tip #4: Choosing a Centerpiece

Your centerpiece can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like it to be.

1st, and most importantly:A good rule of thumb in terms of size, is to keep your center pieces, and table decor, under face-level.

This ensures that those sitting across from one another can easily converse and enjoy eachother's company, without the beautiful centerpiece getting in the way.

There is nothing worse than your guests sitting down for dinner, and having a floral arrangement staring them in the face, obstructing their view of the other guests across from them.

Tip #5: Consider How Your Centerpiece Will Function During the Meal

When laying out your table decor, it’s important to keep in mind how you will be serving your meal during the dinner during the decorating process. If you plan to lay the food dishes and server-ware out on the table during your meal, keeping your centerpiece minimal and simple will allow room for that. You don’t want to have to move all the beautiful work you've done off the table before the meal starts. The whole point of the table decor is for your guests to enjoy the ambience while they enjoy that delicious meal too.

SO just a little savvy table top design tip:

If you do plan to keep the platters and serving dishes of food on the table during dinner, it's a good idea to take all the serving pieces you plan to use a head of time, and lay them out along with your centerpiece as you initially start to decorate. This way you can see how it will look prior to your special event.

If I am serving this way, I will layout my serving pieces, then snap a quick little picture on my phone so I can remember the layout on the day of the event. Then, I don’t have to worry about everything fitting on the table and looking lovely in the process.

Tip # 6: Adding Height to your Table

A good way to add height to the table, without obstructing the view is using tapered candles and candle sticks. You can see how I've done just that in my YouTube Video.

Tip #7: Creating the Perfect Place Setting

The next important element to your table scape is the place setting. The place setting is part of your guests personal dining experience during the meal.

So, keep what you want that experience to be like for them in mind while you are building out that setting.

Just like the center of the table, my process for creating a place setting I'm proud of starts with the foundation. Again, this is the table itself, and the linens.

As I mentioned before, it's all about texture this year, so I am choosing to mix woven wicker chargers in this beautiful natural brown tone with soft cream placemats that have a little weave of gold in them. (I think this captures my theme perfectly don't you?)

After that I add my dishes. This year I've chosen to just add the dinner plates and salad plates.

One little time and headache saving tip I've adopted over the years:

I do not like to set the table with unnecessary pieces that guests will not utilize, or need, throughout the meal.

When hosting an intimate dinner for family and friends, I don't get too caught up in the “Proper” way to set a formal place setting.

For example, If I’m not serving soup with the meal, there is no need for a soup spoon. Or if I’m serving the food more buffet style, and less formal, I don’t necessarily have to add the dessert utensils to to table; I can just have them out on the dessert buffet for my guest to grab as they get their dessert.

I don’t really believe in following strict rules here. The only thing that I think is important, is that everything flows smoothly for your guests and you as the host. That means your guests having what they need to enjoy their meal available to them, and not having a space cluttered with unnecessary items.

How you set the table tells your guests how formal or informal the meal ahead is going to be. No need to confuse them with extra clutter.

Tip #8: Adding a Little Something Extra

To top off my place settings, I like to add one little decorative element, or trinket that brings the theme and decor to each and every place at the table. I am keeping it very simple this year with these gold brushed pumpkins. I think little touches like this add to the guest’s dining experience without getting in the way. It can easily be moved aside once the meal is served.

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Thank you so much for setting the table with me for thanksgiving today. I hope you enjoyed this post, and more importantly I hope you have a wonderful holiday season ahead.

I will see you soon.

Lots of Love,



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