First Impressions: Thanksgiving Tablescape Design

First Impressions: Thanksgiving Tablescape Design


Family gathering season seems to always frazzle the best of us.

As we all prepare for that first big holiday, our dining table makes not only a first impression but also a lasting one! While adding new decorative pillows, getting the house in order for out of town guests or getting a jump start on the food prep, we tend to overlook this all very important area—the dining table.

I always start with my tablescape because it is (next to all the yummy food I’ve prepared) my favorite place to show my family and guests that they are special.

Vivian Robins Event Details 1

This just may be because as a child I was significantly influenced by family dinners together. I saw how much effort and attention to detail my mom put into making everything look so pretty.

Having just participated in my second year of Heading Home to Dinner at the Boston Design Center, my use of the color magenta alongside pops of orange got me thinking about repurposing this lush batik fabric for Thanksgiving.

I love the beauty of the design on my dining room table. Yet in typical shoe cobbler fashion, I have not gotten around to refinishing it, nor have I sent out my very loved dining room chairs to be reupholstered.

So I am going to fall back on the concept of layering by using the placemats on top of an aubergine colored tablecloth.

How gorgeous will this look with autumn accents of brown, orange and gold? The Ferrick & Mason fabric would make killer napkins as my china has small scale buds of orange and plum against a ring of deep navy.

Find Your Inspiration

What is your dining room’s color scheme? Pluck color out of your existing space (could be the rug, your china or the colors of your wallpaper) and use it on the table.

If you have a gorgeous wood table showcase it by placing runners side to side versus down the middle. Do you want to send each person a message of thanks? Then bring that sentiment to each place setting.

The Centerpiece

Once you’ve decided on all the elements of your table, then it’s time for the centerpiece—this is what anchors your design. It doesn’t always have to be flowers.

Incorporate small, age-worn planters filled with herbs, or various sized gourds and fruit running down the center with berries strewn within the gaps of the gourds.

Sometimes, I just love filling a few small vases with flowers and adding in everyday objects such as pottery. Finally, use non-scented votive candles or candlesticks – this just looks so warm, inviting and dreamy!

I always start the day putting the turkey in the oven, getting in a run and then switching on the Macy’s Day Parade. What are your plans for Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear what makes it special for you!

Flower Design Arrangement 1
1 Comment
  • Nicole
    | 27 March 2020

    You are truly the master of table settings, Vivian. Lovely!

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