Good morning, design friends! Peggi here. Are you feeling the holiday spirit yet? We’ve experienced a few blustery days, but the trees are still holding onto their leaves for the moment. Fall giving us her all. Today, I thought we could discuss the season’s entertaining. For me, that means Thanksgiving! This autumn celebration centered around food and loved ones has been my favorite since forever. Our observance has changed over the years, but this feast has my heart. If you’ll indulge me, I’d love to share our traditions and how design plays a part. Click through if you’d like to read more about our annual process, ogle a beautiful tablescape or two, and hopefully find some inspiration for your special festivities!
Due to several significant moves in our early years, we couldn’t establish the consistent Thanksgiving tradition that I craved. About 10 years ago, that changed. My bestie included us in her family celebration, and we’ve been co-hosting ever since. Each year we choose a theme to guide the menu. We’ve done Italian, French, and classic New England, to name a few. Eventually, we extended the theme to include the table setting, attire, a playlist and sometimes a signature cocktail because we are extra. The planning might be the highlight of my year. My bff (hi, RPC!) spearheads the menu and spends hours combing her Bon Appetit archives; I’m usually assigned a dessert, some type of bread and another side. My other contribution is an on-theme tablescape. I spend months thrifting dishware, linens and special touches. Setting a stunning table and nailing the assignment is my annual design quest!
Most folks probably don’t go to the extreme of purchasing new dishes and glassware every year, but fresh linens could be a reasonable splurge. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, Sarah’s recent diy fringed example would be fab and festive made dining table size. A kantha quilt or colorful thrifted sheets also make interesting and economical table coverings. Because I’m all about beautiful textiles, I usually layer two tablecloths. I’ve never used placemats (round table problems), but recently I’ve noticed lovely scalloped, round and square offerings that might change my mind. Of course, pretty cloth napkins are a must! A variety of sumptuous fabrics can really elevate your look.
Click directly on the objects to be redirected to the source, or use the numbered links below to shop my finds… not all are clickable.
1: black and white platter // 2: marble salt pinch // 3: horn spreader // 4: black spiral candles // 5: glazed pedestal bowl // 6: napkin rings // 7: wood bowl // 8: brushed gold card holder // 9: linen napkins // 10: lazy susan // 11: white spiral candle // 12: beaded floral ornament // 13: tortoise tumbler // 14: gold cheese knife set // 15: gold border linen napkins // 16: black taper holders // 17: rattan placemat // 18: white candle holder // 19: black Wedgwood vase //
For this roundup, I sourced amazing, neutral items with an eye to adding a little something extra to your tabletop. (It’s also a hint to this year’s theme!) To me, entertaining calls for unique or unexpected details. I adore the idea of multiple salt cellars for easier access, and the marble and gold set from Tuesday Made is divine. Candles are key, and I’m seriously into the spiral ones right now. Another feature I noted in many tablescapes was bud vase arrangements. A collection of Wedgwood vessels, or even the tortoise tumblers, with a few simple blooms? Perfection. I’m also a little obsessed with the lazy Susan. I envision it displaying desserts on the buffet or providing subtle height to a dish during the meal. Can you imagine any of these items for your holiday table?
An item I don’t always incorporate is place cards, but I do enjoy the formal vibe they lend. Our celebrations include kids, tunes, and dogs, so we’re far from stuffy. Maybe that’s why I like a dash of la-di-da! Ha. I also think people appreciate having a designated spot. This helps put guests at ease, especially if your group includes new friends or visitors. This year I’ve decided to create menu cards instead. They seem like the perfect, posh, over-the-top component. This aligns with our theme, and they furnish pertinent information, too. What do you think? Considerate personal touch or too much?
In case you’re curious about our theme, the image above contains key pieces. We are riffing on Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball. Think 1960s socialites, ostentation, and glamour… on a budget. Everything, except the damask tablecloth, is thrifted or gifted. The stunning snake, a birthday gift from my wonderful bestie, adds a sleek layer of interest. I think sculptural pieces provide texture, enhance the theme and stimulate conversations! A handful of Sarah’s gorgeous beaded ornaments would certainly bring the sparkle! Can you see my vision?
There you have it! Thank you for letting me share my Thanksgiving enthusiasm. Now, I’d be thrilled to hear about your traditions! Are you casual or formal? Do you prefer a buffet or family style? Do you host or are you a guest? Can you dig a theme? Do you like creating a tablescape as much as I do? Maybe you celebrate a different autumn holiday? Tell me! I really do enjoy your comments and insights. Until next time, friends.