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.
ColleenNovember 5, 2021 at 7:15 am
Whoa Peggy, your tablescaping skills are off the charts. How incredibly fun! What a wonderful way to celebrate a holiday with your best friend ❤️ A host and co-host that’s genius, especially for a larger gathering. I love your theme, how artfully creative and beautiful 😍 I can’t believe you thrift each year for a different table scape and decor. That’s amazing!
I’ve collected decor items over the years and usually pull the same stuff out year after year with a few slight modifications but nothing as elaborate as you put together. In Canada we have already celebrated Thanksgiving about three weeks ago and we had the most amazing weather. We ate outside on the patio, had the traditional turkey style menu but I changed up the pumpkin pie with the pumpkin ginger pie from Broma bakery as Sarah shared the link on an earlier post. It was absolutely the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever tasted and it was a hit with our family. I will make it at Christmas too 😋
I absolutely love the tradition you and your best friend have developed over the years. Different menu each year as well as different themed table settings/decor. Sounds fabulous 🥳 and tremendous fun!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving it sounds utterly delightful 🥂
PeggiNovember 5, 2021 at 8:14 am
Hello, Colleen! Thank you for the sweet compliments! I love the idea of enjoying Thanksgiving on the patio, and I’m envious of your perfect weather. It’s usually pretty chilly and drizzly here by Thanksgiving. I adore a classic turkey menu; we just enjoy experimenting a little. Truth be told, sometimes I make a couple of my favorite traditional dishes later in the weekend.😉 I need my pumpkin pie…and I definitely thought the ginger pumpkin looked scrumptious! Whether you use the same cherished pieces or the same cherished process, the meaning and love is in the tradition, right? Have the sweetest weekend, friend!🍁
Danna FNovember 5, 2021 at 8:43 am
Peggie, enjoyed this post as I have been thinking about our table scape this year. Your table scape looks beautiful and I am impressed with your thrifting skills. I eww’d and aww’d at your snake candle holder. What a unusual but beautiful piece (conversation starter for sure)!
The idea of having a theme really helps bring thought and love into it each year. I went really casual (even with cloth napkins) last year and ended up not liking it. You just gave me an idea to have my mom help me plan our table because she is really good at styling. I look forward to time spent with family. Please share your table once it is set up. Have a great day!
PeggiNovember 5, 2021 at 10:32 am
Good morning, Danna! I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one scheming the holiday table. I really do have so much fun with it, and a theme helps me focus.🤣 I love your idea of teaming up with your mom to plan your table. Despite my naturally bossy tendencies, collaborating with my bff every year brings me great joy, and I believe the shared work makes the day a greater success. Have a wonderful weekend and happy planning!
LaurenNovember 5, 2021 at 10:07 am
Good morning Peggi! What an incredibly fun way to host a holiday. I’m both impressed and intrigued! The theme for this year sounds eye catching and looks stupendous. I agree about Sarah’s beaded ornaments being a wonderful addition. It sounds perfectly delightful. I personally haven’t gotten much into tablescapes- I do host every year, but young meddling children abound, hahah! I would love to do a gorgeous tablescape once the delight of touching has worn off, and you’ve given oodles of inspiration. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that I’ve always held dear, and ours is vastly more casual. I typically host an “open house” Thanksgiving: my menu for the day is planned around two main meals (breakfast & dinner), and filled in with grazing areas for the mid portion of the day. Family filters in when it’s best for them and they stay as long as they are willing and able. My favorite part of thanksgiving has always been the food, and I tend to flex my creative muscles there. I particularly love planning the grazing stations-I find it great fun to come up with vastly different combinations and lay it all out beautifully. I might try my hand at a small centerpiece this year and see how it goes. You sure have the holiday juices flowing. Cheers to pizza Friday Peggi! Thank you for another wonderful post. Xo
PeggiNovember 5, 2021 at 11:00 am
Good morning, friend! I hear you on the meddling children. When the crowd gets large, they can really swarm. Another benefit of thrifting nearly everything is that I’m less bothered if accidents happen. (It’s also not always the children who have the mishaps. Ahem.) Your open house sounds amazing! I adore the idea of a day-long celebration! I bet it allows you more personal time with folks since they’re not all there at once. I can’t resist the chance to set a pretty table, but the menu is definitely the focus of our day. Isn’t food such a great creative outlet? I’m intrigued to hear about your grazing stations. Do you have themes for them? Do you use both hot & cold items? Are they set up in different parts of the house? Seriously, now I’m all questions. Ha. Here’s to Pizza Friday and convivial gatherings!💜
SarahNovember 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm
I loved this post, and hearing about everyone’s lovely traditions! Your tablescape is going to be gorgeous, Peggi… and I love that you thrift a new setting each yeah! That’s a BIG (and fun) challenge. Like you, we always have Friendsgiving with our besties who are also transplants here in Utah. Since we all live so far away from our family, it has turned into a super fun tradition. You’ve got me thinking about the table now! Have a wonderful weekend and happy pizza Friday :)
PeggiNovember 5, 2021 at 3:37 pm
Thanks, Sarah! I’m always fascinated to hear how others celebrate; it definitely adds to my holiday spirit. Is there anything better than sharing a special feast with friends and family? With your amazing dining table as a backdrop, you’re guaranteed a beautiful setting. Fingers crossed that your tree-decorating goes according to plan this weekend and happy pizza Friday to you! (My dough is rising this very moment.)💜