Friday, November 5, 2010



Before you let your decorating dreams run away with themselves, there are just a few basic considerations you need to keep in mind:
How large is your table? Will you be placing serving dishes on the table? If you have a small table that you plan to cram a lot of guests and serving platters around, your decorations will need to be kept small and simple. On the other hand, if you have a huge banquet table with plenty of space, you will want your decorations to fill in the gaps.
Who are your guests? Thanksgiving is usually a time to get all of your family and friends around, which is great, but kids and table decorations don’t always mix. If there will be lots of little ones gathered around the table, lit candles, your best china and crystal and family heirlooms might be best left in the cupboard for another time.

Color reigns supreme. With all the wonderful hues of the harvest season, make sure to layer in a good punch of color at every place setting. Just like with china and stemware, table linens don't have to match,. Mix it up by picking three of your favorite fall colors and incorporating them differently at each setting.

Create a glow. Floating tea lights in partially filled stemware is a wonderful alternative to candles on the table. You will love the effect of amber or emerald colored stemware for this purpose. When nestled in with other glasses, the light from the stemware creates the perfect seasonal glow.

Collect fall foliage. Layer an array of red, yellow, and orange leaves around the edge of a charger, or simply place leaves underneath the perimeter of the largest plate at each place setting. This organic look adds just the right touch of the season.

Use your gourd. Small gourds of all colors make wonderful vessels for food. After hollowing out the inside, let the gourd dry before inserting a small bowl to fill with a side dish. This is a really fun and festive way to serve a first course, like soup, which would already be on the table when your guests sit down.

Pick some pinecones. The color is right, the texture is great, and these guys are perfect for holding on to something,. Use the layers of the pinecones prickly scales to hold place cards. For a different twist, try writing a word or two about what you're thankful for about each guest to place at his or her seat.

Add some organic flair. Dress up your silverware for the season with a little raffia and a fall leaf. Just roll your silverware up in a napkin, bind with raffia, and insert one leaf into the raffia tie.

Incorporate fall crops. Tuck a few wheat stalks into candlesticks for an interesting decoration and to add height to individual place settings. A low, wide candleholder made of ceramic or pottery works well to complement the long, rustic look of the wheat cluster.

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