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Setting a Simple Thanksgiving Table

October 30, 2023

Having a thoughtfully set table is an important part of gathering together for Thanksgiving. See how decorating simply can allow you to create a beautiful tablescape without spending a lot of time or money doing it.

FALL   |   Updated October 29, 2023

A mix of pumpkins, berries, and pinecones create a beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece.  |

Thanksgiving and all that it entails is quickly approaching.

Thoughts of oven roasted turkey and homemade pumpkin pie have already started swirling through my brain. Can you smell all that delicious food cooking in the oven?

We all have so much to be thankful for in our lives. And sometimes we forget that the Thanksgiving holiday is there to honor that.

Between the the stress of getting dinner on the table, the family dressed and ready, and the house spic and span, we loose sight of the importance of being thankful. And for many, the holiday itself is overshadowed by the deals that may (or may not) be found in the Black Friday sales popping up later in the day.

This simple and neutral fall tablescape is exactly how I want to decorate my Thanksgiving table this year.  |

With so much to occupy our time and our mind, I wanted to create a Thanksgiving tablescape this year that is simple. Just the right amount of seasonal touches and elegance to make the table a special place to gather without spending precious time overthinking the process.

It is important for us all to save time where we can so that there is more to spend on what is truly important during the upcoming holiday seasons.

While we normally associate the holiday with the food we serve and the family with whom we share the day, having a nicely set table to gather around is also important. Your guests will undoubtedly appreciate the thought you put into creating a special place for them to dine.

Presentation is just about as crucial as the actual taste of the dinner you prepare. But it isn't in the "fancy" dinnerware or the elaborate design.....It is just about showing the effort you put into preparing a space for your loved ones.

Simple and elegant farmhouse decorating on this Thanksgiving table.  |

In the past, my Thanksgiving table was set with layers of dishes, an intricate centerpiece, and an array of fall color. Even when dining outdoors, I feel the need to go all out.

But now, I'm craving simplicity and clean lines.

Here are a few tips if you find that simple is how you'd like to decorate your table this Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving tablescape is simply decorated, yet beautiful.  |


Use Your Best

Rather than piling plates and decor onto the table to make everything look fancy and finished (and oftentimes, maybe overdone), I choose to just use my best dinner plates, glasses, and antique silverware to let my guests know that I am thankful for them and the time they've chosen to spend with me.

Typically we like to save and preserve our "best"....but I can't think of a better time to actually put those treasures to use. Let the limited pieces on the table be the highlight.

Please know that you don't have to invest a lot to have fancy dinnerware. Thrift stores like Goodwill are filled with discarded plates, silver, and fancy drinkware for a very low price. You can often find full sets or build a curated collection of coordinating dishes for a one of a kind look.

A simple way to set a fancy dinner table.  |

Antique silverware layered on a linen napkin.  |

Beautiful crystal wine goblet.

Add Texture

The best way to add interest to a simple table setting is through the use of texture. That starts with the textiles you choose.

The neutral colored table runner I used adds just the right amount and breaks up the dark wood of the dining table. I made it recently using a similar process as my burlap table runner. The fringed edges keeps the runner from looking basic or boring.

You could also use a textured tablecloth or placemats if you don't have a table runner that will work.

In addition, cloth napkins and even the cut glass goblets and aged silverware contribute to the overall design. Anything that makes you want to reach out and touch an item shows that it is adding texture.

Create a beautiful fall centerpiece using pumpkins, pine cones, and berries.  |

Use Nature for a Centerpiece

There are so many options for using nature in the fall and that extends not just to your home decor, but to tablescapes as well. The best part is that these items tend to naturally coordinate together easily.

For the most part, it doesn't matter whether you are using real natural items or their faux counterparts, especially if they are realistic versions.

The centerpiece here is made of a faux berry garland folded in half and tucked around a few pumpkins. Pinecones are tucked into the open areas.

Nothing is overwhelming or interferes with conversation across the table. And there is plenty of room for food to sit and be passed in case anyone wants to fill their plate a second (or third!) time.

Additional nature items you may want to consider are branches of leaves (fresh or preserved), acorns, squash, or seasonal flowers.

READ NEXT: How to Create a Simple Fall Centerpiece

Add Candlelight

The glow from candles add warmth to your table setting, even in the daytime hours. The flickering flames complete the look of your simple table.

Again, it doesn't matter whether you choose real tapers and pillars or flameless battery operated candles. The faux variety is often a safer choice, especially if children are at the table.

This simply decorated fall tablescape is beautiful.  |

In the end, it is the laughter across the table, the fond memories shared, and the warm atmosphere that you create that will make the day memorable. The most important part of the Thanksgiving meal is being able to spend time with those that mean the most to you and focusing on the gratitude that you have for all the good in your life.

It really does not matter what you serve for your holiday dinner or what you consider your "best" when setting the table. It truly is the thought that counts.

I urge you to savor the moments and spend your time focusing on what (and who) really matters during this holiday season. Make things pretty and put your best effoft forward, but not at the expense of having the time and clear mind to enjoy it all.

Setting a Simple Thanksgiving Table |

A simple and neutral fall tablescape.  |

I hope today's post has inspired you to think simply this fall and create more memories that can be shared and laughed about next year.

Other Fall Decorating Posts You Might Be Interested in Seeing






Now, I'd really appreciate it if you could spend some time checking out all the other incredible ideas my friends are sharing for setting your fall or Thanksgiving table.

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