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our thanksgiving tablescape + my #1 seasonal decorating tip

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modern thanksgiving table blush mustard

There are not enough words to describe how happy I am to be hosting Thanksgiving this year in our new house! Thanksgiving is arguably my favorite day of the year. It has everything I love – a holiday, copious amounts of food, hosting friends and family, and the only activities are centered around eating and naps.


This year we plan to host both sides of our family, so the table will be set for roughly 17 people! We designed this house with an extra long 10’ table to be able to host a large crowd.

Everything we design around here has to meet 3 criteria:

  1. It needs to be pretty.

  2. It needs to be durable (there are so many kids here, you guys), and

  3. It needs to be easy.

I am not going to spend 3 hours setting the table, and I’m not going to want to obsess over keeping kids away from the table all day so nothing breaks. Are there breakables on the table? SURE. But there aren’t precocious towers of glass pumpkins that will shatter when hit by an inevitable nerf dart.

You might remember last year when we set up our client’s house for Thanksgiving. She was hosting just 2 weeks after giving birth to their 5th baby and having just moved into their home that past month! TLD to the rescue using a combination of things she already owned and things we added to the party to round it out.

My biggest advice for seasonal decorating: I always encourage people when holiday decorating to stick with the color palette that you already have for your house (you know you like it) rather than having to source an entirely new set of EVERYTHING to match holiday colors.

My house color palette is a mixture of blush, mustard, black, warm white, and wood. There’s occasionally another color thrown in there, but for the most part, this is the foundation and the starting point I use for every season.

modern thanksgiving table blush mustard

Most of what I’m using this year is vintage or things I’ve collected over time, which is amazing! The only new thing I purchased was white linen napkins, because we didn't own a large enough set of matching ones and white goes with everything.

I’m never going to be the designer/blogger who pushes you to buy dozens of new things every month. Using what you have and slowly growing your collection - replacing things that are worn with new quality items that you’ll love – that’s my jam. Nearly everything on my table is a hand me down, thrifted, or a gift. Not to worry, though, I’ve linked up the most similar items I can find so you can recreate any particular piece that strikes your fancy.

If setting a tablescape feels intimidating to you (and honestly the word tablescape is a little hoyte toyte for me but I can't think of a better term to use), here are a few really simple tips to set an interesting, pretty, and easy table:


You’ll want a runner, tablecloth, or placemats (or perhaps a combo!) as a foundation. That goes down first.

modern thanksgiving table blush mustard


Are you placing all of the dishes down the center of the table? If so, leave the doo-dads to the minimum. Be sure to set out your dishes ahead of time so you know everything will fit, and to help you make the cooking bit easier! If you’ll be serving the food on a buffet or in the kitchen, then you can fill the table with more pretty things.

We have a long counter in our dining area, so my plan is to have food set out here (and probably also the kitchen island because 17 people = a lot of food). Since I'm not planning around any food dishes, the only functional pieces I needed to include on the table are salt and pepper and butter dishes. Easy.

modern thanksgiving table blush mustard


An interesting table nearly always has this one common attribute – varying heights. You want the eye to flow up and down and around the table. Use cake stands, tall taper candles, and vases to add height. Think about creating a wave from one end of the table to the other.

modern thanksgiving table blush mustard


There's no getting around it, there's something primal about sharing a meal over candlelight. It just speaks to our souls. Add in taper candles or votive candles (or both) to make the table feel magical.

modern thanksgiving table blush mustard


This is going to depend on your family’s eating style, but typically you're going to want some combination of dinner plate, salad/dessert plate, and possibly a bread plate. Often I’ll have the table fully set (I almost always do this a day or two before), but before dinner will lift out the dessert plates and forks to make some room and go stash those by the pies for later.

modern thanksgiving table blush mustard


Now that all the basics are accounted for, bring in the flowers, little pumpkins, fairy lights, whatever makes you happy! Some people really like to go over the top with this. I LOVE looking at overflowing, luxe tables, but my style is more minimal (and lazy) so I keep adding until it’s just enough and then stop.

This year I have a combo of fun things. There are 5 vases with faux flowers (so I'm not stressing about running out the day before Thanksgiving to find the right combo of real flowers) plus cuttings of some of my outdoor plants in water. They'll keep for WEEKS. Having something green on the table, whether it's real or not, goes a long way.

After that, the last little touch are a handful of cardboard and ceramic pumpkins sprinkled along the table. The pumpkins WILL get played with and thrown around, so they need to be made of paper and not glass (or at least not heirlooms). But you do you.

modern thanksgiving table blush mustard

modern thanksgiving table blush mustard

All my pretty Pyrex bowls are lined up and waiting to be filled! I sort of wish I was the kind of blogger who made an entire Thanksgiving feast in September and had all my friends over and took pictures of it to make this look real. But y'all, I'm juuuuuuust shy of that level of organized. So just pretend the bowls are full of amazing food, okay?!

après turkey thanksgiving sweatshirt setting the table

That’s it! It truly doesn’t take a ton of effort to pull together (an hour, MAX) and the end result makes it worth it.

Also, shameless plug for Humble Abode's Thanksgiving sweatshirts! Is it a coincidence that this one matches my Thanksgiving table perfectly?!? NOPE! Because I live my whole life in this color palette, you guys!

I'll be wearing these every Thanksgiving for the next 30 years or so. You can find them here!


blush thanksgiving tablescape


13. China

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