25 Thanksgiving Table Settings That Are Seasonal Eye Candy

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Image Credit: Lindsay Kindelon

Let's face it: Whether you're hosting your first Thanksgiving or you're a self-described pro, there's a certain amount of pressure that accompanies the holiday. A time to reunite with friends and family, express gratitude, and eat the most anticipated meal of the year, Thanksgiving is rife with expectations, to say the least.


The predictability of the feast to come offers a certain kind of comfort, but how can you add some personal flourishes to your holiday celebration? The table decorations. After all the food prep and meal planning, setting the table might be the last thing on your mind, but with some forethought (the recurring theme of the day), you can assemble a tablescape worthy of the food. More than a functional element, the table setup adds to the ambiance, acts as a backdrop for the food on display, and announces that there is thought and care behind the celebration.

Video of the Day

Video of the Day

Thanksgiving tablescapes often take inspiration from the time of year, flaunting harvest notes, autumnal hues, and seasonal fruits and vegetables. But there really aren't any hard and fast rules, which is what makes setting the table so much fun. "Of course, the food is a big draw, but as a designer, I can't help but lean into the spirit of the holiday with a beautiful table. I steer away from traditional formal settings and take inspiration from nature — incorporating pinecones and seasonal fruit like persimmons, pears, and pomegranates. I add candles in varying heights to enhance a cozy vibe," says Daleet Spector, founder and principal designer of Daleet Spector Design.


Let the kiddos get in on the fun too with DIY crafts, forage for branches and foliage in your own backyard, or turn expectations on their head by opting for a completely unexpected color palette. "You can't go wrong with an autumnal color scheme, and I like to mix things in like eucalyptus and olive branches as well as Palo Santos. It's fun to involve my kids by having them help choose recipes as well as sending them into our garden to fetch beautiful natural decor for the table," adds Spector.


Regardless of your dinner table's theme, there are a few things that every good place setting should have, including:

Things You'll Need

If you're looking for some creative inspiration around Thanksgiving table settings, we've got you covered.

25 Thanksgiving-Inspired Table Ideas

1. Use fruit for a pop of color.

We love how Marina from Yummy Mummy Kitchen used seasonal fruit, like persimmons and pomegranates, alongside mini white pumpkins and olive branches to add a pop of color. Runners are an easy-to-tackle DIY project that can be crafted using a variety of different materials, such as eucalyptus leaves, fruit, a series of mini vases, or evergreen branches — just take inspiration from the season.



2. Add succulents for natural texture.

Succulents don't always come to mind this time of year, but Ashley and Hallman from Jane Can show that these plants will add beautiful color and texture to an all-white pumpkin display. Rustic touches like driftwood, thin manzanita-adorned napkins, minimal place cards, and simple dinnerware add to the natural scheme.


3. Make a table runner that's good enough to eat. Literally.

a line of produce, including grapes, pears, cherries, and squash runs down the length of a table with a white cloth and gold cutlery

Hunker contributor Trisha Sprouse takes the harvest theme to the next level with this edible table runner. It's a stunning focal point that pulls double duty as a decorative element and a flavorful appetizer. Figs, anyone? With a centerpiece this stunning, you can keep the place settings simple and elegant with white plates and linens. Gold flatware and candleholders add a hint of sparkle.


4. Allow the table settings to really stand out with clear dining chairs.

This beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape, crafted by Margaret Elizabeth and Designsake Studio and showcased on The Glitter Guide, kept the seating simple so that all eyes would be focused on the elegant setup. Since the chairs are clear, the white porcelain dishware topped with lavender napkins and persimmons can be viewed from every angle. The gold flatware and candleholders add lustrous warmth and add to the ambiance while the verdant table runner offers an organic pop of color.



5. Invite Mother Nature to the table.

Jenni Kayne shows how to maximize fall's bounty by creating a Thanksgiving tablescape that combines the best of Mother Nature's in-season vegetables — including beets, persimmons, berries, artichokes, and mushrooms. Wood chargers and pillar candles add to the rustic charm.


6. Paint pumpkins for visual interest.

An assortment of painted miniature pumpkins, in various sizes and colors, is an unexpected way to showcase the traditional fruit. The striped charcoal gray linens and dishware, scalloped chargers, and simple napkin adornments, pulled together by Casa de Perrin, add elegance and warmth. Black flatware complements the moody yet festive scheme.


7. Don't forget to include the fifth wall — the ceiling.

Danielle from The Style Files shows us how to keep a Thanksgiving table simple while adding all the drama and color you need from above. Cascading leaves flaunting warm, earthy fall colors are hung on fishing wire from the ceiling. The rustic table and dining benches add to the woodsy charm.


8. Assemble an unexpected color palette.

Brittany from The House That Lars Built demonstrates the beauty of using foraged blossoms, greens, and golden fern as a centerpiece. The floral arrangement is complemented by blush pink, blue, and mauve table settings — proving that you can depart from traditional Thanksgiving colors and still craft a dreamy holiday scheme.

9. Go fresh and modern.

For this modern tablescape, Ashley Rose from Sugar & Cloth paired an assortment of squash and gourds in saturated colors with minimalist chairs and a Saarinen-style table. Follow the creative's lead and make your sideboard look equally festive by echoing the Thanksgiving table decor and weaving key elements between the serving platters. The copper mugs are an especially nice touch.

10. Layer your dinnerware.

Sarah Sherman Samuel shows how to elevate your place settings with layered dishware in different colors and a healthy dose of gold (represented with chargers, flatware, and candleholders). Patterned napkins and a monochromatic centerpiece created with artichokes and gourds add texture. A single feather on each setting serves as a subtle symbol of the holiday.


11. Go full speed ahead with seasonal colors.

Fully embrace the colors of the season (like Bri Emery from Designlovefest) with a bohemian-inspired floral arrangement. Elegant candleholders, formal flatware, and fluted stemware keep the overall look polished, yet welcoming. Personalized miniature journals pull double duty — functioning both as a place card and a parting gift. Now guests can document everything they are thankful for all year instead of just one day.

12. Mix metal finishes.

All that glitters is gold ... and copper — at least for this backyard fête designed by Jeni of Found Vintage Rentals. The creative paired copper chairs with gold candleholders resulting in a warm lustrous glow that feels oh-so-cozy. (Don't be afraid to mix metal finishes, people!) Seasonal gourds, a natural runner, and striped linen napkins complete the picture-perfect scene.

13. Don't forget the kids' table.

Kids table with folded boat decorations and disposable dishware

Make the little ones feel extra special too by showing their table some love, courtesy of a few festive DIY projects by Hunker contributor Trisha Sprouse. These popcorn-filled paper boats are a whimsical reference to the ships sailed by Christopher Columbus as well as colorful place settings. And the fun doesn't stop there — each plate is met by a little decorative turkey made from a faux acorn. Butcher paper provides a neutral backdrop that kids can doodle on before, during, or after their meals.

14. Opt for harvest vibes.

If you're lucky enough to live in a temperate climate, consider having your Thanksgiving feast en plein air, like Ashley from Sugar and Cloth. This pastel-themed tablescape is a sweet departure from more predictable seasonal hues, but works beautifully thanks to a festive runner showcasing longer-lasting harvest elements — corn, pumpkins, bunches of wheat — and a perfectly roasted turkey. And as if this holiday setup wasn't dreamy enough, Ashley chose to top each plate with a mini charcuterie board that the guests can take home. Swoon!

15. Take advantage of your home's architectural features.

If you have a spectacular feature in your home, why not incorporate it into your Thanksgiving decor? This setup spotted on Style by Emily Henderson makes the most of a gorgeous exposed brick wall by using it as the backdrop for a rustic tablescape. Flower arrangements, herbs, and corn stalks are suspended from the ceiling adding to the down-to-earth, cozy vibe.

16. Include elevated holiday symbols.

Bestow good fortune on all of your guests (instead of just one) by adding a wishbone to each place setting. Rachel Huntington from Bonjour Fête adorned the stylish dinnerware on this table with elevated enamel wishbones and used them to hold blush-hued linen napkins in place. Follow their lead and complete the look with a centerpiece of dainty florals, scattered persimmons, and simple gold flatware.

17. Let the dishware be the main attraction.

There's something refreshing about minimal Thanksgiving table decor. But you don't need to sacrifice style in the name of simplicity. For example, this pared-down look from Chris Loves Julia proves that you can still create a festive setup without going overboard. Despite the all-white scheme, the tablescape imbues a rustic charm thanks to the twig-inspired flatware, linen napkins, and wood table. Plates adorned with a turkey motif nod to the holiday.

18. Make the most of a runner.

For inspiration on a laid-back, yet approachable Thanksgiving tablescape, look to Amber Lewis. A combination of carefree pillows, organic dinnerware, and a freeform floral arrangement results in a relaxed and enviable holiday table. We particularly like the bunched linen table runner, which adds depth and enhances the overall casualness of the display.

19. Mix the old with the new.

Most people are familiar with the benefits of vintage decor, and yet don't think to incorporate them into their tablescape. However, mixing the old with the new will add rich character and warmth. For instance, the vintage brass flatware and goblets blend effortlessly with the modern furniture and dinnerware on this Thanksgiving table by Sarah Sherman Samuel. A woven wall hanging anchors the cozy scene.

20. Stick to a theme.

Fall leaves are one of the most iconic symbols of the season. So why not add them to your table as a subtle reference? You can go outside and forage the real thing or you can embark on a DIY project and cut them out of paper or felt. Either way, this decorating idea is easy to manage and adds a beautiful pop of color to your setup. Complete the festive scene with a striped runner.

21. Add visual interest with a pattern.

Image Credit: Lindsay Kindelon

And speaking of stripes ... why stop at the runner? Go all in and get matching napkins, too. It's actually possible for patterns to enhance the festive vibe without taking attention away from the centerpiece or the food. Take this Thanksgiving tablescape, for example — the gold linens are equal parts elegant and playful, plus they make an ideal backdrop for the runner flecked with roses, daisies, and apples.

22. Highlight a single hue.

For a manageable table setting idea, embrace a singular color and use it throughout to create a tonal look with impact. This idea can be executed with autumnal shades or put a winter wonderland spin on things with an all-white look like Amanda of Fashionable Hostess. White pumpkins in various sizes, ivory linens, and matching chairs allow a few carefully placed eucalyptus leaves to really pop. Smoky gray-colored plates and glassware add a hint of contrast.

23. Use jewel tones to create a sense of drama.

Incorporate jewel tones into your Thanksgiving tablescape as a dazzling alternative to more predictable hues. Lory from To Have and To Host shows us how it's done using purple felt pumpkins and linens, both of which add depth and a bit of drama. A pastel-hued centerpiece and glassware keep the overall setup from feeling too dark and moody.

24. Keep it simple.

After all of the food preparation and meal planning, why not opt for a minimal tablescape that lets the feast speak for itself? Blogger Jenny Steffens Hobick turned a chocolate brown drapery panel into a runner and lined it with berry-covered twigs for a wild and earthy display. Stunning china topped with a linen napkin and a lone pear complete the autumnal display.

25. Incorporate plenty of candles.

Take inspiration from this Nordic display and include a multitude of candles in varying heights and sizes — taper, pillar, votive — on your Thanksgiving table. Even if you live in a mild climate, or plan to eat before the sun goes down, candlelight imbues a flattering glow and imparts hard-to-resist coziness and warmth. This organic setting by Daleet Spector Design combines taper and votive candles, olive branches interspersed with seasonal fruit, rattan-covered hurricanes, and plaid napkins for an elevated yet rustic look.



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