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Thanksgiving Upgrade: 4 New Takes on Table Settings

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to get planning. And while we know the turkey gets most of the attention… (not to mention the stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes) a beautiful table setting can really set a festive mood for the big meal. And it doesn’t have to require a lot of work. 

It’s definitely easier than you think to set a table that will make your Thanksgiving extra meaningful, without spending an arm and a (turkey) leg.  And while we will always have a fondness for a table set in brown and orange with a cornucopia or paper turkey centerpiece (well maybe minus that last part), we thought we would share four different ideas that embrace the spirit of the holiday but with a unique and modern twist.

Ready to see what we put together? Keep reading for our takes on ‘not so traditional’, ‘refined but relaxed’, ‘earthy & organic’ and ‘minimal’ table settings and shop our picks for how to bring the look to your gathering. And because we pulled together looks that aren’t so on the (turkey) nose, you’ll be able to keep using these plates, glasses and napkins long after you’ve finished all the leftovers.




For a new take on traditional, use classic elements (taper candles, candlesticks, baskets) in new and more simplified ways. A teal tablecloth and rich mustard colored napkins bring in autumnal tones, while a table setting of light brown glazed plates, flatware with horn handles and classic glass stemware keep things formal, while still feeling inviting.

For an easy centerpiece, fill woven baskets with fall’s harvest- apples, walnuts, other fruits and nuts- and add a grouping of candlesticks to create a warm ambiance.

Design: Magnolia



If you like a mix of some refined elements but nothing too formal or fussy, go for a table that’s the best of both. Striped napkins and candlesticks are more traditional elements, while black flatware and the lack of a tablecloth feel informal and relaxed.

Dried botanicals in large ceramic vases with black metal candlesticks are a simple, but modern take on a traditional centerpiece (and by swapping out the contents of the vases, you can use the dried florals trick year-round).

Photo: Ryan Liebe



Try going back to nature with an organic themed table for turkey day. Ceramic plates with a handmade look, black flatware and natural linen napkins will set the tone, with a deep burnt orange tablecloth providing a familiar nod to to fall foliage.

A collection of organic shaped white vases filled with dried ivory florals makes an elegant, earthy and unexpected centerpiece. (You can also add a sprig of the same florals tied with silk or velvet ribbon to each setting for an extra special touch.)

Photo: Aaron Dyer



For a stripped-down take on your typical Thanksgiving table, go with a modern and minimal setting and let the foliage bring the color. Keep silhouettes simple – off white plates and clean lined glasses paired with gold flatware for a slight sparkle. A white linen table runner with a frayed edge adds interest and a touch of texture.

For your centerpiece, try simple oak branches in a glass vase. They’re easy and elegant and you could even find them in your own backyard, which makes for an affordable centerpiece. To finish the table and add a little splash of color, a clustering of amber colored votives and a few mini white pumpkins on the table and you are set.

Which setup is your favorite? Let us know below in the comments.