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  • pumpkins

    Pumpkins and gourds are a natural choice for Thanksgiving tabletop decor.

  • candles

    Create dramatic holiday centerpieces with simple natural elements.

  • tabletop

    Give your holiday tablescape dimension by decorating with layers and varying textures.

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Give your holiday tablescape dimension by decorating with layers and varying textures.


Finishing Touches

Create an inspired dining room tablescape by layering a sheer napkin on top of a practical one. Secure them together with a decorative napkin ring, length of raffia, or coordinating ribbon.

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  • Delicious Thanksgiving Décor

    Use the colors and beauty of fall to inspire your holiday dining room décor.

    by Margie Monin Dombrowski

    Pumpkins. Fall leaves. Gorgeous colors everywhere. Thanksgiving is on its way and so are your holiday guests, but is your dining room ready? Your dining area décor sets the mood for your holiday feast. So use these tips and ideas from design pros to create your own holiday splendor.


    Warm Welcome

    Your dining room may be the main stage for your Thanksgiving festivities, but don't forget about other areas of your house. Start decorating at your doorstep. From the moment guests arrive, they should be able to sense your theme. “Decorating for the holidays starts at the front door,” says Chris Kittrell, of Kittrell & Associates in Newport Beach, Calif.  Kittrell says this can be as simple as a wreath on the front door adorned with beads, acorns, gourds or pinecones; stair rails wrapped in garlands; or a collection of gourds or small pumpkins at the front entry. Once you’ve chosen your centerpiece décor, you can repeat those colors and textures throughout your home.


    Create a Theme

    As you explore the multitude of accessories available for holiday decorating, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Start by defining your theme. Let your color palette—such as oranges, rusts and golds or sage green and warm browns—help you choose your items. Or you may want to create a theme around a meaningful element. You can find inspiration in china patterns (such as a cabbage rose or fleur de lis), or in seasonal items like turkeys, pinecones, and clear and gold glass balls. Once you’ve chosen a direction, focus on selecting items that fit your theme.


    Trendsetting Table-Setting   

    Your dining room provides the foundation of your décor scheme, says Kittrell. She suggests enhancing a basic tablecloth by topping it with a sheer or exotic fabric overlay embellished with details such as stitching, chenille flowers or tiny pearls. “You can puddle it so there are highs, lows and bunched ends in the fabric; then lay acorns, leaves, chestnuts or strings of silver beads in the folds.”

    An important part of your dining table’s allure is the presentation of your table settings. Now is the time to display your best china. You can also layer your table’s look by mixing things up a bit says Kittrell. Try pairing square plates with round ones or using water and wine glasses in contrasting colors pulled from your color theme. Consider using special flatware (pearl-handled, gold-tone or rustic twig-inspired) that complements your décor. Then finish the look using a sheer napkin layered on top of a practical napkin beneath. Hold them together with a decorative napkin ring, length of raffia or coordinating ribbon.


    Top-Notch Table Top

    There are countless festive ways to decorate your table. Inspired by nature, Martha McGowan, principal designer of LinMar Designs in Coto de Caza, Calif., hollows out the top of small pumpkins and inserts a glass votive candleholder. “You may also use heirloom pumpkins or gourds with different colors, shapes and sizes,” McGowan says. She sets out fallen leaves as natural “placemats” and loosely fills tall glass vases with branches of fall leaves, acorns, seed pods and cinnamon sticks to serve as a centerpiece.


    Scent-sational Place Cards
    Need instant place cards for your guests? Try adding a few sprigs of herbs (rosemary, sage or thyme) to handmade place cards. Start with basic cardstock, add the first initial of each guest’s name, then fold each card in half and finish with the sprig and a tiny bow of twine in a natural color, suggests Martha McGowan.