The Thanksgiving Table
This beautiful fall weather makes us want to grab all of the pumpkins, pinecones and red leaves we can and bring them inside, as we try to hold on to the fleeting Autumn season. Fall often seems to be gone before we really get to enjoy it, so celebrating this time of year is extra important. In Canada we have an earlier Thanksgiving than our friends south of the border. (Which means we get to post our Thanksgiving instagram photos first!) This gives us the chance to use the holiday to celebrate the beginning of the fall season. We have a few creative ideas for you, as you look for inspiration for fall table dressings.
Dishing it Out Before the Meal
Even if you don’t have a lot of table room for flowers and Autumn decor, you can always spruce up those plates with a few sprigs of something seasonal. Browse your garden for fun berries, cuttings from herbs, blooming mums or fallen pinecones and acorns. If you’re going to use mushrooms for a woodland Autumn look, it’s best to buy them from a grocery store rather than handle any toadstools in the yard. Pair these natural accessories with a beautiful napkin and you’re all set for guests!
Simple and Sophisticated
You don’t have to cover the table in flowers to create a statement piece for the evening. Choose one or two colours, and create an eye-catching centrepiece. White or silver foliage is extremely enchanting when mixed with bold colours. Dusty Miller, Lamb’s Ear and silver varieties of Lavender make fantastic accents.
Keeping it Natural
We’re not all florists, so giant cascading floral arrangements might not be the best design to attempt for the holidays! Instead, look around the neighbourhood for natural accents like pinecones, branches, rocks and berries. Then hit the grocery store for fall inspired vegetables such as pumpkins, kale and other squash that look interesting.
This table arrangement was created on two small rectangular dishes, that contain and lift the main portion of the arrangement. Those dishes are then surrounded by accents that spill onto the table and create an uninterrupted display, while also disguising the hard edges of the platforms.
Shaping Up to Be A Perfect Holiday
For longer rectangular tables, a long and thin design might be perfect, as it will fill the table with Autumn accents but still leave room for all those mashed potatoes and peas! If you use a circular or square table, than consider something smaller for the centre of the table. Remember not to add too much height! (Unless you really don’t want to talk to Aunt Agatha across the table from you.)
Want to use succulents in your table arrangement but aren’t sure how to get them in there without making a mess? Our secret is to use plastic cling wrap around the base! We took these 2″ succulents out of their pots, brushed off half of the soil, then wrapped the remaining soil and roots in cling wrap to keep it from getting on the table and making a mess. If your arrangement has to last a few days, make sure the soil is damp before wrapping it.
You can use a similar idea on the ends of cut floral and garden trims by using a wet paper-towel around the end and then sealing it with plastic wrap. Don’t expect it to last more than 24 hours, but it sure comes in handy for an evening of festivities.
For longer lasting displays, use deeper dishes and soaked florist foam (Oasis). The flowers and succulents can be secured in the foam, keeping them in place, and lasting for days!
A Matter of Taste
Unlike grocery shopping, picking up accents for your table doesn’t have to be a matter of taste. Just because you can’t stand eating mushrooms doesn’t mean they won’t look excellent in your centrepiece! Bright red asian pears, colourful squash, a wide variety of mushrooms or other specialty fruit and vegetables can make a feast for your guest’s eyes. Don’t throw them in the garbage after though, if you don’t want to eat them find a friend to gift them to instead.
A string of lights or a pillar candle can add atmosphere and create a more intimate table for the evening. When using candles, make sure to keep flammable floral not too close to the flame area. Otherwise all your hard work might go up in smoke! Also beware of melted wax on grandma’s heirloom table cloth, and use a tray underneath candles. Battery operated faux candles are another option.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to play Martha Stewart and create your own masterpiece of a table for your guests. Get creative, follow your own design ideas and don’t forget to have fun!