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Written by Darci Tomky   



Celebrate in Style

The turkey’s in the oven, the pumpkin pie is to die for, and the delicious smells of Thanksgiving are overwhelming the house. You’re all set for a perfect Thanksgiving feast, and thanks to some decorating dos and don’ts, you’ve also got an abundance of fall-themed décor that will perfectly complement your meal.

I’ll admit, I’m a little bit addicted to watching HGTV, and ABC’s “The Chew” definitely has me hooked. Both of their websites have some great tips and tricks for setting the table in style—and on a budget.

Here’s a bit of advice to take from them this November:

—Bring the outside in with a focus on autumn colors like gold, rust, orange, red and green. Just don’t get too monochromatic, so add a pop of color with blues and greens.

—Use the “rule of three” and pick one element on the table to repeat three times. For example, use the same color in the placemat, napkin and centerpiece to tie it all together.

—Add pattern to your decorations with plaids, stripes and ginghams to make the space more interesting.

—Go natural and add texture with fall elements like acorns, pine cones, leaves, corn husks, pumpkins and gourds.

—Fall is all about muted earth tones, but keep the décor modern with contrasted polished items. For example, mix a shiny copper pan with unfinished wood or a vintage piece. Or add shine by spray painting pumpkins silver and gold.

—Carve out a section out of the tops of potatoes, apples or turnips to use for handmade votive candle holders. Just remember to use unscented candles if you are burning them near the food. You don’t want to take away from those decadent Thanksgiving smells.

—Buy inexpensive frames, print off black-and-white photos of important memories from the year and arrange them down the center of the table.

—Silhouettes are the new “it thing” for place cards. You can find cute patterns to print off the internet, or personalize your own by printing photos of your guests. Cut around the outline and use a black permanent marker to completely color over the photo. Glue the silhouette onto white card stock and place in a small gold mat.

—Give inexpensive white plates a high-end, custom look with a stenciled design and ceramic paint. Or use cute paint on squares of burlap for budget-friendly placemats.


—Don’t forget everything you learned in high school home ec. When setting the table, start with the dinner plate, top it with a folded napkin and the salad plate. The knife and spoon go to the right of the plate, and the forks go on the left. (When using multiple forks, always work your way in from the outside.) Above the plate, glasses go to the right, and a small bread plate is on the left. A dessert fork or spoon goes directly above the plate.

—At the kids’ table, use brown craft paper for a tablecloth and include crayons and colored pencils to keep the kids entertained. Before dinner, have the kids work on a craft to use as their place card, like a wearable Native American headdress.

—Ever wonder what to do with the kids while the food is cooking? Hide mini pumpkins and gourds around the house and have kids search for them just like an Easter egg hunt. Spray paint one gold, and whoever finds the “golden gourd” gets a prize.

—With all the stress of the holidays, what’s easier than a Thanksgiving meal buffet style? Repurpose furniture from other parts of the house, like a vintage dresser, to use for your buffet table. Use vintage boxes to add multiple layers on the table, and tall vases will add height and visual interest. Label each dish with a pretty menu card.


Holyoke Enterprise November 8, 2012