I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time ever, and it's the first time I'm entertaining in my new house. We purchased our first home seven months ago and it's been seemingly endless renovation projects since. We're still nowhere close to finished, but it's beginning to look and feel more like home. The kitchen is a total eyesore and we'll gut and renovate it eventually (hopefully soon) but for now those poorly, poorly faux-finished Western-themed (???) cabinets are here to stay. So is the laminate flooring, countertops, enormous 80's refrigerator with the broken ice maker, and all the beige on beige on beige.
As a designer of tabletop/kitchen products living with a kitchen that is this bad is a daily pseudo-spiritual practice of acceptance and letting go. This is my kitchen now. This is my life now. People are traveling to join me for Thanksgiving at my house, and that's all pretty spectacular, even if my kitchen is anything but. I'm embracing the ease that comes from letting go and opting to bring that same vibe to the table. Let's keep it simple, beautiful, and thoughtful, not fussy. Life now is certainly not fussy.
These three quick tips will help you set a pretty Thanksgiving table that takes almost no time and money, but will still make the meal special for your guests-- and for you, because you deserve it too.
1) Pick one color (here it's blue) and use multiple versions of it throughout your table. I've used cobalt, turquoise, navy, and our Aegean Blue, and they're all getting along great. This adds visual interest but requires zero color matching skills and makes for a sophisticated palette that'll let your food really shine.
2) Use the complementary color to the color you picked in number 1 but bring this color into the scheme in an unexpected way that doesn't immediately say, "Yeah. I know my complementary colors." Here I brought in orange through the leaves (bonus, free) and the brassy gold flatware (from Target).
3) Add a handmade touch. Of course, Suite One Studio plates gotcha covered there, but to add a little something extra from your own hands, I love making handwritten place cards. Swap out your plain boring printer paper for thicker watercolor paper cut down to size. Then use paint in the same color from number 1 to add splatter to the paper and paint each name. Don't worry if you're like me and can't calligraphy for anything. It'll only add to the charm and effortless ease of the whole arrangement.