Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas

Catherine Davin
Nov 18, 2014

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week? I'll be honest, November snuck up on me so I have some shopping to do to host our Thanksgiving dinner. Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner can seem like a daunting task if you haven't planned in advance, but it doesn't need to be. I've flipped through some of my favorite magazines for inspirations for tabletop décor, place settings and other Thanksgiving decoration ideas and hostess tips to make your Thanksgiving stylish, yet understated.

Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving ideas and decor tips:


The November issue of Real Simple features The Ultimate Holiday Planner, which is full of tips for everything a hostess needs to think about. My favorites are:

In the 7 things to do before the starting bell rings checklist… “Hide anything precious that could get knocked over.”

I cannot tell you how important this is to a hostess. As an interior designer, I scout out one-of-a-kind pieces that may live on a coffee table or an entry table. If there’s a lot of traffic, it’s best to put those fragile pieces away and replace them with a nice coffee table book, or a collection of frames with your latest family photos. If your guests were to knock something over and break it, it would put a damper on their holiday fun as well as yours!

Also in Real Simple is an invaluable Bar Chart that gives a checklist of bar tools and essentials and a selection and quantities of drinks to have on hand for 12 adults.

If you’re having more, just do the math and multiply to the appropriate number to take the guesswork out of how many bottles of wine and what spirits, mixers and garnishes to have on hand at the bar.

Another part of the Real Simple guide is a how-to feature on arranging five different showstopper centerpieces or arrangements.

I love this because I see so many people make the mistake of getting too thematic around the holidays with too many gourds and turkeys for décor when their homes are so stylish the rest of the year. The Real Simple arrangements use seasonal colors while remaining understated and stylish.


This photo of a place setting from The Country Living Kitchen has the perfect mix of individual style and holiday spirit.

When it comes to Thanksgiving table ideas, the simple wishbone tied with a spring of rosemary brings the holiday to the plate without being gaudy. And the pink roses are an unexpected choice for a holiday table, but why shouldn’t you use your favorite flower year round?



Not all of the table décor is tabletop accessories as these two magazine photo shoots prove.

The food is the real star and these photos of the turkey show an artful presentation of the star of the show. Carving the turkey is best done away from the table so that your guests don’t have to wait for everyone else to be served. Both of these magazines show artful ways to make your turkey platter a standout!