I know some people are ready to put out those Christmas lights already, but I’m still excited to celebrate the warmth and beauty of the final (would we say best?) autumnal holiday. Thanksgiving is perfect time to transform your space before those festive fêtes ahead. I’m sharing my tips to host Thanksgiving in style.  

Mix Natural and Found

I’m really passionate just leaning into this as a harvest meal. I’ve been very lucky to live in Bucks County, Brooklyn, and East Hampton, surrounded by beautiful farm stands. Most of the year, I love florals on a table, but for Thanksgiving, I like to use also layer in fresh produce, vintage vessels, pewter, wood, and taper candles.

This is also the perfect holiday to layer in family heirlooms—that large punch bowl? Perfect for chilling down the champagne. My grandmother’s table cloth? Going on the dessert table. My father’s candle sticks? Covering the mantle. 

Embrace the color palette

It would be so easy to just do the easy way out here—I remember the way my elementary school classroom was decorated in primary red, yellow, orange, and brown. For some reason, this palette has persisted. Resist, I implore you. I love to mix traditional fall colors of rust, ochre, aubergine, and forest green with the softer hues of peach, lemon and moss. 

Create a Beautiful Entryway

Setting the scene starts from the entrance—If I’m only going to style two moments, I focus on the entry and the table. If you have space for some fall planters and lanterns, go for it. I’m also loving love vessels filled with bittersweet branches or soft dried hydrangeas.

Set the table

The only thing I don’t like on a Thanksgiving table is a pumpkin—don’t get me wrong—I love a seasonal gourd, but as someone who is always moving some part of the centerpiece to add a large tray of haricots verts, I feel that a lighter hand on the table is better. Make sure to leave space for your guests, your place settings, the dishes to come, and save the larger design elements for your entry, your mantle, and maybe a gorgeous feature moment in your stairs/entry.

Add Cozy Touches

Guests are all away from their home on this holiday—think about how you can make your space as welcoming and hospitable as possible. Soft candlelight, a great soundtrack, a comfortable room temperature, soft textures, and yummy fall scented candles go a long way in creating a warm and welcoming ambiance. If you’re “no shoes in the house,” offer cozy socks or house slippers. Don’t forget easy bags for left-overs!

November 17, 2023 — Brenna Gilbert