As part of our52 Days of Thanksgiving, we’re giving you all the tools and tips to pull off the best Thanksgiving ever, from setting a stylish table to curating the ultimate menu. Sign up for emailshere to unlock the secrets of planning the most memorable feast of the year.
Yeah, yeah, we know it’s early to talk about Thanksgiving, but here in the food and home world, we’re always thinking one step ahead to the next gathering! And since fall is peeking around the corner at us (apple cider donuts, hayrides, pumpkins!), so too, is Thanksgiving.
Knowing how stressful the holidays can be, we’re all for low-maintenance entertaining. Below, we’ve rounded up 20 easy Thanksgiving table decor ideas, so you can spend less time worrying about setting the table, and more time feeling grateful for those around you.
Whether your table style is maximalist, modern farmhouse, classic, or undecided, we have enough inspiration below to help you tie together a Thanksgiving table setting with ease.
1. Individual & Compostable—A Perfect match
What’s sanitary, breaks down in two months, and still looks upscale? Dinnerware made from fallen leaves, that’s what. You can feel better about single-use this year knowing your dishes won’t sit in a landfill for years—and you won’t spend hours washing up. Now that’s something to be thankful for.
2. Four “Ingredient” Setting
Only four simple parts make up this setting, and the colors can be endlessly riffed on. A plate, cloth napkin, printed menu (which you could swap for a place card), and a branch of grapes or berries pulls this together in an almost professional-looking way.
3. Mismatched Ceramic
Probably the most-loved aspect of handmade dinnerware is the variation between pieces. Some speckled, some swirled, some just barely dotted with color—and that’s what makes this pared-down table so chic. All that’s required are some basic glasses and flatware.
From Our Shop
4. Bring Outside Branches In
Pop out to the backyard and grab a branch off your tree before it sheds all its leaves, toss it in a jug, and set it down as a show-stopping centerpiece. Place settings get a leaf each, and this pulled-together table is done in record time.
5. A Color for Everyone
Do not, we repeat: do not, waste any time looking for matching linens, when the mismatched ones look lovely as is. The trick to this table looking super polished is the coordinated glassware and utensils, but you’re totally not required to stick to any rules.
6. Blue Linen & Brown Leaves
Similar to the green leaves scheme, this setting employs uncomplicated linens, dishes, and flatware, but looks intentional with a fallen leaf at the center. Bonus points if you write the guest’s name out in black ink.
From Our Shop
7. Dried Grasses & Matte Black
Dried grasses are still all the rage, and feel especially relevant during this harvest period. Paired with matte black and brass flatware, it’s an ultra-elegant setup.
From Our Shop
8. Twine & Eucalyptus
There’s no need for napkin rings when you can just tie napkins up with a bit of twine. Slip a stem of eucalyptus in, and it’s an adorable little “package” for someone to open.
9. Centerpiece Takes... Centerstage
The reason this slightly plain place-setting looks so special is because the delicate florals of the centerpiece peek in. It’s easy to arrange one yourself with some Trader Joe’s stems—or you can outsource this one bit of prep to a florist to ensure the table lives up to your hopes.
10. The Most Edible Decor
The cheeseboard on this table acts as a centerpiece (genius), so artichokes as place card holders feel right at home. When dinner’s over, cook them with confidence for your next meal.
From Our Shop
11. Pretty Pear Place Settings
These pears have adorable little name markers, but simply a pear on each plate would serve multiple purposes: harvest-seasonal decor, and a perfectly packaged appetizer or dessert.
12. Bring Out the Blue & White China
If you’re lucky enough to have inherited a collection of blue and white dishes, they’re beyond just summer or dinner parties, they fit right in for fall as well. Paired with coordinating little pumpkins and seagrass placemats, they make an unconventional Thanksgiving table.
13. Gold, Black & Green
Is there anything more classic than gold, black, and a few touches of greenery? We certainly don’t think so. This table setting is traditionally chic, but actually easy breezy to put together. Simple black plates, gold flatware, and gold-rimmed glasses set the stage, while gold candlesticks and small jars of cut greens pull the whole thing together.
From Our Shop
13. Freshly Harvested
Thanksgiving is synonymous with harvest time, and so are fluffy stalks of dried wheat or grass. Instead of using a green sprig as an accent, a dried stem is way more fall-themed.
15. Linen on Linen
Sometimes a gorgeous table is as simple as putting a tablecloth down on the one you already have. Tablecloths can instantly make a dining experience feel luxe, and all you did was fluff it out onto the table.
More inspiration from the Food52Studio
16. The Maximalist Look
Maximalism is all about, well, doing the most. Think bright colors, bold patterns, contrasting designs, and carefully curated chaos. Creating this look is easy with whimsical dinnerware like these floral dessert plates.
17. The Modern Farmhouse Look
Modern farmhouse style is all about blending the traditional, more rustic farmhouse aesthetic—think neutrals, antique pieces, and exposed wood—with more modern touches like pops of color, smooth lines, and glossy accents. These Portuguese cabbage plates would stand out (without being loud enough to step over into maximalist territory) on a table with a more neutral color scheme.
18. Standout Placemats
Add a touch of flair to your meal presentation with an eye-catching placemat. This Italian-made option from our Shop is made of waxed paper, which gives each one a leather-like quality, and comes in 13 different colors.
19. Layer Your Linens
Playing around with textures and layers adds depth to your table design. The cotton table runner from our Five Two line is an easy addition to any table looking for that extra layer to make it just right.
20. Up Your Napkin-Folding Game
Here’s a how-to for a 30-second trick that will spruce up any table setting. Trust us, once you learn, you won't want to stop surprising guests with this fun tabletop treat.
From Our Shop
More from Food52
- Our 52 Most Popular Products of All Time
- Why We Love the Dansk Pitcher
- Our 5 Best Skewer Recipes
- 13 Essentials for Setting a Farmhouse-Inspired Table
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert and enthusiast, I have personal experiences or opinions, but I can provide you with information and insights related to the concepts used in this article.
The article discusses various ideas and tips for setting a Thanksgiving table. It provides 20 easy Thanksgiving table decor ideas, ranging from using compostable dinnerware made from fallen leaves to incorporating branches from your backyard as centerpieces. The article also suggests using mismatched ceramic dinnerware for a chic and handmade look, and utilizing dried grasses and matte black accents for an elegant setup. Additionally, it suggests incorporating natural elements like eucalyptus, artichokes, and pears for decorative purposes. The article highlights different table settings, such as blue and white china paired with pumpkins and seagrass placemats, and a traditional gold, black, and green color scheme.
Furthermore, the article suggests using linen tablecloths, experimenting with maximalist or modern farmhouse looks, and adding standout placemats or layering linens to enhance the table design. It also provides a how-to guide for a quick napkin-folding trick to surprise guests.
Overall, the article offers a variety of ideas and inspirations for creating a memorable Thanksgiving table setting. It encourages creativity and personalization while considering different styles and themes.