A Thanksgiving Table with All the Trimmings

in Life, Do

Originally featured on Boulevard Realty's Rediscovering Houston blog.

Remember when Thanksgiving was an occasion unto itself and not just a holiday squished in between Halloween and Christmas or Hanukkah? Nowadays it seems that December decorations are on store shelves right after Labor Day (and marked down to clearance prices by mid October.) Commercials telling us to “get shopping” have been on our flat screens for weeks already, so many of us will gobble up our turkey, push down some pie and dash out the door in search of Black Friday–nay Thursday–deals.

Why the rush? Thanksgiving is intended as a day to slow down, count our blessings and savor time with family and friends. Tired of feeling hurried through the holidays, many people are taking advantage of the season as an “excuse to spruce up” the way they present their traditional holiday meal, by moving the turkey day feast out from in front of the TV, with its throwaway plates and cups, and back into the dining room where the good dishes and some creative decor can help create a Thanksgiving experience to remember.

Houston-area interior designer Angela Prejean of ADP Designs, known personally and professionally for her beautifully themed holiday decor, says every aspect of planning helps set the tone for the big day. “If you are planning a sit-down dinner this year, instead of casually mentioning time and place through text or email, why not send an invitation through the mail incorporating your color choice and theme?” Prejean suggests. A mailed invitation helps the hosts communicate the more stylishly deliberate plan for this year’s holiday gathering. “When your guests arrive they will see you’ve carried that theme out in your table decorations and throughout your entire home,” she says.

Bring The Outside In

As far as themes go, Prejean, whose work has been featured on several episodes of Extreme Home Makeover and in showrooms and homes all across Houston and the country, often uses natural items in an effort to bring the “outside in.” Choices can include leafy tree branches, pinecones or seasonal fruits of all shapes, sizes and shades. “The vibrant colors of fall apples, pumpkins and gourds work with any tablescape,” she says, adding that table decorations should not be confined to the centerpiece, but go from end to end. “Don’t neglect to carry the theme to the dessert, appetizer and kids’ table too.”

Mix and Match

To create a truly interesting visual, Prejean suggests working at least five different patterns or textures into your design. “Mix and match linen napkins with burlap strips or ribbons, or intertwine fresh bittersweet or branches through a chandelier,” she says. “Add glass, metal and fabric for even more texture and color possibilities.” Brightly colored round plates pop on square metallic chargers and tall and short candles of varying colors arranged amongst your other decorations add a cozy glow.

Incorporate Personal Mementos

Including personal mementos you may already have keeps costs down and makes it more interesting for the people sitting around the table. “I love to decorate with pictures,” she says. “Sometimes I place photos of loved ones who are still here, as well as those we want to remember, in glass vases scattered throughout my tablescape. They make people feel special and are great conversation starters.”