Thanksgiving Table Ideas

When I set out to create this tablescape, I knew I wanted flowers to be the focus, but I wanted it to be something different. Truthfully, I am so over myself at this point in the year with hydrangea. In my mind, I pictured something bright and bold. Not too far from here is a wholesaler shop that I have an account with for my design business. 

I was going there anyway, so I thought I would check out their flower selection. The flowers are also great for a TikTok channel, because it’s an easy way to get TikTok followers to pay attention to the vibe of my channel (which is about gardening).

The store is divided into two areas, one being flowers and one being everything else. After I finished up on the non-flower side (and I may have accidentally bought the prettiest Christmas tree you ever did see!), I headed over to the flowers. I quickly realized I was a fish out of water.

Everyone was hurriedly moving about, knowing where they were going. And they were all going inside these huge refrigerator rooms with these giant metal doors. Was I allowed to even go in there?


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thanksgiving table ideas

After my first attempt for help was not well received, I was pointed in the direction of someone who gave me very clear and concise directions on what to do. And I understood none of it. I knew there were four rooms. I had no idea how to get to any of them.

After a first failed attempt led me to a loading dock, I found a big scary door that was clearly marked “Refrigerator 1”. Okay, even I could understand that. I went in sure I would understand what to do once I got inside.

Instead, I found myself self-consciously picking up several batches of flowers and then circling back and putting them back down. I did a full circle and I was almost ready to admit defeat and just pick some carnations, when I saw the thistle. My vision of bright and colorful quickly faded away and I saw beautiful purply-blues and greens mixed with bright whites and browns.

It was love at first sight. I scooped up a few more items with authority and confidence. Please don’t ask me what the rest of them are – I have absolutely no idea. They were just the pretty things that caught my eye.

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As I brought my bouquet up to the checkout, I was greeted with a “my, you made some beautiful choices.” My guess is, it was sympathy for how clueless I was, but I figured she saw professional florists all day long, so I was going to take it!


If you want to create a similar look – with or without thistle, here are my tips on how to pull it together.

– Lay down your choice of runner first and place your flower vessels where you want them first. If I am going to use multiples, I really do like the old school rule of odds, so I work with three or five. Often, I will use the same container in repetition, but in this case, I varied the containers and sizes.

  • Once you are happy with the balance of the containers, layer in your pumpkins and gourds.  I tried to balance the color and shapes down the table.
  • Then, pull out your flower vessels and put together your arrangements.  I originally had a taller jar, but when I put the flowers in it I realized it would block the view across the table.  I switched it out for something shorter so it would keep the table open.
  • Put all your flowers back in place and then fill in with pinecones, feathers and my favorite—vintage door knobs.  Of course, that is not necessary and can be replaced with whatever is a little sparkly and that is your style.
  • Then place your plates, layering them when possible to create more interest and contrast.  In this case, I kept the actual place setting fairly simple since the center was more elaborate.  Then fill in with the flatware, napkins and glasses of your choice.
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And then start cooking! I do try and get my table set ahead of time so it is one less thing to worry about on the day of Thanksgiving.

Oh, and just as I was paying my bill at the floral shop, I looked as one of the big doors opened and I saw the signs! Refrigerators 2, 3, and 4 were right behind that first big door. I hope they have carts for when I go back and actually find all the rooms!

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