Tablescape Thursday: Thanksgiving 2015 Edition

With Thanksgiving only one week away (from today – ahh!) it’s time to start gathering everything you’ll need to create the perfect Thanksgiving table for your celebration.

This year, we’re focusing on setting up a buffet for a large gathering. Sure, there’s something to be said about family-style dining. But sometimes that’s not practical; and of you’re expecting a large group or plan on pulling together a potluck-style meal, a buffet may be just the right solution for you!


However, even with a buffet, there are still some items you should find homes for on your tabletops (even if there are multiple dining tables for your soiree!). Those items should include a butter dish with softened butter, salt/pepper shakers, and a centerpiece of some sort – be it a simple sprig or two of greenery in a pretty Blenko water bottle, or vintage turkeys, such as the one pictured above from Steve and Jill’s beloved collection.


Next, you need to consider the utensils… Will they be set on the table with napkins, or as a part of the buffet. If you opt to add them to the buffet, offer guests either a stack of napkins with forks, knives and spoons at the start of the buffet table or do a little work ahead of time, rolling the utensils in fabric napkins, so all guests have to do is select a roll and move on down the table.


Finally, it’s time to think about setting out the food on the buffet. make space for all your dishes and offer some visual interest, consider using serving ware that will add height, such as cake stands or footed bowls, or create the height yourself by working boxes and books in under your tablecloths and setting a taller stage for some foods. Begin with your cold or room temperature dishes, like green salads, and work through warm sides, ending with the main event – the turkey! Near the bird, offer folks a cranberry conserve, or other tart relish, and keep the gravy warm in a small covered coup tureen or even chaffing dish warmed by candles.


Bring out baskets for bread and various sized dishes for your guests to select from, weather they’re on their first, second or even dessert course!

And lastly, consider some decor items. Sure, the star of your decor may be the table centerpieces, but don’t forget the buffet table! Some skillfully placed candles, simple floral arrangements (or even bits of greenery and leaves worked in under your serving ware) will be much appreciated. If you’re looking to go all-out, bring in seasonal accessories, pine cones, and unique textiles, all with the goal of adding interest, color and texture without taking away from your fabulous food!

If you need help pulling together the perfect tablescape, or setting up your ideal buffet, come visit the team at steve mckenzie’s today and we’ll ensure your holiday hostessing is an effortless success!

Place Settings for Every Thanksgiving Table

No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, there’s a good chance there’s a great meal involved… And a great meal deserves a great place setting. After all, they do say, you eat with your eyes first!

Now, we’re not necessarily talking about a super-formal setting, with eight pieces of flatware that you have to be an etiquette expert to know how to use, we’re suggesting you simply think about your meal and the style gathering you’re hosting, and create a place setting you and your loved ones will be comfortable with.

To help with this, we’ve created three different place settings to share as examples – one for a casual buffet style Thanksgiving dinner, another for a nicer, family style feast, and the final one, which lends itself to a more formal meal:

Buffet Style Thanksgiving Place Setting

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This place setting is ideal for a casual, buffet-style meal and features acrylic Mario Luca Guisti drink-ware – perfect for those more clumsy relatives; 🙂 no broken crystal here! A Match pewter charger and R Wood plate, in our exclusive Red Clay colorway, adds a festive touch. And that fabulous Road salad plate is only $10! To mix it up, and bring in a fun, seasonal element, we’ve added a pair of vintage turkey salt and pepper shakers from Steve and Jill’s personal turkey collection (pretty cute, right?!?). The TAG place mat and napkin will transition beautifully to Christmas – we love double duty items like these!

Family Style Thanksgiving Feast Table Setting

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If you’re planning a meal that’s more family style in nature, you can get a bit more detail-oriented with this place setting, as everything’s done at the table, i.e. your family and friends won’t be milling around filling their plates and glasses. This setting features a Match Pewter charger, salad, bread plate, and glasses, which all add a bit of sparkle to your table. The plate and coffee cup are by Royal Crown Derby Mikado, in their cantaloupe colorway, which brings in some needed warmth to the overall look. The placemat is a round shagreen acrylic placemat, which makes for easy care – something we can all use more of around the holidays! Finally, the napkin is Libeco linen. Here, we’ve added a special touch of whimsy with another Vintage turkey item from the McKenzie’s collection, and “planted” a faux orchid in it to bring some life and greenery to the table.

A Fabulously Formal Thanksgiving Table Setting

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Here, we’re really setting the stage for a spectacular meal with a place setting that will be equally as fantastic. We’re using Julie Wear China, inspired by their home state of Kentucky; the salad plate is from their Bluegrass line and the dinner plate and charger are part of the Cheval collection. Agate coasters from Rab Lab make the perfect perch for some special glassware. Even with our most formal setting, we’ve taken the opportunity to introduce one of those vintage turkeys Jill and Steve love so much, this one bringing out the deep tones in this beautiful china. To help set off the darker brown of the linen napkin and place setting, we opted to go with a tan, round acrylic place mat (who says fancy dinner cleanup can’t be made easier?!?).

And there you have it, a place setting for each type of Thanksgiving meal!

If you’re looking for more inspiration for your Thanksgiving table, the folks at Veranda magazine published an article a while back all about setting the perfect table. You can find it here. It offers an organized way to consider the overall tablescape, and which elements make the most impact.

Finally, we’re in the midst of finalizing our own holiday menu, but wanted to share a delicious sounding recipe for a stuffed mushroom appetizer, from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa’s Thanksgiving 2.0 episode – click here for the goods.


YUM – we can’t wait to taste those! Let us know which new recipes you’ll be trying this year.

We hope these place setting ideas inspire you to create something beautiful for your loved ones this year – and help to make your meal even more special… And from our steve mckenzie’s family to yours, happy Thanksgiving everyone!