How to Create a Modern Thanksgiving Tablescape

If you pull out the same plates and napkins every year, it's time to rethink your traditional Thanksgiving table setting. See how to set a modern Thanksgiving tablescape with simple swaps and a quick centerpiece.

set thanksgiving table with fruit center piece turkey and gravy

There are plenty of ways to modernize your Thanksgiving dinner. You can swap out the food—tofu turkey and cauliflower mash, anyone?—or you can stick to the classics and make a more subtle nod to contemporary style with an updated table setting. All the basics are here, but a handful of twists bring a traditional table setting into 2018. See which elements of this modern Thanksgiving table we love most. Whether you recreate this look entirely or pick and choose elements for inspiration, you're sure to love your new traditions. 

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Polished Place Setting

thanksgiving place setting with gold silverware

The key to a modern Thanksgiving table setting is to keep the basics traditional, but with a twist on the details. If you don't know where to start, consider the individual place settings. The plates here are simple in crisp white, but the nonuniform shape and lipped edges add interest. A galvanized metal charger with gold details and a matching napkin ring contribute shine to the neutral color scheme. Following the gold trend, traditional silverware is replaced with gold flatware for a modern look. A plain white cloth napkin and a striped black-and-white table runner let the food and fruit centerpiece take center stage. Finally, water and wine served in stemless wine glasses make for a sleek no-spill option. 

Fruitful Bounty

grape and pear thanksgiving centerpiece

Make a hassle-free centerpiece by letting the food do the work. This edible arrangement is made entirely with fruit. Grapes, pears, tangerines, and more overflow in a gorgeous marble bowl. When gathering ingredients for your own centerpiece, look for items with bright colors and varying sizes. For a feminine touch, incorporate edible flowers or purple ornamental kale into the mix. In this fast Thanksgiving centerpiece, the vibrant purple fruit stands out against the shining gold base of the bowl. 

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Pick a Seat

thanksgiving table personalized placeholder

Place cards can be as fancy or as simple as you want. If you're short on time or don't have the patience to craft a DIY masterpiece, try these simple place cards. First, pick cardstock in a neutral color. Cut out a rectangle and fold each card in half to make a tent structure. In a fine-point marker, write the name of each guest on the cards and add any flourishes or decorations that you wish. This is a project you can do days—if not weeks—in advance, so you have plenty of time to add cards for new guests as plans change.

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