Setting a Fast and Fabulous Thanksgiving Table

<p>Thanksgiving food prep may take up the majority of your time if you're playing holiday hostess this year. But even if it's last minute, you can still create a beautiful dining spot for your guests using these five tips for pulling together a fast and fabulous Thanksgiving table.</p>

A Dark and Dramatic Backdrop

The easiest start to a dramatic tablescape is to create high contrast with a dark tablecloth. I used a deep navy that instantly makes white plates, serving bowls, and taper candles pop.

Use Spray Paint for Colorful Chargers

I always like to add an unexpected accent color to my table, and inexpensive plastic chargers are a staple. They're super easy to spray-paint, allowing you to add just enough of a fun color. (PS: I sprayed these a plum color, taking a cue from some cabbages I used in my centerpiece.)

A Simple Centerpiece Grouping

Groupings of items, especially in the same color, can carry a big punch when it comes to decorating for the holidays -- or anytime. To create this centerpiece, I used a collection of candleholders bunched tightly together. Look around your home for items you could use in a similar grouping, such as brass candlesticks, milk glass, or small vases.

Pull Greenery from the Yard (and Fridge!)

Adding fresh greenery or florals to your table doesn't have to be pricey. For fall tables, I like to shop my grocery's produce section and incorporate colorful cabbages or fruits. Here, I added some deep red cabbage leaves to a small cabbage plant and mixed in a few wisteria branches from our yard. (Don't have a small vase handy? I used white milk glass goblets, but you could use something as simple as a pretty glass.)

Set Up a Colorful Serving Station

To keep your table from getting overcrowded, you might consider extending your tablescape by setting up a small serving station. You don't even need a formal server: A bar cart or small chest will work for holding extra serving dishes or setting up a coffee bar. Continue the colors in your table setting by incorporating a piece of art leaned up against the wall or by popping a colorful mum into a planter.

For more table details and source information, visit my blog.

The Mason Jar Centerpiece Your Tablescape Needs

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