Whew! Just back from three exciting cities, giving lectures and presenting my book Flowers that debuted last week. I find it so nourishing to connect with people who share my love of beauty — in our lives and, most especially, in our homes. As we all know, life can be filled with deadlines, commotion, distraction, impatience, undesired responsibility, disappointment, and catastrophe. I find it restorative and so beneficial to get away from my everyday life and connect with people in other places to regain a proper and positive perspective on how truly fortunate I am. Giving thanks is a good thing.
I have recently been in Wilmington, Delaware, Atlanta, Georgia, and Greenwich, Connecticut. I will soon share photos of my travels , but — on this Sunday before Thanksgiving — I thought I would toss out some table decoration ideas. I hope these may be helpful in stimulating thoughts for your own Thanksgiving table.
Color and texture are the key elements complementing my Imari style dinner plates. Deep reds, russet, rich orange and light Bordeaux hues are perfect complements to the porcelain design. The last dahlias (from the flower market; mine are long gone!), roses, rose hips, viburnum berries and leaves create a rich mix of autumn tones. One could also add, as I may, bittersweet as an additional textural and seasonal element.
While I love this look, below is another possibility that can be purchased from chain stores. The pheasants (which I thought very attractive), were purchased at B & J Floral supply in New York City, but the internet offers accessible options. For example, I just found some at Linens and Things and Amazon under “pheasant decoration.” (Amazing!)
The plaster pheasants from the flower district of NYC were colored very subtly. But if I find a shape I like, I get creative. I whipped out the spay paint and followed with some hand touch-ups. Another option is birds created from real feathers; one can find pheasants and quail in craft stores that are remarkably lifelike. There are also some charming craft store birds made from straw, twigs, and natural materials.
The center of the table, runner fashion, is decorated with clementines, grapes, lady apples, pears, persimmons, and mini-pineapples from the supermarket, with a sprinkling of unshelled nuts, pinecones, and a final dusting of (faux) snow — inspired by our recent first light snow in Northwestern Connecticut. Hurricane and votive candles vary the elevation of light and bring the tableau to life. Use what is accessible to you; the central elements are abundance, variety, and scale. This table would also work for Christmas with more snow mounded around . . . . but more on that in a couple of weeks. Let’s savor these last days of autumn!
I adore fruit in table decoration, especially when I don’t have easy access to flowers.
A friend sent me a lovely cornucopia as a thank-you gift. I added a few of my own touches to tie it to my table decoration.
At times a friend or relative visits for Thanksgiving who will not be present at Christmas. I like to take the opportunity to present their Christmas gifts ahead of time, wrapped in seasonal colors. Here I match the gift to my decor, with deep orange velvet ribbon and acorns.
All best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful Thanksgiving!