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Planning a Thanksgiving Feast Pt. 2: Decor and Tableware

Welcome to Part 2 of my series on Planning a Thanksgiving Feast.  If you haven’t read part 1, click here and get your free Thanksgiving Gathering checklist.  Today I’ll be sharing how I plan my table setting as well as some of my favorite places to buy tableware and decor.  When I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner for family (roughly 15 years ago), I had minimal autumn decor and my tableware left a lot to be desired. So I set out to find the best places to buy the things I needed on my very limited budget.  Over the years I’ve acquired a variety of pieces that are both classic and timeless AND I’ve found some really kitschy pieces that add color and life to my decor!  So read on to learn how I plan my tablescape and where I buy the goods to make it elegant and festive.


When I’m designing my tablescape I like to create an “inspiration board” and I’ll clip images, fabrics, and color chips to the board to get an idea of what theme or look I’m going for.  Here’s the inspiration board I was working on for this year:

I create this on Polyvore where you can find some really great things AND you can add your own finds too!  As you can see I was inspired by the photo in the top left corner and I really loved the mix of classic and kitsch.  Polyvore is free to use and can quickly become an obsession (be forewarned!).  I use my this inspiration to shop around and find the best prices on the things I need or want and TRUST me, if you find a high dollar item that you love you’ll be able to find something similar at a fraction of the cost somewhere else!  Just remember that it’s worth it to spend extra on the things you’ll use over and over again.


The White Company

Quality home goods and decor.  (I love this shop for Christmas too!)  I’ve purchased roasting pans and some serveware from here and the quality is ah-mazing!  This year I picked up this roasting pan because I think it’s stunning yet simple and it’s a great quality for the price.  This is perfect for roasting vegetables or making that obligatory sweet potato casserole!

Photo: The White Company, Porto Stoneware Large Roaster

Pier 1 Imports

Pier 1 was where I bought my very first coordinated tablescape.  I had only been married about 5 years and I wanted to go all out for Thanksgiving.  Needless to say I spent a FORTUNE but it was absolutely a stunning table.  The great thing with Pier 1 is that you could, if budget allows, buy everything you need in one place.  As I said before, I like to shop around and mix and match pieces.  This year, I have my eye on these glass pumpkins.  They’re going to add a bit of interest to the table without taking away from the focus which of course is the FOOD!


Homegoods is probably the FIRST place I visit to find seasonal things for my home and even though you can’t shop online it is a MUST do when shopping for home stuff.  It’s like a treasure hunt and you never know what goodies you’re going to find.  You have to go there with an open mind and be prepared to search for things but it’s so worth the effort.  Last year I got a HUGE Santa serving platter that retailed for $99.00 and I paid only $24.99!


For dinnerware I like to keep it simple.  Kohl’s has an AMAZING selection of home goods and that’s where I found my dishes.  This set from Mikasa is on sale right now for $99.00 for a 16 piece set.  Again, I spent a bit more on 2 sets of these but they have such clean lines I can use them any time of year AND I plan to repurpose them for my Christmas table!  Kohl’s is also one of my first stops for cookware and bakeware and they ALWAYS have great sales.

TJ Maxx

TJ Maxx is one of those places, like Homegoods, where you can’t really shop online.  YOU CAN but to find the best merchandise you HAVE TO visit the store.  Again, it’s a treasure hunt and everything is usually a mess but if you look, you will find some real gems.  This table runner is very close to what I’m looking for and it’s only $12.00!

Crate & Barrel

The “Thankful” trivet in my Inspo Board is on my list of things to buy.  It’s perfect because I’d be able to use this year round;  we’re not just Thankful at Thanksgiving right?  I always have some sort of pot holder or towel under serveware to avoid burns on my linens and damage to the wooden tabletop.


I saved the best for last.  Target has some of the best seasonal decor for a fraction of the price AND everything feels so “current”.  I am obsessed with the Project 62 line and I’ve already bought several pieces for my home because it’s very Mid-Century which is the overall vibe of my space.  I found this silverware set for $19.99 a place setting and it is STUNNING!  The mirrored finish is so shiny and bright and I think it’s going to look great on my table.

How do you prepare your home for holiday gatherings?  Do you keep the same theme or do you change it up?  I’d love to hear about the traditions you have in your home!

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