So, You’re Hosting Your First Thanksgiving? Here’s the No-Stress Guide To Topping the Table

Photo: Getty Images/ Liliboas
It's safe to assume that this year's Thanksgiving celebrations will look a quite bit different than those of year's past. The CDC has warned against gathering with people outside of your usual bubble and recommends exercising caution when traveling. But just because 2020's dinner may be smaller (for the sake of safety) and the onus might be on you to throw your first-ever celebration, don't fret about the details. Because some of our favorite home stores are upping the game, to make decorating for the holidays stress-free.

And for what it's worth? Crafting a tablescape that will launch a thousand compliments—or at least a whole lot of likes on Instagram—is far simpler than you might think. To help you make the holiday a hit, we tapped Parachute founder (and queen of the elevated, unfussy tablescape) Ariel Kaye to share her expertise on decorating a Thanksgiving table. Read on for her festive tips you'll be sure to want to make your own this season.

1. Select a centerpiece

Photo: Williams Sonoma

Shop now: Williams Sonoma Greens and Gourds Thanksgiving Centerpiece, $75

While the food is technically the star of the show on Thanksgiving, the perfect centerpiece will provide a memorable backdrop to your dining experience. "I typically prefer more low profile centerpieces, as they don’t block the view of people across the tables," says Kaye. "I tend to gravitate towards a more fresh and gathered look of florals, greens, and seasonal colors, and I love incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables in my centerpieces." And when in doubt? Pick up some fresh flowers or a garland at the farmer's market for an easy and affordable upgrade to your table.

2. Layer textures

Photo: Parachute

Shop now: Parachute Linen Waffle Tablecloth, $129

"Layering textures creates a noteworthy table," says Kaye, who suggests stacking bold ceramic dishes, like the ones from the Parachute x Jono Pandolfi Coupe Dinnerware Collection ($112) on top of a breezy Linen Waffle Tablecloth ($129), and flaking the setting with  Velo Brushed Gold Flatware ($60). "These are thoughtful essentials that create a memorable ambiance. It’s also fun and easy to get creative with your tablescape by mix and matching table linens and ceramics to create a new look for each occasion." Finish the look with candles and fresh flowers for a nod to nature indoors, which we no doubt need as we head into the dark months ahead.

3. Mix and match

Shop now: Vintage Mismatched Brown Dinner Plates Boho Retro (Set of 4), $50

The cardinal rule for Thanksgiving decor? Keep it simple—and don't stress out over the fact that you don't have six perfectly-matched place settings. "I am a big fan of mixing and matching so things don’t feel overdone," says Kaye. "Gather chairs from different rooms of the house, use a variety of glassware, and serve dishes family style so everyone can relax and enjoy themselves." She adds that there are "no rules" when it comes to your table, so feel free to get creative with what you have and really make it your own.

4. Personalize it

Photo: Etsy

Shop now: 12-Piece Gold Pinecone Place Holder, $14

Make your Thanksgiving meal feel more elevated than your usual Thursday night dinner by decorating the table with place cards. Write your guest's names on seasonal accents like pinecones, pumpkins, or leaves as a surefire way to make all of your guests (even if it's technically only the three people in your bubble!) feel special.

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