How To Decorate Your Table For Rustic Thanksgiving

Pumpkin pie and a loaf of bread on a rustic dining table with two people around the table

Birds eye view of a reclaimed wood dining table with pumpkin pies, bread and drinks

Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the States, a tradition that dates back centuries to when people celebrated the bringing in of the harvest. This year, it is celebrated on 28th November and is a chance for family and friends to gather. You don’t have to be American to enjoy this festival, so if you are entertaining, here are our tips for creating a sumptuous and welcoming Thanksgiving meal table.

Step 1 – The right dining table

Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what we have, no matter how little that may be compared to others. And for many of us, that means spending time with family and friends.

Reclaimed wood dining table with a dark, cold finish and pottery, tableware and plants on top of the table

If you are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, making sure you have plenty of space around your dining table is a must. A reclaimed wood dining table is perfect – it brings warmth and character to a dining room – but an extendable table really ups the ante. It means you can expand your rustic dining table to accommodate your guests, with no awkward banging of elbows during the meal!

Step 2 – Seating to match

Mismatched chairs can look quirky but if you like a more uniformed style, as well as opting for upholstered dining chairs or leather dining chairs, you might also consider a dining bench.

A cream button back dining bench on rustic wooden legs

If, however, you are thinking a bench is hard and uncomfortable, think again. There are some fantastic examples of upholstered, high backed dining benches that are elegant, stylish and very comfortable (as well as practical).

Step 3 – Linen tablecloth and napkins

Before you can start setting the table, you need to get the basics right. Linen tablecloths and napkins are the perfect place to begin and match the effortless style of a reclaimed wood dining table too.

Rustic wood dining table on black steel legs with light green table linen, a grey pillow and ceramics

With the tablecloth, fold it several times along the long edge so that you create a table runner for the centre of your table, perfect for when you want texture but not necessarily a cloth hiding the beautiful grain of the wood from view.

Step 4 – Accessories from nature

Thanksgiving is essentially about celebrating the abundance of food from the land so it’s not uncommon to find that many table decorations and centrepieces for this festival are taken from nature – and these match wonderfully with your rustic furniture.

Why not add green, white and orange squashes to the table (you could reuse the ones from Halloween), along with sprigs and berries as additional notes of interest on the table. Stay away from brash colours, keeping these for the Christmas table instead.

Tea rose scented candle in a white ceramics pot

Scented candles and diffusers with a light but spicy fragrance are also ideal for dotting about the dining room. Along with soft lighting, you have created the warming ambience you want for your meal.

Step 5 – Upgrade your serving wear and dinner service

From plain white plates and serving dishes for neutral elegance to deep, earthy colours, it isn’t just what you serve but how you serve it that makes a difference. Choose a dinner service that will transcend different styles, including a rustic setting for Thanksgiving as well as a formal dinner party for family and friends.

With all this in place, you now just need to consider what to be thankful for…