Some of my favorite childhood Thanksgiving memories happened with my family gathered around the large oak table in the home of my Great Aunts Mary and Harriet. The table was always lavishly set and it seemed no detail was forgotten. Each place setting had its very own cup of mixed nuts, mini cut glass salt and pepper shakers and a pearl handled butter knife. How civilized! I remember that grown-up feeling you get as a child when you are dressed up for an event. For me it was a dress, cardigan, a pair of tights and my Buster Brown Mary Janes (not much has changed!).
These days in our household, we still like to get dressed up for Thankgsiving and I always look forward to setting a pretty table. This year, I wanted to give it the Little Yellow Couch Treatment, which meant thinking about a fresh approach to all of the details. We invited Zandra and her family for an early Thanksgiving dinner so you could see the table decked out ahead of time.
We used a deep blue-green velvet ribbon around each napkin and tied it with felted acorns, the tops of which were generously shared by our friend Julie Vician from the Fabric Place Basement. We used the extra acorns to hang from some branches I had sitting in the window.
Earlier this week we talked about using chalkboard place cards. We love that they double as a Thanksgiving tradition: the reverse side can be used for listing the things we are thankful for this year. After the meal, we hang these up in our home as a garland and in December plan to use them to deck our tree! They are a great reminder year round of what we are thankful for.
I borrowed Zandra's mother's gold flatware, which acts as a bit of "jewelry" for each place setting. The contrast between the gold and the natural linens gives it a modern sensibility.
Each year for Thanksgiving, I bring out my favorite Johnson Brothers Friendly Village dinnerware. I picked up a vintage version of this set at a country auction about 10 years ago for $50! I have enough of it to seat 10, but I like to mix and match my pieces with my white china for a more contemporary look.
I wanted to tie in the centerpiece with the nature theme featured in my dinnerware, so Zandra and I decided to make terrariums. (My habit for collecting glass apothecary style jars has finally come in handy!) A large terrarium would make a nice centerpiece, but a cluster of them running down the length of the table references a mini forest, which I really like. It wasn't that hard (honest!) and so to make your own, we recommend this great tutorial at Sprout Home.
After Thanksgiving, we will enjoy having these moments of nature placed throughout our home. They would also make great gifts for the holidays!
Remember to take a moment to be present and enjoy your family and meal after all of your preparation!
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without pie. We lightened our cooking load by picking one up from our favorite local confectioner, The Sleepy Baker. She crafted this amazing Cranberry Ginger Hazelnut Tort with Dark Chocolate Drizzle. We thought the cranberries were a great traditional touch to a more modern dessert.
We hope you all enjoy getting ready for your family gathering later this month! Happy Early Thanksgiving from Little Yellow Couch!
xoxo Karen June