ISSUE 47  |  Homegrown Holiday

Thanksgiving on a Budget: 7 Tips for Tabletop Decor from Stylist Beth Kirby

November 26, 2015 10:00 AM

BY Cheryl Locke

Yes, it’s about the food. We know that. We’ve been to a Thanksgiving or two. But, really? We like decorating the table. OK, make that love.

This year, we’re starting early. We asked one of our favorite stylists, Local Milk blogger Beth Kirby, to design a special no-cost Thanksgiving tabletop for us. It turns out that all you need for a Rockwellian moment are nice napkins, sparkly glasses, candles, and foraged greenery from the garden.

The best part, Beth says, is that anyone can recreate the look of her Thanksgiving tabletop. Follow her tips for how to mix and match items already on hand: 

Photography by Beth Kirby for Gardenista.

Tip No. 1: Create an unexpected hanging centerpiece using vines and greenery foraged from around your neighborhood or yard…

…and echo it with a few bits on the table.

Above: A handful of S-hooks is all it takes to hang them. 

Tip No. 2: Use food from the meal as part of your centerpiece. A few leftover squash or a bundle of herbs in a small bottle pay homage to the meal as well as brighten up the table in a subtle, seasonal way. 

Tip No. 3:. Don’t be a afraid to mix and match your napkins–and let them be wrinkly and wild. The movement and the casual look of a table strewn with mixed napkins is inviting. When mixing, try to stick to napkins all of the same print–like the stripes here– or of the same color range. 

Tip No. 4: Serve family style and let your serving pieces and cookware be the stars of your table.

Above: Do you have a cool vintage copper pot or an heirloom cast iron skillet? Put a trivet on the table and serve straight out of them. They look great and the food stays warm. 

Tip No. 5: Try using mugs as bowls. They give height to each place setting and make even a casual table feel as if it has personality. 

Tip No. 6: A few candles go a long way and the more imperfect the better. Grab a few from around your house and light them as the light sinks lower. 

Tip No. 7: Keep it simple. Plain glassware and simple white plates always look good. Keep your color palette to one or two natural colors and patterns at a minimum, and you’re guaranteed a classic table every time.

Want more Thanksgiving tabletop ideas? For inspiration, see:

For a tour of Beth Kirby’s kitchen remodel, see One-Month Makeover: Beth Kirby’s Star-is-Born Kitchen on Remodelista.