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

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

November 19, 2017

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.  It turns out that all you need for a Rockwellian moment are nice napkins, sparkly glasses, candles, and foraged greenery from the garden.

This year start early, with tips we gleaned from one of our favorite stylists, Local Milk blogger Beth Kirby. (The ideas are just as fresh now as when she designed a special no-cost Thanksgiving tabletop for us a couple of years back.)

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.

Ceiling Centerpiece

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.

Add Edibles to Tabletop Florals

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.

Mix-and-Match Napkins

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.

Serve Family Style

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 it. It looks great and the food stays warm.

Use Mugs as Bowls

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.

Mix-and-Match Candles

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.

White Plates, Plain Glassware

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.

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