Chandos Collective

Elle Decor

52 Elegant Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas for a Memorable Feast

Hint: There’s a rule for the height of your centerpiece.

Once you’ve got your menu figured out, setting the table for Thanksgiving might be the most important decision of the day. While people look forward to food at Thanksgiving as a chance to revisit familiar favorites, the tablescape can give you a chance to surprise guests and make the day extra festive. Need some expert advice? World-renowned event planner Bronson van Wyck says he never limits himself to a specific color palette for setting the table. “I thrive on the unexpected,” he says. “Instead of predictable warm browns and oranges, opt for indigo, auberge, emerald, or Bordeaux. Rich jewel tones capture the season’s essence without falling into clichés.”

New Jersey–based designer Gail Davis says she gets inspiration for her Thanksgiving table on the day of the big feast and pulls from what is around her in her yard for centerpieces. And van Wyck adds that centerpieces should never exceed 12 inches. “A good rule of thumb is to put your elbow the table and bend at the wrist,” he says. “The tallest flower or centerpiece should not surpass that height.” Houston-based designer Chandos Dodson Epley concurs: “It’s always best to have florals that don’t obstruct conversation,” she says.

As for the best part of the day? The family around the table. “My favorite part of creating the table is the response that my friends and family have to the tablescape,” Davis says. From pared-down minimalist centerpieces to no-holds-barred maximalist displays to tidbits on honing color without foliage, and more, here are 52 Thanksgiving tablescape ideas for how to create a memorable time for your guests. Dig in!


“It is always best to have centerpieces and florals that don’t obstruct conversation,” designer Chandos Dodson Epley says. “I love adding decorative objects to tablescapes for some interest and edge.” In this case, persimmons piled in a bowl and centered on the plate add just the right pop of color.