Learning to table dress for Thanksgiving (w/video)

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

Nov. 25, 2013 at 5:25 a.m.
Updated Nov. 26, 2013 at 5:26 a.m.

Marry Koenning's table, which was designed by Donna Shafer, is decorated with a ranching theme for Thanksgiving dinner.

Marry Koenning's table, which was designed by Donna Shafer, is decorated with a ranching theme for Thanksgiving dinner.

Dressing a Thanksgiving turkey requires a savory recipe and a desire to feed the masses.

Dressing a Thanksgiving table, however, requires a fashionable eye and a desire to get inventive.

Two Victoria interior decorators, Donna Shafer and Sarah Sauceda, offer their tips to turn everyday, humdrum Thanksgiving tablescapes into elegant and trendy fall displays that are sure to impress all guests.

"Let your personality shine through when you are decorating. In my case . I'm always drawn to black and gold, and it's a really hot trend this year. You don't have to keep it strictly themed," Sauceda said.

Shafer's tips:

Model your Thanksgiving table after your own personality.

Find items, such as glassware and figurines, that are already in your home that you can reuse for your table. If you have it and love it, use it on the table.

Make it fun.

Use nontraditional colors if you don't want to use autumn colors. Don't be afraid to include bling and glitz and sparkle in the decor.

The glow of candlelight brings out the colors in the table.

Don't be afraid to set up the food on a buffet table so you can decorate your dining table more extravagantly.

It is OK to mix and match fabrics and colors. Keep it simple or go over the top. Both are acceptable. It is all about the host's personality and preference.

Home decor items are sold at economic prices in almost every store, but remember that fruit, pumpkins and other gourds can be used to decorate the table.

If you don't like it, spray paint it.

Use items from outdoors, such as leaves, sticks, pinecones and stones, to fill a glass vase or fill empty spaces on the table.

Sauceda's tips:

Keep it simple and elegant. Decorating for Thanksgiving doesn't have to cost a lot, if anything at all.

Add different textures of fabrics: rough, shiny and silky.

Use chalkboard paint on cutting boards, pumpkins, glassware and other home items and then write the menu on them in chalk and set out on the table as decoration.

Section off areas on the table where you want the most decoration and add place settings first to make sure you have enough space for food dishes and plates.

Add fresh flowers with colors that match the color scheme.

Use any colors you're comfortable with. They don't have to be earth tones. Black, white and gold is popular this season.

Don't use scented candles on the table. It may interfere with the aroma of the food.

Don't make centerpieces too tall because they may obstruct the view between guests at the dining table.

Eclectic and mismatching plates and flatware are an excellent way to demonstrate personality and style.

Don't forget the children's table. Use simple decorations and make the kids' table fun. Include cups with cute straws or dress the table with cups filled with crayons.



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