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This Thanksgiving, Work What Your Mama Gave You!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  For me, the pressure is on to come up with an awesome tablescape for the big family dinner!  I don’t cook a lick (that job is reserved from my sister Deb), but I can set a mean table, so that’s where I focus all my energy and creativity.  I’m almost famous for my table tops, so read on to see what I’ve come up with this year.


Sure, it’s easy to hit the stores for some festive, fall inspiration and buy your centrepiece and table decor, but I’m here to tell you, more than likely you already have everything you need for a show-stopper table right at your fingertips.  This Thanksgiving, work what your mama (or grandma) gave you…and don’t spend a dime on dressing your table!

I always start by taking an inventory of what I have on hand to work with.  Start looking around your house.  Open up the cupboards you rarely go in.  Go deep into your basement storage and dig.  Then, go over to your Mom’s, Grandma’s or your Great Auntie’s house and see what goodies they have to contribute to your masterpiece!



Home Lovers Tip #1: The key is to have your eyes open for some yummy vintage pieces.

  • Look for a great vessel of sorts that you can repurpose as your centrepiece …maybe a grouping of old metal cans, or crystal candlesticks, or even some tarnished silver…like a antique silver pitcher…that would be awesome to hold some seasonal flowers and greenery!
  • Then, think silverware or cutlery.  I have some gorgeous sterling silver flatware that my Mom used for all our big occasions as kids and her Mom used for many a fancy feast as well.  Somehow over the years though, the place settings  have gone missing and I’m left with a mixed bag of tricks.  I love that though.  Don’t let a few missing forks and knives keep you from breaking out the good silverware.  Mix it up like a pro!
  • As I mix and match the silverware, it seems only right to keep the unexpected coming.  I chose blue Mexican hand blown drinking glasses…vintage in their own right, dating back to the 1500’s, bravely set with my Grandmother’s antique flow blue china from the 1800’s!



Home Lover s Tip #2: Stick to the real deal…stay away from faux!

  • There’s nothing nicer than real flowers on the table.  Ok, I didn’t pick the hearty sunflowers shown here from my back garden.  A wee splurge for maximum impact!
  • I’m also a big fan of natural fabrics; not just on the table, but all around the house.  Nothing beats linen on the table, but cotton or linen-cotton blends are also great choices.  In the spirit of using what you have on hand though, consider natural burlap.  I used a strip of burlap I had on hand from Christmas last year…I used it to wrap the base of my tree, and now, with a little pressing, it’s a textural, rustic table runner!
  • While we’re on the topic of fabrics, where do you sit on cloth vs. paper napkins?  I know paper seems so much more convenient,  but really how hard is it to toss your cloth napkins in the wash?  You don’t even have to buy fancy ones.  Get out your fabric scraps (feel free to mix and match), turn and quick stitch the edges and voila, cloth napkins all around!

Home Lovers Tip #3: Layer up the lighting!

  • Don’t forget about your lighting.  Lighting in any interior space can make or break the overall look and feel.  Candlelight  is a must whether you use candlesticks, votives at each place setting, or a vignette of chunky pillars on a tray as your centrepiece, candlelight makes both your food and your guests look their best!
  • Since you do need to see what you are eating and the people you are breaking bread with, layer your overhead lighting with your candlelight.  To set the perfect mood, I definitely recommend installing a dimmer switch.  That way, you can adjust the lighting levels based on the mix of natural light that may or may not be washing in the room and the candles dispersed around your table.

Follow these tips and put the money you save into a decadent festive dessert for you and your guests. Send us pictures of your Thanksgiving table…We want to see you work what your mama gave you!  Happy Thanksgiving Home Lovers!





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