entertaining / the anatomy of a table setting / thanksgiving

bobette taught a class on how to set your holiday tables recently, and i loved everything she did so much i had to share! she created 5 different place settings ranging from vintage to modern styles. it's never too early to get started on holiday planning right??

first let's talk about what you actually need for a table setting. the diagram above shows the general way that they should be set up, but your place settings can be more or less complex depending on what you have and how fancy-pantsy you want to be. consider the diagram a guideline, you do not have to do it exactly like that- and you will see in the examples below that we strayed a bit from what is shown.

1. placemat- my grandma always has a placemat set for dinner, and for some reason it makes everything feel so much more elegant. i always loved that when i visited her house for sunday dinners. this category could include your tablecloth, should you choose to use one.

2. charger- i feel like this is the place where you can be the most creative. there are so many different things that you can use as a charger, because you don't have to eat off of it. we thought of using: cutting boards, tiles, paper, serving dishes. really anything that is slightly bigger than a plate would work.

3. main plate- this is pretty much the only thing that you have to have for a table setting. unless you are super progressive and don't want to be confined by plates. no judgment.

4. salad plate- this could also be a soup bowl. either way it has to be killer since it is on the tippy top.

5. name tag- you can play with lots of different things here too. bobette has a killer collection of name tag holders (see below). i also love when people have little treats as their name tags (ie a chocolate box with the name on the outside). the name tag can be placed anywhere really- tied to the napkin or cup, on top of or next to the plate.

6. fork/napkin/spoon/knife- there are proper ways to set all of these if you are proper and are using multiple utensils. we like tying all of them together and putting them to the right of the plate (though if i had it my way they would be on the left hand side #lefthandedproblems).

7. cup- again, you can have multiple glasses and there are certain ways to set them. we usually stick with just one glass for our signature drink, and have extras near the drink bar.

very vintage:

for this setting we nixed the placemat and opted for that awesome lacy tablecloth (from my wedding, excuse the wrinkles). i love this look for thanksgiving- the palate of pinks browns and yellow are perfect. that charger is a serving platter, and i love how it matches the silver centerpiece. how perfect are the flowers too? oh and you can see one of bobette's name tag holders- the pink ornaments. loves.

gold and glam:

this is the way that bobette is planning to have her thanksgiving table set. i don't think i could love it more. i have always wanted to steal those gold chargers, and combined with the charteuse napkins- she is killing me. those white plates are super old from target, and the salad plates are from anthro a few years ago. 

rustic modern:

we have seen this look quite a bit on pinterest lately. it has a limited color palette (she wanted to use tan napkins, but i needed more color/pattern- i can't go that modern). i do love the combination of the two white plates. that wreath was made of a boxwood branch in her garden, as was the rosemary surrounding the candles. those chalkboards with the wooden stands are new- i feel like they are super diy-able for those of you who are crafty.


what plans do you have for your thanksgiving table?