This Thanksgiving, we’re all about quick, whip-it-right-up decor, because for those of us lucky enough to gather with a few loved ones, the simple pleasure of being with them again is enough to make the holiday special. That said, if the act of dressing up a table is what will make things feel somewhat normal, by all means, go all out.
Below, we’ve rounded up ten straightforward place-setting ideas, so you can spend less time worrying about setting the table, and more time feeling grateful for those around you.
What’s sanitary, breaks down in two months, and still looks upscale? Dinnerware made from fallen leaves, that’s what. You can feel better about single-use this year knowing your dishes won’t sit in a landfill for years—and you won’t spend hours washing up. Now that’s something to be thankful for.
2. Four “Ingredient” Setting
Only four simple parts make up this setting, and the colors can be endlessly riffed on. A plate, cloth napkin, printed menu (which you could swap for a place card), and a branch of grapes or berries pulls this together in an almost professional-looking way.
3. Mismatched Ceramic
Probably the most-loved aspect of handmade dinnerware is the variation between pieces. Some speckled, some swirled, some just barely dotted with color—and that’s what makes this pared-down table so chic. All that’s required are some basic glasses and flatware.
4. Bring Outside Branches In
Pop out to the backyard and grab a branch off your tree before it sheds all its leaves, toss it in a jug, and set it down as a show-stopping centerpiece. Place settings get a leaf each, and this pulled-together table is done in record time.
5. A Color for Everyone
Do not, we repeat: do not, waste any time looking for matching linens, when the mismatched ones look lovely as is. The trick to this table looking super polished is the coordinated glassware and utensils, but you’re totally not required to stick to any rules.
6. Blue Linen & Brown Leaves
Similar to the green leaves scheme, this setting employs uncomplicated linens, dishes, and flatware, but looks intentional with a fallen leaf at the center. Bonus points if you write the guest’s name out in black ink.
7. Dried Grasses & Matte Black
Dried grasses are still all the rage, and feel especially relevant during this harvest period. Paired with matte black and brass flatware, it’s an ultra-elegant setup.
8. Twine & Eucalyptus
There’s no need for napkin rings when you can just tie napkins up with a bit of twine. Slip a stem of eucalyptus in, and it’s an adorable little “package” for someone to open.
9. Centerpiece Takes... Centerstage
The reason this slightly plain place-setting looks so special is because the delicate florals of the centerpiece peek in. It’s easy to arrange one yourself with some Trader Joe’s stems—or you can outsource this one bit of prep to a florist to ensure the table lives up to your hopes.