Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Whether you're planning a small, intimate dinner or a huge gathering of family and friends, the perfect table must be set.
First, plan ahead. Check the table to be sure extra leaves are available, and they fit nicely into the space provided.
Check the number of chairs you have and compare it to the number of people coming. That sounds obvious, but it's easy to forget, so better to be safe than sorry. If you just need a couple of extras, use simple folding chairs with decorations to dress them up. You can also ask guests to BYOC (bring a couple of chairs). And keep in mind that it is still stylish to have the children sit at a separate table.
Let's talk about the adult table first.
Tablecloths are a welcome decoration for Thanksgiving dinner, and add a touch of class. If you already have a tablecloth for this special meal, great, but if you need to buy one, consider shades of yellow, gold, yellow, orange, brown and red. If you need to be frugal so you can use the tablecloth at other times of the year, a simple off-white cloth will be just fine and you can decorate with accessories for color.
The children's table can have a paper tablecloth, and put some crayons and pencils next to the utensils so the kids can entertain themselves drawing or playing ticktacktoe while the adults eat and chat.
And, at this time of year, finding the perfect centerpiece shouldn't be hard. A do-it-yourself idea would be to bring in colorful leaves from the yard and glue them to small glass bowls or glass votive holders. Put a candle inside the bowl, and you have a colorful fall decoration.
Actually, candles, even by themselves, make wonderful table decorations. Or try ceramic pumpkin-shaped containers with a large opening on top.
Pinecones and fallen leaves could be sprinkled on the table for more holiday drama. The children's table can be decorated simply with the pinecones and leaves and nothing more.
(Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color." Contact her at Rosemary at DsgnQuest(at)aol.com.)
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