When in doubt, KISS!

I’m one of those poor unfortunate people who were born completely devoid of fashion sense.

Seriously, when I go clothes shopping, I buy the outfit on the display mannequin from top to bottom.  What’s even worse is that every time I wear that outfit, I’ll wear it exactly as it appeared on said mannequin.

While most of the time I have embraced my jeans, fitted tee and flip flop wearing personality (which is all just part of my unique charm, I assure you), there are other times, like Thanksgiving dinner, where I’d like to be able to pull together a slightly more elegant table setting.

I might not have been born with the trés chic gene, but I’m certainly living proof that an old dog can learn new tricks.

As the title of this article implies, when it doubt, KISS – you know, keep it simple stupid. The best part of design (whether it be clothing, furniture, or even web design) is that less is quite often more. This is great news if you are a little challenged in this department as I am, and it’s also very good news for your wallet!

This tablescape was featured by Sandra Lee and Pier 1 at last year’s Southern Women’s Show in Jacksonville.

Notice how elegant the table is, despite the fact that it’s quite simple. The table runner has a few colors in a simple stripe pattern. These colors are accented in the napkins, the wine goblets, and the candles.  They added visual interest with layers of complimentary texture: the wood on the table, the table runner, the wicker place mats, the jute tied around the forks, the napkins, the decorations holding the candles in place, the leaves and the pine cones.

The napkins are folded simply and the only “decoration” comes in the form of a few scattered leaves and a small pinecone at each place setting. The finishing touch is simply a printed out copy of the menu tucked into each napkin.

This is design I can wrap my head around! By swapping out the candles for a nice cranberry color, removing the leaves, and using a clear colored wine goblet, this could easily double as a Christmas tablescape as well.

How do you set your Thanksgiving table? Have any simple design tips you can share?

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Comments

  1. 1

    I am seriously wishing that I knew that this show was happening. How FUN!! I am a pretty big failure in the table scape department. It could stem from the fact that my kids are usually banging on the table, chanting “where’s the food?” (just kidding, but you know what I mean)

  2. 2

    beautiful!! I LOVE decorating the table for Thanksgiving (or Christmas for that matter!) and this one is great! I really like the different textures here-nice job!

  3. 3

    I have to admit that I don’t bother with table scapes at all. For the 30 seconds that the centerpieces are there and then whisked away so food can replace them, they’re just not worth it. I’d love to be that styling savvy, I admit it, but I’m happy if I can just get all the food in semi-matching bowls and on the table hot. :)

  4. 4

    I love the idea of a pretty table and I will try. But there are so many times when someone will move the flowers or the candles because they just can’t see, or someone will bring a beer bottle to the table, that I have to remind myself that it’s all about the people and the sharing of of good food. (I’ll still try!)

  5. 5

    I would have to say I lack at the whole tablescape idea. Although I love a beautiful table, if it were up to me I would rather spend the time and money on the food itself than the table. These pictures are great though. My favorite is the pine cones. I am for using nature to its fullest extent. I have been known to put bowls of food on the table…for instance a bowl or jar of lemons in the summer is great and you can reuse the lemons later in cooking.

  6. 6

    Simple but totally effective, and especially love the menu tucked in the napkins. Très classe, Madame! We have to wait until Christmas to do the fancy table over ‘ere but last time I did something a bit mad for place settings: I cut out funny santa elf shapes using red card and stuck a photo of each person’s face on top which certainly received the giggles. I put some cotton wool beards on some of the male guests – at least I resisted the temptation on the females. They only get it next time if they don’t say the food was top notch :-)

  7. 7

    Jen, you’re so funny. I think jeans and t-shirts are under-rated. I can’t dress myself either (anymore). I used to be with it before kids. Now post kids, it’s jeans or sweats. LOL! Don’t even get me started about my hair. LOL! PS.. Tomorrow I have an award coming your way… so be sure to check out my 11-22 post. :)

  8. 9

    I LOVE those green plates–what a beautiful table!

  9. 10

    Table scapes are great, but only if you are entertaining for a lot of people. These photos of the table look amazing.

  10. 11

    How simple but pretty! I am challenge with design as well! I want to dress cute, but it just doesn’t work – same with my table decor. But this, I could do!!

  11. 12

    We are twins! I live in t-shirts and flip flops and have very little decorating sense. However, I have embraced the KISS principle! I tend to decorate with food! This year, I have green apples in a wooden bowl and cranberries on either side of the bowl in chunky glass containers! Voila! Table scape done!

  12. 13

    I love fashion but you’d never know it to look at me. I am usually in pajama bottoms and a tank at home, even during the day. Sometimes I go all out and toss on yoga pants just to dress it up. When I go out it’s tanks and jeans or capris. Flip flops always. Even at the barn in my barn clothes. I have a flip flop fetish. I aspire to one of those fabulous people but it just takes so much effort to get out of my p.j.’s. The table looks incredible. That is one thing I love immensely. Decorating is my passion. Besides cooking. There’s nothing like fresh lemons in a vase or candles stuck in cranberries in a jar. You did such a great job. I’d be honored to sit at a table this pretty.

  13. 14

    Beautiful table-scape, Jen! Had to laugh with you about your no-fashion sense, because I am totally with ya! When I go out, I get dressed and stand in front of my fashionable 16-year-old daughter. She lets me know whether my outfits goes together or not. Will remember KISS….

  14. 15

    That looks so pretty. I have never done a tablescape for any holiday. It would be so much fun to do though. Thanks for sharing. Come visit us. We have a terrific pumpkin macaroni and cheese on the menu and today we are talking about camp meetings.

  15. 16

    I love this post. You are so charming and so is this table setting!

  16. 17

    Giggle! Delightful observation and story. The table setting is lovely.

    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog.

  17. 18

    I take my sister or daughter when I go clothes shopping! I missed the fashion gene. And for tables – low candles and signs of the season – little pumpkins. I don’t do centerpieces because they do indeed get whisked away! I do thinks where you can see across the table and don’t take up a ton of room. I love glassware in this – so autumn – so welcoming!

  18. 19

    I love going shopping, but I’m so picky (which is a good thing, since otherwise, my wallet would be empty all the time). I love your table setting–it’s so rustic and homey.

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